Before Listening

Alaska became a state only in 1959, and for many Americans it’s still a distant and exotic frontier.

Rob Prince, a professor of journalism at the University of Alaska, became tired of Hollywood stereotypes about Alaska. To allow Alaskans to tell their own stories about life in Alaska, he founded “Dark Winter Nights: True Stories from Alaska,” a live storytelling event, television program, and podcast.

Rob Prince introduces the series by telling us why he was tired of working with people from Hollywood, and why he decided to start this series.

In the first story, Melissa Buchta tells of managing family life in Alaska when one is legally blind.

Before listening, think about these questions:

  • What comes to your mind when you think about Alaska?
  • If you could only see a few feet in front of you, what would you miss?
  • How do you think other people might try to help?
  • How would you feel about other people always trying to help?