Alex Sniffen was our other intern over the summer, and while he technically worked for the Education Department, he could be found helping out in all kinds of places at the Village including the transport of very heavy and very valuable artifacts. Here is his letter about his internship experience:
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” – Dr. Suess
Oddly enough, my passion for learning and education is what brought me into the field of Museum Studies. In October of last year, I was in the final stages of really solidifying what I wanted to do with the next stage of my life. I knew that I wanted to go to graduate school, and I knew that somehow, if I could find a way to not abandon my passions for history and continuing education, I would be ecstatic. When I finally landed on Museum Studies after meetings with academic advisors and close professors and friends, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. All I knew at that very moment was that this would allow me to learn more and more, and to teach others through methods that I never thought to imagine. Becoming a curator was then, and is still now, my dream.
However, in my steps toward learning, I knew that every single experience that I could find would be invaluable to my continuing success as a historian, educator, and museum professional. In February, I reached out to Melissa inquiring about any work that the Dallas Heritage Village might need. She was ecstatic to have someone volunteering for them, and put me in touch with Johna, and the education department in which I would remain for the duration of my summer. As I have said, museum education is not my goal, but I know that it is crucial to the operation of any museum, and having the knowledge of what is going into these magical events for children and adults alike can only allow me to have a more well-rounded view of what the museum world truly is. I was incredibly happy to be working with such a passionate group of individuals, and they certainly put me to work right away.
My initial project was to help Johna work with the family and young adult programming of the Dallas Heritage Village. Ideas popped up all summer, and I have still been emailing Johna ideas through this past week…although I doubt that those ideas will stop flowing into Johna’s inbox. (They’ll just never get rid of me) I am incredibly excited to see if any of these ideas that we’ve talked about come to complete fruition, and grow the museum even more! While Johna and I could sit for hours discussing different ideas and their implications, my internship rapidly expanded to much more than that. I was also lucky enough to work with an amazing group of Junior Historians who are invested in the history of Dallas and of the village itself, and committed to creating an overwhelmingly positive experience for the visitors of DHV. Together we learned about exhibit design, program planning, and event hosting – culminating in a Fourth of July carnival that flew high above my expectations. I got to sit down in Browder Springs and help make bracelets for guests on the rope machine, run around outside to help the Junior Historians with guests, and other crazy tasks that just appear during the course of any event – enough to leave me exhausted during date night out in Arlington. I also got to work with Maxwell and Oliver, two of my most favorite museum staff members, and help Johna and Mandy with anything they needed over the course of the summer.
My final act as the education intern this summer was to become the new sheriff for Vogel Alcove’s adventure to DHV this week. I have to say, that while my accent is a little worse for wear, I enjoyed being able to help the education department in any way that they needed me to…including moving heavy things all summer.
I know that the future for the education department is bright. There are so many wonderful events that are coming up this season that I wish I could be in Dallas to help and show my support. Whether I would be in Victorian-era mechanical clothing, or standing out in the candlelight air, I am going to be missing out on many wonderful things taking place at the village.
As I mentioned before, education is not my goal, but it certainly is a passion of mine. Seeing everyone this summer has truly lit a new fire in me as I begin this next and first semester of my graduate education in Cooperstown, NY. Working with Johna, Mandy, Evelyn, Melissa, Susan, Caitlin, Racheal, Bonnie, all the Junior Historians (new and old too populous to name), Drew, and many of the other volunteers that I have had the privilege to meet over the course of the summer has been and will be rewarding to no end. The new understandings and knowledge that I have acquired will be useful to me through the rest of my career, and I know that I have a group of wonderful people that I can reach out to if I ever need advice over the course of my education.
Thank you, for allowing me to learn.