This is mostly a place for my students to write and report on their activities but here I want to muse on things.
Well my students have come and gone. Here is a short collection of thoughts I had about my program this year.
1- I really hate the road signs in Florence. It took us an extra hour and half to get out of the city because of a lack of road signs. I said last year I wouldn’t drive in again, this year I was feeling cocking. Next year no more driving. I will have to spend some extra time planing how to get them there in time before the museum closes.
2- I am so happy with how hard the kids worked. One way of gaining or losing “excavation cred” is your work ethic. These kids went above and beyond what was expected of them and it showed too, every night they were in bed by 9. But all the staff was really impressed at how hard they worked, how curious they were and how fast they learned. Steve, the conservator, said they were some of the best students he had in the first week and he only had them for half a day. I am so glad for their energy on the hill.
3- Living in an apartment was a fabulous change from the hotel. While the hotel is great and you get to see everyone, there was something nice about being off in our own area. They had a fantastic opportunity to live and work in a mixed group of people who are not their family. They learned how to share a shower with 6 people, cleaning and cook and just work with each other despite their own exhaustion. It was wonderful to help them learn some valuable lessons on sharing space before they take off for college.
4- My last point of reflection is more on how I’d like to see the program evolve and really are just musings of a tired teacher. Right now the program is more about experiencing archaeology and Tuscany and I want to move it so the students are participating in research and producing something they can share with their classmates. 20 days is too short to learn everything and research at the same time. I wonder if setting time to do that is the fall might help or if we dedicate more time in the spring to it. I don’t buy the excuse that since they are high schoolers it is hard for them to do quality research, I think given the chance they will produce wonderful products. It is a matter of figuring out the ideal conditions to help them flourish and share what they know. Maybe it starts off as more summative or literature review type work, maybe it is small projects that multiple seasons work on. I am not sure but it is where my thoughts are wandering now.
Well that is a lot of reflection, especially when I could be sleeping. If you have questions, comments or ideas please feel free to share them with me.