Wednesday, July 25, 2012

You Just Might Find

This will be my last week at my internship. It's been a ride. But, to be honest, I wouldn't change it for anything. I think the most important part about working for a museum like the one I interned at is the fact that they don't have a budget. In school, we're told what to do if your institution doesn't have money, and yet we learned more how to act if your museum does have cash to spare on things like shelving, good item storage, and so on. My museum doesn't have those luxuries.

The lighting system in the cases for the angels has literally cooked the plastic and fabric over the years, and everything seems really brittle. The lights have begun to get turned off when visitors aren't present, which is something of a blessing. Food and drink are a no-go at the establishment, and the bulk of the collection is behind glass. But the wood in the display is the type that will emit gas, and the vents in the shelving units can let in all sorts of pests, if they could brave the temperature inside the cases.

I think it's so incredibly important that the institution someone volunteers at doesn't have the money to spare. You know what it looks like, then, when museums have to scrape by. And the thing is, the majority of the museums that you come across can't have environmentally monitored storage units, or even know to seal their wooden storage units in the first place. We're a little pampered, at college, which may be part of the point.

The amazing thing about my supervisor is how on my side she is. She truly believes in what I'm doing for them, and appreciates my personality and the fact that I took the time to help them. I sensed a good amount of resentment for my college, which is literally across the road from the museum. In the fifteen years that the museum has been open, they've only had maybe one other intern, according to my supervisor. I think that's terrible. The fear I had was that the museum would be filled with devout and preachy Christian old people, which wasn't the case. (The volunteers are over a certain age, but they're not decrepit or anything as ridiculous. My town is filled with the elderly, and volunteering at a small museum is not the worst thing they could do with their time.) They accepted me. And with the exception of not getting back to someone about acryloid B-72, I didn't ruffle anyone's feathers or offend them with my piercings or dark wardrobe.

They didn't care. They just needed the help.

And that's why I wouldn't trade my internship for anything. Maybe an art museum or anthropology museum internship, but we can't always get what we want. I'm not going to mince words: it was boring. So, so boring sometimes. But it was worth it. I took time to work on one thing, when I didn't have to worry about looming homework assignments (other than this blog), and I didn't have to concern myself with making it to class on time, or anything like that. School stuff. This was my job. And it definitely provided me with job-like discipline. No matter what, I had to get this done for them. Not for me, for the museum. For people who largely use the hunt-and-peck method for typing, and who don't know Excel like I vaguely do.

So that's my internship. Sometimes it sucked, but mostly it was nice. I got to feel like I was doing something worthwhile, and got some actual museum experience away from campus. Go me.

Angel's Museum forever.

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