Bills and such

You know, for as much as spending all your hard-earned money (and I'm saying, literally ALL moneys) on car payments, student loans, and health insurance sucks, it sure does feel good to say, "I'm doing it all by myself." Sure, I'm living at home and mom and dad are still paying for food and cell phone usage, but I'm building good credit for myself already. My first three loan payments have all been early. :)

Here's to hoping that I may actually have enough money for Christmas presents!


The Future is Bright

Just had a meeting with the professors at Bryn Mawr College's grad school Archaeology department and I'm feeling pretty good about it. I just felt like, "eh" after my meeting at Arcadia, but at Bryn Mawr most of the faculty made it a point to come and meet with me and talk to me. I sat with five professors that I might be working with and they questioned me with all kinds of things I wasn't quite ready for. It was much different than my meeting at Arcadia. It made me realize that...I really really really really want to stick with Archaeology. I love it too much to stay away. I had a blast just chatting with the professors.

Then they actually introduced me to some of the students already in the program and I sat and chatted with them for a bit. Bryn Mawr doesn't have just one library. It's awesome. I'm sure that all Universities with grad school programs are like that, but I was so excited about it. The archaeology, history, and classical studies department all share the library. It was full of all kinds of awesome books that I was ravenous to grab up. It was really nice to chat with the students. I learned a lot from them.

Overall I think the whole thing went pretty well and Bryn Mawr is definitely staying at the top of my list!! XD


Worst Day of Work Ever

I feel so horrible. Lunch was going really well today until the older kids came in. It was picture day so everyone got to dress down and wear whatever they wanted so I think they were a little hyper. Well, 8th grade cleaners who wipe down the tables after lunch everyday were spraying some of the other kids and so I had the entire class stay up in their homeroom with their teacher to talk about it. They all got checks. I've had to tell mostly everyone at one point or another. All of them. Got checks. It's Paul's first check (surprise, mom) and it was from his big sister. I'm sure it was Isabel's first check, too. I actually sat in my car and cried about it for about 5 minutes afterward. I don't think I can give another check again.

I always use it to threaten the kids and yell at them when they're misbehaving, but I've never used it ever, and now I never will again. ;___;


You know, I believe I have made the right choice as far as choosing a job goes. I don't dread waking up and going to work. I only dread working at the school all day and then working at the home all evening because it's just so tiring. I've been nervous about certain parts of working at the school, for instance, today. I'm subbing for the Language Arts teacher for the 6th, 7th, & 8th grade. She also teaches Tech. I haven't had to teach any of the older grades yet. Little kids are easier to teach. I really enjoy what I'm doing, but I think I enjoy it even more by believing that this time next year I'll be well into the swing of grad school instead of working again.

However, I shall never turn down a substituting opportunity, for it adds greatly to my income! Yay for finally feeling comfortable about paying back student loans! It only took 2 months, but I'm not a-scared of you anymore, student loans! MWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

Now if only I could strangle the insurance company into cooperating and giving me my damned health coverage back!!!!


It appears I am working myself into a routine, finally. I just need to find a way to keep myself from spending my money so fast. I don't really get it because the only thing I spend money on in gas and food. Ok, so this past weekend I did spend quite a bit, but it was for Melissa's birthday! And actually, "quite a bit" is relative to how much money was actually in the bank - I spent most of it, but I really only spent maybe $60? For a drive down to Maryland, then riding the metro all weekend, buying dinner, and going to a comic convention, I think that's pretty damned good. Especially with Melissa's help in using her Cost Co card for gas that was only $2.12 a gallon! woot woot! However, I think there will be less weekend spending than that, usually.

Last night I did some mega cleaning. It was weird! haha. My mom asked if I could either dust or vacuum when I got home from work and she would do whichever I didn't. I dusted. When the boys got home, I made them do the windows and empty the dishwasher while I made spaghetties. After dinner...I vacuumed. Everything. Couches, corners, my own room. My room REALLY needed to be vacuumed. haha. There were actually piles of dog hair, blech. The dog never really came into my room before, but now that I'm usually the only one home for points during the day, she insists on keeping me company by sitting next to me while I'm on the computer. Silly doggy.

