It has been an embarrassingly long time since I’ve posted here. I guess I could use the excuse that it was summer, and I was busy doing summer things, which to a degree is true. But I took part in a great maritime archaeology field school through Salem State that I’ve been meaning to post about; I got to visit Rochester and check out the George Eastman House Museum (which is now the George Eastman Museum); I went to Maine and spent almost an entire day at the Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunkport and it was AMAZING and you should all visit…
It was a great summer, seriously.
In addition to doing all those fun summer things, I worked hard. I put in a lot of time at my internship with the Bostonian Society, and just completed my official 200 hours for credit today (!). We’ve managed to get a lot done, a lot more than I think we had initially expected; we even got to celebrate this month when we loaned the door to the suite that Charles Dickens used to stay in from the original Parker House (pre-1920s demolition!) BACK to the Omni Parker House. Man, that was a great night. Seeing how thrilled the house historian, Susan Wilson, was to have another piece of Parker House history back at the hotel was worth all the work.
Of course I worked at Harvard as well, but y’all know what I do there. Gift shop is doing pretty well — we have an Instagram account now, @shop_hmnh, so go check it out and follow us!
On top of work and play, I got asked to be a course assistant for a professor at the Extension School that I really admire, and have so far really been enjoying how strange it is to be on the other side of the syllabus. But beyond that, I am so so grateful. I had emailed this professor to discuss her work as a consultant (because I’m curious about how that works), and she ended her response with, “Oh, by the way, do you want to be my course assistant this semester?” Heart, full.
I’ve also accepted a volunteer seat on the Collections Committee at the Cambridge Historical Society, something I didn’t think I’d be able to do until I was mid-career. I’m so grateful a coworker at Harvard passed the email along and that Marieke Van Damme, the Executive Director at CHS, believes in me enough to welcome me to the Committee. We had our first meeting tonight, and I can’t tell you how awesome it was to sit there amongst peers and feel that my opinions were valid and genuinely desired.
Walking home from CHS tonight, along beautiful Brattle Street, I realized something: I may never make much money working in this field; I’ll work long hours; I’ll take on more projects than I can handle. But if there is one thing that I have come to love about the cultural heritage sector, it’s how amazing the majority of the people who work in it are. I have yet to meet someone who left me with a sour taste in my mouth, or feeling stupid or ashamed or unqualified. I have received nothing but encouragement and praise and support from the people I have started surrounding myself with, and I want more of those people in my life.
3 weeks from today (oh my god WHAT) I will be delivering my first conference session at the New England Museum Association’s annual conference with my amazing friend Monika. The two of us, plus our co-chair of the YEPs PAG, Scarlett, will be hosting events throughout conference, to welcome and encourage emerging professionals in the field (come running with us on Friday morning!). I get to help run a pre-conference networking event with some of the amazing folks from NEMA. And on top of all of that, I get to be at conference, I get to meet so many more amazing and wonderful colleagues and reconnect with people I haven’t seen in a while.
Guys, I am so incredibly grateful for every single one of you. You know who you are. You know what you’ve done. You know what’s coming for you (a hug, of course!).
I’ll get back to posting regularly soon. But for now, just know, I love all of you.