Posts Tagged 'mail'

Summing Up

Today’s post is coming to you from the beyond…

… beyond the internship, that is, as my last day as the McDermott Education Intern for Family and Access Teaching was this past Friday. While cleaning out my desk, wrapping up remaining projects, and getting those last few classes in, I had the opportunity to take stock of everything that went into the 49.5 weeks I spent at the Museum. Of course, what began as idle curiosity (I wonder how many Arturo Letters I’ve actually answered…) became a challenge to see if I could do the math on the past year. Here’s what I have:

  • 200+ Arturo Letters received without an address to respond to
  • 150+ classes co-taught
  • 50+ art projects tested
  • 31 parent handouts designed
  • 20 gallery activity sheets created
  • 12 books checked out from (and returned to) the Mayer Library
  • 10 school tours given
  • 10 blog posts written (including this one and one on the DMA Uncrated blog)
  • 7 fellow McDermott Interns befriended
  • 1 fantastic replacement intern hired (watch out for Emily come September!) and
  • 1 FAST (Family, Access, Schools and Teachers) team that made all the difference

Though each statistic helped me grow (yes, even the 9,145 Family Guides), this list doesn’t come close to conveying the impact these 346 days spent as a McDermott Intern have had on me. At every turn, someone in the Museum was there with a smile or encouraging word. I got to know the museum of my childhood in an entirely new light. I learned as much from the audiences I worked with as they (hopefully) learned from me. I made true friends and recognized a career I have a real passion for. I also got very good at unjamming printers (yes, because of the 9,145 Family Guides).

To sum up my sentiments at the end of this blog post–and the end of my internship–I figure it’s only appropriate to add one final figure to my list:

  • 1,000,000 thank you’s, best wishes, and see you soon’s –

Jennifer Sheppard
2014-2015 McDermott Intern for Family and Access Teaching

Arturo’s Magical Mail: Redux

Santa’s mailbox may see a lot of action leading up to December, but our own celebrity here at the Museum gets mail all year long–our family mascot, Arturo!

Amelia Wood, last year’s McDermott Intern for Family and Access Teaching, wrote a post in February about how magical sending and receiving mail can be, especially in the form of letters to Arturo. As we start wrapping up 2014, I think it’s only fitting to share some of the highlights from the year since then–a “best of” Arturo Letters, if you will.

What strikes me most about these letters is always how open and loving the messages are. Sometimes it’s an assortment of pencil scribbles with the child’s name and age (these are usually parent-written: from Sophie, age three, or Mikey, two years old) included at the bottom. Sometimes the sender chooses to use art instead of words. Sometimes the message takes up the whole page; sometimes it is short and sweet. Often, the child simply wants to tell Arturo “Thank you” or “I love you.”

Many days I’m surprised by the insightful questions that these children ask. How does Arturo write his letters? (Feathers make it difficult to hold a pencil, so he has a human friend that helps him write and draw pictures!) Or how do you explain why Arturo, a male bird, has eggs in his nest? Why, he’s a great babysitter, of course!

Arturo also hopes the eggs will hatch soon, Kinner! It will be great to have some new bird friends to play with.

Arturo also hopes the eggs will hatch soon, Kinner! It will be great to have some new bird friends to play with.

The creativity that this simple act of exchanging messages draws out is absolutely magical. Amelia loved “imagining the excitement as children discovered a response from Arturo,” and I’m just as excited to receive their letters in the first place. I’m in for an adventure every time I go to collect the latest crop from that little red and yellow mailbox – there will be some new question, some sharing of an experience in the galleries, or some imaginative drawing that I haven’t encountered yet.

For now, I’ll leave you with one of Arturo’s and my favorite letters yet–a rare, purely parent-written one. Signed only as “Papa Bird,” this touching drawing reminds us of our own families.

"Being a Dad is a Real Adventure - Love, Papa Bird"

“Being a Dad is a Real Adventure – Love, Papa Bird”

So as we head into the holidays, whichever one you may celebrate, don’t forget to give your loved ones a great big bird hug…

…or if they’re too far away to hug in person, a piece of wonderful, magical mail should do nicely.

Jennifer Sheppard
McDermott Intern for Family and Access Teaching


Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,592 other followers

Twitter Updates

Flickr Photo Stream

Categories