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If a student takes the whole series of my folklore courses including the graduate seminars, he or she should learn something about fieldwork, something about bibliography, something about how to carry out library research, and something about how to publish that research.
The way to do fieldwork is never to come up for air until it is all over.
I got interested in palaeontology and vertebrate history - sparked by books on human evolution - then vertebrate evolution. Studying with palaeontologists kindled my interest in fieldwork.
There is more to folklore research than fieldwork. This is why in all of my other upper-division courses I require a term paper involving original research.
Their term project consists of a fieldwork collection of folklore that they create by interviewing family members, friends, or anyone they can manage to persuade to serve as an informant.
Sadly, I am not able to take part in the fieldwork myself so much anymore, as both of my legs were amputated following an airplane crash twelve years ago.
I guess rock stars are role models for the kids who listen to that music. My role models have all been geologists - you know, the guys who are doing fieldwork until they're 70.
Before doing fieldwork in Middle Egypt, I analyzed satellite imagery to determine exactly where I wanted to go. Within three weeks, I found about 70 sites. If I had approached this as a traditional foot survey, it would have taken me three and a half years.
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