Monday, September 12, 2011

Internship Struggles

After my second day at my internship, I'm struggling to find out what project I can create in the next four months. You see, every intern is supposed to come up with some big proposal/project/event that has to do with their interests. Sure I have interests... I pretty much know already what I want to do with my thesis. But learning how to take my interest and make it into a project by December is quite overwhelming.

While I do not know the exact format or subject of my thesis yet, I do know I want to research art museum education departments and the disability services they offer. Specifically, I want to create a program or a curriculum for children with Autism. To take this broad idea, and make it into something organized by the end of the semester seems impossible. As a second year suggested, perhaps I should simply make a document (a curriculum) that the museum could later use as a model. This sounds like an achievable fete. But... will anyone really ever use it or will I feel let down that I didn't reach my full potential in my time at the museum?

After some deep breaths I realized something, I have a whole two years to conduct research and do more fieldwork for my thesis. I think this semester can be more of a learning semester. Learning how the education department works, learning what programs they already have in place, and perhaps even running a family program one Saturday. I think learning as much as I can about how an education department works at a large museum is the first step to figuring out how I can help them accommodate visitors with disabilities in a more effective manner.

Hopefully over the next couple of weeks my goal for this internship will become more clear. My boss did mention that since I am in Cyberpedagogy, perhaps I could create a website that displays ARTIC visitor's artwork. Perhaps... I think I'm a couple of classes away from mastering :)

1 comment:

  1. have you thought about seeking out some organizations or service groups in chicago that work specifically with the audiences you want to engage, meredith?

    possibly talking with a group or school that works with autistic youth might provide more insights into how they'd like to work with a museum, or what they really want to get out of a visit to the art institute. or even just reaching out to some of these organizations and organizing a field trip for them might be a great first step (and possibly lead into thesis research)!

    i think you've got good perspective on this, looking at it as a learning semester and not necessarily a time when you need to do everything. best of luck!