Museum Studies at Tufts University

Exploring ideas and engaging in conversation

Category: Personal series (page 2 of 35)

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? 

Week 7 – Submissions – Theme “Death”

Abigail Epplett

Uxbridge, MA

M.A. Museum Studies, Office Manager at Fairlawn Christian Reformed Church

This bone is from a domesticated cow (Bos taurus) that lived and died on a beef cattle farm in Dudley, Massachusetts, which is about a thirty-minute drive from my house. It is an axis or C2 vertebra, which means it was the second vertebra in the cow’s neck. It connected to the atlas vertebra at the base of the cow’s skull and allowed the cow to turn its head. The main hole in the center of the bone protected the cow’s spinal cord, while smaller holes around the bone allowed nerves to connect to the main cord. The bone sustained some postmortem damage, perhaps nibbled by mice and deer as a calcium supplement before I found it in the woods.

The bone reminded me of Georgia O’Keeffe‘s paintings, which often feature cattle bones and other western motifs. Her art balances death and life, as longhorn skulls and arid landscapes are juxtaposed vibrant desert flowers.

The same balance of death and life can be seen in local farming, in which the cow played a small part. While agriculture in Massachusetts and the rest of New England had been in decline for several decades since the Industrial Revolution, it is fortunately no longer dying. According to the Massachusetts Agriculture Census, conducted by UMass Amherst’s Center for Agriculture, Food, and the Environmentin 2017, there are more than 7000 farms in my little state– up from around 4500 in 1974, the first year the census was held. While small farms were expected to disappear after the advent of genetically modified crops and enormous factory farms, they have instead evolved to find a niche in the slow food and organic movements.

The average person no longer farms and may not have a deep connection to their food, but there are still plenty of opportunities for agritourism in the region where the cow lived. Some of my local favorites are Wojcik Farm in BlackstoneDouglas Orchard & Farm in DouglasWest End Creamery & Farm in Whitinsville, and Foppema’s Farm in Northbridge. These are great places to see how local agriculture contributes to our food system, and how the cycle of life and death affects every season, from planting to growing to harvest.

Sayyara Huseynli

Medford, MA

M.A. Museum Education

I was getting frustrated in my search for an object which would fit the theme of “Death” when I noticed a door under the stairs. I have lived in this house for longer than a year but never paid attention to that door. As the door was located near to outside door and on the first floor, I imagined that it would be full of old or rarely used items, possibly old fashioned and dusty outwear.  When I opened that door, I did indeed see some old coats. One of the them was an old vintage fur coat. I asked my landlord about that coat. She told me that inherited it after her mother passed away. Her sisters suggested for her to take the coat with her when she moved to Boston from Germany, as in their opinion Boston had colder winters then their home town.

The coat was made of real fur, but my landlord didn’t know which animal’s fur was used to make it. Because of the cruelty involved in the production of fur clothing, the coat symbolized Death to me. 

 

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