a couple of long shots.

i just spent the last hour researching two goals of mine: how i can get a job in antarctica and how i can get pregnant.

and no, i’m not planning on attempting both at once.

though, the antarctic concentration of sperm-producing humans would be rather in favour of such an experiment… and, as a huge percentage of those residents are scientists, they would be what the sperm banks define as desirable donors, because they are university-educated. zomg, i should start an antarctic sperm bank!

but i digress.

as canada does not have a claim to the antarctic, being too busy using people as human flagpoles in an attempt to assert their ownership of the northern regions of the globe, getting a job in antarctica isn’t as simple as it would be if i were american or australian. or, for that matter, russian. the southern polar stations of these countries are associated with government and military operations, and so only their own citizens can be hired as the support workers. the scientists tend to be a bit more of an international crew. however, since i failed all of those science courses at the start of university and ended up becoming a human geographer instead of a biochemist as intended, it’s pretty unlikely that i’d get any sort of skilled research position.

…this thought had me run off for a couple minutes, and i’m back to tell you: there actually are a few academic articles about the social meaning of occupying antarctic space. see, for instance, “Cold colonies: Antarctic spatialities at Mawson and McMurdo stations”, by Christy Collis and Quentin Stevens (Cultural Geographies, Vol. 14, No. 2, 234-254 (2007)). who knew?

at any rate, my background in economic, colonial, and queer geographies hasn’t exactly laid the foundation for studying antarctic society, but i guess it’s possible. however, i’d do far better to follow through on becoming an electrician, and get cold weather experience in the northern territories. that way i could get hired as a specialty tradesperson, with qualifications that could compensate for my lack of appropriate citizenship.

pregnancy might be easier to achieve, but will be a bit more complicated. to be clear, i probably shouldn’t even call it a goal because i’m not craving the actual experience but rather see it as one of several possible routes to having kids. i think it’d be neat, but i also think adoption would be pretty cool too, just differently so. at this point, i’m just figuring out the options, because though i’ve always had this idea that intrauterine insemination with donor sperm would be expensive, i never knew the exact amounts. so, here goes: it’s about $2000 per attempt. that doesn’t sound like much, honestly… until i consider that it might not work the first time. statistically, i’d have an 80% success rate within 6 cycles. yeah. i’m glad this isn’t something i’m dead set on, because if i were i’d be depressed right now, rather than simply sobered.

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6 responses to “a couple of long shots.

  1. Oddly enough, I have long shared these two dreams.

    I’ve always been fascinated with Antarctica, but I hadn’t gotten nearly as far as you in thinking out the logistics of actually going there. Good for you!

    And as for pregnancy, I’m planning to go for insemination the old-fashioned queer way — sample from a good friend (gay male), insertion by my partner. Turkey baster! No, just kidding — probably a syringe.

    I now have four queer friends who have done insemination, and one more who’s trying. Most have gotten pregnant within a few cycles… but there’s no guarantee, of course.

  2. feralgeographer

    as inspiration, highfemme, i strongly recommend reading “just tell them i survived” by robin burns… it’s an excellent collection of portraits of women working in antarctica. as i recall, at least one of the subjects is queer and addresses the issue of heteronormativity in the male-dominated culture of the research stations… which is something that i personally always wondered about.

    to switch topics – i’m thinking of going more old-fashioned, though still with donor sperm. in fact, i think i’ll go write a post about this right now!

  3. have i mentioned how much i love you lately??

  4. feralgeographer

    thanks, julia! i miss you!

  5. I’ve got a strong feeling somebody I know posted an Antarctic job with a desire to apply, but I can’t remember now who or where. Probably on the facebook…

    And, didn’t we have a conversation at some point that my sperm might do? It’s university-educated, brown, and somewhat cute… not sure about the hereditary propensities, but a lot of that stuff can be averted by proper diet and plenty of exercise.

  6. feralgeographer

    re: looking at work in antarctica…
    actually, that might have been me. i mean, i did ace that test! sadly, i do not qualify for the jobs. yet. heh heh.

    re: your sperm…
    dear rrr, i hardly think this is an ideal platform for this discussion. so, i’m simply going to agree with you on all your points, add that the kid would be a genius, and thank you sincerely for the kind offer even as i refuse it. i appreciate your generosity nonetheless.

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