Archive for the ‘School Daze’ Category

As a Floridian, as well as an Anthropologist, I feel like I need to comment on some of what Governor Rick Scott has said this week regarding anthropology in the state of Florida.   Below is the quote:

“If I’m going to take money from a citizen to put into education then I’m going to take that money to create jobs,” Scott said. “So I want that money to go to degrees where people can get jobs in this state.”

“Is it a vital interest of the state to have more anthropologists? I don’t think so.” 

“Do you want to use your tax dollars to educate more people who can’t get jobs in anthropology? I don’t. I want to make sure that we spend our dollars where people can get jobs when they get out.” (The Florida Independent, 12 October 2011)

First, I think our Governor is laboring under some serious misconceptions about what we as anthropologists actually do, though it affects more than just our Governor, many people in the day-to-day world are clueless about what anthropology is and what purpose it serves.  We are not Indiana Jones. We do not go spelunking in caves looking for lost relics of some ancient dynasty with mystical powers, we don’t run away from natives, and we don’t typically have adventures such as those depicted.  It isn’t all about museums and archaeology. These are movies, not real life.

In the real world, anthropology serves many vital functions.  Advances in Genetics, Forensics, Medicine, Urban Planning and Non-profit programs are tied to anthropology.  Marketing, economics, history, geography, languages, culture, globalization, work production and labor forces – this is the stuff of anthropology.  As one student put it in a recent email “it might do Facebook and Netflix some good to hire anthropologists to understand how people actually use their services” (pers. comm. 10/12/11).  We study people, interactions, distribution of labor, power, hegemony or cultural domination, retail trends, capitalism and are champions of oppressed peoples everywhere.  Without archaeologists, we wouldn’t have knowledge of our cultural history, where we have come from and what we have been through in our journey through time. Anthropological linguistics provides insights into languages and meaning, biological anthropology provides us with forensic science and genetics which are used every day to capture criminals and to set innocent people free of crimes they did not commit.  Anthropology is a holistic science, meaning that we overlap our studies with that of many other fields, not all of them in the social sciences. Geology, Environmental Science, Politics, Biology, Ecology, all of these I have seen and used in my research in the discipline of Anthropology.  Multiple perspectives can yield new insights.

Saying that we can’t get jobs is just foolish.  We work in every field in the country, from engineering to medicine, from non-profits to the performing Arts. Anthropology provides insights into humanity and every day interaction that make us valuable employees. We are trained in the scientific method, and are open minded, detail oriented people who look beyond what is obvious for answers.  What employer doesn’t want a person like that?  The anthropological perspective is unique, and very useful.

It isn’t like the state of Florida is churning out Anthropology degrees anyway.  According to the Florida Board of Governors, approximately 0.8 per cent of the 446,733 bachelor’s degrees awarded between 2001 and 2010 were for anthropology majors (http://flbog.org/resources/iud/degrees_search.php).  That’s not a very large percentage.  Sit in on a senior level anthropology class and count how many students are actually there.  In my courses, the average is about 14.

Anthropology is a science, one of those STEM’s (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics) that Gov. Scott likes to talk about. I’d like to see where he’d be without the insights that anthropology as a discipline have given him, apparently unbeknownst to him.  Our contributions to the state, the country and the world continue to be felt on a daily basis in the most subtle of ways.  That ad you saw that you can’t get out of your head? Chances are, it came as a result of anthropological research into people’s buying behaviors.

Is it of vital interest to the state of Florida to have more anthropologists? Absolutely.

Several people have brought up a very good point: Does Governor Scott think we are trying to get jobs with the specific label “anthropologist” ? Good luck, those can only be found in academia.  No, most of us are not searching for that particular job title. We work where we feel we can do the most good, just like everyone else. We work in myriad fields under even more job titles, but the training is still the same. The applications of anthropology to the real world, and our job prospects, are only limited by our own imagination.  Of course, we suffer the same during this economic downturn as everyone else. To make a blanket statement that we can’t get jobs with our degree is silly, however.

I have a feeling that Governor Rick Scott is going to be very well versed in what we as anthropologists do in the coming weeks. He has definitely stirred a hornet’s nest, and unlike some groups that might simper, whine or back down, we fight back. If the current buzz of the university is to be believed, he’ll be very well versed indeed.  This has even stroked my ire, and I’m rarely one to get into a tete-a-tete with politics. It takes a lot to get me writing a poison pen letter to the editor, but I, like many of my fellow colleagues, feel the need to act. Expect to see a great deal of us in the media in some form or other. A call has been sent out to write letters to every newspaper, magazine, blog, and ezine that will take it.  History says that the best way to deal with misconceptions is to educate, so that’s exactly what we will do.

