Week 1: Learning in Quarantine

By: Marta Olmos

Captain William Smith house, built in 1692

I had an amazing first week of my internship. I participated in zoom training with the entire interpretation staff, and we covered topics like “race in interpretation” and Audience Centered Experienced. I have worked in interpretation before, but always in an informal setting, so this is my first time receiving proper interpretive training and I loved it. I learned so much and I can’t wait to put it into practice.

Learning about interpretation using props and silly hats!

Alongside the training, my supervisors gave me a big stack of books to read so I will be knowledgeable about the park when I start interacting with visitors. The revolutionary period is something I have been interested in for a while, but I never took a course on it during school so I was so pleased to dig into these. I really enjoyed learning the granular details about what happened on April 19 1775 – the day of the battle of Lexington and Concord. I still have a lot to learn, but the rest of the interpretation staff are very knowledgeable, and I am sure I will learn a lot from them.

A selection of books from the park library that I have been using to study

I was not allowed to go to the park for work, but I was allowed to go there in the evenings for exercise as long as I socially distanced. I used that time to explore the park a bit and become more familiar with what they offer. I was especially excited to see the witness houses, which are beautiful old houses that ‘witnessed’ the battle in 1775. I love New England colonial architecture and these houses are great examples of that style. I also took the time to explore the interpretation panels and signs along the battlefield trail. Battlefield interpretation is something I am passionate about and something I am interested in working on during this internship. I even went out one afternoon in costume with my roommate! COVID has really diminished opportunities for costumed interpretation, but I’m hoping to find unconventional opportunities to dress up.

Wearing my 1770’s cotton mantua dress

Overall, it has been an amazing first week! I can’t wait to finish quarantine so I can get to work in the park talking to visitors and researching new interpretation programs.

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