Well folks, I come to you today bearing news, and lots of it!
Last Friday was my last official day as the Executive Director of the Blount Mansion in Knoxville, Tennessee. After 2 years of slogging through the madness that is historic house administration, I am leaving my job, the city, the state, and even that particular field! It would be a lie to say that I enjoyed every second of directing a historic house, but I can’t say that I didn’t enjoy most of it. I will especially miss the people – several board members, the other directors and staff of houses and museums in the area, and especially my own staff members!!
As I said on my personal Facebook page, “Luckily, my assistant, the longsuffering Dāv, is taking my place as interim Executive Director. He has endured much under my tenure (“can you NOT eat in here please?”, hangriness, bringing me coffee, cutting apples for me, cleaning up human shit more than once, etc.) But I know that’s nothing compared to what he has coming up!! Thank you for always defending me to old white men (actually that’s Dr. Sunshine, PhD) and thanks for being the rockingest, and all the best luck and my best wishes in the future! You know I’m just a text away! And oh yes! Welcome to the fabulous Jessica, aka the new Dave wink emoticon you are gonna rock it, mini me soulmate!!!!” I mean it!
So what does this mean? What’s coming next?
Well, I have a chapter coming out in the upcoming edition of The Manual of Museum Learning, edited by Barry Lord and Brad King. So that’s exciting! My chapter is about accessibility in museum learning, and I’m very proud of it. I’m also pleased that the new edition is including accessibility as an important aspect of learning in museums.
I am also writing and article with Aja Bain for the AASLH History News magazine! I was so happy to serve as the regional chair for the AASLH Awards Committee for the past two years – we had a blast at the selections meeting, and getting to write articles about our favorite winners is just another perk of the job! I’m sure I will post more about that once the article is available.
Later this month I will travel once again to Utah to grade thousands (literally) of AP World History exams. It may sound like torture, but we sure make it fun. There is something incredible about being in a giant convention center with over 1,000 World Historians, piles of all the candy you could eat, and ice cream at every (free) meal. I’ll take it. Plus, we get to stay at a swanky hotel and go to the pool after our shift ends (even though the ice cream at every meal and piles of candy make it slightly difficult).
At the end of the month, my fiancé, the famous Charles, and I will be moving to South Carolina (15 minutes from the beach – poor us, I know). He has accepted a tenure-track Assistant Professor of Art and Foundations Coordinator Position at a university. I’m so proud of him, and I’m also excited to move to a new state for the first time in my life! We look forward to starting our little life down there with our bebe Miss Frances.
As for my upcoming position… I will be sharing more about that in the coming months, and I should have plenty of fodder for the blog once I get going.
As the summer continues, and as I am (temporarily) jobless and in airplanes and airports a lot, I plan to do a lot of catch-up here. I’m planning to write about my recent trips to Ireland and New York City and all the museums we visited along the way (Irish Whiskey Museum! The National Archaeology Museum! So much more!). I’m also planning to finally get to the Mormon museums in SLC this year – last year I only made it to one small visitors center, which was amazing on its own. I also want to talk about the amazing experiences and sessions from NCPH 2015, and I have a bunch of drafts I’ve been sitting on here as the life of an executive director at a historic home took over.
Onward and upward!