 

Advertisements

Fall 2011: Day 2

Posted: August 26, 2011 in anthropology, School Daze

I am both shocked and amazed.

I’ve been dreading having to retake Theories of Culture for a year, and it appears my dread was completely unfounded.  This goes to show you what happens when you have a really terrible professor like I did in the Fall of 2010.  So far, the new professor (who I have twice back to back) really makes this boring, dry material more accessible to the students. He’s going out of his way to give us explanations and details about these theories that are supposed to be the backbone of our discipline.  Not only is he teaching this in a way to make it easier to comprehend, he’s provided us with textbooks by people he knows personally, and one of these books is a critique of the canonical literature we use in Anthropology.  Everything deserves critique, but most especially certain beliefs that are still upheld in anthropology today.

That brings me to another point, one that I’m sure I’ve made in the past: Too many professors do not care about their students. They only care about their research, and having to teach courses to maintain funding is a nuisance to them it seems. I feel extremely lucky to have 2  professors this term who really reach out to their students and make an effort. We are paying their salaries with our exorbitant tuition fees, tech fees, green fees, fees fees fees.  You would think they would remember this.  I’m not above pointing out that I am paying for this education, this isn’t public school. Not only does my Theories professor like teaching his courses, he ASKED to teach Theories of Culture, and has been doing so for 20 years now. It really shows in the way he operates his classroom.  Unlike previous instructors who basically thought of themselves as the Fount of All Knowledge Anthropological and the students as humble receptors of said knowledge, the ones I have this year from my department are more interested in a dialectic process between us instead of memorize, memorize, regurgitate.  It makes a nice change, and it really does facilitate the learning process.

My course on the Caribbean was boring-ish yesterday.  I say that because I’m a major in the department, and the professor spent the period explaining what Anthropology is to the students who are not from our major. For me, this was all stuff I learned in Introduction to Anthropology a billion years ago. So I sat listening as he explained our 4 subfields (at least, those in the U.S. – Other countries do not include certain subfields under the heading of Anthropology, such as Forensics, Archaeology and Linguistics), what the anthropological perspective is and how we will use it this semester in our survey of the Caribbean cultures. I took notes anyway, because as he stated in class, “Everything we discuss, read, see and know can and will be fodder for any exam this term.” I’m expecting some questions on the nature of Anthropology on our first exam.

My last class of the day, Museum Informatics, took a turn towards the awesome. First, the class size has shrunk dramatically since tuesday.  The first day of class we had about 25 students: 80% female, 20% male.  Yesterday, that had become 15 students, 99% female, 1% male (me!).  At the beginning of class, I looked around and saw that I was the only guy left in the course now.  One of the girls said I should feel special, and I guess in a way, I do.  But that isn’t why the course is going to be truly awesome.  The reason for this is that not only are we going to learn about the technology that is being used in Museums in the digital era, we are actually going to be using some of it to aid a new museum in Guatemala at the Kaminaljuyu archaeology site.

One of these amazing new technologies is 3-dimensional printing.  For those of you who are extremely fond of sci-fi, this is sorta like a replicator you see on those shows about the future.  You can use a scanner on an object, say an original ceramic vessel from pre-classical Maya, and in less than a day, the printer “prints” a replica version out of a resin powder.  It is accurate within half the width of a human hair (.5 microns) .  If you are interested in seeing this technology in action, go to youtube.com and search for 3D printing and you will find a video that demonstrates this process. It is nothing short of amazing to me.

So, instead of doing the original setup of the group projects, the Professor (who I adore thus far) has decided we are going to help out this fledgling museum by creating replicas of artifacts that are held by the National Museum in Guatemala for display.  Many of the artifacts held by the National Museum that pertain to the Kaminaljuyu site have been previously scanned, so it is simply a matter of imputing the data into the computer and printing the replicas.  In addition to these replicas, we are also going to be using GIS (Geographic Information Systems) to correct maps done by the Carnegie foundation in the 60s with correct GPS locations of burial mounds and other items of interest to the archaeologists, as well as building a website to provide access to the data that has been collected by the team at Kaminaljuyu.  There was some discussion about also creating new posters and signage for the site itself that contains updated information.

