I finished the touring of “Dias de los Muertos: Love and Loss” in the fall of 2011. The exhibition of all of the ofrendas opened on October 12 and ended December 11. Over the nine weeks, docents each gave 15 tours for this heavily attended event. By December, I was ready for a break. By… Continue reading Back to the Gold Rush—Again
One of the techniques we learned during our training was storytelling. To integrate this technique into my tours, I look for opportunities to find out our visitors’ “Coming to California” stories. I always tell them a bit about mine, which started in 1977 when I decided to move from Portland, Oregon to San Francisco. But… Continue reading So Much to Read, So Little Time
This last week of training included an afternoon outdoors to pan for real gold. Panning was going to be great fun and a way to celebrate finishing six weeks worth of classes, touring and quizzes. The fourth-grade visitors arriving the following week would be spending time panning for gold just as we were in the… Continue reading Orange Is My New Black
Our training class met every Tuesday. We bustled in, some with notes and binders as if carrying them would keep us from forgetting important facts. This Tuesday I was charged with my tour as I had “lucked out” the last week when time ran out just as it was my turn. I spent hours in… Continue reading I Gather My Courage!
The next meeting, Mitchell took us through the museum on our first of many mock tours. We began in the gallery, Before the Other People Came. He smoothly transitioned from one case to another. I quickly realized how sketchy my “knowing” was. I knew nothing about the native tribes from other parts of the state.… Continue reading Before the Other People Came
This is the story of my becoming a history docent at the Oakland Museum of California on January 17, 2014. January 2010, I was called by my mentor, hiring principal and friend Carolyn Raffo, with encouragement to come to the museum for the training to be a Gold Rush Guide. I thought about the possibility… Continue reading History of a History Docent