Early Afternoon October 25, 2014
Heh! They weren't kidding when they said, "You'll find it at Freddys."
Time flies when you're in graduate school apparently. The first five weeks (midterm) are already in the books. So much has happened in my life, I'm only going to be able to hit some of the high points. We're making memories a lot lately here at the Calico Ranch.
I suppose that by now a lot of you have heard about my really big news:
After a year of trying, Cassi and I are expecting a baby! Our first ultrasound is scheduled for November 3rd, and the doctor says we are probably at five weeks or less. We are extremely excited and beyond happy. So, the last year finally paid off (although I wasn't complaining), and we're shifting quickly into baby mode. Ayden is pretty pumped up as well and has already declared her desire for a little sister. Most of the extended family is hoping for a boy if they have their druthers (we have tons of girls that we adore), and I keep telling everyone that it's twins. Heh! We're jazzed for the ultrasound appointment.
Five weeks into the fifth year of this part of my academic adventure (has it really been that long?), and I'm happy to report that school has reached a whole new level of....amazing. So far, I've been nothing but pleased about my choice to enter the Cultural Resource and Environmental Management graduate program at Central Washington University. Along with a myriad of other things, I've truly enjoyed spending the last five weeks with my cohort, as my personal understanding of the concepts of "culture, resources, and environment" has begun to deepen.
The big challenge so far has been to juggle the workload harmoniously. I've got three classes (full time enrollment), an independent study class, a project for this year's Society for American Archeology conference, a project for next year's American Anthropological Association conference, an archaeological project on the back burner in the State of Indiana, a twenty hour/week graduate teaching assistant position, my Master's thesis, and my life and family workload to consider. My grades are good so far, but I'm falling behind slowly in more than a couple areas. Gotta push a little harder it seems...that's been the mantra for the last five weeks, and I don't see it stopping soon (ever?). My skill and confidence levels are both growing exponentially however, and I'm leaning into the struggle with relish. I'm already excited about what I will know, and how the world will look to me two years from now...
"Well, I finally found a reason. I don't need an excuse. I've got this time on my hands..."
I spent several hours this past week discussing future work on my Master's thesis project with Greg Burtchard; the park archaeologist at Mount Rainier National Park (MORA). For the past 2 years, all my own research has been informed or inspired by Greg's groundbreaking work at MORA. I'm proud to say that in the near future (proposal pending), I will be working directly with Greg (somebody pinch me) as he culminates his career. I hope to soon be analyzing artifacts which comprise the earliest evidence of human occupation in the mountains of North America (pinch me again please). It will be my extreme honor to add a brick to the wall of human knowledge surrounding the subject of ancient North American hunter-gatherer adaptations and overall human land-use in an upland context/montane environment. Heh! Don't even try to stop me.
Dave ~ Until they stop YOU, ride, shoot straight, and speak the truth!