Three weeks away…omg, only three weeks??

27 05 2009

Jillian Mallis Jillian Mallis writes:

Well, my huge, bright orange suitcase is sitting wide open in the corner of my room (empty, of course.)  Dr. Cline just sent a gajillian emails over the course of ten minutes, all of which I diligently starred and closed (keeps the panic at bay).  Books, flights, people, pens and pencils was the gist of his emails, I think. Heck, I’ve got time to read the syllabus and stuff…no worries, right? Then I got the email about the need for a blogger for the trip and, in the fine print it was noted, a blogger for the “three week countdown.”  THREE WEEKS! HOW DID THAT HAPPEN!
Suddenly the emails seemed extremely urgent, not something to be starred and looked at later.  The bag in the corner of my room was something that needed my immediate attention.  What to bring, what not to bring….now that is a huge question!
After the nervous rush subsided, I was comforted by the never ending lists that I had already made in my head of things I needed. Time to move it from my head to paper. That helped….or so I told myself.  The bag will get filled and the syllabus…oy the syllabus! The email with the information on the class I am taking this summer really hit home.  It was the first real “proof” that I won’t get to roll around in the dirt all day….what a bummer.
Dr. Cline also mentioned that we would need graph paper.  I read that and thought “Math! Arrgghhh!” It wasn’t until about a paragraph later (thanks Dr. Cline, I was a nervous wreck for about 4 lines) when he explained that we would need the graph paper to draw our squares.  Now, I must say that I am not the most fantastic artist, and the thought of drawing wasn’t as bad as the thought of doing math problems, but it made me a little uneasy, nonetheless.
After the rush, I got up to get a glass of tea (something I do to bring everything down a notch).  I thought about the scariness of it all; going abroad, 13 hours on a flight, traveling independently.  It all made me feel very “old” — well, older.  But I decided to take a step back and look at this absolutely wonderful and meaningful endeavor I am about to embark upon.  Sure I don’t get to dig around in dirt all day, but “Hey,” I thought,  “when I’m not, I get to learn about digging around in dirt all day!”
The thought of going to class became less nerve wracking when I imagined the situation:  sitting in chairs, outside, in Israel, listening to some brilliant professor tell me things about fascinating subjects I had never heard before.  I imagine myself wide-eyed, staring at the professor, amazed with how much I am learning — how much I don’t know.
This feeling is not new to me.  It was what I felt on the first day of  Dr. Cline’s Bronze Age Aegean class; what a rush!   But as the class went on, I became comfortable with its fast pace and brilliant students. I imagine my trip to Israel will feel the same way — scary and overwhelming at first, but hopefully, as the weeks go by, I will become accustomed to the everyday lifestyle of 4am wakeups (oy) and mid-day pottery washing.
With all of the preparatory work at hand and all of the anxiety, I am confident that this summer will be one of the most memorable of my life.  Not just for digging but from the people as well.   A really great group is going, and I couldn’t be more excited to spend the summer with people who care about preserving the past and its meaning as much as I do.   So if you’re all ready to go, you’ll say it’s STILL three weeks away. If you’re like me, you”ll say it’s ONLY three weeks away!


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