Hello Budapest, Eager to Meet You

I started this blog as a way to reflect upon the cultural study tours I embarked on with students. It was a direct result of processing our experience in Peru. And then it kept going…. interestingly enough, people other than my mom wanted to read about it and started following this page.

But about a year and a half ago I changed roles at my institution and this blog sat oddly silent since. What I do now is less, well teacher-y and more administrative. Challenging and rewarding in its own right, but the give and take led to relinquishing the student travel program to someone else’s capable hands.

This is my first adventure sans students. Eastern Europe, particularly Budapest, has been on my bucket list for a while. Eager to start exploring.

*SPOILER ALERT* for those of you who know me, I have a love-hate relationship with the jungle. I love to hate it. There will be no jungle this trip, that’s right – no giant man eating bugs, no rotten brigdges to cross over dizzzing heights, no waterfalls to scale. Sorry if you were hoping for another of my rants on the jungle and why I hate it. Anyway I digress…

Already, less than 48 hours in, this trip has taught me things.

First, I don’t sleep. I’m not the best sleeper at home either, but I always blames my inability to sleep abroad on my worry over what the students were actually doing while they were supposed to be sleeping. Can’t blame them this trip. Hence, my 3 am blogging. 

Second. You can take the girl out of Anthropolgy but you can’t take anthropology out of the girl. Observering, recording, reflecting, interpreting – its second nature now, even without the students. Thank you East Carolina University and Florida State University, you have made me, well me. Fortune and glory, my friend. Indiana Jones had it right 🙂

So for this trip, no students, no jungle, but still musings about where I am and what I learn. As is often the case, cultural exploration is not only about experiencing the other, but also learning about yourself while reflecting on your journey. 

Well, it’s almost late, or early enough?, to pretend I’m just an early riser and head out for some coffee on deck. Oh, did I mention this adventure is a cruise, a taste of 5 countries. With someone else doing the planning and logistics. We shall see if the control freak can let go….and enjoy. Touring the city today. Update you all when I return.

Glad you are along for the ride. 


Pearl of the Danube

It has been a while my friends!

This adventure has a new theme, purely for fun – no students, no study, just exploration of a new place in the world with friends. 

We start our journey in Budapest, Hungary. I hope you will join my musings.  Today was a travel day. 23 hours to get here. Our gypsy is tired! Tomorrow starts our adventure in Eastern Europe. Can’t wait. Until then a few photos to tide you over.

The view from our ship.

Jeff has found some golf fun already!

A few selfies from our wine tasting aboard ship.

The Autumn Equinox is Here! Wait, Whats the Autumn Equinox?

Happy Fall, Y’all!


It comes twice a year and is related to the change in seasons, but a lot of people don’t understand this celestial alignment.

Source: The Autumn Equinox is Here! Wait, Whats the Autumn Equinox?

I Love the First Day of School!


I love the first day of school.  Geeky, but true.  For those of us who are still on campus at the end of the academic year, summers are way 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.

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, Ecuador, Ireland, Costa Rica as part of our study abroad program; Most of you have learned all about it too.  This year is Scotland.  Hopefully, you will hear about our progress towards that trip this semester and what we learn once we return in May.  Maybe one or two of my new archaeology students will come along on the Scotland trip.  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….

¿Estás lista? ¡Es casi la hora de salir para Costa Rica !

Craven Students Abroad!


Hi there study abroad fans!  The hour is near – only 2 more days until we leave for Study Abroad Costa Rica 2015.  I cannot wait for the rest of the ladies to meet our friends at Immerson Abroad Costa Rica.  Odie and her staff have prepared a wonderful adventure for us.


Check and double check your packing lists!  Don’t forget to pack a gift for you host Mom too.

Knight passport

Knight the panther is all set and ready to go.  Make sure you are too.  Knight will be photo journaling his way through our Costa Rica trip.  Stay tuned for some student update here on this page and check in at the Study Abroad Club @ Craven Community College facebook page to see what highjinks Knight will find himself embroiled in.

¡Hasta Pronto!

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Mayday and the Celtic festival of Bealtaine | Irish Archaeology

Happy May Day! I am ready to celebrate Spring.  Ironically, it is cold here today!

Mayday and the Celtic festival of Bealtaine | Irish Archaeology.

The Meaning of St. Patrick’s Day

For all my friends in Bundoran, We miss you….Lá Fhéile Pádraig Sona Daoibh

The Random Musings of a Gypsy Archaeologist...

Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day gives people of Irish descent a sense of pride in their heritage; a chance to celebrate their national and ethnic identity.  There are no leprechauns, rainbows, or pots of gold anywhere in this equation.  It is also not just an excuse to drink green beer or drink to excess.  In fact, to many people of Irish descent I know, this is offensive.  According to my friend Niamh, here are the rules for St. Patrick’s Day:

“The rules are… It’s St.Patrick’s Day, or Paddy’s Day, but NEVER St.Patty’s. Car Bombs were WMDs and drinks of same name are in extremely bad taste.There will be lots of great musicians around playing great music: go listen to them. Laugh, sing and have fun with friends, real Irish culture is all about the craic. And shun the leprechaun!”

Bundorna ST Paddys

Okay, since we are celebrating all things Irish in preparation for our…

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What Statistics Show about Study Abroad Students | Study Abroad

An interesting read with statistics about how study abroad impacts students both academically and in finding employment. 

What Statistics Show about Study Abroad Students | Study Abroad.

2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 5,400 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

The solstice is a turning point in the year, a good time to reverse heritage cutbacks

The solstice is a turning point in the year, a good time to reverse heritage cutbacks.

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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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