Let’s Run Away and Join the Circus

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Published in: on September 16, 2012 at 4:45 pm  Comments (3)  

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  1. I’m sorry school is so blargh 😦 Is there someone you can talk to, like a career services or something, about the language vs archaeology vs museums etc thing? Maybe that would help. Or you could learn to swallow swords and join the circus.

    • Pretty sure I couldn’t swallow swords. I have a ridiculous gag reflex, sometimes I almost puke when brushing my teeth. I was thinking more like the person following them around sweeping up the elephant poop, because I’m totally qualified for that.

  2. Wait, who almost pukes when brushing their teeth? WHY DO YOU CONTINUE?!

    I think you just hit the wall later than I did. Undergrad was horrifying to me. You got to coast a little longer with your dinosaurs and your latin. I’m surprised that you HAVEN’T had more theory based classes — archaeology is a form of science, after all.

    And as I tell my tutoring students, theory sucks until you’ve absorbed enough of it that the basics are second nature. These poor kids are taking these classes never having seen a clef before — there was an assignment to transpose a melody, and the guy looked at me and said “do this curved lines mean anything? how about the dots?” They hadn’t even gone over note values in class — how do you teach everything at once?

    I’m assuming archaeological theory is similar in hurdles to music theory. And by you not having any theory in undergrad, it fucked you over a bit. I think your prof probably assumes a basic level of competence (like, knowing note values or knowing that it is POSSIBLE to transmit that information graphically!) and you’re still at “so tell me what all these symbols are”.

    Also, you’re probably smarter than me, so when you hit the wall, it probably hurt more. It only took me two years of agonizing over dropping out, dropping out, and four years of agonizing over whether I wanted to go back. And it still sucks. But it’s manageable.

    Grad school’s supposed to be hard. Hells, supposedly undergrad is too, but I’ve really yet to see that content-wise. And the first step to weeding out those that won’t make it is the first theory course — if you can’t hack it there, they figure they don’t want you.

    It’s gonna suck, but you probably need to have a chat with your adviser about the Maya and the likelihood of it being taught again. Or an independent study or something. And then look into the theory for linguistics too — T’s older sister (the one who’s a lawyer) studied linguistics at McGill for her undergrad, and it is NOT an easy field. And you’d have to leave the comfy realm of Romance languages. You’d have to hit Germanic, Slavic, Finno-Urgric (or however that’s spelled), Persian, the Indian languages, the Chinese/Taiwanese languages, etc etc etc. They all work differently — some don’t even have subject-verb-object, but have “topics” and other weirdness. I briefly considered looking into linguistics because I love tracing language families and finding roots of words. I like linguistics because of history. But there’s way too much there that I don’t care about, and I’d need to either learn to care about it or fake it enough to pass — and that’s not worth it to me.

    Sometimes I just wish I had someone who ran my life so that I didn’t need to figure this shit out on my own — and I think that’s about where you are.

    Good luck.


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