Alert, Nunavut & the procrastinating student

20 Jun

An interesting phenomenon occurs around the last week of a semester. I suddenly become increasingly interested in all kinds of things internet-related. A new fervor for online research (wikipedia) burns within me. Suddenly, I am particularly interested in the behavior and diet of the narwhal, or the history of the National Hockey League and its defunct and relocated teams. Or even: the northernmost permanently inhabited place in the world.


We’ll get back to that later.

There is a word for this phenomenon: procrastination. Here are three great definitions of procrastination from because I couldn’t decide which one was the best. #soclever.


As I mentioned before, this semester is coming to a close, i.e. the due dates for finals, papers, and presentations are fast in their approach. This is the time that procrastination rears its ugly head, commonly with a case of the #shoulds. I #should be studying anabolic steroids and their effects on the androgen receptors for my Drugs and the Brain course. I #should be filling my mind with Scott McCloud, Wertham, Alison Bechdel, Kate Kane (the lesbian Batwoman), and Hothead Paison (the Homicidal Lesbian Terrorist) for my Comics Studies class. Under normal circumstances, this intriguing, albeit scholarly, research would be enthralling. However, now that I am nearing deadlines, everything else is way more interesting. As much as I would like to get down to business now, it’s almost time for lunch! #SOML

With that understanding, It should be easy to fathom my newfound obsession with the town of Alert, Nunavut, which is approximately 817 kilometers from the North Pole. I (figuratively) stumbled upon the wikipedia page, and since, it has haunted my thoughts. What first struck me about 82°30′05″N 062°20′20″W was the name itself: Alert. What an aura of foreboding. To me, the name said: Reader beware! In spite of that, I read on, stifling my eerie feeling. Next, I came across a peculiar statistic. It stated that the 2006 census reported that there were only five permanent residents who lived in Alert. Five. Permanent. Residents. I was bewitched. Questions flooded my mind. What did these people look like? Did they ever see each other? Were they wanderers who ate seal blubber? Did they have language?

As I continued to read, it only got worse when I reached the parenthetical statement that followed: (but owing to the way the Canadian Census is compiled, the true population of Alert could be between 1 and 10 inhabitants.)” #freaky. No one even knows for certain how many people actually live there? What if someone was murdered? What if there’s actually an underground colony of peoplecreatures living under the ice?

I started watching a Netflix movie and only got about five minutes in before Alert called to me. It had permeated my consciousness, and I was frightfully unable to focus on anything Jeff Bridges was saying. I stopped the movie, turned on the lights, and began my Googling….



3 Responses to “Alert, Nunavut & the procrastinating student”

  1. Anonymous September 7, 2011 at 8:56 am #

    I found this page while procrastinating. I was trying to find out who the 5 permanent residents of Nunavut were instead of getting on with my job…

    • Elise Myers July 5, 2012 at 5:45 pm #

      Ha. That is terribly appropriate. I hope you were eventually able to get back to your work…


  1. Alert, Nunavut & the procrastinating student (PART 2) « elisemyers - June 27, 2011

    […] at Merriam-Webster. They reminded me that I never followed up on my scary story of Alert, Nunavut, which you can read here. via […]

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