2020 epilogue

Hello all.

I’ve been a little absent lately.  It’s been busy since I moved back to America in August.

I wasn’t sure that I wanted to continue writing this blog after leaving Scotland in August partially because, well, the blog was about my life in Scotland and, well, I wasn’t in Scotland anymore.

But, I thought I do have a few announcements and whatnots and I did want to do a ‘2019 In Review.’  I concluded my semester at KU in the Museum Studies Masters Program.  I thoroughly enjoyed my time at KU, however, due to changes with UK Immigration and Student Visas, as well as, my own research and job interests I applied to and was accepted into the Architectural Conservation MSc back in Edinburgh.  My dissertation on the Botanic Cottage and a few papers this semester on Architectural Conservation made me realise how much I really loved the subject and wanted to pursue it directly.

And, just the thought of moving back to Scotland with real possibilities of sticking around has filled me with so much hope for the future.  Words cannot express how happy I am to be returning to that life and to the people who made it so extraordinary.  In the meantime, I will be using the first half of this year to decompress and not have academic commitments for the first time in eight years.

But, with that out of the way. Here’s my ~Year in Review~.

January 

I rung in 2019 in Edinburgh.  My parents sent Crosby back with me and we celebrated Hogmanay by watching the fireworks over the Castle from the Bruntsfield Links. The EUMC went to the Cairngorms.  There was a Burns Night Ceilidh.

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✨ hap newt year ✨

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February 

I worked on my dissertation.  My parents called to let me know that Mulan, our 12-year Newfoundland, passed away and I ran off to Shetland with Ben and Alven.

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🌊🌊🌊

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March 

I finished my last semester in my undergraduate degree and submitted my dissertation.  Then I went to the Bothy to celebrate under the pretty stars.  After four years, I finally made it to Camban.

April 

Mom and Dad called to let me know that my cat Rory passed away due to a heart defect. I flew back to America the next day and met up with my family for vacation.  I celebrated my 22nd Birthday back in Edinburgh.

May 

Caitlin, Ellie, Sophie, and I drove from Edinburgh to London and then took the train to Paris for a week.  I saw the prettiest stained glass in my entire life.  The last week of May, I left Edinburgh with the EUMC for the annual road trip to wherever the weather is nicest.

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yesterday’s sleep spot.

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northy north

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June 

Continued traveling about.  Made it to Applecross for the EUMC Dinner Meet.  Said goodbye to a lot of friends for a while.  Went to Lewis and Harris with Alven and Ellie B.  Returned to Edinburgh to pack for excavation season at Bamburgh as the Assistant Finds Supervisor.

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oh deer

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~ritual purposes~

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view of the office.

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July 

Family arrived in Scotland for my graduation.  Graduated from the University of Edinburgh in History and Archaeology with First Class Distinction.  Said goodbye to Gregor, Tuva, and Erling and Roseneath as we knew it.  Returned to Bamburgh to finish excavation season.

August

Returned to Edinburgh.  Waited in a thunderstorm for four hours to get front row spots at the Florence + the Machine Concert in Princes Street Gardens with Ellie B.  The fireworks from the Military Tattoo held at the castle went off during the encore set.  It was magical.  Movers arrived at Roseneath and boxed my room up to be shipped to America.  I left Scotland on 10 August.

September  

Started a new job and spent time with my new puppies.  Read a few books and cleaned out my closet.  Seven kittens randomly appeared on my porch.

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they’re so stupid i love them.

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October

Snuck one of the kittens from outside inside.  I named him Henry.  Worked my job and worked on my novel.  Read some papers and some books.  Shipment of stuff from Edinburgh finally arrived and there was only one casualty.  RIP ‘The Celtic World’ by Miranda Green.

November 

Tuva visited Lawrence!! I took her to a KU basketball game and to the Tallgrass Prairie Reserve.  I was really happy to see because I miss her lots.  I also didn’t post on Instagram for a month???

December 

Finished up semester at KU.  Time at home, worked, and went to visit family.  Spent Christmas at home.  Went to Hays for New Years Eve. Taking time to relax and decompress before returning to Scotland.

And that’s the year.

