February 28, 2006

I didn't die at all.

Cooler heads (shockingly, my own) have prevailed in the matter of summer field schools. I won't be going to Israel; I can't afford it and it's not remotely relevant to anything I might be doing in archaeology after graduation. I'm using the time-honored mechanism of thinking very hard about jellyfish to put the whole beachside cabin idea right out of my head, and instead I'm going to apply very calmly and responsibly to two East Coast tribal archaeology projects which by their nature have really fascinating cultural and jurisdictional issues attached to them and will provide fantastically valuable experience if I'm hoping to do anything at all in the Pacific Northwest. Which I am. $2000 less debt, 85% more relevance, and probably 100% fewer jellyfish are all things that I can deal with.

The professor running one of the new prospects told me over email that I'm a strong candidate for the program based on my areas of interest and previous coursework, so it remains only to get my application in and hope like hell that I'm still a strong candidate after he's taken a look at my GPA. Toward this end, today I put on my best I-haven't-missed-a-lecture-yet-this-semester face (and my may-I-remind-you-of-my-excellent-summary-presentation hat) and asked my Hunter-Gatherer Archaeology instructor if I could list him as a reference. I could explain to you how long it took me to work up the nerve to do this -- to speak to an instructor for five minutes at the end of a class with no more than 15 people in it -- but I don't think you'd believe me. I've been more worried about asking for a reference than about taking two midterms next week.

But I report to you happily that I haven't died. Not one bit! Which means I'm now free to die about those midterms, which will be the first tests I've taken in almost three years. They'll certainly be the first tests I've actually worried about passing in three years, which makes me either a damn genius or a damn slacker. You can ask me which it is when I start actually seeing grades around here.

Posted by dianna at February 28, 2006 02:53 PM

Oh, what East Coast tribal archeology projects are you applying to? My uncle Mark's an archeologist down in South Carolina. He is, I believe, the director the Savannah River Archaeological Research Program, which is located in Aiken, South Carolina, near the border with Georgia.

Talking to professors is, indeed, very scary. I can barely work up the nerve to ask a professor a lecture-related question for fear of sounding stupid or wasting her time. When getting recommendations for law school, I had to have taken at least two classes with a professor before I could bring myself to ask for a letter.

Posted by: Zach S. at February 28, 2006 03:37 PM