Five Year Club

April 19, 2016 at 1:17 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , )

Last Wednesday, I attended the annual Volunteer Appreciation Ceremony and Reception for The Field Museum. I go to these every year because they’re a great reward for the service we docents provide to the museum, plus there’s delicous food and an open bar. It’s a win-win all around!

This year was a little different, though, in that I’ve now officially been a docent for five years and I received a little award during the ceremony! I got called on stage and took a picture with the President of the museum, then received a certificate of recognition and an engraved keychain with my years of service. It was all really nice and meant a lot to me and I am so proud and grateful to be part of that institution.

5-year-anniversary

Yes, they had cupcakes too!

I remember the first time I went to The Field Museum, which was on a college spring break trip to Chicago with my roommates at the time. I was blown away by the entire place and rather mad at myself for never having been there before. When I moved to Chicago, I instantly became a member and spent many a weekend wandering around the place by myself. It was glorious. Then I became friends with someone who was doing an internship at the museum and I remember being so jealous of the badge she wore that got her in the staff entrance on the side of the building. It was my grand hope of all hopes to one day have such a badge for myself and guess what? I’ve had one for over five years now!

How did it happen? Well, I took a night class on Museum Studies at Northwestern University and at one point we had a guest speaker from the Field. She left us with her email address and I unabashedly emailed her and told her my love of the museum and basically offered to pick up garbage if I could just hang out there some more. She put me in contact with the Volunteer Coordinator and after a brief interview, I found myself a docent! Since then, I’ve worked in a specific handful of permanent exhibits and also worked in almost every traveling exhibit we’ve had come through. I’ve also branched out and am now a contractor with a couple of other programs, including the overnights I work there with kids and families. In short, I’ve been luckier than I could have ever hoped for and I am so happy that my dream came true!

As much as I love helping out the museum, it’s helped me tremendously as well. Being a part of the Field has connected me more to this city than I would have thought and I’ve met some incredible people, heard amazing stories and learned a great deal about myself and the world around me. And if my luck holds out, I’ll get to spend many more years wandering the halls and talking the ear off of anyone who will listen to me!

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Aaaaand Done!

January 12, 2015 at 8:36 pm (Uncategorized) (, , )

I did it!  I finally finished The Count of Monte Cristo!

If you know me, you know I’m a little particular about things. Such as finishing stuff I’ve started. It’s kind of a curse but I have a really hard time starting a book or movie and then just stopping it halfway through, even if I’m not exactly enjoying it. Take, for instance, my reading of Moby Dick. It took me quite a while and I pretty thoroughly disliked most of that book but I finished it, damnit. See, I also have this thing where I like to read some of the classics every now and then. I liked Anna Karenina and David Copperfield (not about the pervy magician) but Cristo was essentially the bane of my existence for roughly a year and a half. I know, I know, I’m ridiculous for staying with it that long but I just couldn’t stop. Am I a masochist? Nope, English major.

Well, shit. Guess I could’ve watched the movie.

And honestly, I liked Cristo. At least, I liked the beginning and I liked the end. The middle was really difficult for me to get through and that’s where I put it down for oh, say, eight months or better. In my defense with this whole thing, I read probably two dozen other books while Cristo was on the backburner but I kept returning to get it finished. I bought a Kindle over Christmas and I must admit, that helped enormously. I mean, have you seen that book? It’s pretty huge. But like I said, I did enjoy it and there were definitely parts that had me on the edge of my seat and biting my nails. The Count of Monte Cristo is an epic tale about a man who is wrongfully imprisoned for fourteen years and taken away from the love of his life right before they lived happily ever after. He manages to escape from prison and then makes it his life’s work to hunt down those who wronged him and get his revenge. It’s a long time coming, that’s for sure. The way that he integrates himself into the lives of those who had long forgotten him is pretty impressive and when he pulls the rug out from underneath everyone, it’s extremely satisfying. And depressing, not going to lie. But the plot wraps itself up nicely and has a decent ending.

But to be honest, by the time I finished it late last night I was just glad it was over. And now I think I should treat myself by reading something mindless and simple – I hear One Fish, Two Fish is a good one.

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