Work Hard, Play Hard

It’s an attitude that stereotypes archaeologists, and particularly field archaeologists, the world over.  Seldom can it have been more applicable to a group of archaeology students, however, than when considered for the Environmental Archaeology and Palaeoeconomy course at Sheffield.

In barely three weeks, I have already filled a lever arch file and printed and read more articles than I did in the whole of my undergraduate career.  This last week has been fairly representative of it.

Last weekend we all gathered at Craig’s house for drinks on Saturday night, while some of us watched the rugby and others played a game of Risk.  After the match finished, we looked for another party.  After that, of course, I was a little late in rising on Sunday – much to Kura’s chagrin, as she’s become accustomed to me getting up at 6.  The Sunday was spent reading some articles in preparation for Tuesday’s seminar, punctuated by a short walk to look for Ayesha.

On Monday I got up at the usual 6am and did some more reading in preparation for the next day’s seminar, then headed into Sheffield for midday, where we had arranged to meet to discuss any problems anyone may have in preparing for the seminar, had lunch in the pub, and then did some lab. work before returning to cook dinner.  Which I followed with some more reading for the next day’s seminar.

Tuesday was heralded by a lovely bright sunrise.  Which blinded me as I reversed out of the drive; I felt and heard the car rise and drop all of a sudden, by the offside front wheel.  I went forward and back again, and knew something was wrong.  I could see nothing resting up at the side of the road, but managed to get the car to Kwikfit in Chesterfield, where I explained that my tracking rods were probably bent and they, in turn, explained that they couldn’t do anything about that, but agreed to put my car up on the ramp and have a look.

"There’s nothing wrong with it."

"Yes there is", I said, as I left the waiting room and went to have a look for myself.  ""The wishbone’s bent."

"Oh, yeah."

Needless to say, the main dealer in Chesterfield couldn’t help and I needed to get my car fixed asap.  Finding someone who could, I walked the couple of miles back into the town centre and availed myself of the world’s worst ploughman’s lunch.  Getting home sometime around seven, cooking dinner and then doing a little reading for Thursday’s seminar.

Wednesday’s a late start officially, so I spent the morning doing some more reading for the next day’s seminar, as well as going out for another look for Ayesha, and then headed into Sheffield for a lecture in the afternoon.  Getting home some time around half six, I ended up sitting in Jude’s living room until nine, drinking beer.

Thursdays start with a lecture, which is followed by the usual pub lunch, then another lecture and seminar in the afternoon.  Since there was no essay to hand in this week – usually due on a Friday – we went out for a curry and then a couple of beers.  Very nice it was too; Rob and I ordered some dish which was reviewed in The Guardian food section.  We know this because we proudly had photocopies of the review thrust in front of our faces.

On Friday I attended a conference on Neolithisation in honour of Anthony Sherratt.  The conference continued today (I eschewed the traditional conference drinking session in the evening) and after that I went to the library to obtain articles to read for this Tuesday’s seminar.  Tonight, Jude’s coming over to watch the rugby and then tomorrow I’ll do more reading in preparation for the next seminar and the essay due next week.

"What larks, eh Pip?"


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