27.4.11

I'm Off to the Yukon Again

Wednesday, 27 April 2658

I fear I will be unable to tweet anything for the next four days. I will be bereft of all outside contact with the world. I must apologize ahead of time for ignoring all of you, but it can’t be helped.

You will remember almost two years ago I took a handful of students to the Yukon to stay in a cabin owned by the Association of Temporal Anthropologists to see who could survive for a week living in primitive conditions. (See Annual Temporal Anthropologist Candidate Endurance Test) This year I’m going back with six students who made it past that first hurtle and are now committed to becoming licensed time travelers.

This trip isn’t so much a test as an exercise in living without modern conveniences. The trainees are as follows:

Archibald Cocker - University of Liverpool: You will remember Archie who was the only one who decided to become a Temporal Anthropologist after the Endurance Test I presided over. He wants to study Victorian Britain, too, but from the angle of his working class ancestors. People think I’m brave to go back and live in the 19th century, but you’ll never see me working in a factory or sweeping a chimney. Very brave lad!

Dawn Owhi - Central Washington University: Stella is a Yakama who wants to study the Plateau tribes in the Pacific Northwest corner of the United States of America.

Ropata Hahona - University of Auckland: Ropata wants to live among his Maori ancestors in New Zealand.

Taharqa Mayardit - University of Sudan: Taharqa is interested in the ancient Kush & Meroe Empires.

Henri Luc Pétain - University of Paris: Henri dreams of traveling to 17th century France and seeing “The Sun King.”

Brigit Fitzpatrick - University of Dublin: Brigit wants to carry on the work of the late Brendan MacDonnell, one of the founding members of Association of Temporal Anthropologists. Brendan was studying Dark Age Ireland, and making copies of the lost books of the monastic libraries.

I know none of these scholars will be living in a 19th century cabin when they go out into the Field. As I said this is just to get them use to living without computers and modern plumbing. We are also coming here in spring rather than summer. There will probably still be some snow on the ground, making the conditions even more uncomfortable for them. And we will all be crammed into two rooms with three bunk beds and a cot. Hardly a luxury holiday.

Still I enjoy these type of outings more than the endurance tests since the whiners have all been weeded out. However, it will not be easy for any of them. They are all products of the 27th century after all. This will be a culture shock for them.

The Association could have just as easily sent a historical recreationist along to show the students how to light a wood stove or chop wood, but we send them with an experienced temporal anthropologist. I’m sure they are all dieing to ask me what it’s like in the Field. I plan to have long group discussions so they can ask questions and air fears. I get to play the role of wise elder. (All right, I’ll have to fake the “wise” part.)

Tweet you all next month. I’ll let you know how things went.

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