what i discovered today

research at the phd level

Wednesday 2 September, 2009 September 2, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — illustratedcatalogueofmagic @ 4:40 pm

In the past few days I have been processing batches from the Spretta Meadow core.  After tonight, these will be entirely ready to go through the SPT phase.  It hasn’t taken too long to get them to this state — maybe six hours in total.  That’s for about 40 samples.

I also checked out several books from the library.  There are surprisingly few anthropology books about the landscape — Ingold, Bender, Ucko, and Tilley are the only ones coming to mind, and three of those are archaeologists — so while that makes it easy to research it also means that there is not a lot of variety.

I would really like to read what someone has written about the social strategies that people develop for life in marginal environments.


Tuesday 23 June 2009 June 23, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — illustratedcatalogueofmagic @ 3:01 pm
Tags: ,

Must… get… better… at updating!!  Aaah.  Oh well, all is a work in progress.

Spent yesterday getting an emergency passport so I can travel for fieldwork.  Not a fantastic experience but… an experience nevertheless.

Today we had a chronology group meeting that was extremely helpful.  One of the members spoke about his recent confirmation of status and told us the following bits of advice for actually writing up the thesis:

“Be able to describe your thesis in two sentences.  Structure is the most important part of it, treat this as a massive extended essay, just answering one question — and that question should ideally be your title.  For example, “Developing new methods in ____ and then applying them to ______” allows a minor cheat for you to talk about development of methodology more.  Side projects may have to go somewhere else, as in, not into the thesis.  Get to what you did and don’t spend too many words or pages on your background information.  The title is critical — be specific to what you have done, but not ALL that you did.”

Very useful and words to remember.  Always keep the final product in mind.  Other projects are papers.

Links into an article on www.historiann.com about how quickly people should complete theses… their opinion is that long drawn out ones are good, but the commenters apparently don’t understand financial constraints?  Then again, they are also not in the British system, so that might have something to do with it.

Things to think about: emailing Vicky about lab work, GISPS, the Little Ice Age, and conference proceedings as publications.

Leaving for Iceland on Saturday, hope I’m ready for this sampling!  Rock on.


Thursday 3 June 2009 June 4, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — illustratedcatalogueofmagic @ 3:48 pm

Lots of work has actually been occurring these past few days.

I made an outline of my entire DPhil, essentially, and even though the results and conclusion sections were totally blank — and the later chapters noticeably absent of details — I think it was probably pretty accurate and also pretty interesting.  I can almost see the end in sight (hopefully in slightly over a year).  I JUST WANT TO BE DONE.  Oh my god.  I can’t wait.

I still don’t have my passport or visa and am getting seriously concerned about it, as I am leaving for Iceland in only three weeks.  Yurgh.  My greatest fear is that my visa will be denied, while I am in Iceland (after having obtained an emergency passport from the US embassy) and then I will have to fly back to Denver from Reykjavik at a large expense.  For example, I thought that I might hedge my bets and buy a refundable ticket for just that… a refundable ticket for that flight, according to expedia, is $2504 and routes me through London.  A non-refundable ticket for right now is $500 but of course that price will skyrocket as we come nearer to the date.

I have also been doing a lot of reading, trying to get through articles.

1. Gender in archaeology’s take on women in Scandinavia in the Iron Age and the Viking Age — theoretically women’s status dropped as religion shifted to warrior cult in Viking Age, who knows/unclear.  Alternately women may have had a spinning industry?  Isn’t this also true in the SWern US Pueblo cultures?

2. Lots of different NABO articles about Iceland and Greenland.  Patterns of settlement there, and also the massive hall at Hofstadir, which apparently had cow skulls hanging on its outer walls (Awesome!).

I still feel like moving through these articles is like moving through molasses, and that as I finish one, a bazillion more crop up.  Oh well.


Monday 25 May 2009 May 25, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — illustratedcatalogueofmagic @ 2:57 pm

Spent essentially all of last week making contacts with people, talking about my article, trying to make said article better, saying I’d do more with Anglo-Saxon radiocarbon dates, and, more than anything, trying to get set up to teach tutorials next year.  Yurgh.  So not terribly accomplishful on other fronts.

On the plus side, I got an honourable mention for the NSF GRFP — no monies but an honourable mention is better than a flat-out rejection.


Wednesday 6 May, 2009 May 7, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — illustratedcatalogueofmagic @ 9:37 am

I spent about five hours today working on the ASA article.  Then my brain absolutely blew a gasket and I had to retire at about 3:30.  Twas sad.


Monday, 4 May 2009 May 4, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — illustratedcatalogueofmagic @ 4:35 pm

Today is a bank holiday and that has been terrible for me.  No pie for lunch due to Market being closed, still working, weather awful (cloudy with spitting rain and about 10C), have to eat dinner in College due to shops being closed after I am done with work, and the library was also closed.  Ugh.

The plan for today is to get started on planning the Orkneys trip (done!) and to finish the article for the ASAAH (not done!).  And… that is still the plan for today.


Friday, 1 May 2009 May 1, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — illustratedcatalogueofmagic @ 3:41 pm

Not a terribly productive day, I would like to say I was up early for May Morning but I wasn’t REALLY though I did hear a lot of people going past my window at about 4:45 am.

Have just been working on my article for ASAAH — for which I think I have a respectable outline and now just need to flesh it out — and then read most of the Neanderthal division of labor article, which is fascinating reading.  I am hoping to write an article for a popular science type publication called “It’s Culture, not Nature” (with the implied “stupid”) left off — about how it is not in our “nature” ie biology to have certain behaviors, rather that it is entirely learned (and therefore about the culture — ie, the “gender”).  All of my points have so far been made by this article so I’m not really sure how to approach it but we shall see.