Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Pain in the ...

Perhaps a little stress is getting to me, re: not having an income. Yesterday as I was setting up the info desk at Ellis Island, I threw out my back. It's not the first time I've had this issue; the lower back tends to lock up on occasion when I'm stressed and haven't done any yoga in a while. This time it's got me standing less than totally upright, but at least the pain eases after being on my feet for a few minutes. I'm wishing I got that stand-up desk when I had the chance.

As for a resolution to the stress, well, the Mega Millions jackpot is up to $144 million. I'm off to buy some tix...

Getting back to a previous post, the info session at the Edison NHP was pretty cool. First off, I was welcomed to the site by the ranger I spoke to at my last visit, and he remembered me by name. Nice! Then one of the archivists talked about their vast collection and some of the efforts already done to catalog it. They're working alongside Rutgers, the Smithsonian and the NJ Historical Commission, and while there's a lot done, there's more to go. He also shared process on how people can access the archive, which I'd asked about when I visited last fall. Essentially, you don't need to be a researcher or scholar, but you do need to have a fairly well-thought out goal, as they don't allow browsing. For the most part, they ask for your area of interest so the Park Service can keep records on trends, rather than to keep tabs on anyone. It's almost unreal, isn't it? In a world where it seems one has to rationalize every request of an institution, these guys don't really care why you want the information, as long as you respect the collection.

Following the archivist's discussion, the ranger said a few words about opportunities for volunteers, given that the site has lost some of its seasonal rangers. He put a lot of emphasis on the fun aspect, encouraging us to develop short programs on our areas of interest. That rang a bunch of bells for me, given some of the stuff I've wanted to research anyway. I personally think it would be interesting to lend focus to some of Edison's projects that didn't work out the way he wanted. They'd be a great way to showcase his creativity while emphasizing that one often learns more about being successful through trial and error than by having everything go to plan every time. After all, if you're not failing once in a while, you're clearly not trying to do enough.

Wait. There's a lesson there, Sherlock. Hmm...

Next steps toward volunteering include meetings with the ranger and the volunteer coordinator, as well as some on-site visitation and the orientation meeting on the 16th. And then we're off to the races!

No comments:

Post a Comment