This semester has rocketed past me! I blinked and it’s almost over. My Introduction to Cultural Anthropology and Introduction to Physical Anthropology classes were really fun and I learned a lot. I liked that both classes weren’t very structured. That’s the first time I’ve had a professor just sort of dump the curriculum on me and say, “Here it is. Get it all in by May, all right? See you at the end.” I had the same professor for both classes. I think if you’re not used to online learning then that would have been a bit disconcerting, but this isn’t my first rodeo with taking classes online. I had enough discipline to pace myself and I was actually done with all the reading and discussion posts by the first week of April! I just had a few tests and a project to finish. I’m done with Intro to Phys Anth at this point, just waiting for the professor to post the final exam for Intro to Cultural Anth and then I’m officially done.

I had a bit of a burp on the educational front. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I was accepted into WIU and I will be starting this fall. I was not pleased that there were only 5 classes available in the fall, three of which I could take. I am worried that it will take me more than 18-24 months to finish a BA if there isn’t much available. In a fit of anxiety and madness, I applied for and was accepted in Colorado State University’s program, which offered a lot of classes.

Except…they weren’t as exciting as WIU. And…they won’t accept any transfer classes over 10 years (as I found out this morning). Also, a lot more expensive. I was in a right fit this morning, pacing back and forth trying to figure out what to do. I am NOT going to redo my undergrad classes! I have 2 BA’s already, for crying out loud! I decided CSU was just ridiculous and would probably take me a lot longer than waiting for classes to come available at WIU.

So, I decided to tell CSU to take a hike and I enrolled in 2 classes for the fall at WIU today: Magic and Shamanism and Forensic Anthropology. I’m really excited about both because they both are related to my field of interest (Vikings) and I could really use a course in Forensics for Bodie Boneseer, which I’m going to revamp and outline this summer since I’ll have time.

See, I was going to take summer classes, but there’s only one available at WIU. Also, Nora’s been begging me since January to take the summer off and spend it with her. While I’m eager to get this BA over with and move on to an MA, I also know that she’ll only be young once and I should spend as much time with her as I can. Besides, I’m also volunteering at TARL and going to field school this summer, so it’s not like I’m shirking my archaeology studies…just working on the practical side that I’m not able to do much of during the school year!

Speaking of the practical side, I’ve been able to go on 2 small digs recently. I’ve finally was able to dig at Joyful Horse in Bastrop. The unit is pretty deep at this point and the walls have been shored up with timber for health and safety. There wasn’t much room to dig, so I mostly did screening and left the digging to Nora. Yep, she went with me! In honor of her first dig outside of field school, I bought her a trowel. Doesn’t she look happy?

A girl and her first trowel. It’s a special moment, I’m telling you.

On the drive out to Bastrop, we saw some deer crossing the road and I may have grumbled some choice words at the Lord as I slowed down to let them pass. Not funny, God. Not funny. Nora wasn’t pleased, either! It was really cold when we went out to Bastrop, unusual for Texas at this time of year. I was digging in about three layers of clothing. Now I know how the Brits on Time Team felt on some of those digs! We all eventually wound up shedding layers as it got warmer.

I recently joined Houston Archaeological Society so that I can go on their digs that are closer to my side of the state! Hey, it was only $15 since I’m a student! They are digging out at San Felipe (YAY SAN FELIPE!) and I was able to join them last Saturday for shovel testing. San Felipe is absolutely beautiful and it was great to see the finished museum. It was still under construction when I was there last year. The streets and homesteads of the razed town are roughly mowed out behind the museum and we shovel tested in the middle of what was Commerce Street. They want to put in pathways, but have to first make sure there’s nothing important there. Digging up the town is really a privilege and it was my first time doing shovel tests. I didn’t do too much on the paperwork end. Actually, all I did was screen! But, we found a little bit of plain white ceramics, glass, and a lot of nails!

Looking down what was Commerce Street. There’s a tree in the middle of the road!

In March, we both visited the Archaeology Fair out at the Nightengale Center in Kingsland. I went last year and we had a blast. It’s a paleoindian site that was excavated in the 1980’s and they never backfilled the units. It’s neat because you can see what a real dig looks like. Here are some photos…

Looking forward to this summer, I will be visiting TARL the first week of June before I head to Palo Duro to discuss summer projects and will probably finish cataloging the Vinson Site assemblage before moving on to another collection. Also, I’m slowly working on a British short course in Viking Studies that I might be able to finish before August. I need to learn more about the Vikings if I’m going to do an eventual thesis or dissertation about them! It’s at my own pace with no completion date. It’s going to be a busy summer, but a fun one getting to do lots of cool activities with archaeology!