In all the time I’ve been an Anthropology student, this is the first time I’ve actually gotten the opportunity to do something that will have a direct effect on a site and the way that the information obtained is being presented to the public.  As the professor pointed out yesterday, this is something we can put on our resume, and we will definitely get media attention later in the year when we deliver the replicas to the Museum head herself during her visit to USF.  Too bad for the students who dropped – they are going to miss out on some really cool technology.

This semester is off to a great start. Lets hope it stays that way!

Bad Blogger

Posted: August 21, 2011 in anthropology, School Daze

It’s been quite a while since my last post.  There are many reasons for this, but first and foremost, it’s because I’ve been extremely lazy for the last few months after my spring semester.  For regular readers of my blog, you probably know that I was overloaded last semester by a professor, who is nicknamed Dr. Diesel, and her course on Anthropology of American Culture, in addition to all the other stuff I was taking at the time.

I survived that semester, and I did it with straight As, a feat I wasn’t even sure was going to be possible towards the end of the school year. I still wonder how I pulled that off!  So many writing assignments, and not to mention, I read so many pages that I feel like by the end I had read the entirety of the Wheel of time from Eye of the World all the way to Towers of Midnight in 4 months.  I felt burned out on the last day of the semester, and it was decreed by me that I deserved a real break, not just a couple of weeks between summer semesters.

I should have considered how things were going before such a decree. This has certainly not been the best year of my life. With our economy in the proverbial shitter, I have been unable to find a job in the area where I live. I’ve spent the whole summer until the beginning of August looking for a job, because until then, I wasn’t even sure if this Fall’s back to school would even happen.   My previous advisor, one Nicaraguan Terrorist, had previously told me that I would be able to take summer semesters and finish my degree in December.  When it came time to register, my entire department had fled to do research and there were no upper-level electives available. So, graduation now occurs in May 2012. Thanks asshole, learn to do your job better. We have a new advisor now. Here’s hoping she knows how to do her job and actually READ the student’s transcript to know where they stand.

Those of you who know me personally know about this already, but at the end of April during the night of tornadoes in northern Georgia, 4 of my cousins were killed in a single swoop.  A major tragedy in my family. I can’t recall any event in my history that was as saddening and heartbreaking as getting the news that they had been killed all together, wiping an entire branch off the family tree at once, and due to final exams, I had to send my mom and sister up to the funerals without me.

I should have considered that an omen of the summer.  I spent the next few months applying for countless jobs, and of all of them, I had one interview.   We spent the whole summer being poor again. I barely had enough money to get by without school.  Then came the news that I had reached my credit hour limit and I wouldn’t be getting student loans. For a couple of months, I found it impossible to sleep as I tried to devise ways to pay for the remainder of my education.  That situation has been successfully resolved, some idiot in financial aid nearly gave me a heart attack, but it turned out to be an error and I was not blocked from financial aid after all.  I can finish my degree without problems (I hope) now.

A month ago, my beloved cat, Legion, vanished into the night. He has been an everyday part of my life for 8 years, and to say that I was inconsolable was an understatement.  For anyone who has a pet, they are like family, and their disappearance can be devastating. Combine his sudden disappearance with a severe sinus infection and you get a recipe for misery and sadness.  I can honestly say I’m glad to see the ass-end of Summer, it has been a real shit storm of epic proportions in some ways.

I had resolved to work on my first novel this summer, but due to illness and undue stress, those plans were never realized fully. I did manage to work out a partial draft of my first chapter, and I have an outline that will take me through to the third or fourth chapter.  I also nailed down some details that will be needed later, when I can actually write this story, but it doesn’t look like that is going to happen until after Graduation in May.

It is now the Sunday before school starts for the Fall semester.  I’m looking forward to this semester with both anticipation and trepidation:  I’m retaking a course from last year that I absolutely hated and had to drop, Theories of Culture (the Anthropology senior seminar) as well as my methodology course in Forensic Science. I’ve been considering changing my concentration away from cultural anthropology to biological anthropology and forensics.  While there are many reasons for this proposed change, the most important is marketability. When graduation occurs in May, I need to be able to go out and find a job.  All the honors graduations in the world don’t mean jack shit if your degree is not applicable to the job market. And while I expect to graduate with honors, I’d like to be able to actually find employment, and the way to do that is most likely through forensics.  I will make my decision to shift concentrations at the end of the semester, after I see how well I do in this methods course.  Hard sciences have not really been my friend in the past, but I was emboldened by my success in Physical Anthropology to consider this as a possible career choice.

