ncpe

Almost Forgot to Post!

Whoops! It was such a busy weekend that I almost didn’t have time to update everyone on the internship! But I hope you all had a wonderful 4th of July. I met up with a friend from college and we went to the DC parade and also to the fireworks. It was a lot of fun!

Anyways, this past week was only a four day week. I worked more on the finding aid for the radio transcripts, and I am proud to say that project is almost done. My boss was also able to catch up on some work he had to do so we were able to start some more projects, including organizing the art storage space, and hanging and moving more pieces of art. I also got to be a bit crafty and made window covers for the storage room using painters tape, butchers paper, a ruler, and scissors. I was pretty proud of myself for making them the right size the first time around, and they are doing a great job of protecting the artwork from natural sunlight, which can eventually destroy art.

Many of the tasks I did this week could technically be counted as busy work, but it is all stuff that is good practice and experience for future museum work. I scheduled my first tour on Tuesday, and though it was a little nerve wracking, I only forgot to ask one thing, and that was easily solved by a call back to the person. I also helped to fix a chair in the office (though my main job was “fall guy” who got to test the chair before and after to make sure it didn’t fall apart….).

Next week me and my boss will be starting some of the more long term projects that I will be working on, and I am really excited! Sorry that this post was so short, but I’m sure I will have a lot of interesting anecdotes for next time!

Until then, have a great week!

I'm back!

It sure has been awhile. A quick update on my life: I graduated with my Master of Arts in Anthropology (concentration in Museum Studies) from George Washington University in May. It’s been a tough two years, but I have learned so much and I don’t regret it! Now I am in my new apartment (still in DC), with my boyfriend who just got his BA in Music. I am lucky enough to still be in DC because A.) The boyfriend is getting is MA in Audio Technology at American University, and B.) I received an NCPE (National Council for Preservation Education) internship in my final semester at GWU! For the next six months I will be working as a Museum Technician at the Department of the Interior Museum. I could not be more excited!

My plan is to update this blog every week with stories and things I have learned from my time at the DoI Museum! I hope you all enjoy what I have to share over the next six months!

My first day of work is tomorrow, and I will be sure to write a post at the end of the week! Have a good day!

Telephobia

I can’t believe I forgot to post last week! Well, yes I can, my boyfriend’s parents were in town so it was a busy weekend! Anyways, I’ve had a lot of things happen in these last couple of weeks at my internship, and all things that have definitely helped me grow as a person.

First off, one thing I have to say about myself is that I often have anxiety. Not horrible anxiety, but still enough to make me nervous. One of my biggest sources of anxiety (and yes, I know it sounds silly) is phone anxiety. I have no problem calling people I know on their cell phones, but as soon as I have to call a stranger or call someplace where I may have a chance of talking to a stranger, I get really anxious. Though overall my anxiety isn’t horrible, I do admit that my phone anxiety is usually a bit closer to the moderate/severe side of things. I need to take a couple of breaths and really talk myself into getting on the phone in the situations I mentioned above.

I’ve had this problem for awhile, but I’ve had to face this, along with my discomfort with public speaking in these past two weeks.I finally took over answering the phones and scheduling tours at work. The first couple of times the phone rang I panicked a tiny bit, but after some calming thoughts and reminding myself that I have a set thing to say (“Interior Museum, this is Stephanie”) I was easily able to pick up the phone and it really hasn’t been a problem since. I also started doing tours on Thursday, and though I was terrified that my first tour was 15 people, I did fairly well, and I know they won’t be as bad now that the first hurdle has been jumped. I am honestly really proud of myself being able to overcome these things that worry me, and I know getting past these things will make me a better museum professional!

This week I also got to stretch my exhibition planning skills by giving advice to the curator every once and awhile as she has been planning the layout for the traveling exhibition the Interior Museum will be hosting, opening in about a week. I was able to help pick colors for the text labels, and gave advice on where the main text panel should be placed on the wall for the best visitor experience. I also got to help install a couple of the text panels! I can’t remember the type we used, but I do have to say that it was much more forgiving then trying to install vinyl!

Here’s me installing one of the text panels for the See America! exhibition!

I also finally finished the hard copy of the radio transcript and the finding aid! I was pretty proud of myself, and our curator loved my finding aid which really made me feel great. 

The finished product!

After the staff meeting we had on Tuesday, I have to say that I am really grateful that I work with a group of people who make it a point to thank me for my work and point out what I have done so far, and how appreciated it is. It has really boosted my confidence to know that I’m doing my job correctly, and makes me more confident that I am, indeed, in the right career field for me. During the meeting, I was asked by the museum director if I had anything to share. I mentioned that I would be starting tours soon, and because I usually don’t think much of the stuff I have been doing, I couldn’t think of anything else to say. That’s when both the curator and the collections manager chimed in and mentioned that I was almost done with the finding aid that was looking great, and that I had been really helpful in re-organizing the basement storage area in preparation for the artwork move that will be occurring in the next couple of weeks. Hearing those words from them was definitely helpful for my self-esteem!

Well, that’s all for now! I hope you all enjoyed this two weeks-in-one blog entry. I’m sure I’ll have more to share next weekend about my adventures at the Interior Museum!

Have a great weekend!