My Divine Pet Rock

Amusing anecdotes about fieldwork were, from what I could tell, basic currency throughout university halls, on conference panels, and in graduate student lounges. Many of my teachers and advisors had often relayed similar, if self-deprecating, stories about their own spectacular mishaps or moments of levity while working with people in every context imaginable: research participants, colleagues, friends, and community leaders alike. So why then was this reaction to my story so sudden and so visceral?