By: Macy Dennon
Among sophomores, Alley Slater stands out as the epitome of interest. Her story began in the Philippines, where she was born and raised for the first seven years of her life. Slater’s story then follows her move to a small town in Alaska before inevitably moving to bless the Bay Area with the thrilling accounts of her endless adventures.
Slater moved to Los Gatos in August, but not before making a myriad of memories. The school that she went to previous to LGHS had a total of ten people, including her two brothers. To top it off, Slater was the only person in her grade and there was only one teacher who taught at her high school. She remarked, “I like having different teachers for each subject. Having the same teachers is kind of tiring.” There were two teachers in the entire town — one for elementary school and one for high school — and they both taught all subjects. Slater noted that there were no sports at her old school. The LG field hockey team has recently added her to its ranks, and she is already enjoying herself as she managed to convince some of the players that she rode a polar bear to school.
She observes that although there is an increase in population from her old school to Los Gatos, “the biggest change would have to be driving to school. It is a whole lot different… There is a lot more traffic here than in Alaska and I drove a boat to school.” Slater transported herself to school every day on her seven foot covered Skiff across the inlet that separated her from the school.
The athlete expressed the sentiment that, “Alaska may be the biggest state, but it is very small,” when referring to the population and overall development. Slater described the beautiful scenery that she is missing out on now that she is a resident in Los Gatos, including a recent showing of Northern Lights in her old town.
Slater shared that she shot her first deer at just ten years old. She explained, “It was sad at first… but there are no grocery stores in my town so that is like one of the only things you have to do — you have to hunt, fish. You have to go use whatever you have around you.” She explained that her town gets some plane and ferry shipments, but “in the wintertime, food gets really hard to get because planes can get canceled because of blizzards; we have to hunt.”
Another danger to living in Alaska, besides the killer views, is the possibility of a bear attack and Slater has more than enough evidence to justify that claim. One day, Slater sliced her finger with a wood splitter. Her dad chartered a plane and flew to the nearest big town and went to the hospital. She said, “my brother and my mom dropped me off. On their way back, there was a bear…It was really big and it was coming towards them. So my brother got a shotgun because we know how to shoot guns. We know how to operate them. We know [how to safely use] them. He tried shooting right beside its foot, but not at its foot. Trying not to hurt it. Trying to spoof it away and … it took like three shots to finally get him to go away.”
Slater even has a famous chicken named Salley, which appeared on a veterinary show that came to her town. She and her family were featured on an episode, further adding to Slater’s life tales. Look out for this sixteen year old in the halls, because if these memories are only a few of the many from her time spent in Alaska, she still has many more stories to tell.