I don't know what it is about Anthropology that makes me make really, really indecisively rash decisions.

Actually, that's not entirely true. I've been vaguely toying with this idea for a while now, I only DECIDED for it in one fell swoop. But, much like when I went to the 6-week field school in Maryland in the spurt of the moment, in the last three days I've decided to spend my entire June in Erie, Pennsylvania.

'But what endless possibilities could there possibly be for you there, Nella!?' you may ask.

In short, bones. In long form, Mercyhurst College's Forensic Anthropology Summer Short Courses. I've been flirting with forensic anthropology for...eek gads, too long, but definitely since I took the Intro course at NYU. And--as the fall doth approaches, and the time for applying for grad school is nigh--it's do or die for me to figure out what the hell it is I want to go to grad school for. True, I could just hold on applying for another year but where's the fun in that! Let's spend the summer agonize over the direction my professional life will take and how I'll be able to support myself, let's worry about where my heart truly lies, let's roll the dice and take some classes and see if I can't find a winner!...or in the very least, knock a few possibilities off my list.

What amuses me is that this is EXACTLY what I was going through when I was choosing my major back in the sophomoric NYU year of my college youth. I seriously had a hand written list of some 13 majors that interested me, and I went DOWN THAT LIST and PHYSICALLY crossed one off at a time, forcing myself to research each and narrow my choices until I was left with Biology, History, and Anthropology. It wasn't until I took two Anthro courses that spring that was I caught hook, line and you know it.

So, I suppose the point of this post is that in the four weeks I'm at Mercyhurst, I'm hoping to FINALLY get an idea if this Forensic Anthropology stuff is for me. I mean, if by the time we're blowing up pigs in cars to practice mass fatality disaster reconstruction I'm still undecided about Forensic Anthropology, and I would THINK it would be safe to say it's not my cuppa tea.

UNRELATED: My GOD I need to overhaul and consolidate my tags. And maybe even actually start USING them.
Things Nella Learned Today: Should the power go out and my car's in the garage, I am unable to escape the confides of my house. How-to-open-the-garage-door-manually is getting top-priority rushed to the top of my list of things-my-father-still-needs-to-teach-me.

Luckily, the power returned after about a half hour, and I was able to escape after all. I'm at the library right now, trying to figure out what to do with myself this summer. Oh, why can't it be EASY to decide the course of one's future?!? Why can't I just be closedminded enough to only want to do ONE THING with my life, instead of figuring I enjoy a lot of things and should persue them all?!

So far, I've narrowed my summer down to three things:

1) Going back to the University of Maryland's field school. The UofM is my number one grad school pick, and I figure the best way to hedge my bets in the hopes of getting into their program is to intellectually and manually whore myself for them at their 6-week field school. Show them what I'm made of, that sort of thing. Of course, if my life was a movie, this could horribly backfire as I make a series of humorous but damning mistakes, resulting in bodily injury and property damage, but luckily, my life's NOT a movie, so it's worth a shot.

2) Actually taking the Mercyhurst College Forensic Anthropology Short Courses; I figure if reconstructing a staged terrorist crime scene (among other things in the 4 week-long courses) can't convince me one way or another of if I'm capable of stomaching, learning and mastering forensic anthropology, then I'm really screwed. But I've had this itch of "what if" in regards to forensic anthropology for years now, and I figure if I don't scratch it soon I may have regrets if I try to go straight into an Historical Archaeology master program.

Damn you, "What If". You are indeed my oldest and foulest foe.


3) Continuing to work at Greenhouse and doing diddley squat otherwise. Not something I WANT to do, but I know me, and I'm lazy as sin. We're trying to avoid this one though.

Considering that all these things start in June...Yea, I really need to get on that. NOW.
I have to get up at 4 am so that the family and I can leave for the happy, happy land that is Florida. Thanksgiving in Florida? In EPCOT, no less? Still not certain how I feel about this.

So I leave you with this! (yoinked from [livejournal.com profile] swankyfunk

William Shakespeare

Beware the ink'n'imp of March.

Which work of Shakespeare was the original quote from?

Get your own quotes:

Oh, fancy that, my birthday is in March...*whistles innocently*

When I return, I shall have to regale you all with tales of working in the Greenhouse office in the city, where archaeological drama reigns supreme, which is an accomplishment considering it's only me and Paula and two phone lines in the office. Wherein clients cut down trees in an attempt to force you into uncovering more graves (because the term "preservation" seems BEYOND their limited grasp of the POINT of archaeology!), fire you one evening and hire you again in the morning. Likewise, the joys of commuting and running errands through the Financial District (*glomps downtown Manhattan!*), the pains of having to get up at 5 am, and the general tribulations of not getting my hands on a stiff drink when I need one (though I've finally found a DAMN GOOD pizza place right off of Stone Street).

