Guru Kate: Hurricanes and jobs on campus

Why do wider hurricanes inflict so much damage, even if they’re Category 1 or 2?

Although autumn in Alaska means early winter, it signals Indian summers and capri-pant season elsewhere.  Along the eastern seaboard, storms whip up and can inflict major damage. Hurricane season is the real deal.

Take, for instance, Hurricane Irene several weeks back. Weathermen advertised it to be the be-all-end-all of storms for New York City. Rather than resulting in billions of dollars worth of damage, the storm came through with $55 million worth of damage, according to New York City officials.

Those in upstate New York were the unlucky ones. They endured massive flooding, power outages, and structural damages to properties. Long Island of New York also saw its fair share of fallen trees. Hundred-year-old hardwoods fell to the ground as the rain poured and the wind howled.

This was much different from the storm surge that hit New Orleans with Hurricane Katrina. Hurricane Irene was 510 miles wide (1/3 of the Atlantic coastline), according to NASA, and lasted for most of the weekend, resulting in continuous drowning of topsoil. In addition, many parts of the east coast have shallow layers of topsoil before hitting bedrock, resulting in shallow root systems.

Like Mufasa just before he falls into the stampede of wildebeasts, the trees have nothing to grasp. The wind knocks them down, totally uprooting their shallow root systems. The trees hit power lines, houses, cars. They block roads so that emergency crews cannot get through. It’s a different kind of monster. Wider, weaker hurricanes pose more of an endurance threat to the economy and ecology of the coast.


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How do I get a reasonable job on campus?

Talk to your friends. Do any of them have a job on campus that they’d recommend? Or for that matter, that you should stay away from? Make a list of your interests, skills and goals. Go ahead, the article will still be here when you get back.

Got the list? Ok, here’s some categories of interest: organization or planning, helping people, writing, moving things, directing people, making food, broadcasting, maintenance, paperwork/filing, grading, techie things… the list goes on and on. Many of these skills are actually connected with your major.

Once you’ve got that figured out, check out You’re going to need to specify what campus you want the job at (heavens forbid you end up with an eight hour commute to Fairbanks), and that you’re a student. After you’ve browed and found a job opening you’re interested in, find the supervisor and meet with them. Find out more about the position before you commit to it.

You can also find jobs by asking. It never hurts to ask if there is a job position available around campus. It might surprise you what isn’t advertised.

I’ve had a couple of peers who joined a job thinking that $9.00 per hour was pretty good for what they were doing, until they realized that they hated their job and they had rushed into it, just because they needed the money.

It’s important to pick a job that will work with your schedule and preferences so that when you build a resume, it can be something that you’re proud of and represents your interests, skills and work ethic.

This totally goes against the “beggars can’t be choosers” saying, but who wants to be miserable 20 hours per week when you’re studying on top of that? Invest some time in finding your dream job on campus and you’ll be happy as a clam.