Monday Musings: I should really start writing these out on Sunday again …

Seriously, it is like 11:00 at night here.  What am I doing?

I don’t really have anything in particular to talk about in these weeks monday musing.  I suppose I could discuss what I have been doing with my independent study so far.

For those of you who don’t know I am a double major in English and anthropology.  At my school you have a concentration within the anthropology subfield, mine happens to be biological anthropology, but there is also archaeology and cultural anthropology.  Within your concentration you have to do some sort of fieldwork which has taken form for me in an independent study assisting my adviser.

We are working on analyzing infant bones from the Erie County Poorhouse site in upstate New York.  Last semester I helped with some lab work putting the infants in anatomical position.  So far this semester I have helped with some background research.  I have been finding articles pertaining to infant skeletal analysis and I spent hours last week going through all of the records for the Erie County Poorhouse from 1880 through 1886.  That was very tedious.

However, this week I get to begin the endeavor of reconstructing an infant skull.  It basically entails sitting for many hours holding the tiny fragile pieces of the skull while glue dries.  I am super excited for this endeavor and most of my free time this week will be dedicated to the skull.

While the work can be sad at times it is also incredibly interesting and it is a phenomenal experience for me to have especially so early on in my career.

For those of you who might be interested in studying anthropology at school I would highly recommend it.  Anthropology is basically the study of humans (that is an extremely generalized definition but the easiest one I could give you at the moment) and it is a popular class but not necessarily a popular major.  While my concentration is in what most people find the gross science side of anthropology if you are more of a psychology type of person you could look into cultural anthropology which analyzes different cultures, or if you are the get your hands dirty and analyze pots and knives type of person you could look into archaeology.  Some people also look at linguistics as a subfield of anthropology so if you are particularly interested in languages and how they are constructed you could see if there are courses or degrees in that.

Many people when they hear about both my majors feel that they don’t match up well.  However, I have always taken the stand that literature is in itself a study of humans.  We write stories down to tell about our history, to look into our minds, to try and see from another’s point of view and all of these are common in anthropological research.  I have always liked stepping into someone else’s shoes and am looking forward to teaching others about my views one day.

What do you think about your major?  Have you ever taken any anthropology classes?  Would you?

I will be back on Wednesday with a new book review for you guys.  Look forward to it!  I hope you had a great weekend filled with the music of the Pied Piper.


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