personal update

I’m still alive! But I’m working full-time and trying to keep up on my reading (trying but not succeeding). I thought my archaeological career was going to be over with the ending of February but I was asked to work longer. Now that we’re 10 days into the month of March the status of my job is back to being erratic. Will I have work after Wednesday? Nobody knows. Will I have work next week? Maybe. The unfortunate thing about archeology is that the availability of work depends on what turns up after the big machinery turns back the top soil. If there isn’t anything of archaeological significance then there is no work for us shovel bums. On the other hand, if a lot is found then there there is a lot of work to be done. Nobody can tell you what will or will not be found – if there will or will not be work. I would leave and find a different job (one that could tell me if I’m working next week) if I didn’t like my coworkers so much and if I didn’t find the work interesting.

Last weekend I drove up to Cologne with some coworkers to celebrate the birthday of yet another coworker. To begin with I’m not the most outgoing guy – add the embarrassment of a foreign language and I turn into the silent weird guy who won’t leave the proximity of the two people he came with. There are still times when I can’t say what I want to say, there are still conversations I can’t have because the right words don’t come to mind and this has become plain frustrating. One of the guys I work with is from New Zealand and sometimes we take the train together. He recently began talking English to me (although we only speak German at work) and I sometimes forget to speak English and respond in German. My brain has placed German as “default language” in its interior settings and sometimes I have to pause to think about how to say something properly in English. My German is incomplete and my English is taking a nap (although writing is much easier). What’s most frustrating is that I haven’t noticed any improvement in my German in the last couple of months as if I have hit a plateau. I long for the gibe and banter that gets tossed back and forth between my friends in Santa Cruz.

I’m still waiting to hear from some scholarships. They promised to inform me by the end of March but I already check my email first thing after coming home from work. I have little hope of actually being awarded a scholarship but if I don’t receive one I will be stuck (yet again) trying to balance study and work – studying so much as to make progress on my dissertation and working so much as to be able to pay rent and eat. Wouldn’t it be a wonderful world if I could concentrate on my studies the entire time I was in Germany? I don’t regret having to work in archeology but that job might last just one more week. What comes next will most definitely be not as interesting or as fun. Receiving a scholarship might even make this venture seem plausible.

My head is spinning and sleep is holy.