I could say there’s ‘lots of stuff ahead for me in 2020 !!!!!’ But, in the meantime I’m going to sleep, work, read, write, go to yoga, cycle, and climb.  You’ll hear from me when you do.

❤ kenn

hap newt year!

yikes, another year in the books and to be honest, 2018 was pretty amazing.

Here’s my Year in Review:

January

Traveled northward once again for Hogmanay at the EUMC Bothy.  Went skiing in the Cairngorm National Park and tripped over flat ground.  Ordered a sleeping bag with arms and legs.

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what a place to send 2017 to its fiery demise

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February 

Tuva and Erling invited me to Norway and abandoned me in a snow drift outside of a mountain hut while they went inside and ate cinnamon rolls.  Jokes aside, I got stuck all on my own.  The Beast from the East hit Edinburgh and the university was closed for a week amidst faculty strikes and bread rations.

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♑️⭕️🌾🔱🅰️✌️

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⛷⛷⛷

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March

March was essay season and I sort of stared into the void for most of it.

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y i k e s // pc @caitlin_mcgovern

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April 

The end of third year, a trip to Berlin to see Gregor and Sophie, my 21st birthday, and the last university exam I will ever take in my life. Get wrecked.

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🅱️3️⃣®👍📍♑️

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May

I take my Theoretical Archaeology exam and run/swim away to the Highlands.  The EUMC has its 75th Anniversary Dinner and then we kick off for the Road Trip.  We spend nearly a week on Skye with no rain and about a 100,000 midges.

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🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

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Some scrambling.

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June

Dad visited, I went to London with Besty, worked on some dissertation stuff, started at Bamburgh as an Assistant Environmental Supervisor, and then back to Chester for more work in a medieval kirkyard.

August 

Flew back to America and meet the family for a well needed holiday.

September 

Roseneath came to Kansas.  Gregor’s plane was never going to Chicago and he landed in Newark.  We meet a Bud Lite corporate rep who gave us 12 free pitchers.  Returned to Scotland for the start of fourth year.

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✌🏼❤️🌻

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October

Completed less work than I would have liked but went back to the Lake District one final time to see a Roman Fort.

November 

Built a model of an iron age Round House and cooked Thanksgiving for forty people. And went to the EUMC Bothy together for our last Bothy Trip.

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bothy trip year iv.

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December 

Had my last essays, EUMC Christmas Dinner, went to see Hoizer in concert, flew back to America early, spent Christmas with my cat, and flew back to Edinburgh with my sister.

I’m back in Edinburgh until term starts in the next few weeks.  Currently I’m finishing the second of my four essays for Early Medieval Sexualities, a presentation about my dissertation, and still writing and researching for the dissertation. My courses for this semester don’t change drastically.  Only ‘Architectural Archaeology’ was a semester, the rest are full year.

Edinburgh has a massive city wide party and instead of driving up north, this year the flat, some friends, and I stayed home.  My parents sent Crosby to Edinburgh for New Years here as well so my friends and I made sure she had a good time.  We watched the fireworks shoot off from the Castle in the Links and it was a pretty great start to New Years.

So hap newt years!

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✨ hap newt year ✨

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things suck, but not entirely.

Prompted by another revolution around the sun… it’s the 2017 year in review.

Truthfully?  2017 felt like the prolonged hangover that was the entire bottle of vodka of 2016.  New year, probably not new me… but it can only go up from here.  It can’t get any worse, can it?

I’ve just got back from the Bothy.  I celebrated Hogmanay with my friends, the mountains, and fours days in my sleeping bag.  Ellie drove, plenty of shenanigans.

January

I began 2017 at the Bothy.  It was just a few days after my hero and pretty much the inspiration for my attitudes toward life, Carrie Fisher, passed away.  The following week, I traveled to London to meet up with Ellie, Caitlin, and Sophie.  Term started.  I also got a new president and the following day the US had its largest protest to date.  The Women’s March had 500,000 marchers in Washington DC, 4,600,000 in the rest of the US, and an additional 5,000,000 worldwide.  I also climbed some mountains.

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Lads hit London. (Feat. Bong bong bong.)

