I’m not a “spiritual” person and I don’t believe in ghosts or horoscopes (though finding out that my advisor is a metal dragon–mechagodzilla–in the Chinese system was pretty hilarious), but I really can’t resist a good fortune cookie.
I passed my orals!
The one piece of advice that I never got, but that I will now try to give to as many other graduate students as possible is: be happy, confident and excited about your work. Passion and enthusiasm will be reflected back to you, just as fear and self-doubt will help them destroy you.
Well, that, and study your ass off.
Now I just have this little ol’ thing called a dissertation to write. No sweat, right? heh.
Things are shaping up quite well as I head into the semester. I am working hard on my final field statements, have mostly finished (to my surprise!) my dissertation prospectus, and have been cooking up a Wenner Gren. On top of all of this, I finally got together the journal article that I want to submit to Archaeological Method & Theory, but I’m not sure it shouldn’t actually be two slightly different articles. Sorry to be opaque–I’ll post it all when it comes closer to actually happening.
I met with Ruth and the other GSIs on Tuesday to discuss the upcoming semester. It should be pretty interesting–heavy on the media literacy, light on mid-terms, which is nice, but can be difficult for the more rigid students who want to be lectured at, take notes, and regurgitate periodically.
I’ve been dealing with some Catalhoyuk material again though, which always makes me dream about the place. Browns and yellows and stressful politics, oh my!
More interesting than my academic dealings–the Library of Congress has partnered with Flickr to get public tagging for their archived photographs. I love it–academic/public institutions have long been building web-islands of information, and getting some of this primary data out into a more public sphere gives life to the database, ensures that it will be used and therefore valued. There’s already been a massive effort to tag these photos and I wonder if folksonomies would solve some of the problems that archaeologists have been having with assigning conceptual terminology we need for generating comparative data. Archaeologists should create their own archives, but should also update to social networking sites like Flickr not only in the public interest, but to get more perspectives on their data.
But, back to the LOC project, you can find the main page here:
And the photos are completely gorgeous:
I wonder, as time goes on and I travel even more, if my love for the American West and its people and history will only deepen.