My other two courses this term are electives.  One is from the cultural tract, an up-close, in-depth look at the Caribbean.  The other is Museum Informatics, a course about how museum information is disseminated to the public.  In the digital age, it certainly wouldn’t hurt to have a background in digital archiving if I ever want to work for a museum (a long time dream I’ve had).  As long as they aren’t as exhausting as Anthropology Of American culture, I should be okay. I do still expect this to be a tough semester, I have my two electives sandwiched between my dreaded Theories in the morning and my methods course in the later part of the day.  I’m hoping the setup helps, but I probably will be tired by the time I sit down to Forensics at 3:30 in the afternoon after having had 3 other classes immediately prior.  My schedule is a six hour block of back to back to back to back classes every tuesday and thursday with a scant 10 – 15 minutes between them.  Did I mention that for the first 3 classes of the day I’m in the same room?  Yeah.  At least I do not have the professor from last Fall that I absolutely despised.

This is my last year.  I’m determined to finish my degree with honors (I’ve worked this hard to be in the top 7% of my class, I might as well keep it up) but already the specter of Graduate School is beginning to loom over me.   I’m currently debating 3 potential Master’s programs, one at USF, one at UF and strangely enough, one at the University of Aberdeen in Aberdeen, Scotland (probably a pipe dream, but it doesn’t hurt to dream).  That decision is still 5 months away at least.

This school year, being my last, I’m going to attempt to blog after every single day of class. So for those of you who are counting, that means at least 2 blogs per week.  Of course, this might have to be amended due to workload, but I’m setting it as my goal. By publishing it for the world to see, I hope to force myself to actually do it.  Good luck to me, I’m going to need it.

Finally, I’d like to offer an Anthropology major’s prayer:

Oh great lord of education, may you help me write all the papers, survive all the defunct theories and memorize every bone in the human body.  May I continue to maintain my GPA while not being distracted by everything going on around me and may I continue to ignore the students in my courses who appear so very young and so very dumb.  I pray that, as a Senior, I may reach my graduation without committing murder. Amen. 

I can hardly believe this is my first post of this semester, and here the semester is already half-over as of this week!  That should tell anyone who reads my blog how busy and hectic these first 8 weeks have been.   I don’t think I ever stop reading or writing papers. If I had to guess, I would say I’ve read around 900 pages since the semester started, that’s 4 entire books (Origins of the Second World War, The Best War Ever, Waltzing in the Dark and Distant Mirrors: America as a foreign country) and around 25 pdf articles on American culture.   I’ve written about 15 papers for one class so far.  Now maybe you can see why I’ve not been wanting to blog on top of writing constantly about the pitfalls of American culture, the Second World War and Social Psychology.  Strangely enough, Religion is the one class where I don’t have to write, and one would have expected lots of long papers about eschatology and (for me) Mormonism.

How can you tell if you are having a nervous breakdown? I feel like I’m being punished in some way for being a good student for the last four years.  I’m not blaming school entirely for this feeling, but it certainly does take the lion’s share of my stress.  It’s work work work and read read read and write write write for 12 hours a day four or five days a week, sometimes six.  What’s worse is that I’m paying my professors to work me like a dog so I can get that all important piece of paper. The stress of not taking breaks in my haste to finish the rat race is beginning to show up on me.  I’ve taken 3 of the last 4 summer semesters (I skipped the first summer and then found myself so bored I couldn’t stand it) with as little as 3 weeks between class changes.  I haven’t taken a real vacation in years, but that is soon to be rectified.

I’m returning to New Orleans for a few days in two weeks. Spring Break finally begins for me on March 9th, and I am looking forward to several days of no school work (if you don’t count the book I have to read during break and the paper that is due the day after I get back – what kind of bitch gives homework over a break?!)  in some place that isn’t home.  Some of my readers might remember my New Orleans Fairytale blog, which is based loosely on my life during the time I lived there. That is part of what prompted me to go back after 13 years: that and I’ve truly missed the place.  I decided that it was time to take a new, objective look at my life there, at the people who were around me (some of whom I will see again, if things work out right), and at the places that I came to love.  I’m also hoping it will jog my memory and I can finish the rest of the damned story.   Maybe wandering Prytania Street, First Street and Magazine Street will stir up the forgotten past and give me some food for thought.