I'm so excited, I talked to my boss about my work schedule for October, and I now have the routine of working every other Saturday instead of every Saturday. Yay! I don't want to be a loser and work every weekend! My weeks are still gonna suck, but hey, what can ya do. Money's gotta come in.

I need more books to read. I really need to try to get to the library. Anyone have any good books they're willing to lend me? I'm going to make Stuart bring a couple when he comes over on Sunday. haha.

DENISE! um. I guess we should try to get together on Friday sometime. Damn, I work 4-8:30. um. We'll figure it out. Morning would probably be best. :/

EDIT: Actually, I think I may be getting sick of this. I want to get out. Fast. I want to be back in a university setting and I want to keep learning. A message on facebook from a former professor reminded me how much I really really really want to go back. Application researching NOW.


Well, it's been quite a while. I did not realize that it's been nearly a whole month since my last post! Work is going well. I started today as the lunch room supervisor at the grade school. It went well, though we'll see what happens when kindergarten joins them! It's always a nice relief to have the other kids come in. You don't have to look after them, walk around as much, they're more laid back. Monday is my first full day working there. I'll be the art aid! Yay! I love art!!! heehee. Tomorrow is my first experience working two jobs in one day - we'll see how tired I am by the end of the day.

Does anyone have some good books for me to read? My supply is quickly dwindling, and the one I bought of Amazon two and half weeks ago has until tomorrow to arrive before I send an angry email demanding my $9.98 back! I have other books I'd like to buy. I just finished the one my grammom lent me: Sarah's Key. Boy, if you're looking for a real cry fest, try this one out! I'm going to try out the local libraries. I've avoided them for about 8 years now because they were always horrible. If I needed research for simple 5 page papers in high school (nothing too scholarly, something one should be able to find in any library) it was completely non-existent in these libraries. Maybe their pleasure-reading material will be better. Though the stuff I like to read may not be there. I'm especially hoping to read up various religious theologies, and especially east Asian books on meditation. I miss my Kendo meditations. I need to start them over again. Right now I'm especially looking for a Buddhist author named Thich Nhat Hanh. I have no idea how that is properly pronounced.

I've begun my serious investigation of new graduate schools. My list consists of 11 (it would be 12 but I've already crossed one off). I'd like to have 15 to narrow down to 8 and then apply to those 8. Better save up the money for that! Some places are only $50 for an application, but others can be up to $90! I've really only looked thoroughly into Catholic University, but I'm working on it!

My list is:
  • Catholic University in Washington, DC - Department of Semitic & Egyptian Languages & Cultures (THEY HAVE AKKADIAN AND UGARIT!!!!)
  • Johns Hopkins University - Northwest Semitic Languages & Literatures
  • Bryn Mawr College Graduate Program - Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology
  • University of Pennsylvania - Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations
  • Jewish Theological Seminary in NYC - Bible and Ancient Semitic Languages
  • Arcadia University
  • Georgetown University
  • Yale University
  • Cornell University
  • Boston University
  • Indiana University of PA
That's what I've got so far. Working hard at it. Now all I have to do is look up scholarships and such. I'll be looking into my various honors societies (Phi Kappa Phi, Theta Alpha Kappa, Phi Sigma Iota) and become a member of ASOR and SBL and look more into Fulbright scholarships/fellowships, and then I'll have 6 places where I can get financial aid from besides the university and the government. Maybe I'll read up on Obama's speech and see what he had to say, lol. I haven't heard it yet.

And you know what else? Working isn't so bad afterall. I was afraid of starting to work. If you find something you at least enjoy, it's not all bad. All I could think about was work that I didn't want to do, but what I have now isn't too bad. I'm just not going to settle in because there is NO WAY I'm not getting to grad school next year.

Alright, I'm getting back to work now. tooles.


The real work starts...

I had work again today. Man, what an initiation. Everyone was doing exceptionally well and there was actually a lot of lag time. We even put the Phillies game on. Then it hit. At 7:30 we started putting everyone to bed. 7 out of 8 had the WORST dirty diapers you could imagine! OMG, it was horrendous.

My supervisor laughed and said, "Well how's that for your initiation!" haha. I go back again tomorrow for my first full weekend shift. We're taking the kids on an outing to the carnival in Emmaus! The aid I worked with tonight is working again tomorrow. Everyone there is just so pleasant to work with, I'm so glad. It has it's drama, of course, but it's really very tame - the worst of it comes from the consumers' families.

