Proposal: Done. Field School: Begin.

Posted by on May 27, 2010 in Dirt, Research and Engagement | 2 Comments

Although it happened a couple of weeks ago, I successfully defended my dissertation proposal, and have been granted with that somewhat sarcastic (and totally unofficial) title of “ABD”, or “All But Dissertation”. The defense went well: my committee nailed me on what I expected to get nailed on (methodology), and didn’t surprise me with anything else. Some questions and suggestions definitely will help to push my project forward, and make it better in the long run. Of course, this will mean more work, but that’s fine. In all, I’m just happy this step is cleared. I will be posting on my research more in the fall, as this summer is going to be largely taken up by Campus Archaeology.

I am co-directing a field school with my boss Dr. Goldstein on campus through the Campus Archaeology Program. This has taken up most of my time during the month of May, and will almost entirely consume June.tbrokc I’ve never been involved with the planning of a field school before, although I’m not surprised with how much work goes into it. The most stressful has been the ordering and receiving of equipment; there are a lot of channels that we need to go through to make sure we are paying for things correctly, getting the correct equipment, and making sure it arrives on time.

I am also working on a special project for the Field School, which is part of my College Teaching Certification. It is my mentored teaching project, and it will be using a class blog as a means for teaching students to engage with the community about our research through blogging. I’m still ironing out details, but the main objective is to encourage students to interact with the community, and to gain a greater understanding about what they are doing in the field by explaining it to other people and applying it at a level beyond the actual field methods. We are also releasing this blog to the public, so that they can interact with the students and their posts. If you are interested, please visit and subscribe to the RSS feed.

The prospect of an on-campus field school is pretty exciting. It makes a field school accessible to a number of students who may find it economically impossible to attend a field school otherwise. Often, these schools require that students are able to take off 6 weeks of their summer and travel to a remote location. Many students can’t afford to give up that much time without working, and to toss 6 credits of tuition on top of it doesn’t help. The on-campus field school only requires 7 hours a day. Students can work part-time jobs, keep their apartment, live on campus, or sublet from someone. There are a number of cost-cutting options that make this a more economical choice, and therefore a really great thing for our department to be doing.

In any event, over the next month I will be out in the field. I may be able to get a post or two up in the meantime (there are a few other things that have been happening in my life of relevance), but mostly my posts will be at the Campus Archaeology Blog, discussing our findings in the field. Follow along!

  • Congrats on your defense, Terry!

  • I like to think of it as 'Yay BD.' As in, Yay! I finished mt proposal!…. Awww… but…. dissertation.