There is one thing I have learned over the past four weeks: This course is shaping my future.
I knew the course would add to my CV and give me experience in areas of Public History in which I had none, thus giving me an edge when looking for employment after December graduation. I am not sure whether I previously mentioned that I am focusing on archives and up until now have been looking for positions within the archivist field. My focus is now on other areas, such as completing oral interviews and working within the field for organizations. This change occurred at the latest BLC - Agape Center community event when Arijit told me I was really great at interviewing people. I joked with Arijit that I could use my skill to work as a greeter at Wal-Mart, but know I can do so much more with it.
I have always been one of those people who find it easy to talk to anyone, anywhere - even if it's just a quick, "How do you do?" I got that from my father, the most talkative man I know and am glad that I am able to be so friendly with people I don't even know. I am aspiring to work with a local organization that collects oral interviews and does historical work in the field. I have contacted Historic Milwaukee about completing an internship with them this fall and cannot wait to have the chance to widen my horizons some more.
It's amazing what this course has done to change my perceptions about working as a Public Historian/Archivist and ultimately how I viewed life after graduation. I have been looking for employment throughout the continental United States, and have been feeling down about possibly having to relocate myself and my children. I love the state of Wisconsin and all it has to offer us -- after all, I have lived here my entire life and would hate to pull myself away from family and friends. Now, I can start looking for employment at the local level within Milwaukee or even Madison for positions wherein I can use the tools this field school has given me. Thank you BLC, the WHC, and Professor Sen for giving me this opportunity!