Thursday, July 22, 2010

Tales from the "Plus One"

The "Plus One" is finally coming out of the woodwork and onto the blog! I know I've been a little slow on this, but am excited to finally write an entry! To clarify, I'm a little separate from the other interns - I'm here as the guinea pig (or "Plus One") for a budding partnership with Randolph College, and are doing other projects in addition to giving tours.

While my "home" is in Teacher Programs, I've gotten a taste of all divisions of the department. I was trained with the other interns (the whirl-wind two-week department overview!), but have been doing various projects and workshops. One thing I've been doing a lot of is working the Artist's Studio with Family Programs, which is fun. It's so interesting to observe parents work with their children on art projects. Some just sit there and read, or get on their phone. Others help their children and make suggestions. Some try to make the project for them, or tell them how to create it. Others make one themselves, and get REALLY into it. My favorite though, are the adults who come in and are pleasantly surprised by the project. I introduced the activity to a group the other night, and told the adults with the children they could make one too. One woman in particular denied pretty firmly that she would participate ("oh, I'll just let them have fun"), but at the end of the night they were one of the last tables still working. I went over to tell them it was getting time to clean up, and the same woman looked up at me (surprised that the time had gone by so quickly, I think) and said exasperately, "Creativity takes time!" Why yes, yes it does.

Another program I've participated in recently was the Digital Storytelling workshop with Teacher Programs. This was tons of fun - I went up into the galleries with them the first day, and listened to some of their insights on contemporary pieces. It was good to hear some new voice, and since many of them were art teachers they weren't afraid to approach (at least not that I could tell). I also helped to answer technological questions when they were creating their own Digital Stories. (as a side note: if any future interns are reading this I hope you have some experience on a Mac; if not get some ASAP). Surprisingly it took a good deal of time, as many had never used a Mac computer before so that was a challenge. Nonetheless, it was rewarding to see how creative and nicely done their own digital stories were, especially for only having a few hours to work on (and some had never used the programs!).

One similarity I have with the other interns is that I'm also giving tours. I've given a total of 2 (one student, one adult) with two more of the same type to go! As I've only given two, I'm not sure which audience I like better (I should probably have a bit more experience before I judge that), but my adult tour today went pretty smoothly. The tour was on Asian Art, something that I have no formal training or background in. Yikes! Luckily, the audience was very engaged and made my job pretty easy. Annie was also a great support, and I learned a lot just from watching her interact with the audience.

Next week, amidst all the craziness (another teacher program and more on-going projects), I also have an ABCs tour with little kids with Kate. I am SO EXCITED! After hearing all the other interns talk about how adorable the younger crowd is, I can't wait to see for myself!

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