On One’s True Nature
Digging in Italy may (subjunctive!) mean:
you will come to have a great appreciation for porta-potties. You will look upon them with fondness forever after*.
you, barehanded, will touch pieces of lead without a care in the world**.
you will be proud to be a dork who knows how to use a shovel and a pickaxe.
Perhaps you’re only a budding dork. Or perhaps you’re in denial about being a dork. Let me just tell you that if you WANT to participate in an archaeological excavation due to a personal, academic interest in the field, you need to embrace the fact that the outside world views you as a member of the Dork Tribe. EMBRACE IT!
In my opinion, archaeologists occupy the excellent position of having both an awesome outdoor, down and dirty component to their profession alongside a tradition of intense scholastic (i.e. indoor) work. Literally and metaphorically, you have the opportunity to wear a great many hats. It offers you the freedom that a desk job oftentimes cannot. Being called a dork or a nerd is a small price to pay.
*You’ve lucked out by digging at Ostia if you’re squeamish about this. We have INDOOR PLUMBING at Ostia and the Sebach truck can’t manage the old Roman roads. So no porta-potties for us, which truly makes me sad because they’re so much more CONVENIENT!
**Only later will you realize that to do so goes against everything your culture has taught you about interacting with this substance. You still won’t really care, though; for whatever strange reason there’s a mental disconnect between modern lead and ancient lead despite the fact that it’s just as bad for you.