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Refuge for the rational.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Opening Sentences 

I can’t write an opening sentence that doesn’t sound totally forced. I’ve been staring at my screen for half an hour trying to write about Thursday night. I went to the bar, and I’m writing about it for school. Because that’s what anthropology students do—pretty much whatever they want.

When I tell people that they seem to freak out a bit. They get this vision of themselves reading accounting books for hours on end, bored to death, and questioning the purpose of their existence, while I’m interviewing people over cigarettes and beer.

Archaeology students are a different story. I’m not the world’s biggest fan of archaeology, but I study it because I really want to dig up dead people. It’s all so that we can understand the social implications behind plagues and disease transmission. It also has important things to say about the way we treat the environment and the consequences of ecological destruction. They’re bad—I think you’d be hard-pressed to find an archaeologist who doesn’t believe in climate change. That’s another difference between accounting and anthropology students.

Another way to make them jealous is to tell them that you’re going to do fieldwork in Egypt. They get this vision of themselves in the museum as a kid, watching Indiana Jones, and wanting to be an archaeologist, but not having gained the necessary secondary sexual characteristics in later life to do so.

Now, I’m likely never going to drive a brand new car. Or drive one at all if I can help it. And that’s yet another difference between accountants and anthropologists. The University is kind enough to get you ready for the disparity early on. That is, they under-fund the social science programs and put a lot of money into the business schools. It doesn’t bother me much because I’ve never really cared for money or its management. At the end of the day, I get to learn that this current system of exchange is rather new, and despite the hype, rather ineffective. And it won’t last. So, given the current rate of destruction to our ecosystems, the health risks associated with this, the lack of social awareness or action in the public health department, the seemingly nonchalant attitude of the general public to antibiotic resistance, and rapid new disease emergence, I have a feeling what I study might be a lot more relevant in the near future. But, that’s only if the accountants are willing to give us any funding.
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