So I have been Penn State University Park for one semester and there is so much that goes on here. I had absolutely no idea. The tour that I took prior to the beginning of the semester did not mention any of the activities that go on here.
This semester I am taking 6 courses (Anth 405- Primatology, Bio 240w, Anth 460-Human Genetics, Anth 022- Humans as Primates, Ling 100- Foundations of Linguistics and Bio 411- Medical Embryology). I know it looks like a heavy course load but a lot of the material overlaps.
I joined the Adult Learners of Penn State and learned about the Global Connections Office. So I decided to volunteer for the Conversation Partners Program. From what I understand it basically is a group of international students that are led in conversation by a native English speaker (me). I am hoping to meet new people, learn about other cultures and hopefully another language in the process. I also have an appointment with Dr. Milner about volunteering in the Maston Anthropology Museum on campus. I may be over extending myself a bit, but I want to be involved in everything I can.
Graduate school is on my mind also. I am currently exploring 14 different programs across the country. but I have a feeling that I will end up at Penn State, Temple, Rutgers or possibly University of Penn (though it is a far reach).
At the present time, I am working on completing my degree in Biological Anthropology at Penn State. I have approximately three semesters left and then on to graduate school.
I am also hard at work on completing a research paper on my experiences at Cueva Negra and Sima de las Palomas. Unfortunately, a lot of the scholarly articles are written in Spanish. Nonetheless, some of the people I met at Cueva Negra and Sima de las Palomas are helping me with gathering articles and information that they have used to present research papers at their home universities.
Sadly, today is the last day of Sima de las Palomas. It has been fun and exciting. In the last few days, we went to Cartagena and saw some amazing Roman ruins. I did not realize the extent of the Roman empire reached so far. We found some awesome lithics but I was unable to get a picture of all of them because they got packed up and sent ot University of Murcia before I had the chance.
We also visited the lab of Dr. Michael Walker at the University of Murcia. We actually got to see the Neanderthal bones that were excavated and are still in the process of being cleaned. I am pretty sure that I want to attend grad school in another country. Since my interests lie with the Neanderthals it would only make sense.
Just got finished in the lab. Can we say that my right hand is almost completely numb? Antonio (one of the staff here) heard that I am talented with the drill (wonder who told him that). He asked me to get through this huge hunk of conglemerate to this piece of chert. Guess who got through 90% of the conglomerate? That´s right, I did. Probably one more session and the chert will be free. I did not take a before photo. I did not think of it until after it was mostly free. I will take a photo of it when the chert is compeletly free.
I also felt well enough to go to the dig site. I did not dig but ended up being the roper. Which isn´t too bad until you see all the chert and lithics that people were finding. I will be digging next time I go to the site if I have to bribe someone.
Yeah! So there is a virus going around the field school and at present 7 people are ill including me. I feel like death is waiting in the wings for me. It is not fun being sick in another country. It quite frankly embarassing. I had to run out of Dr. Walker´s lecture twice yesterday because I felt so bad.
Today I worked in lab in the morning and for about an hour in the afternoon before I realized that I had no energy to even count let alone classify various bones. So I went to bed and woke up for dinner and barely ate. Ahh the life in the field school.
I heard that Winston Zack found multiple lithics today and two horse teeth. I am hoping that he took some pictures so that I can get a copy and post here.
Today, I was in the lab. I went through almost three bags. I cleaned this bone today:
After lunch, I will actively be digging on the site of Sima. Let us all cross our fingers and hope a nice Neanderthal bone is found today.
Sorry I haven´t written in a few days. I have been exhausted. Sima is harder than Cueva was.
Today I sieved and worked in the lab. Unfortunately today I did not find anything remotely exciting to report. A lot of microfaunal bones were found. In lab we spent the entire time breaking up conglomerate that is a lot harder than one would think. ç
Yesterday, I dug at the site. I found one lithic that wasn´t as impressive as I hope to find. In the north wall of Sima there is a Neanderthal baby but it is currently not being excavated.