Faculty Run-Around

So last semester, my adviser, Dr. H, suggested that I look into doing something with the museum for my MA thesis, since I was interested in the museum stuff. I of course said yes, because that sounds awesome.

Dr. H suggested I talk to Dr. B, the director of the museum. He also mentioned that previous students had done stuff with the museum, working with Dr. S (who was on leave last semester) and Dr. M.

I talked to Dr. M. He said that I had to talk to Dr. S.

Dr. B went back in forth in emails a couple times, going weeks between emails, at one point ignoring my email for a full month until I emailed her again to make sure she had gotten it. She had.

Finally Dr. B referred me to L, the curator. L was very helpful, and brought me out to the museum archive to show me the collection that I could work with and everything, but didn’t know anything that I would need to do from my department’s side of it.

Since Dr. S was back this semester, I talked to him. I spent 20 minutes walking to campus, sat in his office for 5 minutes while he told me that he knew nothing and couldn’t help me at all, and then spent 20 minutes walking back home so I could go to work. The most he did was tell me to talk to Dr. B.


Published in: on February 28, 2013 at 10:53 am  Leave a Comment  

Maya at the Lago

Okay. So there’s this conference. And I kinda want to go.

It’s a Maya conference (if you couldn’t tell by the title of this post). And I am interested in Mayan archaeology and epigraphy and I looked at the abstracts that they had online (not all of them are up yet) and some of them look really interesting.

So here’s the thing. It’s at the end of April. Now, it’s not the last week of April, so it’s not too close to when all my papers/exams are due. (At least for two of my classes, one of them has the stupidest syllabus that doesn’t have any due dates on it, but I assume everything is due in May.) So that’s good, or at least, it’s not a con (in the pros/cons list I haven’t made yet).

The conference will cost $80. I’d have to buy a flight: $250. The hotel is $109/night for at least three nights (the conference is technically thurs-sun, but I figure if I fly in on Thursday I probably wouldn’t miss too much?) That brings my total up to $550, maybe less if I can find someone to share a hotel room with me. Mom says that she will give me $300 if I decide that I want to go to the conference, so then it would only cost me $250, plus dinners and taxis to the hotel, etc.

Now, mom says that she’s willing to put money towards this because she thinks it’s a good idea for me to network and go to conferences like this, etc. She says maybe I’ll find someone who’s working on a project that I can get in on or something.

Well, no. Because I’m not going to do a project this summer. At this point, most people would probably be willing to let me “volunteer” for a project, if I paid them, like I did when I went to Belize, but they’ve probably already finalized their budgets and won’t be needing anyone that they have to pay. So if I did a project, I would lose money, or at the very least just not be getting paid.

The other thing is that I really have no intention of doing stuff with Mayan archaeology after grad school. And I don’t know if I’ve ever fully articulated this to my mother. I mean, one time I told my dad who then told my mom in front of me as if I wasn’t there about how I wanted to get a job in a museum, but I don’t know if she remembers that. So what I’m saying is, I don’t know if I should spend the money on a conference to “network” for a field that I have no intention of going into. Even though it would be fun. Probably.

I don’t know what to do. But the prices of the tickets go up on March 1st, so I’ve got … 4 days to figure this out and decide if I want to go to the conference. Otherwise it’ll cost like $20 more which isn’t much but it’s nice to have a deadline for things.

What should I do???

Published in: on February 24, 2013 at 2:08 pm  Leave a Comment  

November Due Dates

November 1: Nanowrimo Starts

November 1: Storyline project due for museum studies

November 9: Museum reception

November 19: Paper outline due for archaeology

November 20: Leading discussion in linguistics; final project concept due for museum studies; modeling concept project due for museum studies

November 21-24: Dad and T in town, Thanksgiving

November 28-December 2: Teslacon, in WI

December 3: Final paper due for archaeology

December 4: Final paper due for linguistics, presentations for linguistics

I can do this, right? It’s only 50,000 words, after all.

