By Vanessa P. Sullivan
Do all of you remember how you welcomed in the new Millennium? Remember Y2K? Remember the ArchSoc’s involvement with the excavation at Birdwood? No? Well, we cannot help you remember what you did that year, but fortunately our archives were not affected by the Y2K bug and are in order; thus, we are able to remind you exactly what ArchSoc did. This post of ‘From the Dig It Archives’ includes two articles from Issue 8 2000 that allow us to flash-back 13 years ago and have a look at the ArchSoc’s undertakings as well as learn about a former ArchSoc student’s experience!
Greg Carver’s ‘Presidential Address’ (2000:1), provides insight as to just how much the Archaeology Society has grown over the years: In 2000 the society was veering on the 100 member mark; today, ArchSoc is 160 members plus, and growing! Carver reviews the Semester 1 society events, such as a BBQ, the club fair day, adventures at the Birdwood excavation, and more. Carver also plans for Semester 2 by encouraging conference involvement. Although there have been changes to ArchSoc over the years, Carver’s forthright advice still holds true: “get your butt into gear and get involved” (2000:1).
In the article, ‘Reflections on the past: A non-archaeological perspective’ (2000:9-10), Jen Rodrigues discusses her experience at Flinders University as an international student, how she came to choose archaeology as her major, and the influence her peers and professors had on her world-view. As I am an international student myself, this article resonated with me; however, even for the Adelaide locals reading along, there is value in Rodrigues’ introspection: no matter what brings you to Flinders University and the ArchSoc community, remember to savour the moment; “after all, how often do we realise what we should value until the moment we discover we no longer have it?” (2000:10).
Carver, G. 2000 Presidential Address. Dig It: Newsletter of the Flinders Archaeological Society 8:1.
Rodrigues, J. 2000 Reflections on the past: A non-archaeological perspective. Dig It: Newsletter of the Flinders Archaeological Society 8:9-10.
Well here it is, the first Dig-It for the new millennium. So tar the year has proved eventful for the Archaeology Society and the rest of the year should be more so. We have already held the welcome barbecue, had a good response to the fair day, held an extremely wet and cold excavation at Birdwood and the society has been involved in catering for the public lectures.
The club is approaching one hundred members this year, which must be getting close to a record for the Arch Soc. By the way if we reach the magical figure of one hundred we get extra funding for all the good stuff from club and societies so tell all and sundry to join up.
If you don’t already know there are heaps of opportunities for participating in workshops and field trips in the second semester so get your butt into gear and get involved. The sign up forms for these workshops are outside the Archaeology Office in SSS.
This year Flinders Uni is holding the National Archaeology Students Conference (NASC) in November. The Archaeology Society is assisting with the conference and is looking for help to make this the best yet. If you would like to be involved please let the committee know and we will find something for you to do. You can access the NASC Web page through the Archaeology home page. Adelaide is hosting the joint ASHA/AIMA conference in November/December this year so the festive season is certainly going to be busy.
By the way those Archaeology Society T -Shirts are in the pipeline again so keep your eye out. That’s enough from me for now so here’s hoping you had a groovy first semester, a better break and have an even groovier second semester.
Cheers for now
Reflections on the past: A non-archaeological perspective.
A suggestion was made to me to write about my experiences as an international student. The following is what I can recall given the short space of time.
In the four years ( 1996-1999) I had been at Flinders, I have never regretted my move to Adelaide or undertaking a major in Archaeology. Perhaps unlike most international students, I had been in the country twice before traveling around the western state to see parts of it and meet some of its people. I liked it from the start and decided it had a culture with which I was comfortable and to which I was attracted. As for Archaeology, this decision came later, but before I resigned from my last permanent job in preparation to move to Adelaide. This decision, in other words, was made before I arrived at Flinders.
I had always looked forward to this move: an opportunity to return to studying as well as experience a different lifestyle and culture. I perceived Adelaide as having a slower pace of life that would be easier for me to live in; a place that would provide me with the personal space I needed and longed for and an opportunity to live independently; a place that would be more affordable than most other capital cities in Australia.
My only other concern was the choice of major sequences and their impact on my carer. It was always at that back of my mind if Archaeology (Sociology being my other major) was an intelligent choice and worth all the time and money I was putting in. On occasion, the thought still enters my mind. However, on hindsight, I believe it gave me one of the best chances of making the most of my stay in Australia. The fieldwork aspect of the course provided the outdoor opportunities for work and study that I enjoy. It also allowed me to see parts of the state or country at the same time. My classmates, who went through to complete their degree with me, were all Australians. In some ways, I was reminded of my being different whilst in others, I had the unique opportunity to meet some of the best people I could ever have met, lecturers and students included. This, in my opinion, is one of the best and most meaningful things in life. After all, there is hardly and point in traveling all the way to a foreign country and missing the opportunity of learning a different culture by finding security only in the company of those from your own country or region.
Undertaking casual work was another experience I enjoyed while at Flinders. However, easily the best part of my entire stay in this country was the travels I made during the semester and term breaks. I decided that being in the country already gave me the best and most economical chance to see parts of it I had not already seen. It was also during these travels that I had the opportunity to meet some of the best people I have ever met.
I remember a Dutch traveler I met I north Queensland in the summer of ’97. Sitting down near Mission Beach he chose to share with me stories of how he had traveled for a year once before and upon returning to Holland how he had found difficulty in adapting to his lifestyle back home. Hence, his choice to travel again and, this time, in Australia. His story had an effect on me, leaving me to consider how I was going to adapt to my previous lifestyle. I somehow came to the conclusion that it must surely be the person who changes and not so much his or her home country that no longer seems the same. I had been keen to move to Adelaide and had enjoyed almost all my moments in Australia. But suddenly, it dawned on me that I may have changed as a person – perhaps more than I realised or wanted to. I still wonder about my experiences, and how these may have changed me in more ways that I could have ever imagined.
It was suggested to me that I write this article describing my experiences of being an international student. Admittedly, I initially found the concept amusing but realised, on hindsight, that perhaps it is not that much of a laughing matter after all. In all, however, I am glad to be able to say that I enjoyed my years in Adelaide and Flinders. I miss it, especially now that I am no longer there. After all, how often do we realise what we should value until the moment we discover we no longer have it?
To continue reading from Dig It 7, click here: DigIt7
Look out for the next edition of ‘From the Dig It Archives’ on Wednesday the 7th of August!
Apologies for the delay in bringing this post to you. We thought that we would get maximum exposure and readership if we waited until the start of semester two when everyone was back from field work.