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The reports have been killing me for weeks now. Both the same thing, just with different focuses (focii?). Pick a site (Sydney: A site commissioned by Governer Macquarie; Maritime: A site in Greater Sydney Harbour or Parramatta River). Research its history. Find out what remains. Judge the likely success of any excavations or imaging in the site. Fill out the Heritage Site Application form for each site. Hand it in.
Seems pretty simple, yes?

Not when you do your back in at the worst possible moment. Honestly, two days before uni started back after the Easter break and I manage to put my back out. I still can’t work out how. All I know is that one day I was ok, and the next I could barely even sit up straight, let alone drive to Campbelltown and march around a church taking photos.

I stressed, I cried, I hammered out sobbing emails like a madwoman, and I studied my butt off – almost literally. All it did was make my back worse and send pain rocketing down my legs to stab my ankles like ninja death stars made of wasp stings. I forced myself to sit up and work on the Sydney report. At least I’d done research for that already, and even if I’d lose marks for not checking the site myself, I should still be able to pull together a pass. The Maritime report was pointless to even look at. Having only just chosen a topic, I had nothing researched. I might as well focus on what I could do. With the help of codeine, in a week and a half the pain finally wore off and I was able to drive to uni and back. The next day it was surprisingly still ok, so I hit up Campbelltown for some photos, and I think I got some good ones:

Grave with fallen leaves and syringes

Sacred to the memory of Lencelot Nethery who died September the 12th 1865, aged 51 years, leaving a disconsolate widow to mourn her loss.

Then when I went into the church to ask the receptionist some questions, everyone in the office got into a conversation about what we all knew about the history of the site. I got some good info that I managed to slip into the report, though I have to work out how exactly to reference a conversation I had with someone. To top it all off, the receptionist took my number and said she’d ask the author of one of the books I used for my research to contact me. I’m hoping she will, but for now I have the report complete enough to just print it out and hand it in on Wednesday.

Now to start on the Maritime one…

Edit: The author rang. At 5:15pm on a Sunday.
My notes were all over the place, I was mid-rant about disappearing internet coverage, I couldn’t collect my thoughts and I sounded like a mental case.
It didn’t help that my phone was echoing my own voice back at me a second after I said everything.
I couldn’t ask my questions comprehensibly and I’m pretty sure she thought I was an idiot.
To top it all off, I don’t know if I’m allowed to have asked her questions anyway, since we’re not cleared to do interviews with people yet. I don’t know if asking the author questions to clarify what you got from their book counts as an interview but knowing my luck it will and I’ll cop a mouthful for it. Marvellous.