Written by: Taylor Noble
Anthropology Level IV
“By far the most valuable lessons I have learned from studying social sciences are about humanity. I feel humbled and privileged to be given the opportunity on a daily basis to analyze the world around me…”
– Taylor Noble, Blogger & Social Sciences student
There is something captivating about studying people from the past. Since I can remember, I have been fascinated with learning about societies and the marks they have left in the landscape of our world. I think it began when I watched “The Mummy” for the first time. Seeing the Hieroglyphics on the screen and watching the characters explore the grand pyramids in Egypt sparked curiosity in me for learning about the people of the past. I would go out of my way to gather library books on all different ancient societies in attempt to learn about what I couldn’t quite understand. While I didn’t know it at the time, all of the reading I was doing was related to the field of Anthropology. Many years later, I went on my first tour of McMaster and decided here would be the perfect place for me to pursue my interests in the subject.
Since starting my degree in 2012, my studies have taught me much more than I could have ever expected. If you had asked me what I would get out of my degree four years ago, I would have told you that I would become an Indiana Jones of sorts, running from traps and finding the lost treasures of the world. However, if you ask me today, I would tell you that I have learned about how people from around the world interact with their environments. I’d tell you how to respect the past and the wonders of history previous to our time. I’d explain the opportunities I have had to hold the material past in my hands and how I have learned to read the stories that our bones can tell. I would show you the work I completed and my first publication as one of the authors in the book “The Strangling Angel, Diphtheria in Hamilton.” And lastly, I would inform you that Mr. Jones is a poor representation of real anthropology.
All of the experiences I have had to date have been invaluable and I have realized that all of this has only been possible for me through McMaster’s anthropology department. Studying at McMaster has allowed me to explore my passions and receive the guidance I needed from my TA’s and Professors. While sometimes the work is challenging, it has only motivated me further to persevere and work harder to achieve my goals.
Graduation draws closer and I have taken some time this year to really reflect on the experiences I’ve had during my undergraduate degree. By far the most valuable lessons I have learned from studying social sciences are about humanity. I feel humbled and privileged to be given the opportunity on a daily basis to analyze the world from various perspectives and to understand more about the world around me and in turn I am able to better understand myself. No matter which path I take after graduation, I will continue to use the skills and knowledge that I have gained during my time spent at McMaster.
Taylor is the blogger of Water Cooler Gossip, run through the Student Success Centre. Check out the blog, Water Cooler Gossip here and read more about Taylor’s experiences and thoughts on university life at McMaster!