Published in: on October 16, 2012 at 9:09 pm  Leave a Comment  

Let’s Run Away and Join the Circus

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


So I’m pretty sure that I have already mentioned at least once in this blog how much I love dioramas. Let me just say it again: I LOVE DIORAMAS. When I go to museums, the best part is looking at all the dioramas. The aerospace museum that I went to with Myriad may have been a run-down museum in need of some serious help, but they had some really cool dioramas that used forced perspective to fit the scene in. I had never seen anything like that, but it was awesome.

Anyway, I think one of the coolest jobs in the world would be making dioramas for museums. Sadly, those aren’t actually done in the museum, but they’re contracted out to special diorama-making-people. So I suppose if I applied for a job with the diorama-making-people …. hmm ….

Well, last night, I was eating dinner with my roommates (Chicken Tikka Masala, yum!), and my roommate B said that she loves the dioramas, too, and she thinks that making the dioramas would be like the coolest job evar. I was like, OMG ME TOO!! I got very excited. I was like, if only I could just make a diorama instead of writing a thesis!

“Well, actually,” said my other roommate (best thing I’ve ever heard) “there was this one class on visual anthro, and one guy made a diorama for his project. So if you get that professor on your committe, maybe she’d let you do a diorama.”


So I have come up with a plan. Today, I am going to Hobby Lobby with B. She actually needed to go and I said that I would come along because come on it’s HOBBY LOBBY. And when I go to Hobby Lobby today (I just really like saying Hobby Lobby), I will buy one of those diorama kits, and start teaching myself how to make the super awesome realistic looking dioramas! The way I see it, this is a skill that could be useful later on in my life, so I’m really just practicing and refining a skill, not just playing with dioramas.

So … what should I make? I think I’m going to buy the mountain building kit, which means I can learn how to make rocks! I’m holding off on the water kit until I get the basic ground skills covered. And I think the flat one would just be kinda boring. So I’m gonna make rocks! Yeah!

Published in: on August 16, 2011 at 4:10 pm  Comments (3)  

And a month later …

I haven’t updated in forever. I have just been so busy lately (much of that my own fault, as I will explain later). At one point I saw the address for my blog in my drop-down menu and was like “Oh, right, I have a blog.” Because I had forgotten about it. I really need to try and not forget about things like that.

My last post was about applying to SIUC. On Thursday, I was accepted! I was soo excited, running around grinning and telling everyone that I saw. Nevermind the fact that SIUC is 4th or 5th on a list of 5 grad schools, but at least I got in somewhere. Now I know what I’m doing next year. Even if I get rejected from all the other Universities, at least I got in somewhere.

I’ve been kinda busy with school. My greek class is on Euripides’ Medea, which is actually pretty easy (except that part that I had to translate in class yesterday, naturally, and which I messed up completely). Latin is Tacitus’ Annals, which is difficult and boring as all hell. I honestly believe that the only way to find an even more boring Latin text would be to read St. Augustine’s confessions in the original Latin, because I’m pretty sure I would keel over and die in the middle of a sentence. I had to read the confessions in translation once; I was pacing the apartment while I read just to stay awake. I’m also taking another class, which I find boring, but at least it’s not terrible, and an independent study, which I really should start working on.

Of course, I would have had a lot more time on my hands if we hadn’t renewed our Netflix. Myriad is good, she’ll watch maybe an episode or two a day. I, on the other hand, managed to watch the first four seasons of Doctor Who in a week. I slowed down when I hit season 5, mainly because I don’t like it as much without David Tennant. It’s just not the same! I kinda want to start watching Torchwood now, but then I would NEVER get any work done, so I’ll have to hold off on that. Maybe I’ll watch it during spring break? I can probably finish it then …

I got an email from my sister today. Apparently her friend wants to read my story from Nanowrimo 2010. This same friend apparently wrote a biography of Nessie, which sounds a lot more fun than my novel. I still need to finish up one section, and then I’m gonna send it out to have a free proof made, a prize for winning Nanowrimo. It’s just so bad, I’m kinda afraid to have anyone read it! On the other hand, it was written in a month, so some allowances must be made. (Although I will point out that Barbara Cartland would publish two or three novels in a month … just sayin.)

I’m waiting for Myriad to come home, and it’s raining outside. It was snowing earlier, but now it’s turned to rain and it looks wretched, so I wouldn’t be surprised if she was postponing her return to avoid walking in it.

