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The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Hooked on anthro

City College anthropology Dr. Pamela Lindell teaches a variety of subjects, including cultural and physical anthropology. Lindell discovered anthropology in college after taking a course and also enjoys samurai films and dancing hula. Photo by ||Vincent Fernandez|| [email protected]

When Dr. Pamela Lindell entered college she had no idea what she wanted to do with her life.

If you ask her, she’ll tell you that she’s a “bad role model” for students because she had “no direction.” In fact, she hadn’t even planned on attending college.

Lindell, 44, a City College anthropology professor, has accomplished things she never thought possible. Once a small town kid, she’s now been around the world. Once a directionless teenager, she now has her Ph.D. in anthropology and inspires young minds for a living.

Dr. William Doonan, a fellow City College anthropology professor who has known Lindell for 11 years, describes her as  intelligent, creative, caring and resourceful.

“She is a very effective instructor,” he says. “She presents concepts in holistic ways and brings her own field experiences to bear on the topics she is working with.”

Lindell’s passion in life is culture, be it dancing hula, watching samurai movies, experimenting with new foods or being fascinated by music. She even plays guitar, although if you ask her, she’ll tell you that she isn’t very good.

“I just like learning about the world through all these different things,” she says. “When it boils down to it, it’s culture in some shape or form.”
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Lindell says her interest in other cultures comes from her upbringing. She grew up in a big family in the small town of Lompoc along California’s central coast. As she puts it, “There were always a lot of people around.”

Lindell’s mother, who was of Chinese descent, helped cultivate Lindell’s lifelong passion in world cultures. She admits that she probably would not have developed such a passion for the field had she not come from such a culturally rich background. Lindell discovered anthropology in college after taking a physical anthropology course. After she took a class in cultural anthropology, she says she was “hooked.”

“It was sort of the first time that I heard anybody in a classroom talking about a culture that was different from the U.S.,” says Lindell. “I could connect with it because I recognized some things from my own upbringing.”

And that connection, she says, has fostered a deep appreciation of the world around her, be it the beauty of blooming trees in spring or a genuine interest in the people she meets each day.

“My basic outlook on life is: Try not to worry too much, try to be a good person, and try to live life so that you don’t die with regrets that were avoidable,” Lindell says.

These days, Lindell says she’s more laid back and quiet. She likes to go with the flow. She says getting her doctorate, spending a year in Borneo and teaching have all given her more confidence in herself, but every so often you catch a glimpse of the shy girl she used to be.

“I’ve done things that I never thought that I would do and I wasn’t afraid to start doing them,” says Lindell. “I think that’s the main thing in life. It throws all these wrenches at you, but don’t give up, and you’ll be amazed at where you’ll end up if you keep on going.”

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