Hola Enero

January is here.  The holidays are over.  Our decorations have been returned to their boxes until next winter, gifts are all opened, the sweet, decadent treats have been eaten, and all the egg nog drank.  Most of us are lamenting our over indulgence in just these things and are now vowing to turn over a new leaf.

There are 2 things that January bring to mind for me.  The first is mildly irritating.  My gym will be bursting at the seams with all the people who have made a New Year’s resolution to be more fit.  Admirable, but they hog up all the elliptical machines and I have to wait extra long to get my 5k in for the day.  I console myself with the notion that this too shall pass and by mid-February I will have more prime-time access to my favorite elliptical machine.  Yes, us gym regulars have favorite machines to work out on.  Silly, but true.

The other thing I associate with early January is the start of the new semester.  I love the first day of school.  Geeky, but also true.  For those of us who are still on campus at the end of fall semester and return to campus before classes start, it is too quiet.  I miss the students – yes, even when they are naughty.

On the 1st day there is so much promise.  The building come alive with students, walking, talking, and sometimes looking around with confusion about where to go next.  When I arrive in my classroom, they are all there.  Yes, 100% attendance, it only happens again on final exam day.  The difference between that day and today is that today they are excited to be there; eager to see what possibilities the course has to offer them.

Pencils have sharpened points, notebooks are crisp and white. They talk, they contribute, they still think I am cool.  This is all before the mid-semester doldrums hit or they realize that I actually expect them to turn in work.

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Archaeology students surveying a property in James City.

Today we talked of many things – what archaeology is, what they thought it was, if they will have a chance to try it themselves, places archaeologists go. No, we don’t do dinosaurs.  No, I don’t carry a whip and X never marks the spot.

I spoke of doing fieldwork in North Carolina, Florida, Mexico – both on land and underwater.  I make the same 1st day joke I do every semester – I became an archaeologist because they let me have a machete.  They always smile. Yep, cool factor goes up a little.

We also talked about places students can go – Peru, as the students did last year; Most of you have learned all about it too.  This year is Ecuador.  Hopefully, you will hear about our progress towards that trip this semester and what we learn once we return in May.  I started recruiting participants for Ireland as well.  While we wait for Ecuador to come alive, I shall in the coming weeks talk about the things I learned while previewing the Ireland trip in November.

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Comparative Cultures students participating in the Building Community through Art Project with artists from the Dominican Republic in October.

Maybe one or two of my new archaeology students will come along on the Ireland trip, maybe a few will sign up for our summer field school.  I hope all of them will enjoy the course and learn a little more about archaeology than they came in with.

I love the 1st day of school only in the way a teacher can….

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Ann
    Jan 08, 2013 @ 14:20:52

    You make it sound like so much fun… I almost want to enroll!!!! And to on all the trips too!

    Reply

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Chair of Social Science, Humanities,
& Foreign Languages

Liberal Arts & University Transfer
Craven Community College

800 College Court
New Bern, NC 28562
Email: bellaceroc@cravencc.edu
Phone: 252.638.7328
Fax: 252.638.3231

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