Museum Studies at Tufts University

Exploring ideas and engaging in conversation

Category: Personal series (page 1 of 34)

Week 11 – Something relaxing

The past few weeks have been emotionally and mentally challenging for many people. As graduate students, we have to maintain a good work and study performance while juggling our Covid colored social lives and personal care, in addition last week many experienced  the stress related with the election. This week I would like to invite our readers to share pictures of the objects in your homes that helped you relax, ground and move on. 

Send a picture (1 or 2) of your “something relaxing” to sayyara.huseynli@tufts.edu. Include your name and where you currently live. 

Sayyara Huseynli. Collage on watercolor paper, background – black ballpoint pen. Artists whose works are used in the collage: Andrea Ortuño, Paul Cezanne, Anna Madia, Gun Legler; quotes are by C.G. Jung and F. Nietzsche 

As usual, I will be the first person to share. Last week, I felt that I was attacked by news coming from everywhere, academic work deadlines gave me anxiety and personal life was troubled. While I was journaling one day, I got an idea that I should create a collage of my emotions. I mapped my emotions, connected them with other forms of art, like cutouts of paintings and drawing and added words. I extracted the words and phrases from the quotes by my favorite philosophers, poets and other artists. While creating this kind of art, I felt calm and relaxed. 

Week 10 – Working out from home?

A few months into quarantine, there was a long waited realization that the Pandemic was not going to be over any time soon. Many people started getting back into some kind of routine, especially in regards of physical exercise. Many people started utilizing their neighborhood parks, Youtube workout-videos or created/purchased  in house exercise settings. In the course of past 2 months, numerous gyms, workout studios and other physical training facilities reopened slowly with limited capacity due to which people are will working out at home.

Have you also been working out from home too? Share your home workout tools/instruments/set ups with the world! It could be anything from just a space where you do body weight exercise, a yoga mat, dumbbells, bench, indoor cycling stand or running shoes. Basically whatever you use to move and get the benefits of physical activity that your body needs. – This prompt was suggested by Kumail Zaidi

Send a picture (or 2) of your home workout setting to sayyara.huseynli@tufts.edu. Include your name and location. 

Week 9 – University student desk inspirations

I would like to present a cool list of learning/study spaces shared by college students who are continuing their studies in the US and Japan. What are the similarities and differences of your study/work space to the ones in this post?  What can you not study/work without? 🙂

Ami YoshidaObihiro, Japan

 

Aleksandar Sarić – It is not artistic at all, but that’s what it looks like. A lot of notebooks and papers, nice view with trees and nature. Jumbo elephant – I find it to be great motivation.

Location: Medford, Massachusetts

Kumail Zaidi – I have been working from home entirely since March. My advisor let me bring home my computer from the office to help with my research work. Besides, I already had a work desk at home where I used to work sometimes. It has become my primary desk now. All my meetings with my advisor etc. are on zoom. Moreover, I have been doing all the teaching over zoom as well.

Location: Medford, Massachusetts

Note: The life of a university student truly consists on balancing numerous aspects of life: studies, work (for some), social life and personal care. As a graduate student myself, I particularly struggle to allocate time to participate at online social events, mainly because they feel like an extension of my school or work life. For this reason, I really appreciate all of the participant who has ever submitted replies to My Home is a Museum project. Your contributions are much appreciated!

 

Week 9 – Learning space

In accordance to health and safety guidelines to prevent the spread of Covid-19, most higher education institutions in the US made the transition to virtual education, at least till the end of the Fall semester. For many students, this transition has called for certain changes/adaptations to be made in their living environments/homes to become more suitable as learning spaces.  

How have you adapted your living environment to meet your learning needs? What does your learning space look like? What kind of special tools/items you have that support your learning? 

Use these prompts to describe your study spaces. Please also include your name and location and don’t forget to include pictures 

Here is an example:

 

Email your pictures and responses to Sayyara.huseynli@tufts.edu 

Source: https://www.cnbc.com/2020/08/11/half-of-us-elementary-and-high-school-students-will-study-virtually-only-this-fall-study-shows.html 

 

A date with Mrs. Isabella Steward Gardner

I decided to visit Isabella Steward Gardner Museum, as soon as I found out about its reopening.
The museum announced reopening on July 15th after nearly four months of the closure due to Covid-19. I missed going to the museums so much, that neither the long commute nor the rainy weather was able to stop me on the day of my intended visit 

New guidelines have been put in place to ensure the health and safety of the staff and the visitors. The museum visitors were required to prepare for the visit way before arriving to the sight firstly by reserving admission tickets online for a given time slot. A contactless scanning of the digital tickets took place at the admission desk which was shielded with a transparent plexiglas. All members of the staff and visitors were wearing facial covering. Arrow marks on the floors and stairs made socially distanced movement in the spaces much easier. The visitor capacity of the ISG was reduced to 25%. Overall, the museum felt safe and protected.

The visit to Isabella Steward Gardner even in this time of Covid-19, was extremely delightful. There were a few aspects of the visits which made the experience so unique. The first reason of a pleasant experience was that the museum was well prepared to receive visitors in terms of ensuring everyone’s safety.

As a result of the reduced visitor capacity, there was a prevailing atmosphere of peace and calmness, which is the second aspect which made this visit particularly memorable. Instead of feeling like a regular visitor much like how I felt being in these spaces during my previous visits, this time I felt like a special guest of Mrs. Gardner. The quietness around me allowed to free flight my imagination and ability to hear my internal dialogue. I pretended to be walking around the palace alongside the hostess. We talked about the artworks, debated about their meanings and even made fun of some. There was no rush, no distraction by other people or side sounds. I was so deeply engaged in my own world that I didn’t even notice the few other visitors who occasionally passed by me. 

The experience of being in nearly empty gallery spaces of ISG was so immersive that I didn’t notice how two hours have passed by and I had to head out. As I was walking back to exit the museum, I wondered about the experience of other visitors during in these strange circumstances. I stopped to question of the guides to find some answers. The guide was nice and answered my questions enthusiastically. They said that most people described their experience with such words like personal and intimate. I thought those words accurately described my experience as well. Further, I thought it would be an interesting experiment to compare pre and post pandemic visitor experiences in the museum. How did the visitor experiences change pre and post pandemic, if they did at all? What were the visitor motivations to visit the museum in the time when public spaces provoke anxiety? 

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