Consider my life right now as a precautionary tale for people who like to overwork themselves, as I know I do: you have to take vacations or you will go noisily insane.  I can’t stress that enough, haha pun definitely intended.  I only have to get through one class, one exam and another week. For now, the endless paper writing has slowed to a manageable amount, and if I’m lucky will cease altogether this week until the hated day-after-vacation paper is due. I’m still stuck on that! What professor gives homework over a break?  Do you think she will be doing school work during Spring Break? Not bloody likely.  Oh well. It’s almost over….for now.

 

I’m a terrible blogger this semester. To be fair though, this has been a killer one so far.  So I feel like I need to catch up on all the things I’ve been doing so far since class resumed in August.

First things first.  I’ve officially run into a professor that I despise.  In the past, I’ve only had one awful professor that made me want to run away screaming, but it wasn’t the result of a personality conflict like the most recent one.  It occurred to me that I should tell that story as an example to others who might run into this kind of problem with a professor and have the same kind of issues I did with what to do about it.

My Senior Seminar course, called Theories of Culture, is required for graduation in the Anthropology Department.  I signed up for this class back in March, thinking I’d be able to get the remaining three requirements finished by the end of this semester, which would leave me with only elective choices until graduation.  From the first day of class, I knew that I was not going to like this man.  It was a case of instant dislike; he came into the room and started barking orders like we were so many poodles to jump through his hoops. And the hoops kept coming.  There was only one exam the entire semester, scheduled for the very beginning, followed by 2 papers and a group project.  Sounds easy enough.  However, his policies were quite terrible.  I realize this is a weed out class, and for those of you who don’t know what that is let me explain:  a weed-out course is one in the major where they get rid of all but the most dedicated people and those who chose the field on a whim (that doesn’t happen often with Anthropology. People in Anthro know what kind of work it entails typically and they drop out of the major LONG before senior year).  It is intentionally difficult and has a mandatory requirement policy usually.  But, I loathed this man.  Everything he said or did just irritated me. And he was very unreasonable to boot.  He accepted something late, but every day we were late was 5 points off.  Considering we only have class tuesday and thursday, if you missed turning it in on thursday, you would lose 20 points.  And if it were a holiday, you’d lose even more.

There’s always more.  There was a required attendance policy (something I’ve never had in any of my classes).  If you missed 3 days without a doctors note, you lost an entire letter grade.  Then he started changing the requirements for the papers.  First, we could choose anyone up to the exam, then, with two weeks until the paper was due, he changed the rules again, eliminating anyone who had not done fieldwork.  We knew nothing about the exam. He never reviewed, he never even mentioned it.  He posted online: Exam Thursday.  That was all.

For the first time since I’ve been back in school (almost 4 years) I failed an exam.  I studied for 4 days all the concepts and theories that we had covered in class and I still failed.  He tore my answers to his questions up, piece by piece, telling me I should have elaborated this (-2 points), I was too wordy with that (-2 points), I missed the point here (-4 points).  All those deductions left me with a nice, fat 62%.  Did I mention the test was only 50 points?  75% of my class failed that exam.  That’s 30 people out of 40.

I freaked the hell out. I had not failed anything since high school.  I took it personally, which in retrospect, was probably a good idea after all.

Around this same time I started getting backaches.  Now, I’d been having a problem with my left leg hurting for a couple of months, but it wasn’t a constant pain.  It would sometimes wake me up at night burning, which is a very strange feeling.  I thought nothing of it, so I never mentioned it to my doctor, who I had seen twice before.   The backaches though were starting to really aggravate me.  They started happening in the afternoons when I was driving home from class.  Then my leg started to hurt while my back was hurting in the car.  Then, it started happening before I even got to school, on the way there. Then during class.  It started to be increasingly difficult to sit down for very long.

I made myself visit my doctor, who tortured me with range of motion tests before pronouncing me to have a bulging disc, and as a side note, my hip is slightly crooked.  The leg pain was sciatica (not fun – it can hurt like hell), the bulging disc was the culprit. He gave me muscle relaxers and a mild pain killer, coupled with a steroid to reduce swelling.  He ordered me to return in a week.