This post is really rambling, so I should probably just stop now, before it gets any worse.

Published in: on February 5, 2011 at 4:47 pm  Comments (1)  

Grad School Apps!!

So I’ve been meaning to apply to grad school all break. I’ve already applied to one University, and some aren’t due until March or April (nice, huh?), but one application is due January 15th. So being as it is finally January, I decided to apply today.

And I learned that their application is NOT online.

The main application is online, but all the supplemental forms are not. I have to print out all the forms and mail them in! Which I find to be extremely annoying and unexpected in this computerized age.

But fine. I can go to the library tomorrow or something and print them out (because naturally I left my printer at school). And then I can mail them in, and have everything in with plenty of time to spare.

Except the references. Apparently I have to fill out part of the form for the referencers, and sign it. Sooo … I’d have to print them out, sign them, mail them to my professors, and then have them mail the forms in. One professor is off out of state somewhere. He’s not going to be returning home until the 15th. Which is when they’re due. The next professor is in Texas. TEXAS!! So I’d have to mail it out to Texas! Ok fine, that’s not so terrible, the mail isn’t that slow. But then my third professor is so absentminded that he can barely remember to tie his own shoes. I can’t expect him to get any forms in on time. Besides which, I’m fairly certain that he’s out of the country. I WILL NEVER GET THE FORM TO HIM ON TIME.

What do I do now??

The problem is, I’m really not absolutely enthralled with the idea of going to this University anyway, so I’m even MORE tempted to just not apply. But I should! It’s a good program, and it would be good for me and what I want to do. But I don’t want to. 😦


Published in: on January 1, 2011 at 9:32 pm  Comments (2)  

Thanks, Professor …

I met with one of my professors today, and he did the unthinkable: he asked me about grad school. Noooooo! He said that he assumed I wasn’t planning on going, because it is getting late, and since I hadn’t mentioned anything about it yet (at least, not since this summer when I talked to him about it) he just assumed I wasn’t applying this year.

So then we had that discussion. Should I go to grad school, or should I take a year off? And his advice, which naturally makes perfect sense and I knew that but was just not thinking about it, was that if I don’t absolutely want to go to grad school, then I shouldn’t go to grad school. At least, not yet. After all, the decision needs to be mine.

Soo … maybe I need to take a year off. Just to figure out what I want to do. Because at the moment, I am really confused.

Do I want to go to grad school? Maybe, maybe not. I feel like I have to. Not because I am worried about letting other people down, but because I can’t think of anything that I can do with a BA in the Classics. I could teach Latin in a private school. But I do not want to teach anything. I hate teaching, hate giving presentations, really should try my best to avoid academia with every fiber of my being. Therefore, I will not teach Latin.

Beyond that, I can’t think of anything that the BA in Classics makes me more qualified for. So if for that reason alone, I feel that I need to go back to grad school, just to find something that can actually help me get a job.

So I’ve decided to go. But what do I go for? I am really interested in archaeology, and would like to actually go into archaeology, but that would require majoring in anthropology, which I have never taken. What if I hate it? What then?

I also think I would like to major in Museum studies, so that I could work in a museum. I think I would do well in that field. But then I really wouldn’t be able to focus on the archaeology. And learning the Maya glyphs, which I really want to do.

I think it might be better for me to take a year off before grad school, just to settle down and figure out what it is I really want to do. But then what would I do during that year? Get a job, obviously. But a job doing what? Where would I go?

I think it would be better to just plow on into grad school so that I don’t have to go looking for a job. And then, when I finally do need to join the job search, I would be even more qualified, in whatever field I decide to go in.

The problem is really that I need to figure out NOW. I need to start working on my applications, figuring out which schools I want to go to … and I can’t do that if I don’t even know what program I want to go in, or if I want to go into a program at all.

Sigh. Someday I will figure out what I want to do with my life. Hopefully that someday will be soon.

Published in: on October 1, 2010 at 12:14 am  Comments (3)  

More grad school problems!!

