Confessions of an Educator

This was a guest post for CGP’s Interview Weekend Website and blog, but a little re-posting never hurt anyone!

I never thought that history was “my thing”. I was never enthralled by presidents or long past politics, US history in high school made me snooze, and dates never stuck in my brain. How, might you ask, did I end up in a history museum studies program?! Some people come to the Cooperstown Graduate Program knowing exactly what they want to do in museums, and those “some people” were never me! I will say this: I am an educator. At Illinois Wesleyan University, I double majored in Anthropology and Educational Studies. I always knew that I wanted to head in the direction of informal learning, and museums turned out to be the perfect place for me to pursue this passion.

Myself working with a student at The Farmers' Museum during an education program

Myself working with a student at The Farmers’ Museum during an education program, photo courtesy of Pathfinder Village

So why history museum studies? The only program of its kind in the country, CGP students strive to study how history, art, science and plethora of other topics are agents for social reflection and public dialogue. Before interviewing at CGP, I had my doubts. Would I not be “history” enough for the program? I hadn’t taken a traditional US history course since I was 16! Despite this fact, I have enjoyed the challenge of my courses and the opportunity to learn from my classmates, who come from a diverse range of academic fields (everything from studio art to African American studies).

CGP wants to put together a group of emerging museum professionals that are history nerds, science geeks, social activists, educators, artists – the list goes on and on! So from A to Z, from art museums to zoos, wherever your interests lie, remember that your unique experiences give you the advantage. History still isn’t my favorite subject, but thanks to my classmates, I’ve developed an appreciation for a range of topics that I will be able to take with me into the museum world. So not matter what your “thing” is – use it, embrace it, and talk it up!


About catebay

Informal educator working in the world of art. Interests in public programming and community advocacy. Loves learning about people, collecting blue mason jars, and consuming Swedish fish.
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