90,484 Steps Later

Quick Update: It seems crazy that a week ago I was on my flight heading to Dublin. I’ve been able to explore a lot of Dublin and UCD’s campus but there is still so much to see and do. We started off on Tuesday exploring the city picking up items like sim cards and other things we needed to properly settle in. We finished off walking around the Temple Bar area and found a great place for dinner. We tried their homemade brown bread and raved about it so much the waitress gave us the recipe! Wednesday was more activities with EUSA which included learning Gaelic Games. We played Gaelic Handball, Gaelic Football and Hurling. Handball was my favorite although these games further proved my lack of coordination with land sports (give me a pool and a water polo ball and it’s a different story). On Thursday we played tourists for the day and spent most of the day doing a hop-on, hop-off bus tour. We saw the Book of Kells, Christ Church Cathedral, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin Castle, Oscar Wilde Statue and traveling between stops allowed us to see most of the city. My favorite was probably the Trinity College Library or St. Patrick’s Cathedral. On Friday EUSA took us on a day trip to County Wicklow to see some more rural areas of Ireland. We saw the Powerscourt Gardens, (ranked in the top ten most beautiful gardens in the world by National Geographic), a reservoir and finished the day at Glendalough. The rich history of the area was fascinating and while I had a basic understanding of Irish history, our tour guide provided so much more information about the area. We lucked out with gorgeous weather and managed to avoid the rain. We walked over 7 miles and our feet were definitely feeling it. But somehow we managed to rally and wake up at 5am to travel to Belfast on Saturday. We saw St. George’s Market with amazing food (including a bacon and cheese soda bread) and the Titanic Experience. I knew a lot about the Titanic starting from its departure from Liverpool but had no idea it was built in Belfast. We ended the day in a pub with some amazing seafood before taking the train back to Dublin. While fun, this past week has been exhausting and I’ve taken the rest of the weekend to relax and recover before my internship starts tomorrow.

My internship is with the Edward Worth Library where I will be curating my own exhibit. The Edward Worth Library is part of the industry that includes museums and historical sites, all of which aim to educate the public about something, whether that is history or art or pop culture, etc. In order to be successful in this industry, one must have good research skills as well as the ability to communicate effectively. Curating an exhibit requires hours upon hours of research about the topic and the objects on display. Without the ability to research effectively, creating an exhibit can be difficult or impossible. The Worth Library is much smaller than its counterparts such as the Trinity College Library but this allows for a closer examination of the materials collected and preserved. Before I even begin to assemble the exhibit I have to do hours of research into the topic chosen as well as the potential books to put on display. Once I’ve assembled the research, the next step is to determine how to communicate it to its viewers.

In any job communication is important but especially when a key component is communication with the public. A big goal of this industry is to share the information with the public which requires effect communication. No one wants to listen to someone drone on and on about the Titanic and its history. But with interactive exhibits and information spread out in short bursts, the curators of the Titanic Museum were able to share the story effectively. Once the research is close to finished, the goal becomes to make it usable. Knowing how to effectively explain the research is important because without being able to communicate it, the research becomes pointless. Most museums and historical sites are positioned towards the general public. The assumption therefore has to be that any knowledge possessed by the viewer is small and the exhibit has the responsibility to lay it all out. For example, at the Titanic Museum, the exhibit described the history of shipbuilding in Belfast, with the assumption that the average visitor has little to no knowledge about the shipbuilding industry.

While my internship is short and I will be working on a single exhibit, I am hoping to be able to build on these important skills along with others that will help me in my future career whether or not I stay in this industry.