What inspired you to work at the Dominguez Adobe? What was your first position and what do you do now?
I first began working at the Dominguez Adobe last September. I had searched different museums in Los Angeles and found the Adobe through idealist.org. I had emailed different museums about volunteering and the Adobe was the first to contact me back.
I began volunteering as a collections and development intern. I did catalog condition reports for the museum’s collection. I also sent out centennial grant applications to various southern California businesses.
I am currently a docent, manage a portion of the museum’s online social media and will start a school internship this fall. I will be assisting Alison with coordinating an after-school summer camp for students, which I am extremely excited about.
What was your major at Yale (undergrad or master’s?) and how did the experience enhance your education?
I was a molecular biology major for two years until I changed my major to biological anthropology. I loved the study of life, but felt I needed my science to be more associated with every day life. Anthropology and biological anthropology was the best route for me. I studied primate evolution and wrote my senior essay about non-verbal communication among primates.
What inspired you to pursue a museum career?
I used to think I would get a biology degree and become a teacher or informal educator. Once I realized I wouldn’t go that path, I had to figure out what other subjects I enjoyed. I have always been interested in museums, but had never researched them. That began the first of many museum internships I have had over the past three years.
What inspired the DRAM blog?
Alison always thought about making a blog specifically for the Adobe, but never thought it was important until she kept hearing about blogs at the most recent AAM Conference. I had been managing the social media at that time and once we had a few others to help, we set the blog up.
How has it connected people to the Adobe even more?
At the moment, the blog gives people an insight into the behind the scenes of what goes on in a museum. The blog is still in its infancy and I would like it to reach a wider audience. We might need to link to and talk about other Ranchos and historic homes in the area to be better known in the museum blog arena.
What is your ultimate dream job or goal in the museum profession?
My ultimate job would be to run my own small museum or non-profit. I would also love to run and coordinate public programs at a museum. I am still figuring this out though. I hope to go to business school within the next two years and get an MBA degree with a focus on non-profits.
What do you hope that visitors will take away from their visit to the Adobe?
I hope they realize that there is so much history to learn about Southern California and therefore to be more adventurous in where they go on a weekend. Small historic museums and sites are important because they connect the community with the past. Understanding how cities and places were formed over time helps one realize how things will change in the future. The past is certain to repeat itself.
I was a camp counselor this summer at the Natural History Museum. I was with 7th and 8th graders and also with 2nd and 3rd graders. Both groups were great to work with and all the campers I talked to loved their summer experience. Most asked me if I was coming back next year. : )
Each week of camp had a different natural history topic. This made for some great jam packed weeks!
Here are a few things I learned this summer:
- There are over 40,000 known species of sea worms! See photograph to the right –>
- Squid dissections smell (a lot)
- A “Great Sea Debate” about what the best sea animal makes for some great questions.
- The Cabrillo Marine Aquarium (@ http://www.cabrillomarineaquarium.org/) is a great place for a field trip. They have a giant touch tank and wonderful instructors.
- 2nd and 3rd graders know more about dinosaurs than I ever will. They also know how to mold clay.
- Children love David Attenborough as much as I do.
- 7th and 8th graders LOVE catching insects.
I also like how kids love high fives. : )
The rancho has various activities this year celebrating their Centennial Air Meet that occurred on rancho grounds in 1910. The museum’s children’s programming and activities are my favorite to go to because everyone has such a wonderful time. I especially like when families do things together outdoors.
This weekend, the Dominguez Rancho had a Kite Making event and many people showed up. I loved seeing parents and their children build their own kites. The children tried out their brand new kites on the rancho grounds, but there was not enough wind for them to fly very well. At least the kites seemed sturdy enough to work and all the children left happy.
I took my mother with me because she wanted to see how to make kites, or papalotes. We both had fun helping out different families.
On a side note, one mother said she found the event on Facebook! I am super glad the Rancho’s Facebook has worked effectively.
Adventures in Nature Camp began last week at the Page La Brea Tar Pits Museum! I am a camp counselor for 7th and 8th graders. We start next Monday and are assisting the other groups this week.
I am assisting with early care and extended care in the afternoons. The kids are all wonderful and interested in learning. That is my favorite type of kid.
I like the following camp activities:
1. Being a bunny only to be eaten by saber tooth tigers
2. Animal tails made from a bathroom paper towel roll
2. Lego castles
3. Sociable snakes named Oreo
4. Super knowledgeable museum docents and tour guides that know everything
Next week can only get better.
Aviation Day at the Dominguez Rancho Adobe Museum was June 12, 2010. Aviation Day 2010 was commemorating the 1910 Aviation Meet that was held on Rancho Dominguez grounds 100 years ago.
Over 3,400 people attended, making it a great success. They began planning for the event two years ago. I started interning at the museum last September, when I sent out dozens of Centennial grant proposals to various companies across Southern California.
On Aviation Day, I worked in both the museum’s gift shop and also gave tours of Don Manuel’s bedroom and the chapel.
The gift shop was overflowing with people. I had the job of not letting people into the museum because tours were taking place.
After a few hours in the gift shop, each docent was assigned a room to talk about. I must have given the same small talk about Don Manuel’s bedroom and chapel to at least 100 people.
The Centennial events don’t end there. The Dominguez Rancho is hosting events about the 1910 Air Meet all year. The next event is a lecture about Transportation in 1910.
Check out our gallery of Aviation Day Flickr photos here: http://bit.ly/AviationCollection
Today I had a full day of attending the conference. I went to a resumé workshop for emerging museum professionals and also a one-on-one with a museum HR manager. Both were helpful and it seems I have a few things to change on both my resumé and cover letter. The museum HR manager though said my resumé was good except for some minor changes.
I also saw Amy Tan speak about museums and her life. She is an amazing speaker and probably the best speaker I’ve heard in person.
T minus 17 days until AVIATION DAY at the Rancho.