Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Graduation: check!

ASU School of Human Evolution and Social Change

I didn't learn a bit of Spanish, but I still managed to get As in both of my community college courses.  I sent the official transcripts to ASU, and I just learned that they conferred my B.A. in Anthropology on August 5th.

In spite of this successful milestone and my continued interest in Archaeology, I have decided to suspend my pursuit of graduate studies in the field. Instead, I am re-focusing on my current profession, i.e., embedded software design and development.

The cold, hard truth is that my financial commitments cannot be met with the pay I will find in the social sciences, but working as an aerospace engineer will pay the bills.  I love archaeology, but I also love spaceflight and astronomy.  I am attending the University of North Dakota beginning this semester, working toward an M.S. in Space Studies.  I'm also encouraging my company (a relatively small engineering firm) to pursue work in the growing Commercial Space field, and hope to be a part of humanity's journey into the solar system.

If you want to keep up with me as I take a different path, you can follow me at my new Twitter account @ElevenPointTwo, or on my new blog, ElevenPoint2.

I'm not turning my back on Archaeology, just on a career in Archaeology.  I plan to stay active in the OAC, read papers that interest me regarding the American Southwest and/or Ancient Urbanism, volunteer at local digs when I can, and attend a conference now and then.  But it is definitely being re-classified as a hobby.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


I was honored to be invited to contribute to Anthropologies, which focused on archaeology as a part of anthropology.  My short essay More than Strata and Sherds appears in the May issue.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Finish the damn B.A.

I've been away for a while.

My career as a "non-traditional" student ground to a halt after the Fall 2009 semester, when I seemed to be out of viable options.  Back in September, I blogged at the OAC about abandoning my goal of a Ph.D. and instead finding other ways to work as an anthropologist/archaeologist (I included links to some excellent Applied Masters programs in the U.S.).

Even though I have not taken a course for some time, I have involved myself by attending a conference and a few lectures, continuing to read papers that interest me, and staying in touch with a couple of my professors.

I had the great fortune to observe my 50th birthday last month.  The approach and arrival of this dubious celebration triggered a "last chance" attitude for me with regard to my continued involvement in anthropology, and I decided that any action was better than no action.  Here are my current plans and options:

  1. Finish the damn B.A.  No matter what I do, holding the degree is way better than trying to explain to a potential employer or graduate program that I have 30 or so credits hours in anthropology.  My academic advisor at ASU informed me that I could take SPA 201 and 202 at the community college and then simply apply for graduation.  I managed to find two four-week Spanish courses at Phoenix College that are completely online via Blackboard, and I'm already two weeks into the first one.  I should be able to graduate in August.
Hmm... so what is number 2?  Pursue a  Masters of some sort?  Get my hands dirty working for a local CRM firm part time, or volunteering with a group like SWAT?  Ok, it turns out I don't have a plan yet beyond #1.  No matter, finishing my first degree in Anthropology is a start.  I have a couple of ideas cooking that may be options, but I'll address those in a later post.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Mimbres Lives and Landscapes

While attending the 2010 Mogollon Conference last October, Margaret Nelson and Michelle Hegmon presented some of their recent work in the Mimbres area (see my summaries here).

These two professors from Arizona State University had recently edited a book dedicated to the Mimbres culture, but the hardcover version was a little too pricey for me.  Mimbres Lives and Landscapes is a SAR Press publication, and they have chapter one available for download as a PDF.

Not sure how I missed it, but the paperback version has been available for a few months now.  I ordered my copy tonight, so I'll try to write up a book review as soon as I can.