...and now, BED.

Wait, does this mean I have a job?

Well, first things first, I can honestly throw down the gauntlet and claim with big brass balls that Prince Phillip from Disney's Sleepy Beauty ain't got SHIT on me. He may be one of Disney's most awesome princes, but he had the help of three fairy godmothers, a nifty sword and shield, and a horse that knew what was what. All I had was a pair of leather gloves, clippers, a machete, and a grizzly and pissy archaeologist in his 60s yelling at me from the safety of his surveying equipment.

…Ok, so HE had to face the Mistress of All Evil afterward while all I had to do was backfill units, but STILL.

Short of the long, we had to survey through a gorram briar patch nearly 8 feet high on Tuesday, which had large pointed thorns which dug into my flesh and didn't want to let go. Throw on top of that that this thorn jungle was growing over and concealing large mountains of concrete that had been dumped back when the Hess station on the corner was built (thanks guys for covering our archaeological site with your concrete!…wasn't even your fucking property, asshats), and you have yourself a veritable death trap. Seriously, one wrong step and you'd find yourself falling face first into a valley that just happens to be filled with all sorts of bloodthirsty thorns.

Oh, and while within this jungle I also slid five feet into a junk dump that was filled with old fences and really rusted and pointy metal things.

Oh, and on top of that, the dig was shut down just long enough for me to spend the night in the motel, drive home the next morning, and find 3 voice mails on my phone that evening saying the dig was back on. OMG I really hate NY state and lawyers right now. REALLY.

I'm going back up to Fishkill Monday evening, and am going to try to work at the site until Friday. However, some good may come of this…I MAY have an office job with this company once the dig is done. Paula, the woman from the office, asked Bill, the field director, if I might be interested in working in the office full time. He gave me a call to see if I'd want to, and HELL'S YES. So, I've finally given Target my two weeks notice.

…Oh PLEASE I want that office job. 40 hours per week, and 13 an hour, and at a place that the fact I have a major in anthropology actually matters? Damn it, I'll use that long commute for sleeping or come November for Nanowrimo writing!
Thousand and one things I suppose I could talk about, but my mind's feeling all jumbled so I think I'll try to run through them quick. This post was going to be an update of all the important happens in the life of this Nella, but I ended up writing so much about the Stony Brook Human Evolution Symposium that I'll save the rest for another post.

SUNY and Leakey and Lucy, oh my!...continue for a longish talk of all things physically anthropological. )
I had, however, a positively surreal moment at this symposium, and during the lunch break. The absolutely surreal moment of the day, however, was not just running into Captain Linzee--my high school sailing coach and a man who could put Thomas Jefferson to shame for living his life through a haze of bong smoke*--but watching Captain Linzee speaking with Professor Harrison (from NYU) over lunch. I think it broke my brain a wee bit, seeing two bits of my world collide over chicken curry and beef with broccoli. I almost wanted to warn Prof. Harrison to run while Linzee was taking a breath (much as I like the man, he does have a frustrating ability to talk another human being to DEATH), but Prof. Harrison seemed to be holding his own.

*When I was a junior in high school--or perhaps I was a sophomore--there was a chap at my school name Doug Bland. One day [livejournal.com profile] vengefulbuddha and I happened upon him outside--he was given a work suspension for some rule breaking or another--and we got to talking with him, cause he was an amusing and clever fellow. [livejournal.com profile] vengefulbuddha and I were both on the sailing team and had many a tale to tell of Captain Linzee's ability to live and reason outside of reality. To which Bland made note that that was because "Mr. Linzee lives his life through a haze of bong smoke". And considering the Captain is Jefferson only without the slaves (though, the alumni and current members of the sailing team might protest that), it is a sentiment I have often employed when discussing our third president.
I need to hurry up and take a self-taught crash course in library science/archival preservation, because I MAY be working at the Northport Historical Society on organizing their archives, which are--and I quote the lady I spoke too regarding internships/volunteering/job possibilities--"a total MESS".

Thus begins Nella's do-or-die master plan to wean myself away from Retail, and get back on the equally shit-paying but at least I don't feel STOOPID doing it, academic/museum track.