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February 

I finalised plans for nine weeks of field work over the summer and my dad came to visit me.  We went to Bamburgh Castle were I ended up spending five weeks excavating an Anglo-Saxon industrial area.

March 

March is Women’s Month in the US and so I spammed people on Facebook with an inspirational woman everyday.  I also spent a lot of time reading and writing for courses.

April 

I finished up second semester of second year.  Then I went down to Chester for the first of my excavations.  I spent two weeks working in a medieval kirkyard excavating, recording, and lifting a burial.  I returned to Edinburgh and turned twenty.  Then I began to revise for my exams.

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©♓️📧⚡️🌱📧®

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May 

I revised for sometime.  I took my exams. I skipped down and went north.

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hi mom! i forgot sun screen.

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June 

I travelled around with my friends across the UK on the annual EUMC road trip.  We went to the Lake District and then up to Iona.  The EUMC held its dinner meet on the island so after a week of travelling and climbing, we all cleaned up, ate a meal, and had a bonfire on the beach.  I began excavations at Bamburgh Castle the following week.

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sound on.

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July 

Still at Bamburgh Castle.  I really loved it there and I learned a lot.  Mallory, a friend from home, came to stay with me for a week.  Then it was off to Italy for my last excavation of the summer.  I flew into Naples to study human remains from the Roman period at Aeclanum.

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living the tent life day 32. #archaeology

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spooky haunts with the bestie from the westie.

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August 

It was back to America.  I flew into Florida to meet my family for vacation.  Then I helped my kid sister move into college in Iowa.

September 

The start of third year.  I helped out with Freshers’ Events for the EUMC.

October 

I climbed some more mountains and revisited a Roman fort.  I was also very stressed.

November 

I was very stressed.  Wrote three essays in four weeks and went to Christmas dinner.

December 

I finished early in the month.  My mom came over to visit me.  Then it was back to America for Christmas.  My parent’s adopted another cat.  I saw Star Wars three times.  Then it was back to Scotland for New Years.  I cried at multiple airports.

So what did I learn from 2017? Things suck, but not entirely. 

Had I wished things had gone differently in the 2016 Election.  Everyday.  But, am I glad that the silver lining is that people are becoming active again in politics?  Everyday.  Am i hopeful for the 2018 by-elections?  Hecka.  Am I proud of Alabama in the monumental election of Doug Jones? Yea boiii.

As stressed as I get during the semester am I proud to be a student at a top world university? Duh.  It’s part of the contract.  As Britney would say, ‘You gotta work bitch.’

The summer excavations may have been cold and rainy and then hotter than the sun… but I was still excavating.  And I was loving it.

I may have missed a flight and cried in front of an American airlines employee… but I still made it.

Carrie Fisher might not be around anymore… but her performance in The Last Jedi was everything.

Things suck, but not entirely.  It’s really easy for me to forget that sometimes and only look at what’s gone wrong and not what’s gone right.  I worked a lot on that in 2017, trying to find positive things in what seemed like an awful year long hangover.

So, here’s 2018.

 

2k16: wtf

Hello and welcome to my … drum roll please … ‘Year in Review’ post.

And it’s early, but I won’t really have time to write it later.

2k16 was definitely ‘the year of realizing stuff.‘ Thanks Kylie Jenner.

*cracks knuckles* click play on the playlist above of wow! 12 songs corresponding to the 12 months of the year! *refrains from cracking neck* leggo.

January

I spent New Years with my Mom’s side of the family in Hays, Kansas.  Then I traveled back to Edinburgh to start the second semester of my first year.  I traveled to the Cairngorms for some choice winter walking and cried about how much I loved the Dark Ages for a solid twenty minutes.

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February  

I booked my place for my first archaeological excavation and cried about how I’m actually going on an archaeological excavation.  Then, I cried some more at medieval castles.  Slept in a bog for a weekend… and then won a photo contest from Historic Scotland… and then cried some more about my new lovely historical city.  Also I got really angry at the state of Kansas for being stupid.

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March

Essays.  Essays.  Essays.  I wrote a really cool paper about Anglo-Saxons. I joined the Young Demonstrators at the NMS and complained about being busy and tired all the time. I finished up lectures at classes at the end of the month.

