I arrived as a mostly unfocused freshman at Brown in the fall of 1966, considering a major in psychology or math. After one semester I lost interest in the former, and a year of terror in calculus disabused me of a future in the latter. How I ended up in a beginning anthropology class during my second semester is lost to memory, but from then on, I was hooked.
I knew I wanted to be an archaeologist in the 6th grade and actually got to go on a dig when I was a junior in high school in 1970. There weren’t any archaeological field schools for high school students in those days, but my grandparents found out about one that was “experimenting” with teaching high school kids and sent me to New Mexico (from Connecticut). I loved it and set my sights on archaeology as my career. That meant finding a college/university with a good archaeology undergrad program. Brown quickly became my #1 choice, especially after reading a National Geographic article about the work of James Deetz. Continue reading
All Things Related
In 1955 the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology transformed from a private collection with few viewers to a university museum with a diversified audience and a profound commitment to the indigenous peoples, world-wide, whose artifacts the museum held. Douglas Anderson embedded this philosophy into our first mission statement, writing that we have a responsibility to the communities from whom our collections have come. Continue reading
I can remember the days of Bets Giddings, Barbara Hail and me and at the beginning of our reinventing school groups’ introductions to museum education. In the beginning a great deal of our involvement at the Museum came from sitting on Bets’ deck overlooking Mount Hope Bay and discussing the ways we could develop a program for school kids that would not be a tour of the exhibits with the kids standing glassy-eyed and bored.
Jim Schevill and I moved to Providence in 1969 for what we thought was one year, as he was invited to develop Brown’s Creative Writing Program with Edwin Honig. My previous career had been as an opera and concert singer in the Bay Area, and I had attended the University of California for one year before I married the first time. We both enjoyed living in Rhode Island, and Jim was offered a tenured position in the English Department.
He resigned from S.F. State and we moved to the east side of Providence. I met Charlotte Lowney who encouraged me to attend Pembroke College and finish my undergraduate degree – which I did majoring in Music and Spanish. During that time, with Gerard Shapiro, of the Music Department, we formed The New Music Ensemble of Providence that performed contemporary classical chamber music, and I was the singer.