The Importance of Taking a Heckin’ Break

Hello from the other side of my impromptu 10 day posting hiatus!

Peaceful moment on Melbourne Beach when we were visited by a truly GIANT Great Blue Heron who hung out with us for about 45 minutes.

I was away for part of it, and I also had a kayak-related mishap while I was on vacation in Florida which resulted in being without a phone for about 5 days. But while I was in Florida I also visited St. Augustine, which will provide inspiration for at least two blog posts here. I visited the Lightner Museum and Castillo de San Marcos National Monument while I was in St. Augustine, and I’ll be writing about both of those experiences from my historical archaeology and museum professional perspective– you’ll get my thoughts on the good, the bad, and the REALLY RACIST.

The “good” includes this absolute unit of a Westerwald Ringkrug. Mid-late 1800s as far as I can tell (couldn’t get a look at the bottom. Yes, I asked.)

That will come in a little bit, but I think today’s post is just going to be a check-in, and an update. My last post was a little heavy, discussing, among other things, my recent resurgence of depression symptoms. That hasn’t really gone away, but my vacation in Florida did help me “reset” a bit, and being forced to cut communication and be without my phone was probably a good thing. I barely checked my email, did absolutely zero work work or writing, and, most importantly, I SAW A FRICKEN MANATEE!!!!

After a week in brilliantly sunny beach paradise, I’m back in dreary, chilly Massachusetts. Went back to work yesterday, and, after regaling everyone with my tales of crying in a kayak when faced with the prospect of meeting a 13-foot alligator face-to-face, settled back into the usual routine. This week my priority is finishing my SAA paper, which is apparently something people are looking forward to??? The entire symposium, “Sins of Our Ancestors (and of Ourselves): Confronting Archaeological Legacies” is going to be fantastic. My fellow panelists are April M. Beisaw, Katie Kirakosian, Bernard K. Means, Melody Pope, William Meyer, Kirsten Barnett, Ryan Wheeler, Chris Sockalexis, Bonnie Newsom, Jenifer Lewis, David Witt, Sara L. Gonzalez, Ora Marek Martinez, Kassandra Rippee, and Stacy Scott.

Hopefully I won’t embarrass myself and cry if (when?) an old man yells at me for being an ungrateful shit-stirring child.

It’s totally fine to be super excited about your own paper, right???

I’m also catching up on grading this week, and I’ve suddenly realized that the SAAs being less than a month away also means that the start of my Spring semester classes is also about a month away. Which is something I am 100% not prepared for. So I need to get moving on that.

My major to do list for the next little while looks like this:

  • Finish SAA paper and email to session organizers by the 27th
  • Prepare brown bag lecture on thesis topic for the 28th
  • Prepare for Tufts OSTEM Panel on the 28th
  • Visit family in Las Cruces, then head up to ABQ for the SAAs APril 10-14
  • Meet ALL THE TWITTER PEOPLE in Albuquerque
  • Finish prepping lectures for bioanth course
  • Finish editing lectures for ritual archaeology course
  • Finish thesis draft!!!
  • Write paper for Theoretical Archaeology Group meeting May 3-5
The Queen Herself, Sally Rosen Binford, with her poodle, Jake. Photo credit: Honey Lee Cottrell.

In addition to all this, I’m going to be helping to organize a few events through the UMB Society for Graduate Archaeologists, coordinating with some potential collaborators on rat-related things, finishing up one project at the museum and starting my next collections assignment, doing TA and RA duties, and, I suppose, relaxing and having fun with friends and my partner. Maybe.

I’ll be aiming to complete my Castillo de San Marcos post for Thursday, Lightner Museum post on Saturday, and, then, hopefully I”ll have finished my SAA paper and I can post it and discuss it here next week! Speaking of that, gotta to write about how utterly badass Sally Binford was and how her experiences can inspire and help members of marginalized groups in archaeology.


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