Tuesday, April 5, 2011

My digging journey

A bit of background about me as a student and an archaeologist. When I first got to college I intended to be an artist and run an B&B, I was certain I knew everything and did not need college.  I chose the school based on it being close, cheap(compared to where I dreamed of going) and because friends where going there too.  I met a lot of wonderful people and had some great experiences but did not a thing towards helping my education or advancing my dreams.  I left school and got a beautiful apartment and a job.  I entered into a relationship that was a mistake and found myself scared and pregnant.  My family rescued me and my son inspired me.

Siting up late at night before he was born and after in those months that babies never seem to sleep I realized, that I wanted him to be proud of me and I wanted to be proud of myself and to feel fulfilled.  I thought about my art and acknowledged that I loved creating but did not feel the driving cutting need to paint or sculpt my artist friends, who I respected and whose work touched me, talked about.  I wanted to make beautiful, comforting things that soothed people and that people cherished but I did not NEED to do it as they did.  I enjoyed it and I wanted others to enjoy it too.  I also noticed, prompted a bit by my Mother who sat up some of those nights with me, that left to myself to chose the tv channel I always picked archaeology and history documentaries.  Even in my fun apartment days I did a lot of reading of ancient Egypt, racking up an unspeakable library fine!

Resique's Tavern  - shell buttons and other interesting bits.
So I went back to the university and ended up in an introductory Anthropology course.  Zoom.  That was 12 years ago.  Some might think I would have a degree by now, I certainly do! I've made some mistakes over the years and re-met(we originally met when I was 13, but that is another story) the wonderful man who is my husband! Had 3 more lovely babies who I have had the joy of watching and cuddling as they grow, staying home with them has been worth any length of time it takes me to get this degree done!  My littlest will start kindergarten in three years, I would like to be in graduate school by then.  In reality, I only have a few courses left,  but I am only taking a class or two at a time.  I have worked (for pay and not) on several digs now and am currently working on artifact processing for a two week from last June.  I am working on a poster presentation for the university system symposium and a professional paper with my professor.

So that is the back story but I thought I would add this, it is an excerpt from the field journal from the field school I did and the first dig I was apart of.

6/12/00 - I sat up last night worried, anxious, frightened.  Am I making a mistake? Am I really cut out for this? Will this be fun and interesting or backbreaking-ly dull work? I am going to work from 5-8am and then digging from 8:30 to 3, then playing with my son til 8 and getting everything else done before dropping into bed to wake long before the sun.  (later that day)   So we met today and two minutes into talking all my fears had faded away.  

Summer session dig at Garfield Farm Museum

Grainary/Archaeological station built in 1891

1846 brick tavern made by Timothy Powers Garfield and family.

Excavation unit at Garfield.
Tallow candle making demonstration in period costuming

I had found my dream and my NEED to do that.  I found it further working a dig in a neighboring state this summer at Garfield Farm Museum.  Bringing all my interests together in one venture, history, Archaeology, farming, heritage breeds, spinning, quilting, soap and candle making, hearth cooking, experimentally Archaeology,  and education. 

I hope you have found your way, I hope you live your dreams and know your passions, I hope you find the message in each experience - good and bad, I hope life leads you to were you need to be when you need to be there, I hope you are the person you are meant to be. - Julia

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