PKAP Website and Documentary

The PKAP website is up and running, at least mostly. There are still a few bad links I am finding every now and then, but I think the current incarnation is the way it is going to be until the summer. We released another documentary short this week. "Former Student Advice" is a created from footage Joe Patrow shot at IUP before the 2007 fieldseason. He took some time out of his busy schedule and flew to Indiana where I arranged interviews with former PKAPers, as well as students joining PKAP for the first time. I had the opportunity to watch most of the interviews as he was shooting them and was struck by 2 things: 1) They all talked about the heat and the sun – and I have to be honest that since we moved our season to May/June it really hasn’t been that hot. Now the year we were there in August, it was hot and humid; 2) They all kept looking at me as they answered the questions. It made me wonder if they were going to say something like "Don’t go!" or "Run for your lives." I was worrying for no reason – they all actually said nice things.

I will say that I have been pleased with several things regarding our student volunteers so far. 1) They have, for the most part, worked hard and got along well with others; and 2) A large number of them have gone on to graduate school. Over the last 4 fieldseasons, we have had 18 volunteers who were currently in school, either as an undergraduate or graduate. Out of the 10 who have graduated so far, 9 have gone on to grad school. I realize that this is not a huge number compared to other projects, but I still feel that participating in PKAP has helped our student volunteers in many different ways.

Pkap_teams

There are also drawbacks, because when students work closely with faculty members, much of the mystique (if there is any) about being a professor goes away since you see them at their best and worst. After 3 or 4 weeks of sharing close quarters, you learn a lot about people – probably more than you ever wanted to. For example, on PKAP you learn that if you have a question that might be stupid, you go ask David – he is the nice one of the three co-directors. You also learn that if you ride in the car with me, you better be prepared to play the Movie Game and that I am a poor loser – not that I lose very often.

Hopefully this field season will go as well as past fieldseasons, volunteer wise. We are expecting 3 IUP undergraduates, 1 IUP grad student, 4 Messiah undergraduates, 1 Penn State graduate student, and 1 UND graduate student. We plan to continue the PKAP blogging we started last summer so you will learn how things go for this group of students.

RSM

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