Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The trouble with research.

The trouble with research is that it piles up. There is the stuff you need to research and thus goes on a to-do list and takes up valuable thought processes and then there is the physical research debris that you cannot get rid of, because you never know when you might write that article or thesis or need to start a bonfire.

The result is that you have potential research piling up metaphysically, current research piling up on your desk, and previous research piling up on your bookshelves.

I have research coming out of my ears. And most of it, tragically is not my own.

No, I'm not stealing other people's research, I am talking about the Danish Boy's research.

If we were to measure book shelf space and use that to judge quantity of research the numbers would go:
9 feet of research space for the archaeogoddess
16 for the Danish Boy - and that's only archaeological research, there's about another 2 feet of philosophy, 1 foot for journalism, and 2 feet that I'll be generous and say we share since they are encyclopedias (of ancient Egypt and the Near East, which I am not currently working on, but hey).

The most frustrating thing of all, at least to me, is that he's not even doing archaeology any more!! That's valuable space that is being taken up with large binders labeled "Akkadian" and "MB tombs: method and theory". Some of these binders are thicker than the binder I have for one chapter of my dissertation. (Space taken up by all dissertation chapter research: 1.5 feet.)

This is because we have very different ways of doing research. I tend to read something, take a page or two of notes and then if I need to see the book or article again, I check it out of the library, again. I deal with finite quantities of data at a time, chapter by chapter and so apart from the huge stack of library books I may have circulating around on the floor, my research space remains small. Lifetime of sharing bedroom and/or office space teaches you to minimize. The DB, on the other hand, has no problem collecting EVERYTHING he may ever need in perpetuity, because he's always had lots of space.

Now, you may be thinking, why, since you've moved and all, don't you just pack it all up and put it away in storage.

Because, dear reader, while the research may not be so useful for me or him, it is useful to the rest of mankind. Also known as those other archaeology student friends of mine.

I have become the one stop shop for research. Need to know something fast? Ask the AG, if she doesn't know it off hand, she can look up the right reference. Got a large topic and don't know where to start? Ask the AG and she'll put you on the right track and possibly even set you up with a preliminary bibliography. And get this: she can even do it for archaeological subjects she knows NOTHING about!

I am... the Archaeogoddess!

1 comment:

  1. You, my darling, are amazing in all of your archeaologicalness. Useless to me, but amazing nonetheless.

    Though, for the record, I do feel compelled to point out that you fulfill all kinds of strange and other uses in lack of a better term.


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