The Not Quite Adventures of a Professional Archaeologist and Aspiring Curmudgeon

Friday, April 20, 2012

The Talk is Over, on to the Next One

By the time this posts, I will have delivered a paper at one of the symposiums (symposia?) at the Society For American Archaeology's 2012 meeting in Memphis Tennessee.  Hopefully, at the time that this posts, I will be sitting in a barbecue place with a former boss of mine who is originally from Memphis enjoying some ribs.

I deeply, deeply loathe public speaking, and yet I keep agreeing to do it.  I am always concerned that I am going to come off sounding like an idiot, especially in a case like this, where my actual paper topic diverges from the symposium topic (for the record, I checked the topic with the symposium organizer before I wrote it, and she said it was fine).  The truth of the matter is that very few people will likely hear the paper (I am the last speaker in my symposium, and all of the big name speakers will already have come and gone by the point that I end up at the podium), and those who do will likely forget it after they leave - I am picking on a little-known subject in southern California archaeology, which doesn't tend to lend itself to being memorable for anyone who doesn't share my particular interests and irritants. 

So, now that I have spoken, and hopefully not made myself look too terribly foolish, I am hopefully enjoying a nice lunch, and tomorrow I catch a late flight back to California, and a 3.5 hour drive back to Fresno from the San Francisco Airport. 

And then I start on the next project.  I will be speaking to the Fresno County Archaeological Society [] on May 7th (anyone in the Fresno area should feel free to come see the talk).  I will discuss the history of research in the Santa Ynez Valley, in Santa Barbara County, California. 

And then?  Well, hopefully then I will have nothing pressing that needs be done for a while.  I have realized recently just how stressed-out and tired I have gotten lately, and I need some time to relax, especially considering that I am going to be a father come September and that I need to be able to devote my energies to that when the time comes. 

That being said, there are a few projects that I would very much like to do - some small writing projects, and a paper that I would like to publish on an abnormally old projectile point found in Yosemite.  But I think that I need to balance my research interests against my impending family life, my job, my non-research writing interests (such as this blog), and my non-archaeology interests, and the fact of the matter is that the research is probably the thing that can be most easily minimized without impacting the overall quality of my life. 

So, we'll see.  I'd like to publish more, but I may very well decide that it's not worth the effort when compared to other things that I could be doing with my time.


Evan Davis said...

I do enjoy speaking and I think I'm ok at it. That being said I wouldn't be surprised if I come off as cocky. I have noticed that people who think they are inadequate or do not want to speak tend to have an honest humility that people find both appealing and endearing. I will often listen to them speak to get tips on how to improve my own skills.

I wonder if you could speed up your writing with dictation software.

Anthroslug said...

I have thought about dictation software. I wouldn't want to use it for most of my paper writing, but I have begun to consider it for the creation of presentations.