My classes just started at Oregon State last week. The Intro to Cultural Anthropology class is pretty easy and the workload is light. That’s great because the Archaeological Inferences class is very intensive with a lot of reading and labs with group interaction, which is always interesting when you’re in a distance learning situation. Most online classes require an Introductory post where you introduce yourself and maybe answer a few standard questions. The Intro to Cultural Anthropology class was like that. Archaeological Inferences was a bit different. We had to list the content of our purse or backpack and then another classmate had to make inferences about our lives based on what we listed. I thought that was a pretty fun and unique twist on the traditional introductory post. The person who guessed about my purse was way, way off. She thought I was in my 20’s! The only part she got right was that I’m a mom, though she thought my kid must be between 3-7. Nora was a little offended!

I’m already thinking about next summer and what I want to do in terms of archaeology experience. I’m not going to TAS’ field school next year. It’s in Palo Duro Canyon and that’s just too damn hot for me. I’m holding out for 2020 when it’s rumored they’ll be in Kerrville. I started doing a search for field schools, though it’s still a little early as many of them won’t be listed yet. I would like to work on a cemetery dig. I actually found quite a few, which was exciting, but many of them are 2-3 months long. That just doesn’t jive with me for several reasons.

Obviously, I can’t leave Paul and Nora for that long. I just can’t. TAS is unique in that I can bring my kiddo and she can participate, but that’s not the case for most field schools. That’s the downside to being an old married anthropology student who already works full time. I don’t have the freedom to take off for months at a time, so I’ve limited myself to 3 weeks or less. Some of the field schools start before I’m out of work. Many of them start after, but my spring classes at Oregon State won’t end until mid-June and I don’t want to try to handle digging for 5-7 hours a day and studying for finals at the same time. I also don’t know about internet connection. Some schools are in parts of the world with limited access and that’s not negotiable for my situation. Some of them are really damn expensive, more than I’m willing to fork over to muck about in the dirt digging up bones. It’s a weird situation with a lot of variables involved.

I did find one in Menorca that fits all those parameters. I’m not sure how Paul feels about me dashing off to Spain to exhume a bunch of dead Romans. I think at this point in our marriage, he’s resigned to the fact that his wife is a huge weirdo and he goes with it. I’m going to wait a few more months and see what else is added. Ideally, I would go to a field school in the United States or Canada because that would be much cheaper, but it seems like the majority of the schools I found so far are overseas in Europe.

What’d I’d really like to do is excavate in the UK because that’s where my field of interests are and where I eventually want to study for a PhD. It would be good to start making some connections over there, but ultimately I’ll take what I can get. Experience is experience!

Or maybe I’ll just stay home, save my money, and volunteer at TARL again. That is, if Lauren and Marybeth don’t mind me asking a bunch of weird questions and grumbling that I can’t make the mail merge work to print the box labels! I honestly never figured that out. Excel hates me with a passion. As I’ve said before, I actually learned A LOT at TARL and I know that I’ve only just scratched the surface.  Volunteering at TARL was loads of fun and with Nora probably going to camp, I will be able to put in a little more time in the lab. So, staying put wouldn’t be a bad option, either!

As a side note, I’ve added the option to subscribe via email to blog updates. It’s on the top of the right sidebar, if you haven’t noticed it yet. I usually announce new posts via Facebook or on my Twitter account (@heatherdleonard).

October is Archaeology Month in Texas, so if you’re curious about archaeology events near you, check out the Texas Archaeology Month Calendar. There are a lot of neat events planned all throughout the month of October. I will be attending the Archaeology Fair at TARL on Oct. 20th, but more about that later…