just finished my third year at UC Berkeley. I'm getting my bachelor's
in Classical Civilizations with my concentration in Art and Archaeology.
I'm also taking pre-med courses because while I love classics,
I want to be a forensic pathologist. I know the two seem completely
unrelated, but it actually makes sense. As a Classics major, I
can gain insight into the lives of ancient Greeks by examining
the silent remains of their civilization such as the excavation
site of Nemea. In a similar fashion, as a forensic pathologist,
(hopefully as the chief medical examiner of a major city) I will
interpret what the physical evidence of the crime scene shows
me in order to understand how a crime was executed and who might
have been present.
the spring of my sophomore year, I had just decided that I wanted
to be a classics major. No, I take that back. I had a general,
hazy idea that all my antisocial, nerdy inclinations of reading
watered down Greek mythology books as a kid could be justified
if I became a Classics major. Yeah, that's closer to the truth.
Anyhow, I started taking some upper division classes, choosing
the ones that would fit around my giant blocks of lab time and
that were not in Greek or Latin. This led me to Professor Steve
Miller's class, Greek Sanctuaries.
first day of class, he announced that there was no final because
he wouldn't be around to give it. He was leaving in early May
because he had to oversee the excavations at his dig site at Nemea.
This blew me away - no final! Oh yeah, also the fact that here
was a person who didn't rely solely on the information gathered
by other people. He was the one whose firsthand opinion mattered,
and was published. Professor Miller was the first person I met
at Berkeley (but not the last) who I recognized as willing to
get his hands dirty to get information he wanted instead of being
satisfied with looking something up in a textbook and learning
about it secondhand.
remember asking him once about his work at Nemea. I told him I
would be more than happy to help him with his dig. By this time
it was too late for me to change my plans for the summer (of debauchery)
to go to Nemea for the summer. I asked him, "Can you tell
me how long you're going to be working at Nemea?" His answer
was, "Can you tell me how long I'm going to live?"
fall, I enrolled through the Undergraduate Research Apprentice
Program (URAP) to be his minion, I mean, assistant, along with
two others, Martin and Jini (aka Dewey and Louis). We worked long
and hard, (mostly long) on making a promotional video for the
New Nemean Games in 2004. Now this summer, I get a free trip to
Greece to see for myself what we've been trying to sell in a video
clip for the past semester and a half! At this point I have a
week before I leave and despite all the grown-up details that
I have to take care of before I go, I feel as excited for this
trip as my nerdy-kid self used to be for those books that told
me fantastic stories. Now I get to be one step closer to those
stories that helped shape my childhood.