That being said: F-list, I come to you for advice. I don't want to go back into the Ivory Tower of Academics. But I realize my interests really do--and honestly always HAVE--lie in museum work/public education etc etc. (Even though expect to keep hearing tales of shovelbumming as I continue to pursue archaeology)

I've been looking for museum jobs, and most listings seem to be for either archival/library science work (in organizing and preserving the museum's archive, collection, etc), or for education/general information pimping (i.e. organizing tours, collections, and outreach to schools, adults, students, anyone who might give a damn!). Which means this Nella would have to go to grad school for either library science, or for education, while she works on padding her resume and gaining XP for all those tricky jobs postings that ask for things like "2 years experience!" at places like the Northport Historical Society. Personally, I'd rather library science. I think I'm better at organizing things than organizing people.

I'm going to keep pondering this for now, but right now, I'm going to try and watch disc 2 of "New York: A Documentary Film" before I have to go to work. I need to see if PBS can top the first disc, which was about the rise and fall of New Amsterdam, how New York was uber tolerant only NOT, and how New York was passed over for becoming the capital of the US in favor of "a swamp that becomes malarial in April." (Yes, we ALL know your dirty secret, DC.)

Oh, the icon? Considering my feelings towards Target lately, it's wildly appropriate. I DON'T get paid enough for that shit...and if I work mornings at the Northport Historical Society, I probably won't get paid at all. But at least that job won't be shit.

I hope.
Today was the last class for Faunal Analysis, and I've got to admit--I'm sad to see it go. I really enjoyed that class. But how could you not enjoy a class that allows you to spend half of your time fondling the comparative anatomy collection that Professor Crabtree has amassed? I already miss the lot of us standing around, with two tibias in our hands and asking each other in frustration if it looks like a sheep or a goat to you.

FYI--"shoat" was always an acceptable answer. As was "geep".

I already miss Crabtree too. I think half the reason I want that lab job in the NYU archaeology lab is just so I can continue to work for Crabtree for a little longer. It's just so gratifying to have a Professor who understands that archaeology of the American Mid-Atlantic prehistoric IS interesting, honest! Never mind that I want to sit at her feet in wide eyed wonder as well, and learn all the ways of the zooarchaeologist.


Though, things are looking up for this Nella! SUNY Stony Brook got back in touch with me, and very suggestively suggested that the Lab position at their archaeology lab is mine…as soon as the grant money falls through. I have no idea when it will or if it even will, so prayers, people! Prayers, good vibes, general evocations….anything you can throw my way that might tip the balance of karma, get too it people!!

AND Leslie at the South Street Seaport Museum has totally just made my DAY! I pretty much sent her a love letter about the Seaport and how I'd love to volunteer my Saturdays for giving tours of the area, as I've already memorized all of that info and want to put it to some good use. But just when I thought that that would make me all kinds of ecstatic, she PWNS my hopes with a; "But of course, and oh, we can PAY you for that on an event-by-event basis!!"

So, my friends, look for updates of South Street Seaport goings-on, walking tours and general historical fangirly events hosted (or, helped with, in the least) by YOURS TRULY!!

…If they give another walking tour of Revolutionary Manhattan, and I get to help with that, I think I could die a happy, fangirly death. Never mind that I'm also hoping to volunteer my weekends on their schooner, the PIONEER. Museum touring AND sailing? Happy, happy death.

May 10th, my graduation from the hallowed halls of NYU, is approaching fast. I'm already frantically missing my access of Bobst Library--that is probably what I'll miss the most about NYU, aside from the friends I'll be leaving. All those LOVELY books.

But meh, I have other things to worry about. Like that final paper I have to write for Faunal Analysis. Luckily, I FINALLY came up with a topic I can write about!--Catastrophic kill sites!! As a child, when I would read about how Native Americans in the west would drive bison herds over a cliff, I would always wonder how they could POSSIBLY process that much meat…well, I'm here to tell you that they DIDN'T, MWHAHAHA!!! They would completely butcher the animals on top, butcher an arm or leg from the middle animals, and COMPLETELY leave the bottom animals to rot/get eaten by scavengers!!

Now just to flesh that out to 5-7 pages with the proper site examples and articles….

'Til next time, this is Nella, signing out!
It appears [livejournal.com profile] kathynancygirl and I have been furiously working on our papers all morning, and that's been doing strange things to our senses of humor.

You see, our papers have to be about Prions, a.k.a. them what cause those nasty diseases like Mad Cow and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and Scrapies in sheep.

