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Haury’s Rules

This past weekend I visited the Kaufman Museum’s exhibit: In the Fields of Time. On a card, tucked into an experience station, I discovered a card with Dr. Emil Haury’s rules for his anthropology courses.

Several of these rules resonated with me. Patricia Crown included these in Remembrance of Emil Haury. She writes, “He repeated these rules in every course he taught and he lived them.” I share them here, hoping that some of them will speak to my readers as they have to me:

  1. Never wear a hat while giving a professional talk.
  2. Never use jargon.
  3. Avoid the use of the word “very” in professional writing.
  4. Try to have one good idea every day.
  5. Keep a research journal at all times and write down those good ideas.
  6. When your research project is complete, look at your journal and perhaps there will actually be one or two good ideas in there.
  7. Write three pages on something every day, you can always throw them out later.
  8. Always write your introductions last, so that you specify what you plan to do after you know what you have done.
  9. Living conditions make or break field schools.
  10. At the end of the semester give your teaching assistant a large bottle of the alcoholic of his or her choice.
  11. Treat everyone as if he or she has something intelligent to say, even if they don’t.
  12. You may try to quit archaeology, but once it is in your blood, you will never get away.
  13. People with wacky ideas are important to the profession in forcing the rest of us to clarify our arguments.
  14. Don’t try to change anything your first year in a new job, or you will wound some egos.
  15. If you are lost in the desert, the one thing you need most for survival is a piece of string.

From: Crown, P. L. (1993.) “Remembrance of Emil Haury,” Kiva, 59(2):261-65.

Which rule connects with you? Do you have a story to illustrate a rule?

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Elizabeth #

    These are wonderful! I am (very) guilty of number 3, although I have always adhered to number 8. Numbers 5 and 7 are goals I have had for many years but have failed to make regular habits. My default research journal is usually scrap paper, which means I rarely find my “good ideas” again…

    May 24, 2012
    • Friesen Group #

      Thank you for contributing to the conversation, Elizabeth!

      My personal favorites: 4, 5, 7, 13.
      4 and 5 became a habit when a good friend started showing up to every meeting with a hardbound notebook for jotting down ideas and little drawings. This has decreased the number of ideas that I lose to my sticky note habit.
      7 is a goal.
      13 is a reminder for me that good ideas sometimes come from unexpected and surprising conversations.

      May 24, 2012

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