Meanwhile, I’m hating my professor.  The test results came back and I had failed.  So, because there was only one exam in that class, that immediately barred me from getting an A.  All 30 of us.  Between constant backaches and leg pain, followed by an insufferable professor who failed most of us, I was in a terrible mood. His class was beginning to give me anxiety attacks.  I’m overly proud of my very nice GPA and was horrified of getting at best a B in a class in my major.  That would have totally screwed my GPA, and I likely would have lost the chance to graduate with honors.  I started toying with the idea that I would drop the class, but ultimately, that started to make me even crazier.

My advice? If you hate that professor, and even though it’s a required course, drop that shit like yesterday’s trash.  You can always retake it later (I will take it with a different person in the spring most likely).  I finally made myself drop it.  I don’t let professors beat me usually, and I don’t think this is a case of being defeated.  I just chose to not deal with his stupid shit in addition to the mess that is currently unfolding in my life.

I returned to my doctor a week later, still having pain and discovering that prednisone makes me into some kind of lesser Demon.  And I mean that. I was intensely cranky and unpleasant during the 6 days I was taking it.  I wanted to bite people. I screamed at people in traffic.  I wanted to set a professor on fire.  He sent me for an MRI, and told me: if it’s herniated you are going to surgery.  The hell I am not.

The MRI results showed that I didn’t have a bulging disc; I had several.  Three, to be precise.  So, that explained why I was constantly hurting and those shitty painkillers weren’t working.  The culprit does in fact appear to be my crooked hip.  Bulging discs don’t come on suddenly, they develop over time.  I seem to recall the chiropractor telling me that 15 years ago when I had a car wreck that my crooked hip would cause back problems.  I think I chose to ignore him.

So now, I’m going to see a specialist.  The problem is, it will take 3 weeks at least to get in.  So I get 3 more weeks of pain before I can be treated.  My regular doctor took pity on me and upped my pain medication’s strength.  I spent part of the day yesterday agonizing over the decision of whether or not to go to class. I decided to stay put, since I can’t sit for 3 hours, and the harridan that teaches statistics won’t give us breaks.  Additionally, that would have meant an hour in the car, which I think is a device made solely to torture me at this point.  Even  my 10 minute drive to the pharmacy last night to get the new painkiller was horrible. I stand behind my decision: I do not want to suffer further.  I will return back to school this Thursday (I have to, we have reviews for next weeks exams) and survive the best I can until i can see the specialist. I just needed a day or two to give my back a rest.

I just realized that if I turned my stats professor into a post, it’d probably be as long as this one. That’s a whole story unto itself.

I hate statistics.

 

Back to School Special

Posted: August 16, 2010 in anthropology, School Daze

It’s that time of year again, when parents sing and skip as they buy back to school supplies for their little darlings, who have been terrorizing the house for 3 months.  That first morning, a universal sigh of relief is heard around the country as people’s children become some teacher’s problem once again.  For me, however, it’s a different story entirely.

I certainly do not skip and jump and sing when I’m buying school supplies.  Why not?  Because my supplies often cost a LOT more than what I would like them to.  It’s the curse of my profession:  all of my equipment has to be able to survive work in the field, and this semester I’m getting out there and grubbing about quite often thanks to my work with the Veterans History Project collecting oral histories. I have already attended one interview, and am learning the fun art of transcription directly by doing it.  I’m in the process of scheduling two of my own interviews in the month of September.

School resumes for me next monday, August 23rd with my first class at night (should be the last math I’ll ever have to take!). Then on Tuesday, it’s off to Tampa for a full day of anthropological immersion as I take Linguistics, Biological Anthropology (Forensics), and the dreaded and dull Senior Seminar: Theories of Culture. Did I mention a lab somewhere in there on forensics?  I’ll repeat that schedule on Thursday, minus the lab.  In my off time, I’ll be working on projects and doing research for the Veterans Project itself.

While my supposed one-month vacation is about to run out, I’d love to say I feel relaxed and rested, but the truth is I don’t.  It’s very hard to relax from a year of non-stop day to day school in a month’s time.  Just as I was starting to relax a bit, it’s time to get ready to start again.  Sigh.  This is the last year, though.  After this, I get to find a real job in my field that pays real money, not volunteer  hours or credit hours.  I look forward to that first decent college-degree paycheck. I’m planning to take a year off and work, then go back to school again as a Grad Student in Applied Anthropology (unless I change my mind, move to Rome, Georgia and take up residence in the Folklore department as a grad student instead).  The idea of an additional 30 credits past my degree is awful to me right now. But I know that if I want to make decent money, a Masters in Anthropology will be the best way to do that.

