My old man

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“My old man’s an anthropologist,

Now what do you think about that?
He wears an anthropologist’s collar,
He wears an anthropologist’s hat.
He wears an anthropologist’s raincoat,
He wears an anthropologist’s shoes.

And every Saturday evening he reads the Anthropologist News.
And someday, if I can…
I’m gonna be an anthropologist the same as my Old Man.”

– From Tommy and Dick Smothers’ My Old Man

Imagine, if you will, that you have aspirations of becoming an anthropologist, just like your Old Man. Toward which sub-field of anthropology (physical anthropology, archaeology, cultural anthropology, linguistics, or applied anthropology) would you gravitate? Why? To what geographical region would you travel? With what culture or at what archaeological site would you prefer to work? Why? Try to keep these tied together thematically; don’t say I’d like to know more about the traditional marriage practices of the Tiwi of Australia and the tools made by the earliest hominins in eastern Africa and the languages spoken by the peoples western Brazil. This point is important and will be repeated later. Raise scientific questions that you would want to answer about your chosen field and topic.

If you can address all these points and present them in a succinct and concise manner, you will get full credit (10 points: 6 “built in” points, 4 bonus). The bonus points are for those who put some legitimate reflective thought into this assignment and don’t just write one or two sentences and call it a day (however, take no more than a page to answer these questions). Email your papers, as an attachment, to me at In the subject line of your email, write “My Old Man 9:30” or “My Old Man 11:00” (depending on which class you are in; failure to mention your class time will result in a two point deduction in your grade). You will have until 12:00 noon (Central Standard Time) on Tuesday, April 23, 2019 to submit your paper. Late papers will NOT be accepted, no exceptions, no sympathy from me. You have plenty of time to write this paper. Complete it now. Do not wait until the last minute.

P.S. You do not need to write about anything that we have discussed in class (although, if you want to you certainly can). It’s a big planet filled with lots of culture, history, prehistory, and, now, more than seven and a half billion people. There is much to be curious about.

P.P.S. Format your response as such: I would travel to X to study Y’s language, because… Don’t format your response as such: I would travel to Europe because I’m of European ancestry. I would then love to study the Inca. The Neolithic time period of the Middle East would be fun to learn about… See the difference? In case you don’t, the second example bounces all over the place (the Inca, the Neolithic, and the Middle East all in one). Be topically consistent.

P.P.P.S. My Old Man is a real song that does actually feature anthropology.

P.P.P.P.S. Do not write about dinosaurs or time travel. I’m serious. Do not try to call my bluff, as there is no bluff to call.

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