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Hit the Ground Running (and Talking… a Lot)

Just over a month ago you might have been able to find me traversing a waterway in Eastern Tennessee in chest-high waders collecting samples of water discharges. Just a year before that you could have found me in the wilderness of Northern California decked out in wildland firefighting gear cutting fire lines up a mountainside. Naturally, now I find myself in an office lined with LPs, and a desk covered with everything from scripts outlining all of the important notables on The Paper Route’s newest album to chicken-scratched post-it notes on how to properly execute the daily weather roundup. I suppose that radio work is the clichéd next stepping-stone after environmental and firefighting work, right? Nonetheless, here I am with headphones around my neck, a stack of cds anxiously awaiting to be heard by my side, a big white text box expecting me to input my very first KNOM Volunteer blog post inside of it, and a big smile on my face for realizing that I have finally made the move from being an avid reader of this blog to becoming a contributor.

Obviously things move fast here at KNOM. The part of my brain that realizes I only hopped off of the plane into Nome two weeks ago knows that things are clipping along fairly quickly in my foray into being a KNOM Volunteer. However, the part of me that lives in the moment here, realizes that despite its relative speed, things move simultaneously with a slow, steady, and patient gait.  For example, if you had told me my first week I’d be able to sit behind a mixing board and DJ for a three hour shift without totally dropping the ball every time I opened the mic or pressed a button come my second week, I probably wouldn’t have believed you. Alas, here I am in week number two feeling fairly well at ease with the my upcoming Fist-Pound Show with Community DJ, Tuesonna, at the end of my shift today, as well as a sense of pride from finishing my very first Music Detour show to be aired next month. Everyone here told me that I would pick up on things before my training period was out. I don’t know if I believed them after my first few days of crash-courses in radio, but I am beginning to think they were right after all.

My short tenure here as a citizen of Nome has already given me plenty of reasons to fall head over heels for this place. I don’t even know what to begin talking about during my weekend phone calls back home. I’ve spent hours in awe of the Bering Sea, petted a reindeer, had my voice carried to distant places that I can’t even fathom, taken photos of a beached whale, hiked beautiful Anvil Mountain, and just yesterday I ate my very first caribou burger. I don’t think a regular lower-48 fast food meat and bread pairing will ever satisfy me again.

I look forward to sharing my many upcoming adventures here at KNOM and in Nome this next year. I am sure all of us upcoming volunteers are on board for what it going to be an incredible, inspiring, and hopefully caribou meat-filled ride.


  1. Algene Mueller on August 21, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    Joshua, I enjoyed your post on facebook. I know you will enjoy Nome. It is a very special place, with lots of adventures and great people. Have a wonderful year. Algene M.

  2. Josh Cunningham on August 31, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    Thanks so much! I am sure it is going to be an awesome adventure. I already love it here!