The best tool of an interpreter – Vacations!!

Ok, I was trying to figure out some great insight that I could give my fellow interpreters.  Looking for some

Unique exhibit case

Though I was already excited by the fact that I was in San Diego, and IN the HMS Surprise, I was completely fascinated by this great use of the old steamer trunk as an exhibit case!

inspiration, or perhaps a bit of procrastination thrown in, I of course found myself on Facebook looking at some of my old photos.  Vacation trips specifically.

Ah – ha!

Maybe I am just ready for my next vacation.  But I realized when I am on vacation, I am always looking very closely at everything, and joke with my vacation partners that I am a bad tourist.  But really deep down, I am just looking at and trying to absorb the foundation of the program or exhibit, and thinking of how I can apply it to my site when I get back.

So, I’m not really saying just jump in there and put in for vacation next week, and go somewhere extravagant….but if you have the time and funding, by all means!

What I am recommending is a bit of a vacation in your own backyard.  Have you visited all of the local nature and cultural centers in your immediate area, nearby city or county?  Chances are there is one or two in your phone book that you haven’t visited, or at least not in a long, long time.  Take some time, step away from your own site.  On your next day off take a trip to one of these sites.

I will admit, I was only stopping at this visitor center near Asheville to use the bathroom after spending a while driving on the Blueridge Parkway. But this was a little bit of really cool exhibitry that I am tucking away. It was not only technology, but it was very, very easy to use, and not intimidating to anyone that encountered it. The capture rate was impressive too. I watched this couple for nearly 10 minutes! Yes, nearly 10 minutes at one small portion of the entire exhibit! Not only was the technology interesting, there was information that was being read and (hopefully) retained!

I know for myself, when I do this I get a great sense of rejuvenation.  It gives me some perspective.  And if you are lucky some great inspiration for a new exhibit, program or tour.  If you are unlucky in your trip, you may at least learn something about what doesn’t work well.Either way, the best thing is it will be a bit of further education for you in the world of interpretation!

-Gretchen

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Categories: General, Interpretation tools, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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