Ruth's Diary


Yesterday was Luka's birthday (we're just friends-honest!). He liked the ecard I sent him, which makes me happy because now I know he does read my emails. Well, I said I'd tell you about my Work Experience so I will.

The AOC Archeology centre is in St Margarets Business Centre in the Borough of Twickenham and behind the St Margarets train station. The Business Centre is a small bunch of buildings (one bunch is terraced) that house the offices of a company. AOC have a building of their own with their own plaque at the front. When you enter, there's a list at the side on which you sign in. On the left is toilets and a kitchen, were people get drinks and Rice Krispies. That's right, some people there don't have breakfast until they get to work. To get upstairs, you either use the stairs at the entrance or the metal stairs in the store room, which look like they lead to a canopy.

Upstairs is where most of the offices are, geared up with telephones, computers, swivel chairs and carpets, how smart. There are some offices plus reception downstairs, geared with the same equipment. Except for one, the offices are rather small. The biggest part of the building looks like a crude warehouse: there is no wallpaper or carpet and there are piles and rows of boxes. On one side of this storage space is a bunch of tables set up in a U shape and kept quite messily. Nearby is a bunch of shelves where the newest archeological finds are kept once they have been washed, before being packaged. That's the area where I work.

So what do I think of the place? Well it's very dusty (in my bit anyway), considering all the old things that come in. I'm glad I took the advice to wear old clothes, so it's all my manky clothes that are covered in dust. I'm never really bored because there's always stuff to do, which is a plus. The point of this centre is to gather infomation on digs, map them, categorise and store the finds, that kind of thing. I'm doing all the "monkey work" as one guy called it. It involves sorting objects, marking them (with ink) and packaging them, ready to be sent off or stored until requested. It appears this work is left to the Work Experience visitors/Volunteers, so I can't help but wonder: who does the "monkey work" when there is no one/two/three people to do it for them? (There were 2 last week.)

Alternatively I'm sometimes sat at a computer and writing up contents sheets for various boxes, which contain packages of objects. It is then that I see what I can get away with: earlier I played full games of Solitaire and Minesweeper without getting caught. I can't get on the internet though because the browser's encrypted with a password for some reason. Generally I'm at my most bored when I package bricks. Bricks: the easiest things to find at a dig, but what can you learn from them other than "they were used to build buildings"? So they're all bundled together in one big package and chucked away sometime afterwards. What's the point? I preferred handling bones.

On Tuesday I went to a real Archeological site. There wasn't much happening and all I did was hold a prism as a sensor mapped out the area. That sounds odd doesn't it? Held a prism. The prism is six mirrors in a conical position inside a cylinder, on a stick. So I was holding the stick, not the actual prism itself. The high point of the day was the trenches about and all the piles of rubble. Why was this good? I got to clamber on them! I love clambering and climbing over things! The low point: we started very late, so I got home very late. (grumble)

Blimey! This is the longest rant I've ever written! This took me forever, I hate writing long posts/rants/entries! Anyhoo...toodles!

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