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.