So I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about grad school. And by a lot I do actually mean a lot, not just yeah, I’ve thought about it a couple times. Because I think it’s kinda important. And I have no idea what I want to do!

I thought for a while about what I want to go into, and I emailed a bunch of people. Some of them emailed me back with helpful advice (the alums from my school were the most helpful) and others emailed back with “well if you have a specific question I’l answer it … maybe you should email so-and-so.” (I had already emailed so-and-so, but three people did tell me to go email him.)

One woman was extremely helpful, even though she made me question myself sooo many times. She sent me a link to several articles by grad students in archaeology/anthropology. I only read a few of them, but they were not encouraging. One person wrote about how terrible and stressful it was, but they’ve made it through. Another one dropped out after the worst three years of their life. Another article was about how hard it was to even get into grad school, and how lots of times there would be no real reason why you got rejected from a program. Like I said, not encouraging.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, she also mentioned the idea of going into museum studies, and that kinda threw me for a loop. After all, I think working in a museum would be a great job. And I would probably like the grad program for it as well. I think it would be fun to learn to preserve artifacts, and I’d like having to set up an exhibit, and I’d love being able to go through the museum archives!

But I’m also really interested in the archaeology. I loved working in the field. I enjoyed digging, and sifting through all the dirt looking for artifacts, and I even enjoyed washing the artifacts, because it was so cool to see a dirty clay-covered object become a pretty shiny lithic or piece or ceramic.

Only problem is, I don’t know if I’d like the program. I don’t know if I could survive a graduate program in anthropology or archaeology. I have never taken an anthropology course. Ever. If I get into an anthro program, where everyone else has an undergrad background in anthro, I will be so much behind everyone. And I will have to work sooo much harder to compensate for the fact that I don’t have that background. And I don’t know if I’d be able to do that. The person I talked to today suggested I either take an anthro course here, or at least just sit in on a few classes, to see what I think of it. I may try to do that.

Now, I know I am not a humanities person. Which is one of the reasons why I don’t want to go into Classical archaeology, because it’s humanities based. They focus more on the literature and the languages. I only want to read the writing to find out what the history is. Which, in terms of mesoamerica, means I want to read the stela to see who was ruling when, but I don’t want to read about their myths or stories.

That’s not to say that I don’t find mythology interesting. On the contrary, I do enjoy it. I enjoy reading about it or learning the myths in my spare time. But I don’t want to really focus on that. I’d much rather focus on the people. I want to know how people lived their daily lives, and I understand that I need to know some of the myths and rituals that were important to them, but I care more about their houses and shops and trade and alliances and marriages.

And that’s what I finally decided. I want to know how people in these ancient cultures lived. I want to know their daily routine. I want to learn their writing systems so that I can learn their histories. But I don’t care about the codices. I don’t care about their predictions and omens. I want to deal with the tangible lives of the people.

So I can see why the dirt archaeology is interesting to me, because I would be dealing with the villages and buildings and marketplaces that these people lived and worked in. And I can understand why the museum studies is interesting to me, because I would be taking care of, preserving, and showing off the artifacts that these people left behind.

So now I don’t know what path I want to take. I’m kinda thinking … and it may be crazy … that I’ll try to get a MA or certificate in museum studies, and then if I still want to pursue archaeology, I’ll go get my PhD in archaeology. I think that could work.

I have one major problem with the archaeology. I do not want to teach. Ever. To anyone. I don’t want to be a professor. I don’t want to have to give lectures. I don’t want to speak in front of people. And this is a problem. Because I’ll never be able to completely avoid giving talks or lectures, especially if I want to continue in archaeology. Even if I’m working in a museum, I may need to give lectures or presentations of my exhibits. And while it is possible to be an archaeologist working through a museum, and therefore not a professor, that is rare. But I want it!

So now my job is to keep looking up grad programs and find one that I want to do, that I’ m able to do, and hope that they’ll take me!

