And I realize how sweet a life can be

sem-break I have nothing to do.

Well, actually, that’s not true. I have some books to read. But the only due date is the library due date.

Yes, fans, my first semester in graduate school is duh-duh-dun-dun-done. I am on break and I’m going to stay that way until January 11th.

This is my favorite thing about the academic life, these long breaks between semesters. I get very tired during the regular semester, so I’m glad to get this spell of rest. This way, by the time the new semester starts, I’m ready to rock and roll.

Not all of my grades are in but so far, so good. I did really well in my sociocultural anthropology courses. I had one other course, a core course in biological anthropology, that was a bit of a struggle for me, so I’m not expecting to do quite as well. But let’s just say that I’m no longer fretting that I’ll be asked to leave the program after my first year or something like that. Yeah, it’s grad school and that’s a whole different level from undergrad, but I’m doing just fine.

Once again, I remind my children of one of my favorite sayings: The best revenge is a well-lived life. I’m sure they’re tired of hearing me say that but it fits.

Perhaps a different way of saying the same thing? Karma is bitchin’!

But I digress.

I’m really looking forward to next semester. The second half of my sociocultural core course will be taught by an internationally famous economic anthropologist named Arturo Escobar. I’ll be taking Archaeological Theory, which I’m also very jazzed about. I’ve always liked archaeology but didn’t have a chance to take a theory course, so this should be fun (I hope)> And I’m taking a methodology course by Charles Price, another rather famous cultural anthropologist on the faculty.

I’m also going to be teaching an undergraduate archaeology course in the spring, on ancient cities of the Americas. There will only be one TA for the course and that’s going to be me. That’s another thing I’m looking forward to because, as I said, I really archaeology. Besides, I have been taking some professional development workshops on teaching techniques and I’d like to try them out in the classroom and see how I do.

One of the things I don’t have in my graduate program is a real pedagogical training course of seminars. I mean, there’s no set of graduate courses on teaching. I would like to consciously set about formulating a pedagogical philosophy but I’d like some guidance in that. Maybe I should talk to Rudi about it. (Rudi is my advisor, by the way — Rudi Colloredo-Mansfeld, Chairman of the Department of Anthropology at UNC-Chapel Hill.) There is a course in teaching anthropology that I will take in my third year but that seems very far away at the moment.

Isn’t that odd? First semester whizzed by but the end of my first year seems like it’s centuries away. And I know it won’t be because spring semester always seems to go faster than fall semester. Or so it seems to me. You’d think it would be the other way around with all these year-end holidays plus the triple As (Anthropology annual conference) and so forth, but so it is.

I have a feeling that I’m going to find having nothing to do enjoyable for approximately 4 days, possibly less.

I’m not cut out for idleness.

But I’m still loving my life and that counts for a lot.