Well, it’s official. After a whirlwind week of orientation talks, trainings, and tours, our classes have finally begun! And not without a little drama, I might add. Mother nature has slammed the east coast with a tornado, an earthquake, and a hurricane in the past three weeks. Quite the welcoming committee!
Amidst all of this crazy weather, our class had the opportunity to attend the final oral presentations of the Class of 2011. These 30-minute presentations, given by each member of the graduating class, highlighted the incredibly varied work that these women have been so passionately pursuing for the past couple of years. Some have worked in private practice, others in small museums or large institutions. Some worked primarily in the United States. Others worked abroad. But what was evident in all of their talks was their passion for conservation. They spoke of performing treatments and scientific analysis of cultural materials, attending conferences, and pursuing public outreach opportunities.
At the end of the day, as is WUDPAC tradition, our class catered a reception for the families, friends, supervisors, and colleagues of the graduating class. Though it was the first time catering for nearly all of us, I think that we pulled it off beautifully and everyone had a great time. The entire day was truly inspiring for our class, as the reality began to sink in that we will be done in a short 3 years time! I think that I can speak for all of my classmates in saying that it made us even more eager to begin!
And begin we have. In our “Examination and Documentation” and “Preventative Conservation” classes, we are learning about the many facets and uses of microscopy and photomicroscopy as well as the importance of environmental control, specifically focusing on relative humidity and temperature monitoring. A great start to what I think will be a great three years! Oh, and Mother Nature-if you are listening-We’ll be okay if you stop “welcoming” us now!