Defending Indiana Jones, Archaeologist
Not so far from reality. (Fewer traps though) "Another anecdote: I’ve had wonderful professors, I’ve had brilliant professors, but without doubt the most badass professor I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with was Doctor Kimberly Bowes, a late classical archaeologist who spent a year teaching what amounts to introductory Mediterranean political science and history. Dr. Bowes knew a billion languages and she spent her fieldwork being lowered down pits into buried villages and subterranean temples of blood-drinking cults (I mean, Christian churches, but, you know, same diff). Having swallowed the “real archaeologists aren’t Indiana Jones” pill along with every skeptical kid my age, I thought she must be the exception, the Sole Awesome Archaeologist. Then a colleague of hers arrived one day to watch her class—he rode in on his motorcycle, with leather boots and a lanky figure and the kind of five-o-clock shadow actors pay people to help them fake. And the stories I’ve heard from friends who’ve gone on fieldwork! Yes, it’s grids and dust and potsherds and toothbrushes, sure, but if you’ve ever camped out, and I mean really camped out, like a week in the mountains somewhere hiking ten miles a day kind of camping out—imagine doing that for months at a stretch, digging all day and working (or drinking, or both) all night. Imagine scars and shovel blisters and sweat and back pain and waking before dawn because you were so tired you went to sleep an hour after sundown. Imagine speaking three languages around a campfire. Imagine poisonous snakes on a thornbush-covered mountain at sunrise."