Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Looking for a Master Thesis

I have to admit, I was a little bit desperate when I started studying Anthropology five years ago. I began my “career” as a student of biology, but after a few months I was more or less disgusted by the way “modern biology” works. This was quite shocking for me, because back in school I was quite sure that biology would be the field of science where I belong to. This whole story put me into some kind of intellectual crisis, which led me to the conclusion that studying politics, philosophy and cultural Anthropology would be the right thing for me. In Germany, cultural and physical Anthropology are separated so I only heard a tiny little bit about physical Anthropology. But since the subjects I chose back then were either quite boring (politics) or very annoying (philosophy) I decided one more time to switch my subjects, saying to myself, if this isn’t the right thing either, I will stop messing around at the university and attend an apprenticeship as pastry chef. Mostly because baking fancy cakes is the only talent I have besides of this whole intellectual stuff.
In contrast to my earlier attempts, after a short time studying in Anthropology I said to myself: “This is where I belong.” And even though I lost almost one year due to my stupid laziness, I haven’t changed my point of view.

The reason why I took Anthropology back then and why I didn’t become a pastry chef (yet) is very simple: Curiosity. There are so many things we don’t know about ourselves. Just look on this whole Ardipithecus topic and the questions about the origin of our species. How can you hope to understand human nature, when we aren’t able to understand our own natural history?
Because I want to find answers to that question, or at least try to find some, one and a half years ago I decided to try my luck at Paleoanthropology.
Unfortunately, this decision coincided more or less with the Retirement Winfried Henke, some of you might know him as one of the Editors of the “Handbook of Paleoanthropology”. He was the only Professor at our Institute that supervised Master and PhD-Theses in Paleoanthropology.
I’ve spend the whole last year to think about a proper resolution for this problem but besides some nice insights into various topics, the outcome of this whole process was very poor.

Sure, I could easily go on with this stuff, reading publications, thinking about what I could do, if someone just gives me the opportunity and meanwhile feeling extremely intelligent while doing so. But this wouldn’t help my chances in getting into Paleoanthropology.

This is why I finally decided to take a more direct approach to this problem.

I will simply ask a lot of people in a lot of countries if there is an opportunity to write my Master-Thesis under their supervision.
Sure, most of these people got better things to do than to reply to the desperate begging of some unknown student and honestly I don’t expect very much from this. But nothing will change for sure if I continue to do nothing. And sitting around, thinking about all this over and over again will change nothing either.

As far as I can see, in a Situation like this, you have two options: 1st Option: You can sit around and complain how cruel and unfair the world is treating you or you can try the 2nd Option which means that you stop complain and try to change something.
Until now, I tried Option number one and it didn’t work out very well, now I want to try the second option.