A short personal essay on my path
Some thoughts around growing up, shame and challenging thought processes during #BlackLivesMatter.
There is some language in this post that might make people uncomfortable. It certainly made me feel uncomfortable saying it. But I think it's importance to acknowledge my own failures in the past and how I hope to be a better person. But if you feel uncomfortable with derogatory slang, just be aware it's there. Otherwise, get ready for some 'heart on my sleeve' stuff!
You would think, as someone who is hired to protect and represent history, I would be quite fully against people destroying sculptures. But this week, as I gleefully read about Edward Colston's sculpturing being dumped into Bristol harbour, I reflected on how many sculptures must come down. I have read comments from well-meaning people, trying to rescue these monuments of stone and metal. I have wondered whether they would ever be able to look within themselves to move into making better histories without being bogged down in the past.
I promise that sometime very soon, this blog will return to museums and heritage, but right now, I am still in the self-developing space. I think this week’s blog post should lead to some great developments in this site, primarily through changing the way I am designing the layout of my writing.
A big call out goes through to LinkedIn Learning, where I found this fabulous 40-minute session with Starshine Roshell. Thankfully, my Uni covers the cost of access, but I do believe there usually is some kind of charges for watching these tutorials. Once you click on the ‘Read More’ button, you will be transported towards a new style of post!
When presented with an opportunity to try something different, I will almost unfailingly throw myself into it with enthusiasm exploding within. I love new challenges, and I enjoy not knowing everything. One of the joys that come with University studies is that I find weird and wonderful back alleys of knowledge that capture my imagination. So it was with great pleasure that I discovered sonification through my most recent unit. Ever wanted to hear what music would be created from a spreadsheet tracking obscure archaeological finds? Heck yes please, tell me more!
This is another week of working on my technology skills. One of my primary interests is in continuing to build my writing skills in conjunction with presenting online. In the GLAM sector, everything is tied to communication in some way. Without words, how can you convey to anyone why your topic/item/program is essential. I thought during this university unit, I would try and focus every second post on those written skills in the digital sector. This week, I found myself thinking about blogging (and this blog) while reading through an article on Blog Tyrant.
Continuing on from my research into social media, I'm falling down a seemingly endless rabbit hole of how to harness and use technology more effectively. With my university unit prodding me into discovering what I don't know yet, I started searching around inside Mozilla's Web Literacy page. Scrolling through the courses, I found something that appealed to me: website accessibility. Sadly, the class that was loaded up no longer works entirely, but I decided to let it guide me into some new and exciting topics.
The Australian Museums and Galleries Association has a fabulous Webinar series planned this year, full of interesting and useful topics to consume. There is a pretty wide range of museum skill set being activated (many of which I will be booking in for) and they are easy to access during this time of social isolation.
I was delighted to see that there was a session dedicated to Social Media in Museums, a topic that happily linked in with the university unit I am currently completing – Digital Pasts, Digital Futures. I signed myself up and have taken a few notes that I wanted to share.
It’s been a year of deep thinking around play in museums. I adore the concept of playful interactions; bringing joy and wonderment (often with a sneaky side serve of history) to visitors. I personally love finding spaces that encourage me to play inside them; from chasing butterflies across an interactive wall to bumbling my way around puzzle rooms.
I stumbled across Dr Conway’s article this week, and I just wanted to share it immediately. “From monologue to dialogue: towards playable cities” explores some of the differences between games such as PokemonGo and Hello Lamp Post.
I'm almost in my last year of University! Joy! Happiness! Immense bloody relief!
Occasionally, as I rocket my way towards the end now, I find myself in first year topics that I somehow managed to leap frog in my excitement to get to the end. Last semester, due to this, I found myself in the delightful "Global Ethical Challenges". Suddenly, all the lessons from 'The Good Place' became useful!
Part of the unit included a creative response to a topic. I thought I would give it a bit of a museum twist and wrote this short story:
Admittedly, I may be finding myself spending a lot of time at the National Film and Sound Archive (NFSA) at the moment. Three times in 12 months is surprisingly high, but the topics they have been covering just tickles my brain into thinking more creatively and more broadly.
Digital Directions is an annual symposium, now in its fifth year of existence. The purpose of the symposium is designed to consider the future of our collections in the digital age. Like all good events, the NFSA collaborates with several other excellent institutions including (get ready for some alphabet soup): ABC, AIATSIS, ANU, AARNET, NAA, NLA and NMA.
This year’s speakers were fabulous, and the topics were broad and exciting. Will I go again? Absolutely! This is my very brief summary of the talks I managed to get to
Museum working, game playing and dog loving geek. Tune in for musings about the GLAM sector, and generally geekiness.