New life with old things – The Bamberg chronicles, part I

Okay, we are a little bit melodramatic here. I have no new life, I still have my normal one, the old one, the one I am used to for 30 years now. Yes, I actually am that old. But, behold, not that old, considering the things I am currently working with. As an archaeologist you never can be too old. 😉

My so-called new life is new because I am now working in a new job in a new city. I moved to Bamberg, Germany, one week ago. I am now offically a working part of the University of Bamberg and in the middle of the archaeology of the Roman provinces. I wrote about my search and struggle for a new job (see my posts here and here), and it worked out quite well.

So, my new life with old things, a series Sarah and I were talking about recently, is now in the world and out there for you to read and for you to follow. My mum asked me to write some kind of diary about my life here in Bamberg… And there are a lot of people who are afraid that I might be too alone and lonely here, in this beautiful city. Well, I do not think that I will be miserable or bored out. So far, I have read and finished three books – two of them were not academic literature at all and I loved it. It felt like restarting my brain. I finally managed to listen to the first parts of my Classics collection on great old and dead composers. The last time I did this… well, it is more than 15 years ago. Yes, I was a strange child, too. I love classical music and I like to read all by myself the whole day. I have time now. I have work and I have time for myself, which is no bad thing, when you finished your PhD thesis and all the studies. It is quite a strange feeling. Everything seems to be „new“.

Okay, so, this fuss about my „new life“, I am starting with it too, let’s just bury it – it is no new life. It is just a very convenient plottwist, because the main character has a job now she ever wanted and dreamed of (being an early career stage archaeologist). And so far, I am really excited to be here.

Due to the Corona-Crisis I just moved to Bamberg last week. I could not meet all of my new colleagues by now, because they are partly doing home office or they are at the office when I am at home. But the people I have met last week are all friendly and I really liked the vibes. Everything is quite new and unkown, so the next weeks will be interesting for me to settle down and to get the working routine. Keep it going and move it, as always.

My future tasks for the next three years (minus six weeks already!) will be administrational work, teaching and – of course – thinking about my own research. Teaching is quite curious by now – distance teaching means for me that I record my talks and that my students watch these talks with my powerpoint presentations like a podcast. We are also talking with each other via live chats and video conferencing tools. It is somehow a very surreal feeling to teach, I can tell you.

The administrational work is quite minimal – also, due to Corona. When there are no real meetings and half of the staff is actually working from home, as well as all of the students, there just can’t be a lot of administrational work to do, right? But I use the time to plan my future courses for the next semester – you never can start to early to prepare some course materials, can you? Quite essentially, of all of your course ideas are still ideas, because I am „new“ to this teaching stuff. I like it so far, though. Well, ask me again after I have read the first written homeworks on my current topic. 😉 But, I guess, my students will do the best they can, because so far I have no complaints.

But, even if I like it here, even if I like my little one-room flat with the miniature kitchen and the simple desk and the small bed, I am missing my home. I miss my family and my love, my friends, even the neighbour’s dog. I am looking forward to go home in two weeks for an elongated weekend. It is not hard to be away – I am used to it and I love to be away, actually. And I love to come back, to come home.

They say (yes, „they“ – you know of whom I speak), you need to go to another University, at least once – and at least once you have to work in another country, to learn and experience new things abroad. So, this is the game of Academia, this is me playing, this is me following the rules. No-one said that it would be easy. These are the Bamberg chronicles (yes, I like the name, don’t you? 😉) and these are the adventures in the middle of Archaeology and old stuff. I will write about my life here every two months, providing you with some of my experiences, my failures, my thoughts and my working routine.

That’s it for now. Stay safe and stay tuned for new stories about your two epigrammetrists. 😊

All the best, my dear warriors of Academia – Astrid


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