Tonight my parents went out for dinner with the Washko's and the Sounder's and the Washko boys are spending the night here. I'm going to see if they haven't found the oreo ice cream yet and try and eat it sneakily before they notice I have it. >.<

(Grammom: that smile face is supposed to be someone squeezing their eyes really tight - "><" - and pursing their lips - "." hahaha)

Oh! Speaking of Grammom! We went to Washington, DC yesterday! It was a blast. I'll have to put the pictures up soon! We went to Arlington Cemetery and saw the Kennedy graves and the changing of the guards at the tomb of the unknown soldiers; Washington monument, Lincoln memorial, Vietnam memorial, WWII memorial; and the Museum of Natural Sciences - my favorite #nerd alert!!!


The Beach The Beach The Beach!!!!!!

Yay!!!! I'm going to the shore tomorrow!!!! I'm so excited!!!! I haven't been to the Jersey shore in 2 years!!!! I miss it! We're just going down for the day because we don't have enough money to stay for more than that, but that's ok with me. As long as I can sit on the beach and go swimming and walk on the boardwalk and get ice cream and boardwalk fries and salt water taffy. We're planning on leaving bright and early - by 6:30. Eric's been giving it a hard time and arguing against going down so early, but he's always a scrooge, especially when it comes to the shore. I set my alarm for 4:30 so I can shave and make coffee and breakfast because I want to get down there asap!

Today was also my first day of work at the Bally house for LifePath. I was pretty nervous because I've never had to care for people before. It was actually really nice. My fellow coworkers are super nice and great to work with. They did a good job teaching me everything and after about an hour of showing me around the house (showing me where charts, meds, equipment are, etc) and showing me all the paperwork, I dove in with feeding the consumers. At the end of the shift, I also helped change diapers before bedtime (totally need to work on that) and helped put them to bed. They are such pleasant people to work with, I'm so happy. And the consumers are very responsive; I think I'm going to get attached real easy.

When I came home my dad told me that Mrs. Schleeweiss had called for me. She's the principle at St. Philip's. She wants me to help out as an art aid and on lunch duty this year - she even said that she already has like, 4 dates where she knows she needs a sub and wants me to do it! I'm calling her first thing Wednesday and telling her YES! That means I'll have a job and can stop trying to look for something and can actually start a very in-depth search for a loooong list of grad schools to apply to. I was feeling quite overwhelmed having to look for a job AND grad schools at the same time. Maybe now I can sign up for some night classes at MontCo for French/German/PoliSci courses to boost up my transcripts.

See? Things always find a way to work themselves out. You just have to keep hope! :D



WOOOO! We just finished our last day on the Tel!!!! We finished with enough time for Lesley, Marcella, and I to pull a prank on Cameron and Adam (we took pottery from our dump pile and filled Adam's bag). haha. There was even enough time for him to prank us back and put it all in my bag. booo. Sweeping was tough, though I got to sweep some in the "sondage" area. Man, those ramparts/glacis are pretty sweet. You can see everything around the tel from that view. I should have gotten a photo... I still have tomorrow, I'm one of the "gazelles". haha. We leave at 5am.

"Gazelles" are what we call the small, agile people who are taken up to the tel for final photos. They're chosen for size because they give a good scale for what is found (and don't make pillars look like little rocks), and also for agility because they have to hop around the fields on stones/rocks/etc without leaving footprints. I've always enjoyed being a gazelle. You get to see an essential part of the publishing for the excavations.

I'm patiently waiting for my milk shake... Dan took a group to Elvis Burger and didn't invite Lesley, Marcella, or me, so we talked him into getting us milk shakes if we gave him the money. I can't wait! mm...coffee milk shake...

Anywho, I'm just so excited that it's all done and all that's left is paperwork! I had to give a brief update. You most likely will not hear from me until...next Monday, unless I seriously seriously need a break from paperwork. I just want to blow through it all as fast - yet tediously! - as I can.

Mom, dad, grammom, anyone else: If you would like to contact me, email me! It's the easiest way at this point. :) Love you all and I'll be home in5 days!!!! wooooo!!!!


Nearing the End...

