No, that entry title isn’t spelled wrong. While driving to breakfast at field school on June 12, I hit a deer that jumped out in front of my car. I was going about 70 mph (the speed limit). Cue air bags deploying. Cue frightened Nora (who was ok, save for a small scratch on her eyebrow). Cue totaled car.

I thought I was ok. My wrist was kind of sore and it got all swollen, so I assumed I sprained it and wrapped it up, then put it in a splint. Come to find out nine days later that it’s actually broken. Whee! I have a buckle fracture and it will take 3-4 weeks to heal properly. Meanwhile, I’m in a nifty blue cast that I think deserves a TARDIS. Unfortunately, I have no artistic talent and working left handed is awkward enough!

I’ll back up a bit and tell you all about field school. First of all, camping in 95+ degree weather ain’t for me. I lasted two days of literally no sleep and getting up at 5:30 in the morning before I said, “Screw it!” and got a hotel in Uvalde. Lesson learned. It’s hotels or Air BnB’s in the future for hot Texas field schools.

Field school itself was super fun! Gen was my crew chief and I learned a lot from her (even if she was determined we were going to find a dead conquistador). Nope. We had some other team members come and go, but the core crew was me, Jim, John, and Karen. We all meshed really well and there was a lot of snarking and teasing going on as we excavated two 2×2 units. Artifacts were mostly ceramics, a button, a musket ball, and part of a musket repair kit (super cool).

The kids over at the youth dig found lots of cool artifacts, including the find of the dig: a seal! Nora found lots of nails and flints and was super excited. She came over and worked in my unit a few times and we got a great shot of of the two of troweling together. We also screened together and sang some of our favorite John Denver hits, not caring what anyone else thought. That was one of my favorite moments: scrounging through rocks and concretions looking for artifacts and singing “Rocky Mountain High” together. Here’s an album of photos I took from field school.

Then, the accident happened the Tuesday of field school. My husband drove in from Austin to help me sort everything out. To be fair, my insurance took care of most of it, including covering my travel expenses and a rental car, and I am so glad I have State Farm. I considered going home, but I am a fighter and I really didn’t want to up sticks and leave because a stupid deer decided to commit seppuku on a Subaru.

The rest of field school was great. Some other less-than-pleasant stuff happened, like accidentally breaking my father-in-law’s phone and discovering the hotel had bedbugs. Don’t worry, we didn’t bring them home! We fought them in 2010 in our old crappy apartment (through no fault of our own) and are super paranoid every time we travel. Everything was left in the garage and nothing came into the house until it was washed and dried on high heat or was sprayed down with bedbug spray. I never want to go through another infestation again because it was HELL.

Here’s the real tragedy, though: breaking my wrist means I cannot make notecards and study for Anatomy and Physiology. I had to withdraw from the course and that sent me into a very unhappy place. See, I had everything all planned out: take A&P, take some anthropology courses online, apply to grad school.

Well, that’s not the way it worked out. I know life does this sometimes. We can plan all we want, but then something comes along and throws a monkey wrench into those plans. The last several days have been difficult, with me trying not to get depressed and wondering, “What do I do now?” On top of the pain in my arm, I haven’t been the most pleasant person to be around.

I don’t want anything to derail me from applying for graduate school next year, but A&P is one of the suggested courses for the Bioarch program at Humboldt State. Of course, it says I could be admitted without having taken it, but it’s recommended that I take it either before or during the program.

I decided to stop worrying about it. I hit sort of a low point this past Sunday and was sick of wondering what to do. There are other classes that Humboldt suggests that I cannot take through community colleges, such as Intro to Biological Anthropology. I found a relatively affordable university in Oregon that has an online BA in Anthropology that offers the courses I need to take. I do not intend to get a BA as I already have two and I’m not exactly a spring chicken these days! It would be nice to finish my PhD by the time I’m 50.  However, taking some background classes will be helpful and will strengthen my application for grad school next year.

I went ahead and applied with plenty of time to be admitted for the fall semester (starts Sept. 20) and have arranged for transcripts to be sent. Not to sound pretentious, but I expect to be admitted since my grades are excellent and I’ve earned 3 degrees already, proving I can handle college classes and online work.

I feel immensely better and I believe this was meant to be. Yes, it’s disappointing, but it’s actually turned out better than I expected. I will take A&P another time, when it’s right. Now is not the time. I think I would do better to take it in person rather than online. The problem is that where I live doesn’t pay taxes into the local community college and I have to pay out-of-district tuition, which is absolutely ridiculous because there are campuses everywhere. However, there is a movement to join the college district and hopefully it will go to vote in November. I’m just going to bide my time and see what happens. 

Next blog post will be about volunteering at TARL this summer.