Friday, June 3, 2011

Stories and Maccabeats

June 3, 2011

            Today was a slow day at the museum. Well it did not start out like that. So Ryan and I were walking to the West Wing (yes I work in the West Wing) and we shut the fire door behind us. However, we forgot that the gate was down to go into the West Wing. We were trapped in the danger zone. The danger zone is the small space that is the bathrooms and coat racks, that once the fire doors are closed and the gate is down going into the museum, you are stuck. But there is a bathroom and a water fountain so you wont die. I knew that one day I would get trapped there, but I did not think it would be the third day. But it was all good we yelled for help and then called the phone. Finally we were freed! Also glad that our rescuer did not tell the other staff and interns. Embarrassing, actually I don't know why I am writing it down here.....
        Since the museum will be closed next week for two days, for a Jewish holiday my Mentor was out of the office. So we took inventory of the education materials in the office. The department just got new office furniture and new cabinets, so we needed to know where everything ended up. I love inventorying things. I know it’s extremely weird. Plus I got to use a label maker, and who does not love those things! After going through the stuff I helped Rachel on a project that they are doing with a local school. Last year Baltimore took some of the schools that were failing and completely redid them. The federal government gave the schools a lot of money to get new staff and find new ways to teach and reach the students of the failing schools. One of the schools that the JMM is working with is a middle school. The JMM is doing a project with them to make tiles to be put up in the school. So I helped Rachel find the images the students ask for to use on their tiles. It was fun to look up pictures for a bit. We also watched the Maccabeats (the greatest Jewish cappella group) music videos for Candlelight and The Purim Song. Look up the songs, you will love them.
            This morning we also met the director of Educational Programming and the Co director of Educational Programming, Deborah and Ilene. They are very nice. Ilene thinks I have a sweet accent (she had not even heard me say oil or night). Ilene was going to go to one of the other turn around schools this afternoon for a program that the JMM had been working on with the students. The program this afternoon would feature high school students from Patterson High School telling their stories about their lives before and after their immigration to the US. The JMM has brought in a professional storyteller to help the students with their stories. We were invited to go and listen to the program, which would be held at Moravia another turn around school JMM has been working with. The program was amazing. The three students told stories of their lives in their former countries and of their first day of school or a dream they had for the future. The only girl was from Nepal. Her story of her first day of school was so touching. She started to cry because she did not understand what was being said around her. A girl came up to her and told her to stop crying because she would be her friend and help her through the day. She was so touched by the compassion that she stopped and the two have been friends since. One of the students was a boy from Ethiopia. He told of how if he could take one thing to his homeland it would be all the free schools that the US has. He would pick up the schools and carry them to his country and set them down. He would then go to the tallest mountain and tell the people that there was a safe place to go to school. He would see all the young men and women come to the schools trough the doors and windows to learn. It was so moving. Here is a kid that came with nothing, to a strange country, but has overcome that to become a educated young student. It made me think about all the kids that complain about having to go to school. They should sit down this young man and talk about the values of education. I also really enjoyed the stories told by the young man from El Salvador. He told stories of his grandmother’s home in El Salvador and of his first day at school, where he spoke no English. He said it was nice that someone came up to him and told him not to worry they would get English. He said “I could not speak English seven years ago and now I can stand in front of you and tell stories in English.” I was so impressed with these three students stories. I was equally impressed with the younger middle schoolers when it came time to give some appreciation. A girl said she was glad they got up there and told their stories because it showed her that she could do it (she was from the Congo). What a great program. It made me want to go home and write down the stories of my past.
            After work today I went to the grocery store. WootMaccabeats this morning), chicken and brats) I was on my way home. Tonight I mad brats and potato pancakes for dinner. It turned out pretty good. It would have been better with a cold beer, but I got to watch the cash and water is cheaper! So on this my first Friday night in the big city what did I do you may ask. Well I ate dinner and then watched Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Yup, super exciting! But tomorrow my friend Ashley is coming down from PA and we are going to explore DC for the day. Well I had better go get ready for tomorrow and get some sleep. Getting up super early to get a good free parking space! Adventures to write about tomorrow!

We shall see how it taste!

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