Wednesday, January 26, 2011

SAA's, grad school, and class!

So today I did a lot of note-taking, and so it wasn't a terribly interesting day until the afternoon, but this afternoon I met with Dr. A to plan the SAA trip! Actually, it started out with us planning the database we're going to use and then talking about beads for a while (there are these beads that we have no idea how they were manufactured, and we've never come across any description anywhere about them). That got us talking about the SAAs, and we've now purchased plane tickets for California! Oh, the SAAs is the Annual Meeting for the Society of American Archaeology. Dr. A and I are presenting a paper about her data from India, and we have to get it all sorted out before we can write the paper. The fact that I'm even going it amazing, but the development that happened today is that we bought tickets!

On the class side of things, I've decided to drop the class I was talking about and do the SAA stuff as an independent study. It's just going to be way too difficult to do that much work and it's much easier to just get credit for the SAA stuff than to do a whole other class. The nice thing about that is that it means I don't have three classes in a row anymore, so hopefully tomorrow will be a lot less insane than yesterday.

And as for grad school, I was accepted by the University of Washington! I still haven't heard from Wisconsin, which I find odd, but January isn't over yet. But I got accepted! So everything is very happy!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Classes, archaeology, and other stuff...

So today was the second day of classes, which was really my first day of classes since all of my classes are on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I started the morning by realizing that the weather had gotten about 30 degrees warmer (it was 10 out this morning and I loved it!) and subsequently walked to campus. Since I live off-campus, security forces me to park in the two farthest lots from anything except athletics and the arts building. As a result, I end up freezing most mornings or evenings when walking to or from my car. Seriously, when I got home on Sunday night my hands were turning purplish blue. So I thought about it for a while (after security refused to let me park closer) and realized that one reason I freeze is because it takes so long to walk to my car, clear it off, warm it up, and drive home (or clear if off, warm it up, drive to campus and then walk to my building). I also realized that in the time it takes me to clear off my car, etc., I could simply walk to campus. I would be more active and therefore warmer on my walk in and could stop places like the library on the way in to pick up books. And it would count as actual exercise, since I live a good 15-20 minute walk away (and it's uphill). Granted, it's not a full work-out, but it's better than nothing, right?

So anyway, I walked up to campus this morning because it was so warm (10 degrees, it was wonderful). My first class was at 10:10, Views of Human Nature, which is the senior capstone course. I think I'm the only senior who was actually looking forward to it, but I guess that just means that I've definitely found the right field. It was a good opening class, Dr. P described the course, then gave us a few life lessons that we didn't know we needed, but were valuable nonetheless. Basically what not to do when being interviewed for a job. All in all, it was a good class and I'm still looking forward to it.

I then went to meet with Dr. P and ended up meeting with Dr. A, then we had a joint meeting with Dr. P and the three of us went to lunch. I'm sure that sounds really confusing, but it's how it goes in this department. We spent lunch discussing the advantages of the Kindle, and then I dashed off to my second class, Religion and Visual Culture. It was pretty good, but I was fading by the end (not sure why, but it lasted all afternoon). I then went to the third class of the day, Buddhist Art and Ritual, and listened to stories of my professor getting disqualified from learning to meditate in a Thai monastery because she was too interested in the paintings on the wall.

And then I went back to Piskor and felt like taking a nap. Actually, I had felt like taking a nap since about 1:45, and it was about 3:45 then. I have no idea why I was so tired, but I walked home anyway because it seemed a good idea.

The only guess I have regarding the exhaustion is that three classes in one day with no real break in between is too much. I'm sure other people can do it, and do it easily, but for me, I don't think three classes in a row works. And on top of all that I still have my thesis and I have to work on the dictionary for Dr. P and Dr. A and I are writing a paper that we haven't really even started compiling the data for yet. Well, we have the data, but it's in notebooks and formatted differently depending on the year, so we have to input it all into a database. I am also still working at the historical association on their Civil War collection, so it's just a lot of work to do.

So I think what I might do is try to see if I can take an independent study with Dr. A that would essentially be us doing the work for the paper that we're presenting at a conference in April. Since I'm going to be doing that work anyway (as is she), we're not adding anything to our workload, just giving me academic credit for it. That would allow me to drop one of my classes in my marathon and would give me a reasonable workload for the semester instead of the insane monstrosity that I met today.

What's really cool, though, is that I got a preliminary program for the conference we're going to and my name is actually listed in the program as a presenter for this conference. I know that sounds really geeky, and in ten years I won't be all that excited about it, but really, this is pretty cool.

