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17 September 2013 @ 10:09 pm
Off to teach the kids how to use ancient hunting weapons!  
This morning I didn't really feel like being good and working on my Anasazi presentation for the elementary school kids, so I spent a lot of time playing Animal Crossing instead. Eventually, though, I knew I had to buckle down, so I went over to the museum to gather up some presentation materials. Chunks of obsidian and flint-knapping tools so that I can tell the kids how arrowheads are made. A bundle of yucca fiber, in case I decide to talk about weaving. Pottery fragments, both painted and plain, and a partially assembled bowl (not prehistoric) in case I discuss Anasazi pottery. Finally, I grabbed four atlatls and four projectile points to teach the kids to use. There was only one problem – I didn't know how to use an atlatl, myself.



This, by the way, is an atlatl and spear. And Anasazi hunter.



I returned to the museum and pestered my boss to show me how to use it – only to have him admit that he'd never thrown one, either. The museum hosted an atlatl competition back in 2011 and he didn't participate! Amazing. I'm going to tease him mercilessly about that for years. Anyway, he found the old competition atlatls in the storage shed and I went out to the front lawn and began flinging spears around with little success, much to the amusement of our guests. Finally, a fellow from Teasdale with a little experience throwing atlatls ambled over and between the two of us we worked out the basics, while my boss stood by and laughed.

It was mid-afternoon by the time I got my lazy self on the road, scuttling my plans to do Bryce Canyon. I went straight to Kodachrome State Park to find out where I was staying – I wanted to have plenty of daylight in case I had to try and put up a tent, which in theory I can do but I've never actually tried to erect one on my own. Luckily, the man working at the front desk told me I didn't have to worry about it – there was a bed for me in the employee housing. A bed! A house! SWEET! I couldn't go in, because my roommate wasn't back yet, but that didn't bother me. As long as I didn't need to set up a tent, I didn't have to be in Kodachrome before dark, so I drove off to Tropic for my next chore.

Tropic is about twenty-five minutes from Kodachrome – not a terrible commute, but not a hop and a skip from my doorstep like the museum is from the trailer. I wasn't too worried about the drive, but I had been given very vague directions about the location of the school I was presenting at, so I wanted to make sure I knew where it was since I'm nearly always running late in the morning. The organizer of this event, when asked to provide directions for someone who was new to Utah, told me to “turn west at the pizza place”. If I'd only had her to rely on, I wouldn't even know what city the school was in! Luckily, my boss knew, and our janitor wrote out the address so I could find it. You'd think that with all this I would finally find the place, but it still took me a good fifteen minutes to track down the school.

After that had finally been accomplished, I was starving, so I went to The Pizza Place, for it turns out that this was the actual name of the local pizza parlor. There I had a bacon chicken ranch pizza – my first one in over a month! It was heavenly.

When I was stuffed to the brim, I went back to Kodachrome and met my temporary roommate. She was really nice! She's a career seasonal employee (not by choice) who has worked at parks around the country. I thought that was really cool – if I was single, I'd do it. The Kodachrome housing had no cell phone reception or Internet connection, though, so I was really cut off from everything. This normally wouldn't be too much of a problem, but since I still had to put together my Anasazi Powerpoint presentation it was not good! I threw one together the best that I could, but I had to remind myself not to ever, ever procrastinate my presentation so long again because it's a BAD idea.
 
 
 
Markying_ko_4 on September 24th, 2013 04:52 pm (UTC)
There is a small group of anthropology students here on campus who throw atlatl's on the quad. It's quite fascinating to watch. A friend of mine enjoys joining them.