I’m excited about the week ahead. Monday and Tuesday will be just regular days. Nothing special is going on, but Wednesday is different. As many of you know, I organize all of the public programs at my museum. We usually schedule them once a month for Wednesdays at noon. As a general rule, I bring in outside speakers which more often than not speak on something pertaining to our current exhibit. Part of our current exhibit is about something I spent years researching for my dissertation; I was not about to give up the chance to talk about my research. So, I will be giving the talk on Wednesday. Fingers crossed that people actually show up. It will be available to watch live virtually, but a virtual audience is just not the same as an in person audience. We changed the time for this one to be 11:30 am as we were anticipating complications due to COVID. However, while circumstances have changed, it was too late to change the time of the event. I’m really excited to give this talk. My biggest fear is that I’ll talk for too long as it’s a topic I’ve been researching for nearly two decades, and it’s a topic I love to talk about. Anyway, hopefully all will go well on Wednesday.
The other part of my job is teaching classes for the museum. I will be doing that on Friday. I will be teaching a class on how to read, i.e. interpret, an object. This is a standard class that I teach several times a year for different professors. When I began working in the museum field, I did not know much about material culture and how to really look at an object to glean as much information from it as possible. After I had been asked a few times to teach students how to interpret objects, I did my reading and learned as much as I could on the subject. In the Historical Methods classes that I took in undergrad and grad school, we always looked at written sources, but when interpreting objects in a museum, you need to be able to make the object your source material. So, I now teach a class about how to use objects as sources in the same way they would use a written source. It’s usually a fun class to teach, and if the students are engaged (sometimes there’s nothing you can to do get students excited, especially when it’s at the end of the day on Friday), there will be some good discussions during the class.
This week, I get to do the things about my job that I love. I get to lecture to a captivated audience on Wednesday, and I get to teach on Friday. Over the course of the pandemic, I have not had the opportunities I usually have for these two things, so I’m excited that we are returning to our “regularly scheduled program.”