Paulina here for the last time.
It’s time to pack our bags and head off for the next great adventures of our respective summers. It’s tough to leave Vindolanda and all of the incredible people that I’ve come to know, but on the other hand, I’m excited to go home and spend the rest of the summer in beautiful weather!
I came on the field school in hopes of confirming something that I thought I already knew about myself- that no other career would give me greater joy than one in Classical Archaeology. I’m thrilled that Beth and Alex decided to take me amongst their incredible applicants, and to give me the opportunity to see if archaeology really is something I would like to pursue. It has been a privilege and an honor to work alongside them, as well as all of the other Western students. Alicia, Rachael, Mike, Andrew, Sarah (1 and 2), and Lauren, you are some of the most intelligent and compassionate people I have ever met… thank you for everything, especially for putting up with me for the past month!
Despite the, for lack of a better word, disgusting weather this month, I’ve found myself looking forward to every workday. Every bucket of soil that you haul into a wheelbarrow, every heavy spade-full, and every trowel cut is a mark not only of your own individual progress, but also that of the grander research agenda. Some of the most pragmatic words that I’ve heard this month came from the wise Andrew Dodd, who described archaeology as a team sport. He was, of course, absolutely correct- it’s only when you combine what may seem like your insignificant contribution to the trench with the work of others that you see how incredible excavation really can be. This is one of the many reasons why I find archaeology to be particularly appealing; you can work as a team, as well as publish your own research about things that you find particularly fascinating… talk about eating your cake and having it too!
Ultimately, the field school has taught me a lot about what I want in my life. Despite the fact that it does not necessarily have to involve Roman Britain (I don’t think I could handle this weather for so long!), it does, by every means, have to involve a trowel.