Student Blog Post #6: Travis Slooter
Hello! My name is Travis Slooter. I am currently a “guest student” at Michigan Tech. I am part of MICUP, a program that allows students from community colleges to come up to Michigan Tech and experience life at a four-year college institution. We stay in the dorms, eat in the dining hall, take a class, and work on a research project in our desired field to earn valuable undergraduate research experience. For this program, each student who works on a research project must complete a poster describing their research and what they accomplished.
Presently, I am studying to become a Paleontologist, a scientist who studies dinosaurs and other parts of prehistory, at Grand Rapids Community College. I was accepted into the program in April and by May 4th, I was on my way up to Michigan Tech. I was lucky enough to have my class and research in one. I was put in the Archaeological Field School led by Dr. Tim Scarlett and Dr. Sam Sweitz. I had ideas of what I would be doing; working at the mines, creating n-meter by n-meter work areas and just digging to find artifacts… I soon found out how wrong I was.
I have learned so much, ranging from the history of the Keweenaw, to the skills essential to archaeology. I have gained all of this knowledge from long hot days in the field, covered in layers of bug spray, and the long nights reading material about Cliff Mine and the lives of the people of Clifton. But I wouldn’t have changed a single moment of it.
The last seven weeks of my life have filled me with so many memories that I will remember for the rest of my life. I enjoyed the field trips around the Keweenaw, learning about its origins and learning about the processes and ethics of archaeologists. I have grown so much as a student; I now know how to talk to professors, PhD. students, and grad students.
Instead of just learning how to dig properly, I have gained knowledge in mapping using traditional and sophisticated methods, how to make an educated hypothesis on why an artifact is where it is and how it got there, and how to have fun out in the field.
Originally I had no intentions on transferring to MTU, but after this summer, this very short summer, I have grown to love Michigan Tech. I love the small campus feel, the educational devotion of the students, and the open door policy of all the professors I met. I am now considering transferring in the fall of 2013 to continue my education considering my admittance and financial circumstances.
I want to thank everyone for a great summer and really accepting me as a fellow student. I have enjoyed meeting everyone in the industrial archaeology department. I’m truly going to miss everyone, students and professors.
May your shovels stay sharp and your buckets overflow!
Best wishes to everyone,
“If you do what you love and love what you do, you will never work a day in your life.”