GTA Training, Orientation, FDOC, and Teaching My First Class!!

Lots has been happening this week/last week! GTA Training and Orientation were Thursday-Saturday, I had a meeting with Dr. Brown yesterday, and I taught my first class this morning (kind of, haha)!

So, I’ll start with the first item in the many items that need to be talked about, I suppose, haha. GTA training was Thursday and Friday – it was really great and nerve wracking at the same time. Thursday was a lot of breakout sessions and talks about resources and how to handle certain situations. Friday, the most nerve wracking day, we had to give a 3 minute presentation while being video taped and critiqued by the other GTAs in our breakout groups. It was actually very helpful now that it’s over with, but actually standing up in front of that many people was really strange haha. I presented about some of my moonshine research – mainly with regards to women’s involvements. It went over really well, but damn does three minutes go by quickly!

Orientation (GROW is what it’s called here at UA) was amazing! The presentations were great, and I met a lot of really cool people/got some great free stuff at the welcome night event at the River Market. I also did a little exploring on the River Walk which is a really great trail that I’m planning to take Sammy to when it’s not too hot for him. He seems to be loving the new place though, he definitely likes the balcony.

My meeting with Dr. Brown yesterday went very well! We discussed the direction for my readings course, and I’ll be starting to look at archaeological field reports from Appalachian Native American sites – mainly Cherokee and Choctaw – to see what types of alcohol related artifacts are present and kind of narrow down what really interests me. I’m really excited about this, and I think that it’s going to be really cool to see what turns up. I have been trying for months now to determine whether or not I have any Native American ancestors. My family has always had the story that there was – one of my great great great grandmothers potentially was a member of a tribe – the story claims the Cherokee, but I’m not so sure about that given where they were living at the time – but the family moved to keep that a secret, presumably because of the Indian Removal Acts. Unfortunately, I’ve not been able to come up with any information using ancestry.com and a few other sites suggested. If any of you out there have any more ideas about how I could find this out, it would be greatly appreciated!

This morning’s discussion section – which I taught! – went fairly well I think. Since it’s the first day, they haven’t actually had a lecture or anything for the class yet, so I just gave them an introduction and let them know the reading assignment for the lecture on Friday. I’m really excited about TAing for ANT 100, and I hope the students are excited for the class! I have one real class today – ethnohistory – which starts in about 45 minutes, so I’m off to get ready and head out for that!

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