On Chores

One more groundhog week has come and gone. Been pretty uneventful as usual. For Tech Rescue ERT we went over properly belay techniques and for Fire Brigade we did some comms checks with our radios to see if there were any areas where we might run into issues. Aside from that it’s been pretty quiet. So, since there’s not much to talk about as far as the recent happenings, I’m going to talk about house mouse. Earlier this week I was talking to one of my friends back in the States and mentioned house mouse and their response was “what is house mouse?” Well, if you too are curious, keep reading and I’ll tell you!

So on station this winter we have a total of 39 people (fun fact this is the smallest crew that has wintered since the elevated station was built and replaced the dome station) and we all use the common areas such as the quiet reading room, lounges, computer lab, main hallway down the station, and the bathrooms (there’s more places than these but I didn’t feel like listing everything…). Well, part of there being only 39 of us means that nobody has the specific job of cleaning stuff so we all pitch in and help keep things clean and tidy. I’m not sure where the term originated but doing these chores is called house mouse (the same term is used at McMurdo so it’s not specific to Pole). Every week on the day before the weekend (Saturday or Friday if we have a long weekend) we get in our groups and do our assigned house mouse task for that week. At the beginning of winter we were all put into groups of three or four people and we rotate what parts of the station we clean so that everyone has to do every job. This past week we just went through our first full rotation through and are about to start it over again.

Anyway, that’s house mouse and how we keep the station clean. I still need to edit photos which I hope to get to soon. I’ve managed to get some pretty awesome shots of the auroras and the milky way. As always, thanks for reading.

— Matt “I hope we have enough cleaning supplies” Butcher

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