Monday, November 30, 2009

Overwhelmed and preoccupied

I am in the midst of researching human sacrifice in the Andes for my religion and power class and could not be more unenthusiastic. There is a plethora of information, but so much so that I hardly knew where to begin a few hours ago. I now find myself periodically checking my email and more often my facebook account to see if anything exciting has changed since my last check. I am fortunate enough to now find myself sitting in the Greek and Latin Reading Room (my secret study paradise on the 4th floor of Memorial Library) enjoying the room to myself, finally. I have been through all the stacks, searched endlessly for books regarding my topic, and come up short. Most are in Spanish, which though I fancy myself conversational, is no good for a well-written research paper. I have gone so far as to do my Ovid homework (Latin translations) rather than continue researching this horrendously broad topic. I cannot help but feel like even after a semester of learning about pre-Columbian societies, I am starting from scratch. Whereas my knowledge of ancient Greece is admirable, what I have taken away from this course has been unfortunately little.

I have been thinking about Greece a lot lately. I recently finished a book, borrowed from Kelli (of Iklaina - the excavation I participated in this summer): And Only to Deceive (Tasha Alexander). It was a short read (necessary for me to have begun it, given the burden of this term paper!) and mentioned Greece several times. It barely delved into ancient Greek history and myth, but it was enough to make me smile in recognition of the facts that were mentioned in passing. For the past few nights I have enjoyed dreams of Athens where I remember every street and dog, and also of Pylos, where I spent so much time with Lauren and Kelli (my closest friends during the dig). For the readers' enjoyment, here is a selection of some pictures from my travels this summer (more will follow soon, once school has ended, I hope!):

Temple of Apollo at Corinth

Mask of Agamemnon from National Archaeological Museum, Athens

A small dog waits on a rooftop for the sun to set in Oia, Santorini

Looking out toward an island from the edge of the Temple of Poseidon, Sounio

Lexie, Ethan, and I being statuesque at the sanctuary of Athena Pronaia, Delphi

Giving a column some love at Olympia

Ilyssa, Kate, Lauren, and I digging away at some Cyclopian architecture at Iklaina (IKAP)

Honey - fresh from the comb! It was brought to the site by local farmers!

If you are anxious to see more pictures, hold your horses! I have nearly twelve hundred. Ideally, I will post them when I find the time :)

Friday, November 13, 2009

My thoughts on work

I truly do love my job. Of course, being well past the initial fear of showing apartments to total strangers when I may or may not have even been in a certain model or unit, certainly helps. I guess that I was kind of surprised to find out that one of our leasing consultants is no longer with the company as of today. This is the third person to quit in two weeks. I completely understand if one doesn't like the job - I mean, you really do need to be outgoing and enjoy sales. But, on the other hand, when you decide to take a job here when you have another job in the works...why bother taking this job? I am not going to discuss the merits of working at JSM versus other institutions, but it seems like a huge waste of time to train someone who may be intending to take another job offer.

Also, something was said at work that I disagree with completely. It was, "Yeah, well, it's each family's choice to decide [if it wants to pay for college or make their kids pay for it themselves]." I could not disagree more! Trust me, if it were my family's choice, I know my mom and dad would want to help out. But, because there really isn't a choice, finance school myself, with (a ton of) help from my scholarship. I guess that I thought it was a ridiculous thing to say, since not everyone comes from a wealthy background, and also not something to say in front of a group whose backgrounds are diverse.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

One step closer to graduation!

Today I signed up for classes for my final semester an undergrad! I only have two required Anthropology courses left to take and then a three credit Anthropology course of my choice. I am still waiting on my credit for my field school and elective credit to come through from this summer, which makes me nervous. I'm still counting on those six credits so that I don't have to take any more Anthro than I have to! I secretly dislike the major because it is so hard to find courses that actually interest me here at UW. Many of them are about American Indians and South American archaeology, which is really not my thing. Anyway, here is what I'm taking:

*Anthro 322 - Required - Origins of Civilization: Global archaeological survey of the origins of pristine civilizations beginning with the development of food production and ending with the emergence of the world's first civilizations. Focus of attention: Near East, Egypt, the Indus Valley, North China, Mesoamerica, and Peru.

*Anthro 490 - Required - Seminar: Archaeology and Cultural Heritage: No official course description, but I am very sure that it will be about Indians. :(

*Anthro 696 - Archaeological Methods of Curation: Practicum in the curation of prehistoric stone, bone, and ceramics. Involves handling materials, identification of artifacts, conservation techinques, preparation of materials for storage or display.

*Latin 204 - Introduction to Latin Literature: Translation of easy prose; analysis of English derivatives.

*Physical Education 132 - Weight Training: Basic knowledge and principles relevant to physiology of strength, power, and muscle endurance considered to achieve specific goals. Specialization permitted after eight weeks of program.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

No use crying over burned lasagna

So I thought that I would be adventurous and make lasagna that would be ready to eat before the new show "V" was over. I did everything right: I went to the store on Sunday to get everything, I layered the sauce, ricotta, mozzarella, and lasagna noodles as the directions explained. I had the oven preheated to 375 degree, double-checked that the noodles didn't need to be boiled, and set the timer for 90 minutes. Allison opened the oven with 40 minutes left and told me to check it because it looked burned. I did, and lo and behold, it was burned to a crisp. I tried to take a bite, and was extremely disappointed to find that my labor had been in vain: it was inedible. The sauce was likely was moistened the noodles since there was no sauce in any of it, except for the top, where it was burned along with the uppermost layer of cheese. It is hard not to feel stupid when you work hard to make something delicious and you fail. :(

In better news, the pilot of V has been good so far.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Gettin hot in Helen C.

Today was a very long day! After work I came home and ate dinner before heading to APO. I may not have mentioned it here, but I have an online chat session every Monday from 7-8pm, which is incredibly inconvenient given that APO runs from 7:30-8:30pm. I simply bring my lappy to the meeting, which may seem rude, but it's the best compromise I could come up with. Anyway, after APO I went to the Big-Little Party where we had to essentially play The Newlywed Game with our littles. Oops. Maybe I should have met with them prior to this. Needless to say, it did not go very well and I ended up looking silly. I probably should not have allowed myself to be given two littles whose schedules are completely opposite mine. At least they understand. To return to the point, I have been at good ol' Helen C. since the rootbeer float social that was our Big-Little Party.

I am very frustrated. I was "elected" to drive to Duluth for APO. I found out tonight who would be in my car, and what do you know, it was all people I have said no more than a few words to since their joining APO. Awesome. I managed to convince Hilary to change it around a little so that the 6 1/3 hour car drive would not be completely silent, but I don't think she was happy about it. I was already unhappy about being volunteered to drive and being assigned people to be in my car, and so when I was told that we would not be assigning rooms prior to leaving, that was it. As thrilled as I am to drive immediately after working 9-5 and arriving around midnight, I will get last choice of rooms. All I want is to get as much homework done as I possibly can before Monday. As fun as it will be to meet all of the people from the other chapters, I need to keep on top of my homework and readings and not fall behind. So when the list of people going was snatched from my hand when I admitted that I was looking for those who might also want to enjoy a quiet room free of partying, I was upset. I understand that we should bond and perhaps room with members who we might not know that well. I believe, however, that if I want to get homework done (since I obviously can't while driving), then it seems logical to find people who have a similar goal and share a room with them, rather than showing up and filling in the spaces of empty beds/the floor. APO has been more than frustrating this semester, and I think that I will go associate next semester simply because I will be even busier than I am now (if that is even possible).

I need to get just a little more homework done to call this library trip a success... :)