Friday, June 5, 2015

                Hi everyone! I'm Becca Stoddard and I'll be a junior at WMU this upcoming fall. I'm an anthropology major with a minor in public history and just as I was hoping, this field school is an affirmation of my passions in study. This is my first  field experience and I'm loving almost  every minute of it.
Removing the last of the roots.
(photo by John Cardinal)

                If you've been keeping up with our blogs you probably know that the past week has been rather stressful for me, my unit partner, Austin, and the group as a whole. You may have read Austin's blog, where he talked a little about our unit and our battle with roots. As a little follow up for you, I'm happy to share that we've finally moved past the root problem! Being excited to move into a new unit only to have a rough start was a little disheartening and created some stress on me and Austin, always feeling like you've done so much work only to find out that you've just  cut out one of your many roots was not very fun. However, like I said, by going deeper in our unit we've moved pass the root problem and we're excited to keep moving forward. Along with our personal stress over our unit, the group as a whole has had a few rough days.  I think it's safe to say that no project can be complete without a few bumps along the way. From the flooding of the site over the weekend to the business of moving sites, getting new partners with new units and picking up the pace of our work, things have gotten a little crazy at times. What strikes me is that after the day is over, us students seem to be able to leave the stress of the field on the field; maybe with the help a quick nap or a cup of coffee. It's amazing to me how fast the group has bonded, and now as week four is coming to a close, it feels like we've been together for much longer than that. There isn't a single person here that I would feel uncomfortable talking or working with or who I wouldn't call a friend. I think that's the special thing about living in a learning community like this. Having to spend every hour of the day with each other seems to only make our friendships grow, as cheesy as that sounds. Feeling so comfortable around each other allows us to benefit from one another on a personal and educational level. Getting to know my peers on a more personal level has provided the comfort and respect that is sometimes needed on the field to critically teach and encourage one another.  If we weren't living together and only seeing one another for a few hours a day, I think things would be very different. Although we do have fun on the field, most of our bonding forms after work hours. When you have a group of equally tired college students who can bond over common interest and who are living in such close quarters, fun times are hard to avoid. We're only half way through our time at Fort St. Joseph and I'm thrilled to see how our relationships and interactions with each other will develop even further.
Guest lecturer Dr. Ian Kuijt.
(photo by James Schwaderer)

                 Yesterday marked the first Wednesday of our summer lecture series held at the Niles District Library. Our first guest speaker was Dr. Ian Kuijt from the University of Notre  Dame, he shared his research on the archaeology of 18th-20th century Irish architecture with us. What really caught my attention from his lecture was his method of ethnoarchaeology, which is essentially mixing cultural anthropology with the study of archaeology. These are two parts of anthropology that I have the most interest in so it was exciting for me to see how the two fields can work together. There will be an official summary of the lecture coming soon so definitely keep an eye out for that and join us for our future lectures, Wednesdays at 7pm!

- Becca

No comments: