Monday, September 13

The Diagnostic Paper

Our first assignment of this semester's English class was to write a diagnostic paper introducing ourselves to the class. The professor encouraged students to be creative. He praised a guy last year who pretended to be interviewed on Oprah. With this in mind, I applied my interest in anthropology and a chillingly realistic video game trailer I had seen that assumed North Korea had taken over the world. This is the result:


An Examination & Forensic Analysis of Site T-57

Dated 09/10/3010 Prefecture 녹색Pyongyang Province 평양직할시

Dr. Hyun-jun Kim: Presiding Anthropologist ~ Gen. Ji-eun Cho: Military Authority

Radio-carbon dating indicates the site to have been occupied or materials originating from between 1990-2030 A.D. Artifacts presented in urban strata approximately 20” subterranean in the pre-Pyon-yang era of Southwest American history. Location is the old North Central Phoenix residential complex. Slight traces of radio-active residue were indicated. No human remains evident.

Sub-structure of a collapsed multi-level shuttle hanger offered unique protection to the site, and accordingly renders a exceptionally high yield of artifacts remarkably well-preserved. Of special note are hundreds of books still encased within two glass and wood china hutches of the 1970s working-class variety. The dig yield is as follows (selected items of note):

Books 785

MacBook OSX laptop 1

Artist sketch books 8

Watercolor palates 2

Fine art portfolios, leather 4

Monarch upright piano (circa 1938) 1

Bernina 720 sewing machine 1

Finch/Parakeet cages 3

Also in evidence are numerous three-ring binders of sheet music. Binders and folders featuring remains of various theatrical endeavors indicate members of the household participated in the same. Three large binders housed communications and photographs from three children who served full-time proselytizing missions to Brazil, Ukraine and Southern Mexico.

Photographs presented ample support for a nucleus family of seven; wherein the wife and matriarch of the same was named Cindi Tanner of predominately Portuguese and English/Irish descent. While all five children and both parents manifest artistic and musical inclination, the artist portfolios indicate fine art gallery representation on a professional level for Cindi.

Printed brochures reveal gallery shows and exhibits in Old Towne Scottsdale during the 1980s in which Tanner was featured as a watercolorist. During the 1990s, she began a long association with the Arizona State Game & Fish Department, contracting for scores of wildlife drawings and a number of significant watercolor paintings published as the State poster series for many years by the Department. Her art resume was located, and after careful forensic examination it was discovered that Senator and Mrs. John McCain of Arizona were listed as clients.

A four-drawer legal file cabinet rendered beautifully preserved documents such as scripts, poetry, short stories and famous speeches. Also in abundance were folders of original poetry and finger-plays for children, original state history work sheets, activity sheets and original curriculum to teach poetry to children apparently designed by Mrs. Tanner. Dates on other printed material reveal Tanner was a volunteer for the BSA (Boy Scouts of America) for 20 years, and taught public speaking and theatre arts classes to both boys and girls, as well as adults.

Two entire drawers of the aforementioned file cabinet were devoted to photographs, school awards and special keepsakes associated with five exceptionally handsome offspring (adding Danish Patriarchal descent); Robin, James, Leiland, Asia and Rachel Tanner. The two boys achieved Eagle Scout status, and the oldest girl a reporter and producer for one of the major t.v. stations in Washington, D.C. The same are noted as highly-developed foragers within the household as manifested by copious amounts of snack food remnants, eating utensils and packaging materials for consumables distributed liberally underneath beds and in dresser drawers.

Review of the numerous book titles in situ suggest that Cindi espoused a deep interest in anthropological themes, particularly Meso-American and Native-American cultures. The abundance of Spanish language titles likewise suggest a study of or an interest in the same, however, actual proficiency has not been established. Additionally, a great variety of classic literature, world history, the American civil war, botanical and wildlife reference books are represented, as are spiritually-themed works. A set of scriptures encased in a burgundy leather carrying case were found marked and filled with page markers, located in what is believed to be one of two sleeping quarters in the small residence.

A surprising amount of fabric scraps, lace, netting and other sewing and or craft materials were found in well-organized tubs and containers. It is assumed that Tanner acquired traditional handiwork skills handed-down from mother to daughter in true kinship fashion; however, this can not be verified. It is equally probable she acquired them from a world-wide women’s charitable organization (the Relief Society) as a faithful member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This affinity is believed to account for Cindi’s core values and personal ethics.

Two manuscripts written by Cindi are thought to be the original versions of books she authored and illustrated. The first titled, “Station Wagon Wars”, and the second “Anthropological Motherhood”. Both works made the New York Times best seller list and the Oprah Book Club in 2014. It is not clear if several envelopes of decorated children’s chore lists represent a form of reciprocity, delicate familial negotiation or simply an illustrated example of rigid social control. What is clear is that one Cindi Tanner loved her family, her books, her piano, and the Bernina sewing machine.

This dig site is significant as it reveals in detail a critical transitional period in the life of a typical American matriarch from the early 2000s. It demonstrates the survival instinct inherent to the human condition, and the tempering or sustaining element of faith and hope in which a single mother often deeply invests.

The Anthropological Forensic Committee respectfully thanks Our Esteemed Leader for the opportunity to engage scientific study of this site. Appropriate permits were acquired and reports submitted to the Honorable District Chairman.

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