- That's a great idea, Bob.
I could be a poster boy for the so-named class of "elderly, retired
midwesterners" Leanna referred to. I taught anthropology and Spanish
at Des Moines Area Community College in Iowa (DMACC) for most of 30
years, retiring in 2000. My emphasis was in cultural anthropology
and I did some fieldwork in Mexico. In 1991, I became editor of
Teaching Anthropology: SACC Notes and contributing editor for SACC's
section column in the AAA's Anthropology News. I've attended SACC
annual meetings regularly since 1990.
Our travel funding at DMACC was always minimal and unpredictable. In
the earlier years, I could sometimes wangle 50% support for a
conference if I paid the other half. Otherwise they only gave me
leave time and I paid my own way. When I became editor, the dean
agreed to fund one conference a year and I used that for SACC. When
I attended AAA meetings, it was always at my own expense.
I liked teaching a lot and I think I was pretty good at it. However,
for the last decade of my career, my involvement in SACC provided an
enhancement that balanced my teaching duties and kept me from burning
out as I saw happen to some DMACC colleagues. SACC meetings
introduced me to interesting places�many I'd never visited�and also,
of course, to a whole bunch of interesting people. I agree with
Leanna that we regulars became a kind of social club, and I enjoy and
appreciate the opportunity to have become friends with many of my
SACC colleagues and to grow old(er) with them (we're not really old
yet)! And the social club is always open and welcoming to newcomers
of any age.
After retiring, I've stayed with SACC and use the annual meetings as
mini-vacations, driving or (weather permitting) motorcycling to them
when possible and taking extra time to see additional attractions in
the area and en route. This has allowed me to maintain some
involvement in anthropology since I still read and think about the
stuff anyway. Of course, retirement for me so far has been one
heluva vacation in any case. Recent national events have reminded me
that my apparent life-time job will likely end before that of Chief
Justice Roberts (he's 16 years my junior)!
In sum, SACC has been good for me. I hope that some of my SACC
colleagues who soon face retirement will choose to continue their
SACC affiliation (even if they're not midwesterners). It's been a
great ride, folks. It would be sad to see it end.
On Oct 5, 2005, at 1:59 PM, Robert Muckle wrote:
> I just checked the number of subscribers to SACC-L and see that it
> is at
> 108. The last time I checked it was hovering around 60, so somebody is
> getting the word out.
> Considering the increase in subscribers, and in light of the recent
> discussions about SACC membership and conferences, I am going to do
> something I tried some time ago, and that is to suggest that we do
> on-line introductions. I know that I have benefitted from similar
> on different list-serves, and even though my previous attempt at
> starting this was less than overwhelming, I know it helped a few
> who subsequently contacted me off-list.
> First, I am not in retirement or even close to retirement. Nor am I
> from the mid-west. I'm not even from the United States. Yet, I am a
> regular SACC conference attendee. I went to my first SACC
> conference in
> Boston in 1999, and was hooked. I haven't missed a meeting since
> (Seattle, Oaxaca, Ft. Lauderdale, Vancouver, Montreal, Savannah). I
> the eclectic mix of presentations at the SACC conferences.
> My primary areas of interest, besides teaching of course, are (i)
> archaeology and (ii) the First Nations of Canada (past and present).
> Inspired by Mark Lewine's presentation on community archaeology at the
> first SACC conference I attended, for the past six years I have been
> directing a community archaeology project close to where my college is
> situated, on the west coast of Canada. Most recently, I have been
> working on reconstructing ethnicity and gender from excavations at
> early 20th century logging camps.
> Bob Muckle
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> Be sure to check out the SACC web page at www.anthro.cc (NOTE THE
> NEW ADDRESS!!) for meeting materials, newsletters, etc.
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[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- I'm happy to contribute mine. Am looking forward to reading more.
I've trained as an archaeologist and completed my Ph.D. (after 19 years of diversions and graduate school) with a specialty in archaeology (ask me about late Iron Age Finnish funerary practices!). After graduating from the U of Minn, I did the job circuit, but between family needs and my dislike of obscure rural locales, I ended up adjuncting locally for two years and working in museum administration for four years. When the stock markets tanked around 2002 (and so did non-profit budgets), I was laid off and started looking for teaching work again. I answered an ad for teaching one sociology course at Anoka-Ramsey Community College and was hired suddenly during the first week of class when the first-choice hire resigned. That was interesting!
Since then, I've been picking up anthropology courses because (luckily for me) the previous anthropology instructor retired. I am now teaching ca. 4 courses per semester (5 is considered full-time), but my position is not "permanent." Rather, it is renewed (or not) each term. However, I enjoy working in Minnesota. We have union support and get treated rather well compared to other parts of the country, I hear (other than the sore point of professional development funding).
I enjoy teaching now more than I did formerly because I am able to stay at a single school and get involved with faculty activities. I also find I enjoy these students more than many I had in the past. ARCC has a large number of transfer students aiming to go to a 4-year program, and anthropology attracts this sort of student. I even get a few who wish to be anthropology majors. Also, I do enjoy teaching online, and I have 1-2 courses per term online. The schedule flexibility allows me to take care of continuing family issues. So what I thought would be a temporary employment has turned into long-term. I'm now starting my third year.
Other than that, I have a book coming out next year. It is a high school reference book published by Greenwood Press, called "Daily Life in Arthurian Britain," referring, of course, to the fifth and sixth centuries and recent advances in archaeological research.
Deborah J. Shepherd, Ph.D.
Anthropology and Sociology
Anoka-Ramsey Community College
Coon Rapids Campus