*phew* This has been one tiring week. We're still not technically finished in my area - I was supposed to be finished on Wednesday, but it's difficult to put a time frame on archaeology. It's just been a bit of a confusing mess in places, though I guess not as confusing as some other areas. It's still been really stressful. Thursday the scientists from Tel Aviv came back to our camp to take more samples from the vessels we've been removing. It was super cool, but really nerve-wracking at the time. Steve had asked me to stay back at camp that morning to give them the samples since I knew what all was going on. He also told me to keep Savanna, one of my volunteers, also. Sometimes the volunteers know better about exactly what things look like since their doing most of the grunt work.

I had to draw out the area and plot all the locations of where things were found and color-code them, so we could figure out exactly what's going on and see a large picture of things - real interpretive archaeology!!! I was really afraid of having all this responsibility, but now that I look back on it, I think, "Cool I did that!" Steve also said that he'd like to have a picture of it to put up on the slide show for the final dig party! He likes it! Yay!

Now this weekend is intense paperwork time so I'm all settled for getting my paperwork done as fast as I can. I leave 23 hours earlier than everyone else, which means I need to be finished 23 hours sooner than everyone. Before I go to bed and whenever I wake up at night, all I think about it interpreting my area for my final dig report. I even had a dream about it last night. Oh, which I want to tell my roommates about because they'd appreciate it. haha.

Anyways, here's also the last of my pictures from my weekend in Galilee. Funny, it took me 3 weeks to do it. These are of Tel Dor. It's absolutely amazing. It is directly on the Mediterranean Sea. Marcella, Lesley, and I decided we were going to switch digs and work here instead because we could just jump right into the sea at the end of the day. That'd be awesome. But it was more joking than being serious...but it would still be awesome.

Here you can see the beach and the flat-topped mound that we archaeologists call a Tel. That is Tel Dor.

Ah, the sea at sunset...

It was super cool, there were a bunch of rocky islands you could swim to if you really wanted to and hang out there for the day. There were people having BBQ's on them. I wanted to join them soooo baaaad!

This is some of the ruins that have been uncovered at Dor.

Some more of the beach and the islands.
More ruins. This is some real archaeology! All walls and various phases of living! Just a big mish-mash of architecture and not knowing what the hell these people were thinking!

Oh, here's the sign for Dor. I can't remember why I wanted this to be in the blog. I think it was the part that says, "Watch for holes" or something...


More walls...

This is at the edge of the tel before it drops into the harbor they made. The walls are massive, which would indicate some kind of important administrative center, which also matches with it's location in relation to the harbor. Namely, a trading center.

This is where the harbor was. It's teeny, but would have served the purpose anyways. The beach rock probably would have been much higher - the ocean eroded a lot away.

I have no clue what this is. It just looked cool.

A column base! It's from the Roman times.

See? This is a Corinthian column capital. Um, it's sitting upside down, it would have been at the top. It's also badly eroded. Those sea breezes to a number on rocks.
This is also a part of the columns. Most of the times, the columns weren't whole. They found that they could hold more weight (and were easier to transport) if they were in pieces and held in place together with a metal pipe through the middle. Wait, the Greeks figured that out first. It was the Romans who figured out (well, I don't know that for sure, but they at least utilized it) that reinforced concrete was stronger.

Haha, excavations still go on at Dor. This is their container for their supplies. We have a green one at Gezer. :)

A mosaic floor! Well, it at least made from tesserae (small, square tiles to make flooring).

This is where the ancient Dorians quarried their stone!

This is difficult to see in a photo, but it's a ramp. They'd pull the ships up from the sea onto ramps to keep them in place.

Driftwood in an eroded part of the harbor.

And a doorway!

Well, that's all there is to my Galilee pictures. I'll show everyone my excavation photos at home - I don't want to put them up online. You probably won't here from me until I'm home at this point. This is going to be a super busy week coming up. Sunday's even going to be really busy - the staff is visiting another site at 2:30 and then we're going to a reception at the Rockerfeller Museum in Jerusalem for all the excavations that are still going on. I'm hoping we're back here by 9 so we can get to bed on time. Oy weh.


