Saturday, December 1, 2012

Winter is Coming: A Seasonal Worker's Tale

I realized the other day that even though Interpretation is just one of several topics I’m covering in this blog, it’s the category that I've focused on almost exclusively for the last few months. This is partly because Historical Interpretation is what I've been doing as a profession for the last three years; it’s my default setting. But also, honestly, I’m just not that interested in writing about these other categories. I started this blog largely as an extension of my job search, when it comes down to it I don’t really want to write about the job search itself!

In the last few weeks, however, my employment status has changed. The day after Thanksgiving, my seasonal appointment came to an end. I’m now working two volunteer positions in two different history museums in order to keep busy and learn new skills.

I've been advised by counsel that these are major professional events that should at least be mentioned in a blog revolving around a profession. Consider this post my resigned sigh.

November 23 was my last day as a seasonal interpretive guide at Boston National Historical Park. I figure that as the Department of the Interior is now a previous employer, I can specifically name them without worrying that I might say something compromising on this website. Since that last day, I've been busy learning the ropes for these two new volunteer positions.

The first one is in Archives. For 2 days a week, I will be processing, cataloging  and maintaining an extensive collection of primary and secondary sources relating to early Massachusetts history. I also get to repair old exhibits, and later in the winter I will have the opportunity to develop some new ones. The stacks are my oyster.

The second position is in grant writing. This will be useful experience; grant writing is of course all about convincing wealthy philanthropists to give poor institutions money to fund programming. Museums, much like people, like to have money. If you’re a person who can get them some, maybe they’ll decide to share some with you.

2 volunteer positions, 4 days a week. That leaves me with 3 days a week to continue job hunting, take care of personal business, and maybe have a weekend. A busy life, but a good one.

It’s been a week so far on this new schedule, and so far I’m enjoying it. I’m learning new skills, I pretty much set my own schedules, and I get to wear suit jackets and other grown-up clothes to work. No pilgrim suits or straw fedoras this winter for this cowboy!

That’s what I’m doing now. That’s what I’ll be doing for several months. I’ll post professional updates as they happen and if I think they’re significant enough to trouble you with, but otherwise you can expect a return to items of historical interest within the next few days.

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Are you a seasonal worker? Would you like to stand together in line at the Unemployment office and play Scrabble? Do you have any suit jackets you'd like to get rid of, size L and wide in the shoulders? Post a time and date in the space below and I'll swing by to pick them up.

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