phil jacobsen


What Do We Do for Fun?


(photo by Sandwich)

There is a group of 8th graders in Albuquerque, New Mexico who have written letters to me since 2006 asking questions about life in McMurdo. Obviously (I hope) it’s not the same group of kids, and that some of them have gone on to bigger and better things like 11th grade.

Over the years, though, their questions seem to have a few things in common: How cold is it? Do I play with penguins? And what do I do for fun.

Then again, there was one student a couple of years ago who wanted to know if I’d seen a Sperm whale. He also asked if I was a Sperm whale. How do you answer a question like that? I answered his question with a riddle: “To your questions re: Sperm. Fifty percent of your questions are true and 50 percent are false. If you’re also not flunking math (this assumes from your question you are flunking Biology and Human Anatomy) you may or may not be able answer this problem.”

Yeah, there was some fear this young man would be caught in the school library typing “Phil Jacobsen” and “sperm” into Google. Wow, worse fear is that he actually found something. I just typed those three words into Google and found, “Born from sperm on a finger. ….. Phil Jacobsen. Maybe this whale of a tale has more to it than I thought. I’ll end this tangent:


Aside from answering questions from New Mexico, there is always a fine resource of creative people down here, and that leads me to tell you about the Great Beerster Bunny who visited us for Easter.

With eggs in short supply to decorate, we decorated beer cans and the Beerster Bunny hid these around the dorms for us to find. I was not the Beerster Bunny, but I took her head for a quick photo shoot.

Thanks Beerster Bunny. Quack. Quack.

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