I have spent most of my life in East Lansing, Michigan. I grew up here, I attend elementary, middle, high and graduate school here, my family lives here. The time I didn’t spend here was down the street, attending Kalamazoo College. I have made what I consider to be a pretty fantastic life here. This August, however, I’ll be leaving.
This shouldn’t be a surprise to many of you…I’ve been planning on moving to the Chesapeake for a while now, since that is where my dissertation research is located. Now that my proposal has been defended, I can begin the stage in my research where being close to my data is important. What has been up in the air has been the location, as it has revolved around where Ashleigh (@AshHeck), my partner in crime and life, found a new job. A few weeks ago, she was offered a fantastic job at William and Mary, working in their Career Services office, sending us to Williamsburg. We couldn’t have asked for a better spot, as it has plenty to offer both of us.
Needless to say, this is a difficult move for me. I will be leaving behind a family that lives down the street, a community of friends that I will miss seeing every day, a city that is finally pulling together and moving forward behind the strong will of so many great people, and a university that I have only recently been able to fully appreciate for all that it is, and all the amazing opportunities it has afforded me. I have little doubt that living in East Lansing and Lansing, being exposed to Michigan State’s education, and the relationships that I have made along the way, has shaped who I am as a person, and who I will become as a professional. Leaving that behind is a difficult thing to do.
With that said, Williamsburg will provide new opportunities, new challenges, new people, and a new setting. I am excited for the possibilities for both Ashleigh and I professionally. Thanks to generous funding from Historic St. Mary’s City and the MSU Campus Archaeology Program, I will be able to dedicate most of my time to working on my dissertation, and will be located only three hours from my research site and data, housed Historic St. Mary’s City. I am still working on what my schedule will look like, but it will certainly put me in St. Mary’s City, Maryland quite often. William and Mary and Colonial Williamsburg will provide a large community of archaeologists to work with, a fabulous campus to explore, and a town that has embraced and celebrates its past fervently. Ashleigh has what looks to be a fantastic job with great opportunities for her as well. We will also be closer to extended family, who live in Maryland, and will have chance to see them more often.
So, in all, I am full of different emotions about this transition. I’m excited, I’m nervous, I’m sad. I will be moved for good by August 15th, with Ashleigh leaving to start her new job at the beginning of August. So our near future is full of packing, wrapping up things at work, all while stuffing our faces with as many Jersey Giants, Peanut Barrel Olive Burgers, and Golden Harvest breakfast burritos a possible. Of course, I will be back often to visit family and my dissertation committee, and I will be sure to let people know ahead of time.
Thanks for everything, please stay in touch, and please, please, please come and visit. There’s lots to do in Williamsburg.