Crusader Castles and American Colony Reception

Last night the staff went to a reception at the American Colony Hotel in Jerusalem, held by the financiers of the American digs in Israel. Essentially, we ate munchies at a now fancy hotel (was originally a mission that provided shelter for American travelers in Israel) with millionaires. It was awkward. haha. The food was delicious. There were about 4 or 5 different excavations represented, but Gezer by far had the largest representation of staff. Everyone else only had maybe 3 or 4 tops. Well, Israelis were invited too, but as it was Shabbot, they didn't show. I thought that was a poor choice for the hosts, but oh wells.

We chatted with a few people, but it was quite uncomfortable for most of us, so we sat in the chairs around the walls and munched on the tasty food. At one point, one of the couples came up to Lesley, Marcella, and I and asked if we were some of the volunteers. When we said that we were two years ago and were back for our 3rd season and were now full staff, they were pleasantly surprised. They said that that was the best compliment to give, to actually have people returning year after year. Then they had a prayer circle with us. They were nice. [EDIT: Steve just informed us that these two donors were "quite impressed with the three ladies in the corner". hmmm....]

Later, when many of us were itching to leave, Gary came up, stating how he'd also like to leave. Two of our staff, Cameron and Adam (quite an inseparable duo) were outside on the porch. Gary gave them a stern look and a gesture to come inside. He was kidding of course, but Cameron and Adam looked at each other and hurriedly made their way in. We laughed and as they approached made to tell them that Gary was only joking, when Adam walked softly up behind Gary and gave him the sweetest kiss...on his bald spot.

We all completely lost it. This is just one of the many many many examples of the humor of the people on this dig. I have never known as humorous a bunch.

Anyway, here are some more pictures of Galilee. After the Crusader Castles, I have one more set from Tel Dor.

Dennis took us up to a park where lots of people were having BBQs. *drools* But the view was absolutely spectacular. He took us here to show us one of the crusader castles, most probably of the Knights Hospitaller. This area was a boundary between all the fighting knights.

See the bit of stone waaaay off in the distance where those two mountains kind of meet? Yea, that's a castle.

Oh, some more of the view.

So green and mountainous...

What the...oh. Well. OH, I remember. I found out that my camera has a "smile" setting. The caption with it says that it takes the picture automatically when your subject smiles. Um...it didn't really work, did it?

Pretty yet dangerous (!!!!) thistle flowers! It's pointy!

There it is! The castle! Super cool.

Alright, the last of the photos are from the next caslte we went to at Yihiam.

Sky view of the castle...

Oh excuse me, it's a fortress...

Built right into the bedrock.

There was a little restaurant and it made for pretty pictures...

Ah...a bathhouse....

Erm...this place made for lots of super pretty pictures...

I'm thinking this isn't what the castle used to look like. It's most likely been silted up to that level. It doesn't make any sense for those arches to start right at the floor level. But, I'm not a medieval archaeologist nor a medieval historian, so I really couldn't tell you. haha.

A narrow pathway we decided to follow. ooo, we're adventurers!!!!

This led up to a high tower with a gorgeous view of the Galilee.
See? These spots were chosen specifically for their views for obvious reasons.

It was reused, much like Gezer was, in the 1948 war. There were quite a few bunkers. But all the signs for information on them were only in Hebrew, whereas all the warning signs about falling rock, etc were in Hebrew, English, and Arabic. We were wondering why that was, but as we don't know Hebrew, we can't really say.

A well inside one of the towers!

Aaaaand there's the Triumvirate! Plus Transvestite Belle (Lesley's roaming gnome)! Actually, we have a new nickname now. Marcella Barbosa is now Field Captain Smoky Barbosa and we are her pirate crew: Peg Leg Haines and Crackpot Davis. Cameron and Adam gave us these names.

Marcella's last name is Barbosa, so she gets lots of comments about having the name of the pirate captain from Pirates of the Carrabean. Then she became the mini-field supervisor for Adam and Cameron as they learned how to manage a square. They affectionately referred to her as Field Captain Barbosa. But then she nearly set fire to her pizza bites in the microwave in the dig house, so now it's Smoky Barbosa. Lesley and I for the life of us cannot remember why she's Peg Leg, but that's what it ended up as. Crackpot is only a temoporary name for me until they can come up with a better one, but Crackpot is from all the smashed pots we removed from my square on Thursday.