Published in: on August 16, 2010 at 10:31 pm  Comments (2)  
Tags: , ,

Archaeology v. Museum Studies

As a follow up to my last post, I want to say that I never did figure out how to make a toga. I bought one instead (and a Roman military uniform) which was much easier and much nicer than anything I could have done. So naturally, when I had gotten the outfits I couldn’t get them to do what I wanted to. I just wanted my character to wear the clothes, and have the clothes actually fit to his body. I spent a long time trying to move the clothes in such a way that they would look as though they were fitting on the figure, and couldn’t get it to work. Finally I found out that if I just click “conform to” in the drop-down menu, I can get it to automatically conform to my figure, and I don’t have to do any more work. Really super easy. Just took me at least an hour to figure it out.

(current music: from Dr. Horrible’s sing-along blog)

This happens a lot actually. I struggle with something in Poser, and then once I figure it out its super easy. But it takes me forever to figure out. I had started watching some tutorials, but they weren’t helpful at all, so I stopped watching them and just went at the program hoping I’d figure it out. And I sorta am … I guess. But so I can’t figure out if I actually like Poser or not. Because in some ways it’s really nice (like it has pre-made people!! and they’re easy to move and pose!!) but it other ways it’s just awful, and I hate it. Granted, that may happen less often if I actually knew what I was doing, but I’m not that worried about it. Basically, I’ve decided that Poser is awesome as a reference for artists, and if you need to make 3d people very quickly, but I’m not sure about anything else.

(current music: Lady Gaga, Disco Heaven)

However, I’ve also been having other things to worry about besides work. I’m going to be a senior next year, which means I need to figure out what I’m doing after I graduate. I’m planning on going to grad school (if I can get in!), and I’ve decided to go for archaeology. I’m not going for Classics because I really can’t stand Greek (not the best major for me, I know, but Latin is very nice!). So I want to focus on the Maya area, because 1) it’s awesome, 2) it’s still being excavated, and 3) I like the glyphs. 

(current music: A little priest, Sweeney Todd)

So I’ve decided to go into archaeology. But now I need to figure out where I want to go. So I talked with one of my Professors, and he gave me a list of emails of people he had as students or knows somehow and told me to email them and ask them for advice. So I’m sorta working on that. But I never know what to put in the emails! I don’t want to seem too forward by asking them for advice, since I’ve never met most of the people that I’m emailing. So I’ve been thinking I’d just ask them about their program, except four of them are from the same program, so that may not be as helpful as it would be if they were at different universities.

(current music: Stranded in the Jungle, Voodoo glow skulls; Hey there Delilah, Plain White T’s)

I wrote to one person and heard back already, which was great. She’s still a student, and gave me a ton of advice. She suggested I take a year off (I’d rather not if I can help it), she talked about whether I’d need a MA before a PhD, it was very helpful. But then she asked me what my research focus was, and I kinda got worried. She asked if I was just interested in the cultures, in which case maybe a degree in Art History or Museum Studies would be best, or if I was actually interested in archaeology for archaeology’s sake. And I don’t know!!

(current music: God is a DJ, Pink)

I’ve never really thought about trying to separate the culture aspect from the archaeology aspect. I mean, I like the archaeology, and I enjoyed doing it when I was in a field school, but I do really think that I would enjoy museum studies, as well. I’ve never actually taken any anthropology courses, cause I had originally planned on going to grad school for Classics, but now that’s a problem. What if I hate the anthropology? What if I really do just want to study the ancient culture and not worry about the actual archaeology? I don’t know!! I was so glad when I finally decided to do mesoamerican archaeology instead of Classical, I felt like I had accomplished something by making that decision. But now, I don’t know anymore.

(current music: death’s diary, Marc Almond)

This is really quite distressing. Because I’m not looking at Museum studies graduate programs, I’m only looking at archaeology. And if I do then decide that maybe I should be going into museum studies instead, I need to start all over!! Aaah!

Well, so those are my issues right now. There’s work, which isn’t going as well as it could, and taking a lot longer than it should. And then there’s the problem with grad schools, which I really need to figure out soon. I just wish someone could tell me exactly what would be the best thing for me to do, plan it all out for me, and then I can just follow along. Wouldn’t that be nice? Figure out what I want to do, so I don’t have to think about it. If anyone can read minds and wants to plan out my future, please let me know!

Published in: on August 8, 2010 at 11:43 pm  Leave a Comment