Today I began to learn first hand the meaning of the docent’s college-level class, California History as Public History. Betty Reid Soskin came to the museum to talk to the docents for our monthly Advanced Training and New Year’s Luncheon. Betty is the oldest park ranger in the United States— 94 years young, for sure.… Continue reading Back to the Beginning: Docent Training and Understanding Public History
I’m going to put the process for becoming a “full-on” History OMCA docent on hold and look at our current exhibit, Rituals and Remembrance. This year when the opportunity arose to join the training for Dias de los Muertos, I said, “Yes.” Training started in late September and I gathered with fellow docents in the… Continue reading Dias de los Muertos 2015
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
This is a long post, but an important one for me in finding another part of myself in the Oakland Museum of California. So that I wouldn’t miss the museum over the summer months when there are no school tours, I made sure that I drop by the History Gallery at least twice a month.… Continue reading We Find Ourselves: Dias De los Muertos
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!