Saturday, February 26, 2011

Application Watch: Early Results

Seven applications to PhD programs mailed out. I've heard back from four:

1. The Land Far Far Away: Rejected.
2. South of the Mason-Dixon Line: Unofficial acceptance; waiting for paperworks.
3. Snowstorm City: Accepted.
4. Hippyville: No word.
5. Place With Brutalist Architecture: No word.
6. Unique Program: No word.
7. Hippyville East: Waitlisted.

No. 2 is my super-first-choice, and I'm stoked. But I don't want to say no thanks to Snowstorm City until I have official officiallness from South of the Mason-Dixon Line. I know the department chair doesn't just call and tell you that you've been accepted for shits and giggles. And I know that the sooner I tell Snowstorm City no thanks the better for anyone on their waitlist (and they're being quite aggressive in keeping in touch; not annoyingly so, but persistently so).

But I Just. Can't. Do. It. This is too important, and it hits some "Look! A Good Thing! Watch Now As I Snatch It Away" buttons. So I will wait, possibly irrationally so.

Re: rejection from Far Far Away? I'm ok with that. I just wanted to see if I could get in! Hippyville East: ok with the waitlisting; not the best fit, really.

Update February 28:
5. Place With Brutalist Architecture: Accepted

Update March 4:
2. South of the Mason Dixon Line: Official letter received (yay email and pdf). Heading down late next week for the meet n' greet. *excited*

Update March 8:
4. Hippyville. Rejected. An expected rejection; many good things have come and will continue to come from this application.

6. Unique Program: Accepted.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Drive-by Post (aka RBOC)

1. I remain alive, though it sort of feels like barely. Massive work deadline, waiting on school acceptances, mid-term grading and exam writing, not enough sleeps. Yeah, it's that time of year. I see the end, I just need to not get sick in the mean time.

2. A shredder is a Most Awesome accessory to purging oneself of stuff. Very, very satisfying. I highly recommend it.

3. Oooooooo the Internets!!!!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Archaeology in New York City

The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission has made their library of archaeology reports accessible online. The reports (almost 1,200), available online as .pdfs, are searchable by keyword and borough. It looks like the keyword search hits author, title, and abstract.

It is exciting to have ready access to this otherwise grey literature (research that is done, but not published) -- not just regarding specific archaeological projects in NYC, but also to the incredible and detailed micro-histories of parts of the city that are included in the historic contexts sections. I've done some work in NYC, and the histories of individual properties can be fascinating.

For a really fascinating take on changes in the NYC landscape when the street grid was dropped on it in the early nineteenth century, have a look at geographer Reuben Rose-Redwood's 2002 MA thesis, Rationalizing the Landscape: Superimposing the Grid upon the Island of Manhattan. Manhattan used to be rolling hills; they flattened it for the grid, and didn't pay *any* attention to former property lines or buildings. Amazing.

For some really great archaeological work in NYC, check out the series of reports titled Tales of Five Points: Working Class Life in Nineteenth Century New York. Six volumes of really great stuff, now available for free online thanks to the NYC Landmarks Commission:

Volume 1: A Narrative History and Archeology of Block 160, by Rebecca Yamin (2000).
Volume 2: An Interpretive Approach to Understanding Working-Class Life, by Rebecca Yamin et al. (2002)
Volume 3: Documentary Data, by Rebecca Yamin et al. (2002)
Volume 4 (2 parts): Basic Artifact Inventory Part I, and Part II, by Rebecca Yamin et al. (2002)
Volume 5: Conservation of Materials, by Rebecca Yamin et al. (2000)
Volume 6: The Long and Short, Being a Compendium of 18th and 19th C. Clay Tobacco Pipes from the 5 Points Site, by Rebecca Yamin et al. (2002).

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Two Steps Back...

I buckled down yesterday and spent several hours on the Why Wheels At All chapter of The Book. What I ended up doing was ditching everything I'd previously written and starting on a fresh page in a whole new document.

The result? Not as much as I'd hoped (I am always optimistic about what I can actually get done in a given period of time). But, the blank slate seems to have worked. I wasn't overwhelmed by the thought of reworking what I'd already done and trying to make it coherent (a condition that's paralyzed me for extended periods of time in the past), I just started over. And there was flow. It's a shitty first draft, but it's a flowing shitty first draft.

Lots more to write, but for now, I'm off to a Superbowl Party!*

* I am not a fan of The Football. I do, however, very much enjoy hanging with friends.