Monday, August 6, 2012:
To Gainesville! It was a long trip there, and I was sick from eating so much to try to keep myself occupied until 1 30 AM. That was a good plan – try to eat myself awake… Anyhow, when we finally got there it was lunch time, so we ate at this awesome place called Bagels Unlimited. I really wish one was right down the street. It’s cheap, delish and it had tons of veggie options. I had scrambled tempeh with a bagel with walnut cinnamon spread. I was full right into dinner. I couldn’t finish dinner because I was still so full. Anyhow, the museum of natural history was so great. It was nice to see another museum and what it had to offer. I liked the fact that it was so tall and bright at the beginning. The height of the building didn’t seem important until I saw how fantastic it made the beginning look. We have the height here but not the light and emphasis. Going through this museum as a visitor was hard because I was trying to critique with what I had learned, and observing overwhelmed my desire to just take in the experience. I noticed things like the volunteers and their function; I noticed how many people were reading signs and what the children were doing. I was really only relieved of that when I went into the Calusa tribe tiki. It was breathtaking and very well done. The text was readable and it had first-hand accounts. Some were actual words from this Catholic missionary named Juan Rogel recounting his interactions with the tribe! It was powerful. First-hand resources are vital for providing evidence and presenting them in a museum is very, very useful, in my opinion. I’ve got a few pictures. It was truly great.
Tuesday, August 7, 2012:
My foot hurt from walking so much yesterday, so I stayed in the office instead of documenting and cataloguing the library. We met with everyone that went on the trip yesterday to debrief and really take away something from the experience. I didn’t realize how much information I actually took away from the trip. There was a real conversation about the set up and organization of the museum. I acknowledged it but didn’t really analyze it. It was made for a come back to visit scenario. We had people that actually missed two very important and big exhibits because they thought the entrance was an exit or something equally as avoidable. The text panels were also extremely dense. They had a ton of information, which is nice and what I like, but it also had a lot of text that didn’t really have a purpose. Their volunteers apparently weren’t incredibly informed about their subjects, and they knew it. They’d say “I’m just a volunteer” a lot. We discussed what we wanted for our own tours – would it benefit us to have a general tour or a specific tour. We’d all like both, but we have to keep in mind our limits of manpower and volunteers. We discussed the role of interpretation in the museum tours and without the tours. Today I got my name tag!! It says “Curator of Bugs and Such” !! How delightful! After the meeting, I listened to Lindsay’s speech for getting her school to use the museum as a tool for learning. She is very intelligent, and I hope she makes this.
Wednesday, August 8, 2012:
Condition reports today! This was basically raking every inch of the Clyde Butcher exhibit. Each of his pieces of artwork needed to be checked for scratches, accretions, buckling, miter damage etc. Ashley did one with us, and that was enough to show us everything. It was such an extensive process that there wasn’t much else to be taught. I had a good time learning about all the things that could go wrong with photography and frames. I saw Clyde Butcher’s photography in a completely different way. I didn’t finish, as I left work early so that I could pick up Nick from his drop off station.
Thursday, August 9, 2012:
Once I finished the condition reports, I went to Ashley for some more to do. She had a shell collection that Lindsay was working on, so I decided to stay and help with that. We did that until we ran out of boxes. It was a great day talking with Lindsay and seeing shells from around the world.
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