A lot of Americans, including myself, have experienced lay-offs that have resulted in personal setbacks and financial challenges because of the state of the economy. Some people decide to stay at home, while others venture to discover ways to improve professional skills that are already in place. Thus, I chose the latter course. Dissatisfied with my current unemployment situation, I began to seek volunteer jobs to complement my educational objectives, passion for fine arts, and fascination for history.
My break came when I applied for a behind-the-scenes volunteer position at the Smithsonian, where I now assist with projects in the Anacostia Community Museum Archives. And now that I reflect upon my capacity at the museum, I clearly see how my recent discussion about the word heimskur is relevant to my life going forward, yet in a positive connotation. I am now better informed about world views as seen through the eyes of a researcher and the work of archivists.
Upon discovery of this position, I immediately saw the advantage of my joining the institution because it complemented my 15 years of research and compilation of genealogy work that was conducted on my maternal relatives, resulting in tracing ancestors to the 14th century. Thus, my passion for lineage and my research experience are skill sets that will be applied to my educational goals as I aspire to be a historian once I complete my graduate degree. Therefore, I share my anecdote to attest that achieving a personal goal is possible with determination, commitment, and sacrifice.
My first project consisted of audio reviews of Langston Hughes' lectures present in the Lorenzo Dow Turner papers; I compiled content descriptions so that information can be accessed by researchers by way of electronic media. Occasionally I assist researchers in the reading room with queries on where to locate additional resources in support of their professional or personal objectives. I have also become familiar with arranging and describing archival materials through finding aids. Through this process I made a surprising discovery in the John H. Pye papers.
|White House retirement card,John H. Pye papers.|