Dreaming while awake

Katie Paul writes:

Every little kid has a dream of what they want to be when they grow up- an NBA player, a rock star, a princess- but they’re called dreams for a reason, and it’s usually because the chances of growing up to be LeBron James or the King of pop are often very slim.  But for me (and I’m sure many archaeologists) my childhood dream was to grow up and be just like Indiana Jones.  At eight years old my father showed me “The Last Crusade” and I knew right then and there I wanted to be an archaeologist.

Summers were spent digging in my back yard with gardening tools wearing dinosaur t-shirts desperately searching for fossils and artifacts and pretty much anything that made me feel like a “real” archaeologist.  Now of course no one can be exactly like Indiana Jones, and it was a little strange to be digging through bugs and dirt while other little girls played with Barbie and Ken dolls, but I was certain that someday I could be exactly like him. And here I find myself sixteen years later with the living the same dream that seemed so far away when I was digging up my parents backyard.

Knowing that I was coming to Israel I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see the site that has inspired my life’s goals thus far- Petra.  Known to most people from our man Indi as the site where he found the Holy Grail and killed a bunch of Nazis, for me the site represented so much more.  The famous images of the Treasury appearing through the spaces in the narrow Siq are images that have driven my passion for archaeology as far back as I remember.

As we headed to the treasury I couldn’t resist re-enacting a scene from Indiana Jones on the cobble stone pathway of the Siq (I mean c’mon, how many people can actually say they’ve done that?).  And then there it was peeking through the tall narrow passage beckoning those to come closer, I was living the famous scene that I had dreams about experiencing as a child.  Walking up toward the treasury I felt like I as living the movie in slow motion and as I stood there and marveled at the magnificent site before me I couldn’t help but realize that 48 hours from that point I would be digging just like Indiana Jones (minus the Nazi gunfire).  Everything seemed to stop and everything I worked for and dreamed about for 16 years was coming true and I had come full circle.

I left Petra feeling enlightened and even more thankful for where I would be heading next- Megiddo! When I left DC and told my friends that I would be waking up at 4am every morning to dig on top of a mound in the heat in Israel they all thought I was crazy to be so excited for something that most people would fin so miserable- but it’s a kind of pleasure only another archaeologist could understand.  I am in no way a morning person, but waking up at 4am was not and will not ever be a problem when I’m doing archeology, because when getting up means going to the a tel to dig, I never have to wake up from my dream.


3 Responses to “Dreaming while awake”

  1. Katie,
    YOU AMAZE ME! Someone’s digging in the dirt…Who is there?
    Stay safe.
    Love You,

  2. Steve Fulmer Says:

    I’m so glad everything is going so well for you. Girl, you make me proud to be your uncle. Enjoy everything, and take care of yourself…..Steve

  3. Paula Kane Says:

    Hey there Katie!

    How wonderful to be able to send you a note. Don’t ever stop living your dreams and enjoying the pleasure that is derived from doing just that. You are sure to be a huge success within your field and I cannot wait to see your name in the headlines sometime in the future! Love, prayers and blessings to keep you safe until you are home with your family once again! Take care, Paula (and all the other Kane’s and Cornell’s)

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