Turn left at the camel

Meghan Strong '07 is the media content manager for Dr. Zahi Hawass of the Supreme Council of Antiquities in Cairo, Egypt. The following is an excerpt from her blog, "Turn Left at the Camel."

By far the most common comment I hear from people when I tell them that I'm moving to Cairo is, "How on earth did you get a job in Egypt?!" Truth be told, I've been asking myself the same question over the past month. This job really is a dream come true and a pursuit that's been long in the making.

On my first day of graduate school, the director of our department asked us to go around the room, introduce ourselves and say how we got interested in Egyptology. We all came from different states and academic backgrounds, but the one thing we had in common was the Egypt bug. In my case, the bug struck hard and at a young age. It came in the form of a "Kid’s Discover" magazine and I was 5 years old. By the time I had read the magazine cover to cover, I was hooked... impossibly hooked. At 5 years old, I knew exactly the career path I wanted to follow, even if I had no idea that Egyptology was a career choice.

By the time I entered college, I was already focused on my master's and Ph.D. Strange? Yes, I know, but I was nothing if not driven. I carved out my own Egyptian-focused archaeology program at Lycoming and by the time I graduated I knew I was headed off to the University of Memphis for my master's. Little did I know that three years later I would have my degree and be moving half way across the world to work for the Supreme Council of Antiquities.

At my graduation from Lyco, our dean gave an amazing commencement address which I know will be a moment in my life that I will never forget. As a nod to my work on my senior honors thesis, "The Indiana Jones Effect," Dean Piper presented me with an Indiana Jones hat. Aside from making for a great photo op, this moment struck me as extremely poignant. Call it cliche, but handing me that hat was like handing a knight of the round table his first sword, or maybe more, like enticing Indy to set off in search of the Holy Grail. So thank you, Dean Piper, for setting me off on my quest and I hope all of you enjoy following me.

Follow Meghan by visiting her blog, "Turn Left at the Camel"

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