Friday, October 19, 2012

Time to Update the ol' CV!

Today marks an exciting event in my academic career! Actually, October 10th marked the exciting event, but I didn't notice it until today. Jon Marcoux's volume "The Cherokees of Tuckaleechee Cove," a University of Michigan Museum of Anthropology publication, is officially available! For the first few years of my PhD, I worked on cataloging, describing and analyzing the stone tools from the Townsend sites in Tuckaleechee Cove. Thanks to the many, many hours I logged on this project, I got to be a contributing author on the volume, having helped to co-author the stone tools chapter. I find this particularly exciting because it's my first publication that's actually available for sale on Amazon!

Here is the link to the UMMA new publications:

Thursday, October 18, 2012

I'm back!

I have been quite remiss in my blogging over the last...well, there's a chance it has been too long to count. I suppose I should keep up with this a little better.

It has been a bit of a hectic time lately. I keep saying to myself "Well, once [fill in the blank] is done, things should quiet down a bit." I have found, though, that once we get done with any given [fill in the blank] a whole new [fill in the blank] inevitably appears! So far the list has included: get the kids back to school; get pneumonia at the beginning of the semester; go for my Permanent Residency interview; quick trip to Georgia for my step-son's birthday; Grad Student Annual Report submission; preparations for husband's birthday/Canadian Thanksgiving feast; kids' Fall Break and family camping trip; sick husband; sick Me. Oh, and in the middle of all of this, DISSERTATION WORK!

Thanks to burning the candle at both ends, and somewhere in the middle, I have managed to come down with "the crud" that seems to be circulating around this area right now. The husband had it, and now I've got it. So, today, I am hunkered down at home under a cozy blanket, with a nice hot cup of tea and a pile of dissertation data to play with.

I have officially finished my data collection (barring any revisitation of specimens or a sudden realization that I need some additional data -- which I am certain will happen) and am now enjoying a change of pace. I got into the laboratory groove and was getting pretty zippy at examining specimens by the end. I think I cut my microwear time down from about an hour or more per specimen to about 1/2 to 3/4 of an hour per specimen! It feels strange to be out of the lab now and back in to data analysis and writing mode, but it's very nice to know that I am getting closer and closer to the end of this project.

I am realizing that this blog could actually serve as a pretty nice spot to share some of my findings, once the patterns begin to coalesce. I am a serious proponent of sharing research data. I do NOT believe that, just because I did the data collection, it is mine and mine alone. Other researchers will offer different perspectives, will ask different questions, and through this sharing and collaboration we can create a more reliable (and, hopefully, a less biased) picture of the past. You've heard it here first, folks: I am going to do my best to begin sharing a little bit about my research process and findings here. Dust Cave is an extraordinary archaeological site, and I can't quite bear to keep what I'm learning all to myself!

On that note, though, I need to get back to data organization. I have giant piles of numbers and observations that I am sorting through in order to make them interpretable. That's all for now -- more later.