MCARLM Interns Experience a Cultural Adventure
By Dominic Conricode
The first weekend of the New Year, the Monterey County Agricultural & Rural Life Museum’s four interns went on an educational trip to San Francisco. On Saturday morning, Bella, Daisy, Alex, and I, along with Jessica and Sharon, headed for the big city. This trip would be the first time for most of us visiting the planned destinations, and we were excited for what was to come. The goal of the trip was to learn more about museums: their content and arrangement, the atmosphere they choose to create and how it is created, and how we could improve ourselves and our museum. The trip was an amazing success, and we all grew closer together as a team.
On the first day of the trip, we went to the Museum of the African Diaspora which presented images documenting the history, art, and culture of the African Diaspora. It included large pictures with historical significance but also artistic value; the ideas presented were interesting and progressive. From large photographs embracing the beauty in African American culture to contemporary pieces, challenging societal norms, the museum gave us a lot to think about. Next, we headed to a museum from the California Historical Society. It was nice to see a museum similar in content to our own in a big city. Some of their artifacts even looked similar to ours.
The final event of the day was Alcatraz. We took a ferry out to the island and took in the island in all its majesty. The historical site itself was fascinating and was filled with so many stories. As the sun set, we gathered at the gates of the prison entrance overlooking the gorgeous horizon lights under the golden gate bridge, next to the dazzling city lights of San Francisco. The following day we headed to the DeYoung. The atmosphere was lively and the museum was filled with so many different types of art ranging in culture, inspiration, and time period. There were so many objects of interest that we could hardly see all of them, but eventually, we had to head home.
After seeing all these great museums, I am proud to say that for the size of our town we offer a unique and valuable experience. Of course, we are no DeYoung, but when tourists pass by and are pleasantly surprised by what we have to offer, I think our work is justified. At the same time, the personal connection as tour guides we provide to our visitors, give life to our museum in a way that some bigger museums just can’t offer.
This trip opened me up to so many new experiences, and to me, it showcases why the MCARLM internship program is so much more than just a part-time job. I got to spend time and bond with my fellow interns: people who I didn’t know before. The trip took me places I wouldn’t have gone before just on my own, and I think that’s the perfect metaphor for the program. From speaking to new people regularly to discovering an interest in history that I hadn’t fully explored yet, the program brings out parts of me I didn’t know about yet. It sparked growth in me, and for that, I am forever thankful.
Being a second-year intern, I can wholeheartedly say that this intern trip was a huge improvement from last year’s, and I know the future will bring much more enriching experiences for high school students to take part in. I truly believe that any student who has the opportunity to take part in this wonderful program will find individual growth and a whole lot of fun.