My thoughts on this class (Public Archaeology) is that the class is definitely worth taking for any student to take, regardless if their major is an Anthropology or any other major, students should definitely take this class. This class is definitely a nice change of pace as instead of simply being in a classroom and focusing on a bunch of lectures, we got to go out on the field and do some actual field work, something that I feel needs to more integrated for both juniors and seniors (regardless if they’re going for their Bachelors degree or Masters). This class was a breath of fresh air as we the students were allowed to get our hands dirty and do genuine field work, all at our own steady pace. This is especially great for me since I prefer to actually do physical work rather than sit and read (especially since I’ve become more of a Kinesthetic learner), as a result this class was just what I both needed and liked. The class is only once a week, for two in a half hours though if you want or if you have extra time you can put the extra effort on either that day or when you have a day to do it, provided you at least let Dr. Rowe know, so I feel anyone who takes this class (especially since it’s on a Friday) should be able to make it to this class.
The tools we used for this class was sadly short, besides the standard measuring tapes and a website we used for our data collection we also used the total station which was fun to use and once you got the hang of it (as well as go through the pain staking long set up) it was quite easy. Of course, considering the fact that this was an experimental class and was its first term its acceptable that there wasn’t going to be a lot of equipment for this class so it’s understandable and hopefully as the class gets to stay in the school’s curriculum it gets more funded to allow more tools to be used whether it be for the data collection or for the fieldwork. The dogs that showed up on the last day were also fun to have around sniffing for any hidden graves as well as making sure some of the graves we marked were actual graves, though sadly we didn’t get to spend too much time with them seeing as how they were well trained and focused on finding said hidden graves.
The only major complaint regarding this class is the readings and writing assignments that this class will have you do, I myself found these as strange since the class focused so much on field work and research and you’d end up getting so into this you’d end up quite possibly forgetting about the readings and writing assignments, this has happened to most of the class myself included. In fact, while I mostly enjoyed this classes field work I had to focus on my other classes own reading and writing assignments I completely forgot about this classes own assignments till Dr. Rowe reminded us, unfortunately due to my other classes and their own readings I had to put my focus on those instead of putting it on this class especially for the final projects my other classes had for the end of the semester, as a result there simply wasn’t any time for me to actually do this classes assignments. While I’m not sure exactly what would have been a good substitute for this, I think not only showing up for the class, especially since we only went to the graveyard for what’s essentially a week, but also doing as much research for the graves would have been enough as well as this final paper, which is also fine as it help to push this class more for those who are interested. The readings should have been more along the lines of a recommendation rather than a requirement, and if it was an absolute requirement it should have been for a mid-term/final exam rather than smaller writing assignments.
My advice is to take this class when you don’t have other classes that makes you do a lot of reading and writing assignments, or even classes that will make you do a lot of work in general nor should you take classes that are more important to you such as classes for your major, as those will only get in the way of doing this classes own reading assignments. If you take this class while either simultaneously taking other classes that will have you do a lot of work or by taking a lot of classes than the average four is very stressful and it will ultimately force you to either drop this class or one of the other classes your currently taking, and no one wants to do that especially for such a good hardworking class such as this one or one of the major classes that you need for your major.
Despite this, the class itself is still fun and definitely worth taking or even volunteering as it helps the community by both expanding on their history that they might not have known about (I certainly didn’t know about this cemetery when my family and I moved here) as well as giving people some measure of closure for locating old or even lost/forgotten family members that they might not have known too much about. This class is a step in the right direction for hopefully future classes that both want and will have a more hands on approach, which I feel is definitely great for students as they can get the hands on experience that students would normally read in books or hear about through lectures, which I feel is way more important (though readings and lectures are still important) as it is required for the students to actually use and demonstrate their experience in their future jobs and careers.