Museum Studies

November 6, 2010 Comments Off on Museum Studies

Last month I introduced myself to the assistant director of the UW Geology Museum, Brooke Norsted, hoping for advice and possibly some work. She was a great help, giving me a bunch of resources and mentioning casually, “And if you’re interested in going for a certificate in museum studies, here are a couple good schools…” Hang on! Museum studies?? Is that anything like what it sounds like? Because that would be awesome. So I started looking into it, and she put me in touch with a graduate who works at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago.

For years I’ve been swearing up and down that I will never do grad school, or if I do, it won’t be for many, many years. Suddenly I find myself considering going next fall, which is something I frequently criticize other students for doing. I’m mostly looking at the Cooperstown Graduate Program, which is in upstate New York and looks awesome. It’s pretty competitive, and I keep trying to accompany all my thoughts about it with the phrase, “if I get in,” but that’s hard to do and I’m afraid I’m going to be crushed come spring. In the meantime I have to do horrible things like ask people for letters of recommendation and write a personal statement. I forgot what an awful process this was. AND I have to take the GRE, although I have a dangerously frivolous attitude about it and it’s not really weighing on my mind.

Working at a museum was never really something I was dying to do. I put it up there with working in a library: I like libraries, therefore it might be fun to work in one, but I have no idea what it’s really like, so it also might not be. But when Brooke mentioned museum studies, something sparked BIG and I became instantly very excited about it. This could be bad if I don’t get into the program, but this has consumed my interest in a way that I think I should pursue. Plus the woman at the Field offered to let me come job-shadow sometime, which would be AWESOME. I’m planning to do it in January, telling her, “Say, I’m going to be in Chicago for a week, what day would work well for you? Or all? (Hint, hint.)” It’s going to be super suave and impressive. But what else would you expect from me, right? Four or five months is a long time to keep my fingers crossed, but…maybe some of you can take it in shifts with me.


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