“But we’ll be travelling all the way from X to do this? Can’t you squeeze us in for it? How much difference would three people really make?”
Ah, we have reached the “I failed to plan ahead for the summer school holidays, and now my children are about to be disappointed by not getting to do something they want to do, so I’m going to somehow blame you” stage of the summer break.
Here’s my caring face:
This teacher was amazing.
He had read the educational visits advice.
He had already set the kids up to follow it.
He had equipped all of the kids with a clipboard, pencil and paper, so he could set them quick little tasks to keep them occupied if they started to get bored in the museum.
"I think I love you" was actually said to him, with ensuing explanation about how he'd exceeded usual expectations.
I REALLY hope this is a legitimate TFL sign.
Fist spotted and posted by https://www.facebook.com/mymuseumlife/
The Natural History Museum in London had a large family pleasing exhibition on mammoths a while ago.
In the summer school holidays visitors had a long queue to enter the building, and then another queue to enter the paid exhibition.
It was a bit of a surprise to find a stunningly unhappy bored looking child, whose parent had endured the entire thing and forced them to do so to, on the assumption that it was some kind of "sit down and watch the entertainment" type activity.
When told it was an exhibition, very exciting ancient things to see, they just left.
I’m not saying that these wouldn’t happen at other times of the year, just that they certainly happened during the school summer break at our museum.
More museum holiday fun? Find out what I've overheard in the holidays here.
You may notice I have been lax on cartoons, well, that’s because in the museum we’ve either been busy planning displays and creating displays, or it’s been school holidays…
As we have been full of kids these past few weeks, have a couple of overheard gems!
Child of about 12 pointing into a display cabinet “Mum, Can you buy me this? Not one from the gift shop. But this one? This one right here?”
Lady on phone “Ok, I’m a bit bored, but damn, with the cake they have in the café I’d bring the brats here every day and eat cake. They want to do football camp though. And I don't get free WiFi in a field.”
Two teenage boys are arguing quietly but heatedly “There is no point googling it! Do you really think that Wikipedia will have a different answer to the one the museum people wrote?!”
Exasperated dad “Weeks ago I told you we were coming here on the way from grandma’s. I told you a few days ago we were coming here on the way from grandma’s. When we left grandma’s I told you we were coming here. So you have had AMPLE opportunity to ask to visit Twycross Zoo instead.”
Last month, a museum that has lost all of its council funding posted a recruitment advert seeking a museum assistant. The responsibilities of the job included helping visitors, conducting guided tours and demonstrating exhibits, assisting with the use of equipment, and security patrols of the museum.
The advert continued: “This varied role will also include working with reception, ticketing, shop/cafe sales, cashing-up, stock control, answering the telephone and relaying messages.”
The salary offered – for a role spanning almost every public-facing aspect of the museum’s work – was £15,917-£15,941 a year (or £7.65-£7.66 an hour). The museum is by no means the only offender, but the advert is an indication that some cash-strapped institutions may be asking more of their employees for less than ever before.
This snippet is taken from some very interesting reading on the matter, see the Museums Association's full article about the impact of wages and roles on museums staff here.
The Museum of Witchcraft in Boscastle is a fantastic place, both in terms of content and interpretation - owing much of it's humour to it's founder, Cecil Williamson.
While researching images for signage at my current workplace, this image turned up from the Museum of Witchcraft blog here.
(It is no longer in public use, rather displayed in a corridor of their private library)
Although displaying an attitude you're unlikely to find advised in interpretation and exhibit labeling textbooks or courses, it sums up in a splendid way the conflict many of us may encounter in museums, and especially galleries staging controversial exhibitions - "If you thought it may be unsuitable for your children - WHY DID YOU BRING THEM IN HERE WITHOUT SCOPING IT OUT OR ASKING QUESTIONS FIRST?!!?"
Webcomic and occasional blog about the heritage sector.
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