Well, I've just finished mine...and I totally just used a Guns'n'Roses song title to reference Upton Sinclair's book.

As my last sentence.

I feel like I've just been adopted officially into the hallowed halls of anthropological writing.

*prints it and runs to class!!*


Apr. 11th, 2007 01:36 pm
So, the wife of my dad's partner has decided to take an INTENSE interest in My Future. She's one of the hospital administrator's at the SUNY Stony Brook Hospital, and for the past two years (to my embarrassment) she's kept insisting that I should give her the names of the people and programs I'm interested in applying for in the SUNY Anthro. department, so she can wedge me in the door. I, of course, while grateful for her offered help, am of the pessimistic mind set that this can only End In Tears.

Now, for those of you for who this name means something, Richard Leakey is a visiting professor of SUNY Stony Brook. And she's been trying to make my planets align with his for the last two years, if you know what I mean, and yes, IT'S FRICKIN' WEIRD, and in the sense that my interests in Archaeology don't really line up well with his work in Kenya.

Anyway, the POINT of this post is that tonight at the Chelsea Piers there's a dinner being given in Richard Leakey's honor. My dad's partner and this rather-zealously-interested-in-My-Future wife of his are going, and they've been hunting me down all day, trying to give me the spare tickets they have. To which I say


...if this extra ticket falls through, and I'm allowed to offer it to someone else, any anthro. minded sorts on my f-list willing to bear this with me? Or at least, give me some advice about what I can expect from this dinner thing? Besides a whole lot of people sitting, eating and going "OMG HEHE LEAKEY IS TEH BEST EVAH!"

...I don't know how she expects this to further my entirely nonexistent career.
Well, I can't say I kicked Forensic Anthropology's ass and made it my bitch, but it at least has to doff it's cap and nod at me respectfully when it passes by on the street.

Just got out of FA, and I am so damn sure I got at least a 92 out of 110 on that mid term, it worries me a bit. But for right now, I'm going to shelf the worry, and gloat. I think I deserve a good gloat. It's been a long time since my last major gloat.

As much as I fear this Bone Test, I do so adore Forensic Anthropology. And I do so love my professor and some of the shit she'll say in class. For example, after speaking to great length about the scarring on the pubic symphsis that results from birthing, and about how the pubic symphsis is ripped apart during birth (you know, where the pelvis meets in the front), she finally noticed the mass of winces amoungst the females of the class. After pausing, she gave a sort of apologetic evil grin. "I've just created a room full of woman who won't ever give birth now. My evil plan for fighting overpopulation is working. Mwhaha."

And, because it's the thing to do and I am a lemming, youtube links!!

This. Is. Crack. There's unicorns, and Candy mountain, and an ending that wins. HARD.

And for those of you familiar with Star Trek: TNG. Picard...sings?

And finally, Threepenny Opera 2006 clips!! *fangirls!!*

The Ballad of the Pimp, as preformed at the Emmy's. Alan Cumming+Cindi Lauper=LOVE. A very, very twistedly awesome love.

And my Favorite song from Threepenny Opera, The Army Song.

And...back to studying. :(

I'm back!!

Aug. 20th, 2006 06:10 pm
But before I recount my "Snakes in my Van" dream I had last night--

Because buying class books at the NYU bookstore is the monetary equilivant to pulling down one's pants and bending over with a "come hither" look, I get my book list from NYU online, and buy my books off of Amazon.com.

Well, one of the titles on the book list was listed as only Mind of Its Own.

As it turns out, Amazon tells me the book's WHOLE title is Mind of Its Own: A Cultural History of the Penis.

Oh yea. Cultural Symbolism is going to be a BLAST. w00t for Anthropology!

No Professor Ewell, I think you're too cool of a person to fall for the old "and these female figurines are fertility goddesses" tripe!!! Just say NO to the term Venus!!! Don't do it!! They are so much more than just sympathetic magic!! Why the fuck would a hunter gather society want more children!! Children are useless in a society like that, less is more!! Fertility my foot, nevermind that fertility goddesses are depicted as pre mense, mense, AND post-mense, any gyno can look at one and tell you that! NOT FERTILITY!!

*sigh* This is what happens when you've spend a semester studying this shit.

And the caves in Europe as painted TOMBS? TOMBS?!?! OMGWTF there are NO REMAINS expect for the one cave where they all died of CO2 poisoning while in the cave cause caves are hella dangerous like that.

....other than that, the Etruscans class is going well, me gusta.

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