Final Reflection – Spring 2018

Having taken this course before I was a bit hesitant about the new opportunities it would offer. Though I was nervous, Dr. Rowe provided such amazing news at the end of last semester and at the beginning of the new semester about how our project was developing. Recent developments showed we would be getting additional technology and more acknowledgement towards our project. My first semester working on this project was certainly fun, but this semester was a little more fun and exciting because the project moved more smoothly. Last semester we were still figuring out technology and constantly running through the same grave sites to redocument their data. While this semester we still encountered those troubles, it was reduced extremely, and we had more people working allowing us to move at a faster pace. With everyone working together and effectively we have been able to document so many graves at a much smoother, faster rate and that was real exciting news to hear. Another thing that was exciting was having the news people come out to the cemetery to see what we do. With the reporter came a few people to talk about their family members that were buried at the cemetery. I had no problem being on the news or included for even a second, but I decided that I would keep it low and just work on what needs to be done. As I worked on one of the graves, the two females that came with the reporter began walking up to me and questioning what the class does when we find an individuals family member, how we go about the data we find, etc. I provided the best answers I could offer, and the two females were pleased. Next thing I notice they are talking about a distant cousin that was buried just a few graves away from the grave I was working on at the time. This semester has been insanely exciting because I was able to work with equipment I did not get much time with last semester. I am now more comfortable with documenting information online and I move at a much faster pace because I have gotten the hang of the system, though I do constantly finding myself referring back to the cheat sheet we are provided. So far, my favorite piece of equipment is the Total Station. I do not have much experience working on the actual station but I have had an acceptable amount of experience with holding the Prism. In all honesty, it might be my favorite thing. In addition to using the walkie talkies. We have been working at an incredible pace that it is truly satisfying. I catch myself wondering what we will do next. There is still so much more work to be done but at the efficiency the class has been working on I have no doubt that everything will be getting put together in the next couple years. The whole project is amazing but there is only one thing that tends to make it difficult and that is the weather. Last semester, in addition to learning the equipment, the heat made it difficult to work as effectively. This semester it has been much easier to work effectively because the weather was cooler a majority of the time. On an occasion or two we were rained out near the end of class. I thought that was exciting because everyone was rushing to get the equipment covered up and put away while others were out there finishing up the grave they were working on, me being one of those people. Near the end of the semester is when the heat started coming back but with the water that is provided for us it always makes it a little easier to get work done! The cemetery is a very interesting place. When we returned to the site there was so much color and it really showed that individuals do continue to come and see their family members and place new offerings. With that came other interesting finds that some of the new teammates found when they went adventuring around the site. That is another cool feature of the project. Fresh eyes could find new things that in other words would have gone unnoticed. That brings me to my most exciting find! One day I was looking around the cemetery and I found old animal remains and it was super interesting for me because I felt like I was a detective looking at everything that was around the animal and imagining the life it lived on its final days. Unfortunately, for the semester, the class had to come to an end and with that came planning for next semester! The project finished off on a positive note. We mapped almost all the graves on our final day at the site and it was all done over the course of a year, give or take. On our final day of the semester we wrapped up with our progress throughout the semester and began to plan for the upcoming year. There are so many great and exciting things planned up ahead for the team and the community! We thought of ways to better the effectiveness of the project and how we would incorporate our new plans. Laying out the cemetery and transferring data will be a lot of work but once the data is all put together and sorted the team will be seeing great results. Unfortunately, I will not be able to see the project all the way through, but with what I was exposed to, I had so much fun and learned so much. If I am ever able to offer my time to the project, I will because with all the upcoming projects to fulfill our ultimate goal it will be super exciting and a great learning opportunity. I do not plan to spoil the tasks our team has in store, but I can confirm that it will be a wonderful (and semi-required) characteristic to reach our goal!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *