We put up our gear & covered our units for the last time yesterday. This morning we had our final exam, and were officially done with our field school. I spent most of the rest of my day packing & cleaning, then went on a long meandering walk to say goodbye to the campus. I remember way back at the beginning of the summer, when 10 weeks seemed like forever, thinking that I would get to this point & it would feel like it had flown by, & it does. It’s amazing how much we learned in so little time. We went from baby archaeologists who asked if every little weird-looking rock was something we should save to being able to pick a bucket of soil clean of artifacts, with pretty solid accuracy, in less than 5 minutes. We learned the history of our site & how to tell visitors about it, went sailing on a tall ship, visited some of the most important colonial sites in the Chesapeake region, assisted with the eventual reconstruction of the Calvert House, & found some pretty cool stuff while we were at it. Tomorrow afternoon I board my train & leave it all behind. Hopefully I’ll make it back for a visit someday.
This week contained our Tidewater Archaeology Weekend, during which the public is invited to come screen for artifacts with us. For a couple of days before that we had been saving up dirt so that we had ten large bins to screen from; we went through all of that & had to go dig up some more! Saturday was rainy so we didn’t have many people coming but Sunday was gorgeous so lots of people came out & everyone had a good time & found lots of neat stuff. I worked with several kids who were really into it & might even be future archaeologists themselves! In one screen we found a nice piece of blue-glazed ceramic that might be pearlware & a fragment of a Native American clay pipe with a little bit of a design on it. Of course we found lots of bits of pig bones, so I asked the kids if they would think it was weird for someone to dig up something they’d eaten & they all said they did.
It’s hard to believe that I have less than a week left here. We only have three field days, then our final exam, then I’m on the train back to Florida on Sunday afternoon. This has been a great experience but I’m excited to head home. Then I’ll have a couple weeks to decompress before the fall semester starts. I still can’t decide if I want to keep my class schedule as it is now – five classes & then graduate at the end of the semester – or split them over two semesters & graduate in the spring. Five classes & a part-time job sounds really difficult (how do people work full time while in school???), I don’t want to stress myself out too much or bring my GPA down. Plus, I’m not entirely sure that I’m ready to leave USF!
Do you want to show off your obsession with Stranger Things AND help the National Endowment for the Arts? David Harbour’s t-shirt does both!
I started working on my trip to Maryland. I’m planning on taking Amtrak’s Silver Star from Tampa to Washington, D.C., so I FINALLY get to go on another train adventure. Or the Silver Meteor, but that would require taking a bus from Tampa to Orlando – bleh. It’ll be some silver celestial body anyway. Then I was contemplating possibly getting to D.C. a day or two before I’m supposed to move into the dorm and seeing some things. Hopefully they’ll send me a schedule of any field trips we’ll be taking over the summer, maybe the stuff I want to see is stuff they’ll be taking us to see anyway. Probably not the International Spy Museum though. That I’ll probably have to do on my own time.
Maryland will be the fifth state that I’ve lived in over as many years – that seems kind of insane, it feels like forever since I left Tennessee but that really was just in 2013.
Train trip, new state, digging stuff up – should be a good summer!
This is my 100th blog post!
Also I’ve been thinking about a graduation gift to get myself in December. Maybe a GoPro. They shoot time lapses and they’re waterproof, two things my Canon M isn’t capable of without modification. Could be fun.
I’ve got my class schedule all planned out for MY LAST SEMESTER O_O. Finally I’ll get to take some in-depth archaeology courses, up to now the offerings have just not worked out for me.
Added to the Travel Map:
Tangalooma Wrecks, Moreton Island, Australia – shipwrecks just off the beach.
Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park, Madagascar – wild rock formations.
Horseshoe Canyon, Canyonlands National Park, Utah – tons of rock art.
Longyearbyen, Norway – northernmost city in the world.
International Spy Museum, Washington, D.C. – pretty much exactly what it sounds like.
Barron, Washington – ghost town.
Canyon Falls, Alberta, Michigan – waterfall in a canyon.
Bears Ears National Monument, Utah – 100,000 archaeological sites.
Bagan Archaeological Zone, Myanmar – the “Plain of Pagodas,” 2,000+ temples.
Ōkunoshima, Japan – this is the island with the zillion rabbits, but I’m more interested in the ruins of the poison gas factory.
I was accepted into the field school in Maryland that I mentioned in my last post! I’ll be spending 10 weeks in St. Mary’s City this summer digging and learning and probably sweating a whole bunch. St. Mary’s City was the original capital of Maryland, and the 2017 field season will focus on the 1634 house of Leonard Calvert, the colony’s first governor. The home later served as a rebel holdout, Maryland’s first statehouse, and an inn, so there’s a wide slice of Colonial American life happening on this one little patch of ground. Should be an interesting summer!
Added to the Travel Map:
Belle Isle, Richmond Virginia – once a Civil War prison, ruins of various things, trails, etc. (Incidentally, why are there so many parks called Belle Isle?)
Fairfield Hills Hospital, Newton, Connecticut – abandoned psychiatric hospital.
Last year when I went to the Florida State Fair I was so enamored with it that I wrote a whole post about it, so of course I had to go again this year. I didn’t spend as much time there because of course I’d seen the permanent exhibits last year but I still loved it. God I love fairs. They’re just the best. Florida State Fair is the best. Go to it.
I sent in my application for an archaeological field school in St. Mary’s City, Maryland! It’ll probably be a little bit before I hear whether I’ve been accepted or not, but here’s hoping! I’ve applied almost two and a half months before their deadline, so hopefully I won’t have any issues with space availability. If I get in I’d love to take the train up from Tampa. I’ve been dying for another train adventure, but there just aren’t that many places to go from here.
Also I hurt my knee crashing an electric scooter. Not even the kind that really wants to be a motorcycle, like a child’s foot-powered scooter with an electric motor in the bottom. Just wiped out on the sidewalk right next to a busy road. Possibly my most ridiculous injury ever.
Added to the Travel Map:
Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, Porter, Indiana – dunes, woods, lake, ya know.
Museum of Ethnology and Anthropology, St. Petersburg, Russia – founded by Peter the Great with curiosities acquired in his travels.
Umpherston Sinkhole, Mount Gambier, Australia – a garden in a collapsed cave.
Corregidor Island, Philippines – WWII ruins.
Boodjamulla National Park, Lawn Hill, Australia – beautiful river gorge in the outback.
Historic St. Mary’s City, Maryland – where I’m hoping to do my field school this summer!