You may all despise me to say it, but in spite of my generation being caught in a Hell Époque, I am happily employed (just to reiterate, employed, as in, paid) in a line of work I enjoy. Museum education, by the way. However, describing my job(s) can prove very difficult. One is always expected to provide an overview of one’s employment at parties and other soirees. “SO, TELL ME WHAT DO YOU DO?” Mostly, my answer makes me sound like a complete loon. People aren’t really sure what to do with the information I have proffered. This then leads to the assertion that I “don’t have a real job.” You know, like an accountant. I mean, that’s a real job isn’t it? My Nan would be pleased if I were an accountant. Later in the party conversation, it will be suggested that I could go in to teaching, as that’s a real job. I don’t want to do that, but thank you for your input. Fellow party-goers might also assert that they love museums. They went to that big one, you know, in South Kensington, when they were a kid. Great! I’ll say. I actually work at the Science Museum. At this, I might get some form of appreciative noise, which translates as; yes, I have heard of this museum. The most common response is; “Yes! You have all the dinosaurs!”
No. NO WE DON’T.
“The Earthquake Machine?”
Still a no.
Ever since beginning a career (an unpaid one, initially) in museum education, this blog has been sort of forming in my mind. I had to write it when it became apparent that my own mother isn’t really sure what I do for a living. Though she is certain that whatever it is I currently do, it will translate into a Tony-Robinson-esque career; holding up old stuff in front of TV cameras. Which I don’t mind doing, by the way, if any one is offering
No more confused little faces at parties. No more shouting “INTERACTIVE GALLERIES” at strangers in noisy bars. I’m bringing a print out of this blog with me to every social event. I’ll push it into your hand when you inevitably ask me what it is I do. I’m shedding a little light on to my weekly work. My 9 to 5. And you get a ten point break down.
Part One – Science.
- Exploding paint tins. Flour, oxygen, and FLAMES. Easy. Lots of clapping usually follows.
- Wee on the floor! Stand over it so no-one slips.
- No dinosaurs. Look, they live next door. Stop asking me about them.
- Earthquakes. See above.
- German. Translating. Did you know that Explosion in German is Explosion? Say it with the right accent though. Yeah, not like that. That’s French.
- What’s the Bubble Show about? UM I DON’T KNOW
- Actually, its about Bubbles. Put carbon dioxide in them, and take them home. Great pets. You don’t have to feed them.
- Oh, but their life span is approximately 78 seconds. Don’t get too attached. Clap though.
- Crush the dry ice. Crush crush crush.
- “I’m afraid that is the end of the show, my name is Danie, thank you for watching, and have a great day at the museum!” LIVE FOR WAY YOU CHEER AND SCREAM FOR ME THE APPLAUSE APPLAUSE APPLAUSE
Part Two – Victorian School
- Write the date on the board, Thursday 20th February 1884.
- Scrub clothes on a washboard. Scrub scrub scrub.
- Yoghurt. EVERYWHERE
- Make umbrella hat. Wear umbrella hat.
- Enjoy cup of tea with Victorian teacher. She doesn’t like my nail polish.
- STAIRS SO MANY STAIRS WHY DIDN’T THE VICTORIANS INVENT THE LIFT
- “M-i-i-i-i-s-s-s-s? Were you born in the Victorian times?”
- “Yes. Yes I was.”
- Stares from strangers on the tube. Orange paint on left cheek. Clay smudge on ear.
- “There will be NO talking. NO laughing, or giggling. NO fidgeting. And absolutely NO raising your hand, speaking to your teacher, or asking her any questions. She will be expecting only the very best Victorian behaviour from you ALL.” SCARED THE BEEJUS OUT OF YOU KIDS
Look, if that doesn’t help you, I give up.
If its easier, I can tell you I’m an accountant.