“Have you recovered yet?” my archaeology professor sang out as he entered the classroom and beamed a camelid smile at the three or four students who had meandered in on time, then pivoted to a halt opposite my desk.  Given previous lecture emphases on drugged-up flying shamans, my mind scrambled to make a connection between research >>> symposium >>> recovery and figured that he was referring to a hangover, the typical by-product of undergraduate celebratory rituals.  I was flattered to be thought such a representative specimen of my age population.  “It was cold yesterday, was it not?”  Oh, so he meant the weather.  Oh well.

It was indeed a spectacle to see undergraduates of all shapes and sizes stretching into one common, obliquely Mannerist position yesterday as they tried to throw their arms about renegade posters flapping down the Trousdale walkway.  The 11th Annual Undergraduate Symposium had fallen on a very windy Wednesday; it was the first time that I realized duct tape had a match, and saw it met.

My partner Lexy and I did our best to entertain judges and by-passers braving the weather by regaling them with stories of graffiti attacks on sacred rocks and showing them little bare dots where our magic laser had cut through the paint.  As the wind picked up, we became increasingly giddy in our spiels, and Lexy mastered her delivery of “but they’re going to let us shoot lasers at Grandma’s face!” by judging time t-minus-10.  They seemed to find our project interesting enough, or the lone judge, anyway, whom we didn’t realize was a judge until she had moved half a table away.  I hope our totally irrelevant talk of feminist archaeology inspired her in some way.

Lexy and Tiffany proudly show their research at the 2009 symposium

Lexy and Tiffany proudly show their research at the 2009 symposium

After the poster exhibition some of us headed back to ARC to work on our “real” research, and then there was a lecture on Ur and the symposium banquet at 6.  Taking over the better part of two tables, Professor Dodd’s mentees easily constituted the largest band of primates at the Davidson.  We were well represented in the awards ceremony, too, with Jenny Crawford winning first place and Jacob Bongers getting an honorable mention!  And throughout the night weird peals of giggling put us in the mind of the fact that although we may not have executed a clean sweep of division AH, SS1, SS2, whatever, the ARC lab knows how to rack up all the points in the fun department.

–Tiffany Tsai

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