Make no mistake: I have no desire to ever EVER be a teacher of any kind. I have the utmost respect for them, but a career in Collegiate Academia is not for me.  Not to mention, there is no money in that field anyway, and they are treated like crap in general. Teachers have the hardest job for the least pay, and to me, the cost versus the benefits do not weigh out.  Some people are called to teach; I was not.  Teachers have the most respect I can give (next to Hospice Nurses) for the difficult job they have to do, but the truth is I do not like kids enough to put up with their stupid shit in college-level courses. I would be the meanest, most demanding Anthropology Professor ever created. They would hate me.

I feel as though I’ve neglected my blog since I started at USF.  I haven’t had nearly as much to write about since my last 2 semesters have been entirely online (I do not recommend it unless you have the gumption to do all the work it requires to be self-taught).  Starting next week, I’ll be able to rant, rave and bitch about the people in my classes again (Flashback: University of Tampa), or else talk about how great it is since I won’t have any freshmen in any of my classes with the possible exception of Statistics (and I don’t care about that one).  Theories of Culture is restricted to Seniors only, so that one might be decent. The rest are 3900 level courses, so not likely to see freshies in any of those either.  I look forward to actually having on-campus material to write about.  My blog has been very dull lately.

So, be looking forward to what horrors I unleash regarding a State-run University’s day-to-day operations, as well as all the scathing and hilarious commentary I give on what I see during my classes. I’m sure this semester will be rife with fodder for the writing.

Parents: Here’s to the new school year! May it be long and your days quiet.

Students:  Haha, it sucks to be us doesn’t it?

Another Update

Posted: April 5, 2010 in School Daze
Tags: , ,

Yes yes, I’m a bad blogger. I’ve not had time to post much of anything lately, so I figure I’ll do one quick update and you’ll just have to forgive me for not writing that much more right now.  Soon, you shall understand.

This semester of insanity is finally drawing to a close. There are only about 4 weeks left of classes (thank Whoever) and I’ve already registered for both the Summer A/C term and Fall 2011. After checking my degree audit, I’m less than a year from Graduation, if I work my ass off for that year.  All that remain are my core courses (My capstone course, my senior seminar, electives) and at the end of next summer I hopefully walk with Honors.

Speaking of honors, I joined Phi Kappa Phi today as a member.  They invited me (it must be that crazy 3.94 GPA) and I figure, since my application for Grad School will be coming up, I need as much crap as I can on there.  Some people have said that with my very high GPA I won’t have much worries, but it’s not that so much as I feel like I need another major project (It would have been my honors thesis, but the timing won’t work for me to join the Anthro Honors Program at USF, since the thesis is offered successively from Fall to Spring) to put on my resume.  I’m considering some kind of Research Study within the Arts, since that seems to be an area I have the most experience with.  I still have time to decide before this summer, thankfully.

I’ve had to back-burner some of my writing projects (New Orleans Fairytale Pt. 2) because of the writing load in the Anthro department.  Since my semester started off on the wrong foot (see previous blog posts) I’ve had to play busy bee and work non-stop to get myself caught up. As it stands, I despise my Archaeology class.  The TA’s contradict the textbook, and whoever makes up the quizzes does it too.  I might be lucky to get out with a B, but I’ll take it since I absolutely hate these “teachers”.

I have 9 credits this summer, but luckily it’s only 2 classes. French 2, which seems completely easy to me and my Great Works class, which in this case is Life after Death (Rel minor).  I expect that one to have a lot of writing in it.

Fall will be much busier, and right now my schedule says I’ll spend about 10 hours on campus on Tuesdays. Doesn’t that suck? It’s still subject to change, I need to take Statistics.

Anyone else feeling a strange obsession with old Madonna songs lately?  It seems like it’s all I’ve been listening to while I’ve been working.  I’ve gone through Confessions on a Dance Floor quite a few times in the past 2 weeks, finding myself “hung up” on Hung Up.  I can’t say why, prior to now I’ve never really even listened to that album much.  It has its moments, but I still prefer Madonna in the Pre-American Life days. Greatest Hits might as well stay on repeat, I still have a lot of writing to do, including my Project on the Deptford Culture and the associated local Archaeological site I’ve chosen.  That’s due on the 21st of April.

So you see, I have a lot of work still to do to finish this semester out better than it started.  Speaking of, it’s time to study. I have 2 exams this week back to back and a discussion post to finish. There is no rest for the Wicked or the Weary.