Also, I have just been offered the chance to go work at Angkor Wat this summer! It would be during the month of July, for about 4-6 weeks, depending on when I can commit, and quite frankly I'm going to try to commit for the whole time.

That's about it... I got the actual acceptance letter from Hawaii today, but still haven't heard from Wisconsin or Washington... and after that not much has been going on.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Grad school, end of break, and other things...

I have been accepted to grad school!!!! Anyone who actually reads this would know that already, but I wanted to put it here anyway. I was accepted into the graduate program at the University of Hawaii, which is currently my second choice school. I also heard from the University of Illinois at Chicago and was accepted by the department there. Illinois also offered me a very nice funding package and so now I don't know where to go. I'm basically waiting for other results and will decide once I've gotten all the information from all the universities.

Classes start Monday, which will be nice since it means that people will be back in Canton. I actually don't have class on Monday, but it'll still feel like the semester has started, which will be good. I'm looking forward to actually being able to celebrate my grad school acceptance with my professors and ask them for advice and such.

I'm also looking into field schools for next summer, or any fieldwork opportunity for that matter, and have possibly found one in Virginia that's good quality and relatively cheap. I also found one in Poland that's roughly the same, but a little more expensive. I'm also thinking of going back to Scotland to do stuff with SERF, but I haven't seen anything for them yet. I'm also trying to see if I can find anything cheap in Southeast Asia, but I don't think that will happen.

Not a whole lot else going on, though I'm thinking of getting my draft of the books I was writing about Indonesia out again and working on that some more. It might be cool to have another book out there, and hopefully better written than the others. You know, I don't do the books for money or anything, or so that I can go brag to people about having written a book. You probably aren't thinking that, but just in case you are, I want to explain myself. I like the idea of having books of my travels that are printed so that my stories are recorded. And I like recording my stories so that one day I can pass them on to my children and possible grandchildren. I remember going to my grandmother's house and taking out these huge photo album scrapbooks that she had compiled of her travels around the world, and I remember looking through them both on my own and with her. I also remember sitting on her lap and listening to stories of cormorants fishing on the Yangtze or having a picnic in the middle of the desert. I loved listening to her stories, and while I'm awful at maintaining scrapbooks, I'm pretty good about writing things down. I also have a tendency to forget my camera or I fail to take pictures or something, so writing is the best way to convey the images. So the reason I write those books is to have something I can pass on, like my grandmother's scrapbooks.

Part of me wonders if I should make those sorts of books for shorter trips I've taken, like the field school I did in Scotland or the trips I've taken to Morocco or France or Spain. Actually, to be honest, those went so fast that I don't know I could write a book about them. But then again, maybe if I sat down and tried it, I'd find the memories come a lot easier. We'll see about that, but first I'm going to see to the Indonesia book, because I really do want some version of that printed...

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

It's 2011!

Ok, so I know that I haven't been posting since August and that I was going to keep everyone updated on my travels in Scotland, but the internet was limited and poor in Scotland and so updating the blog wasn't really an option. Well, I suppose it was, but I chose to spend time with friends instead of write this blog because I only had three weeks with them and that seemed more important. Anyway, I'll upload a photo or two when I have time and can give the journal entries from when I was there. You'll still get the whole story, don't worry!

Anyway, last semester went well, though it was very busy, so I still had no time to update this thing. I was taking four classes, one of which was my honors thesis, applying to grad schools, volunteering at the historical society, and working for the department. The yarn store has sort of gone out of existence, so I no longer work there, but I have plenty to do with everything else, so I don't really mind. We got grades yesterday for this past semester and I managed to get straight 4.0's again, which I'm quite pleased with.

Christmas went well with very good visits to family and friends, and the New Year was quiet, but very pleasant. I'm now in Canton again and am going to work on the dictionary for the next few weeks before the semester starts so that I can have it in a pretty good place by the time I get back. I've also been purchasing books for next semester and plan to read through some of them before classes start. I'm taking Views of Human Nature, the senior capstone anthro course that everyone dreads because it's the highest level course and taught by Dr. P. I'm actually looking forward to it, though, because while I'm well aware that she'll kick my butt if she thinks it necessary, I enjoyed her linguistics class and look forward to having a similar experience with this one. I'm also taking Buddhist Art and Ritual, an art history course, which I think will be interesting and potentially useful in the future. That one may also kick my butt, though. I'm also finishing up my senior honors and taking Religion and Visual Culture, a religious studies course that also seems interesting and potentially useful in the future. All in all, I'm pretty satisfied with the courses.

So that's really all that's going on, not a whole lot, really. I may write updates now and again over the next few weeks, particularly if I hear from grad schools, but life is pretty slow, so I expect very little to happen.