April

I finished with my classes for the year and started Spring Break. I traveled to Spain for rock climbing and camping.  This was an amazing time away where I got to practice my new climbing skills and be in sunny, warm weather.  Then I came back to Edinburgh, signed a lease with three stelar flatmates, and learned that uno tequila shot does not equate to one bottle of beer when determining how much one should drink.  I got my tattoo for my 19th Birthday and the next day I had my Archaeology 2B Exam.

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May  

And that was first year.  I packed up and moved out of Pollock and into the new flat… and then it was off to Romania.  I spent three weeks in Schela Cladovei excavating a neolithic settlement.  It was awesome is an understatement.  I sound like a broken record, I’m aware, but I love everything about archaeology.  I love the history.  I love the physicality of unearthing artifacts that haven’t seen the light of the sun in hundreds or thousands of years.  It’s an incredible link across time and space that I would argue not a lot of other disciplines get to have.  In Romania I excavated small sample of human remains and it was a really sombering moment.  There I was was, 6,000 years later bringing this young person back into the sun, into archaeological relevance.  I am so excited for my future in the field.

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June 

I finished up my excavation in Romania and traveled back to Edinburgh for a short layover to do laundry and repack for America.  I arrived in Kansas for the summer and it was really, really hot.

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July

(Sorry no blog posts to link back to.) I spent the summer in America and celebrated the Fourth of July with my family and friends on our farm.  I got to hang out with my lovely cat, Rory (who is sitting with me now while I write this).  Kansas gets really hot in the summer so I spent a lot of my time either hiding from the heat inside or out by my pool… could be worse.

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I found my tricorn hat.

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August 

My family and I drove to Florida for our annual family vacation to Disney World.  My sister started her senior year of High School and all my friends from Lawrence went back to uni.  I stuck around for the rest of the month a little bored but glad for the peace and quiet in the house with Crosby back at school.  I also decided to grow out my fringe.

September 

And I hit the ground running.  Second Year.  My mom came with me to Scotland to help me move into my new home.  We then took a quick trip out to Ireland… well it was a business trip for her, I just got to see some cool medieval stuff.  The flat didn’t have wifi for a week and everyone nearly died.

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October 

I went on some cool mountain trips where I saw some Neolithic Rock art and went climbing near Bamburgh Castle (which fingers crossed, I’m working at this summer 2k17). I rant more about Archaeology and cry about Henry V for the 601st time.

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November

Essays almost killed me and it was not okay. I had seven essays all due all within five weeks… well it was a little okay, I did well on them (a 75 and 64 in Modern Scottish History, 70 and 75 in Osteology, and 60, 64, and 68 in Archaeology).  November was the roughest month this year.  Between school work and the election I didn’t really know how to function or move forward.  I ran away from humanity for a weekend and went to the Bothy to collect my thoughts.  November was also when my Dad and sister came to visit me and to be fair that was probably the best thing that could have happened.  Talking with my Dad always has helped me to figure out my life and I really needed a good chat.  I realised that I can be sad but I can’t allow that sadness to keep me down.  In a burst of light in the bleakest of hours, Young Justice was brought back from the TV show graveyard for a season 3 and things finally started to look up.

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December 

And here we are.  I took all three of my exams within a day of each other, spent the next two days sleeping and Christmas shopping, boarded a plane back to America, nearly got stuck in Newark, but then finally made it back to Kansas.  I went to go see Rogue One with my family and got absolutely rekt’d.  Yesterday was Christmas and I got some really awesome presents.  I’ll be flying back to Edinburgh in two days to pack for the Bothy.

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So it snowed on the farm.

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*end scene*

And that was my year… of realizing stuff.  2k16 was really a year of massive highs and crushing lows.  I’m excited for next year, I’m taking some really great courses and I’ll be back in Scotland studying what I love.  I’ve got a few excavations lined up for the summer, I’m just waiting to hear back from them.

So thank you to everyone who reads my ramblings here.  A big shout out to my family and my lovely friends without whom I would never get anything done.

Best wishes for the coming year,