Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Unique

Amy at The World Is A Book has traveled to many unique cultural sites around the world, and she challenges us to share something UNIQUE.

Funny thing is, there are a lot of unique things that seem pretty common. Like snowflakes. Each one is unique, but where I come from, they’re also common. People. Trees. Same thing. So…how about….

MUSEUMS! I was raised up loving museums. My parents were members of some of the best in the land — the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, for instance. When I was 10, they signed me up for classes at the Art Institute of Chicago. Five years ago, I worked part time at two different museums in Wisconsin: Discovery World and Old World Wisconsin. Then, I began to work for a land trust in Washington County. The President of the Board of Directors runs a private fire service museum called The Venerable Fire Collection.

Working at a museum is a very stimulating job. Initially, there’s the excitement of learning as much as you can about the subject of the museum. Then there is the thrill of sharing those discoveries with the public – young and old and everyone in between. Some days are downright exhausting. You spend hours on your feet, responding to a stream of visitors with questions. Other days, the visitors stay away in droves. You pace the same space over and over again, looking at the same artifacts. Still, you pinch yourself and calculate how lucky you are to be able to spend a whole day in a museum AND get PAID for it!

Eventually, I grew so attached to those places that on my off day, I would visit with my camera. Here are some of my favorite shots from the Wisconsin museums I mentioned. Can you guess which photo was taken at which museum? 

I look forward to discovering many more museums in my lifetime. 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Fray

FrayIt just so happens that I spent two hours sailing aboard the S/V Denis Sullivan today; some of that time was used to photograph rope.  I also hauled line to help hoist the sails….not that it did much good to have the sails up.  It was quite still and foggy.  There was barely a ripple on Lake Michigan.  It was quiet and peaceful and echo-ey and atmospheric.  And humid.  The sun broke through the fog just as we were coming back to the pier.  Steve was imagining what it would be like to be truly adrift in the doldrums.  The Sullivan was equipped with a motor as well, so we had no chance of being stranded.  But if we were living in the 19th century…well, we’d get back when we got back.  We would travel at the speed of one frayed knot. 

When 900 years old you are…

…look this good you will not!!

yoda selfieStar Wars Day at Discovery World museum is this Saturday.  I’m the OLDEST female guest service team member; most of my colleagues weren’t even alive when the first movie came out!   Yoda is going to be my alter-ego for the day.  I’m old, wise, and I know what an introductory adverbial clause is! 

Weekly Photo Challenge: A Day in My Life

This week’s photo challenge, A Day in My Life, is a great opportunity for me to tell my readers about my New JOB!  I have completed two days of training at Discovery World in Milwaukee, and although I haven’t taken any of my own pictures, you can see some on their website.  In addition to my job in Guest Services at this museum, I will also begin working two days a week at Old World Wisconsin at the end of next month as a Costumed Historic Interpreter.  This means that I get to do weekly time travel, from the 19th Century into the Future, and talk to folks of all ages about how things work, how we work, what we do with what we know, and what wonderful things are all around us!  I think it’s pretty cool that someone’s willing to pay me to do that.  And when I get home, I photograph, describe, list and sell all kinds of old and new stuff on eBay.  

Favorite elements of my new job: hearing the screech of seagulls on the Lake, matching my breathing to the pace of fish in the aquarium (ever notice how flying ducks are always in a hurry and fish rarely seem to be?), watching a 5-yr-old stroke a Pencil Urchin with 2 small fingers, and seeing a kid’s face light up when he lands his plane in the Flight Simulator.  I am looking forward to getting a deck tour and cruise on the SV Denis Sullivan when the ship returns from the Caribbean and taking in a film at the outside amphitheater at dusk during the summer.