June 7th to June 11th

This week I finally wrapped up my research. I finished assembling the binders Monday morning. Then I helped Jamee with some clerical tasks. I helped put together folders on the shared drive for the students to use. I also labeled real folders for the students to store hard copies of their photos in. Jamee and I had a meeting and I shared with her my finished binders. She let me chose which neighborhood I wanted to explore with the students. I chose Southwest Waterfront, because I am most interested in its history. Jamee suggested that I visit Southwest Waterfront on Tuesday morning, and I agreed.

So Tuesday morning I went straight to Southwest Waterfront, instead of going to the NBM. It was great to see the neighborhood in person that I had been researching for so long. I was able to find all the landmarks that I had read about and take pictures of them. I found the Thomas Law House. The house was built in 1794 and occupied between 1796 and 1800 by the real-estate speculator Thomas Law and his wife, Eliza Parke Custis, granddaughter of Martha Washington. The home was also called the Honeymoon House, as they young couple spent their honeymoon here. The Law House was used to entertain a number of notable guests soon after it was built. Visitors included the king of France Louis Phillippe and the French writer Volney. Today the Law house is part of the Tiber Island Cooperative complex built in 1965. It is one of the few buildings still standing dating from before redevelopment of the fifties. I also found Wheat Row, a section of townhouses built in 1794. I enjoyed walking in the park along the Potomac. I learned that there are a large amount of boat homes that seemed to be full time residences. This was definitely not a type of neighborhood I was expecting to find! I also found the Titanic Memorial, of 1929 by Whitney Gertrude Vanderbilt, sculpted as a tribute to the victims of the shipwreck. I really enjoyed visiting the Fish Market. The Maine Avenue Fish Market, also known as the Fish Warf, is one of DC’s historic attractions. It has been in continuous use in various forms since the early 1800s. The developers of the fifties tried to end the market, but the vendors found a loophole in their contract, which said they were entitled to space in the market for 99 years. Since the developers couldn’t completely destroy the market they pushed it as far west of the waterfront as they could, which was directly underneath the I-395 overpass. A new outdoor market was constructed as a cluster of floating barges moored to a concrete pier. The fish were very colorful. I think they will provide an excellent subject for the students to photograph, especially if we do a lesson on color.

Wednesday I had my intern orientation, even though I had already started three weeks ago. The internship program at NBM officially begins on June 9th. I began early in order to get academic credit and meet the AU 12 week requirement. In the morning all the interns met with Carly Shaw, who works in the Visitor Services department. She over the internship expectations with us and we filled out paperwork. We had a tour of the museum with a docent. Even though I had already done the tour, this was a different docent, so I still learned some new facts. I also got to meet the other two Investigating Where We Live interns, Sarah-Guyton and Vinita. After lunch the three of us met with Jamee and she told us all about the IWWL program. I told the other two interns about the neighborhood research I had done and gave them the binders I had made.

Thursday morning we helped Jamee get the classroom ready for IWWL. We cleaned out all of the materials from education programs that had occurred during the school year. I organized a small library of reference books for the students. That took all morning. Then in the afternoon Sarah-Guyton, Vinita, and I began working on a timeline for the classroom, a project Jamee had given us. We went through the binders and picked out major dates that we wanted to illustrate on the wall. We made up a list and then met with Jamee to go over it. We also got into a discussion with Jamee about some of our ideas for the program and ways to keep the students interested. Sarah-Guyton suggested we have theme days. Vinita suggested having an idea board, which students could decorate throughout the program.

Every Friday the NBM is going to provide some kind of educational programming for the interns. This Friday I attended an InDesign tutorial for the interns.The tutorial was very helpful and I learned quite a bit. If I work at a small museum in the future I may need to do marketing for the organization, so knowing how to use InDesign to produce promotional materials will be very helpful. Every week the NMB is also holding “Bring Your Own Brown Bag” lunches with different departments. This week’s lunch was with the Development Office. Everyone in the development office explained to us how their career paths and how they had ended up in Development. It was interesting to hear about their career paths. Each employee also gave an overview of their responsibilities. I learned that the Development office raises 60% of the NBM’s budget. Development offices are certainly vital components in every non-profit.

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