The continuing adventures of a second-career archeologist, teacher, and sci-fi geek

Month: April 2021

Graduation and an Exciting Announcement…

I waited for a while to update because I’ve kind of been in the doldrums. Winter is the quiet part of the year when there’s not too much going on in the field. Add on the COVID pandemic and it’s all dead. I’ve been buckling down for this last semester of my studies. Last month I was surprised to learn that I won Spring 2021 Departmental Scholar for the Anthropology Department at WIU. That was a surprise! I received a nice medal to wear at graduation next month. I also was invited to join Phi Kappa Phi, which is the oldest honor society in the United States and very prestigious. I was pretty shocked about that one, but I decided to join because I decided that I’ve earned it. I am really proud of how I’ve managed to maintain a 4.0 GPA while working full-time and being a mom. It’s not an easy feat.

I wasn’t planning on attending graduation, but when I won Departmental Scholar I thought, “Why the heck not?” Paul and I are both fully vaccinated now. I don’t know how Illinois is, but Austin is back to Stage 3 and the risk for us going to Illinois next month is negligible. In February I found a decently priced Air Bnb nearby to Macomb. All of the hotels were already booked up and also exorbitantly priced. Then WIU canceled graduation, so I canceled my reservation. I found out about 10 days ago that graduation is BACK on and will be held outside and socially distanced. Oooookay. Hot and cold graduation, yay! Unfortunately, the first Air BnB was no longer available and I hesitated to book a place that didn’t have a generous cancellation policy in case WIU calls off graduation again. I had to do some hunting, but I finally found another place that is in the country on a lake with giant swings. It’s about 30 minutes to campus, which is reasonable, and I can cancel up to a few days before. We are bound for Illinois next month!

So some of y’all know that one of the reasons I wound up in archaeology in the first place was because of Time Team. I’ve talked about this show before, but if you’re not familiar with Time Team it was a British production that ran for almost 20 years. Every episode featured a dig primarily in the UK that took place over 3 days. Tony Robinson was the host. Time Team has been off the air for around 8ish years but it still has a loyal fan following. Recently, the producer of the show announced that he’d like to bring the show back and set up a Patreon account. The response was overwhelming and yours truly decided to pledge to bring the show back. It’s the least I can do for this show changing my life! I’m excited to see the new shows once they’re made!

I happily blame Time Team for this insanely wonderful adventure I’m on now!

So here’s the biggest news….


I just found out about a week ago. This September I am starting a masters program in Archaeological Studies at the University of Highlands and Islands in Orkney, Scotland. It’s an online program that will take me about two years to complete from start to finish. I also may have the opportunity to dig in the Orkney Islands next year, something that I have ALWAYS wanted to do! I am beyond thrilled about the next step in my journey to becoming an archaeologist!

I’m also excited that I’ll be getting my degree from a school in Scotland and one that specializes in my fields of interest. I am so blessed that there is an online program that aligns with my needs. This was pure serendipity. I can continue with my studies and still work full-time to prepare for an eventual move to the UK for doctoral studies.

I often have moments that affirm that I’m on the right path. Let’s face it: what I’m doing is NUTS. I have a good job, a nice house, a great car, and am in a loving marriage. It’s insane to drop the 9-5 and go chase my dreams in my forties, right? I say hell no. It’s not crazy. Life is too friggin’ short to be satisfied with the status quo. I love what I’m doing! Archaeology is the one thing in my life, besides my family, that makes me insanely happy. I am blessed to have a partner who is willing and eager to go along with my crazy ideas. Even my current job is more than enough to pay for trips, weekend digs, and annual field school. I am where I need to be right now, but I won’t be here forever.

I started this journey so unsure about everything, but I also knew that I’d never forgive myself if I didn’t at least give it go. I never imagined how amazing it would turn out to be!

You never know what will happen unless you try.

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