Sunday, June 28, 2009

3 days without gasp!

I know this is delayed, but yesterday was one of the first beautiful days! No rain, bright sunshine, it was beautiful! After sleeping in from Friday's hanging out, I went around town and took pictures and on a nature walk. However, I should probably tell you about Plimouth Plantation first.

Okay, so on Thursday the six fellows, our tutor, and his daughter piled into an eight passenger van for two and a half hours to get to Plymouth, MA. We came to the museum, watched a very impressive orientation video (the history channel helped produce it, so the cinematography was excellent), and went to the sites. Plimouth Plantation is a bi-cultural museum, so they try to tell the story of the Wampanoag tribe as well as the Pilgrims. However, the approach is very different. With the Wampanoag Village, real Wampanoag interpreters are dressed in period clothing, but answer questions in first-person. There is NO ACTING. Before entering the village signs announce to visitors "Do not act on common stereotypes," but it has got to be difficult for both sides to interact and engage knowing that there is this understanding even if it is wrong. The Pilgrim settlement, on the other hand, is filled with actors. It is living history; the pilgrim actors only answer as a Pilgrim would. I did not take pictures of any people at Plimouth, because I felt awkward doing so. Actors are there to inform, not just for photo-ops. As for the Wampanoag, I wanted to be respectful of the fact that this is their culture. I took a lot of pictures of landscape and structures, though. Here are a few...

Imagine this image turned...This is a frame of a living structure in the Wampanoag Village.

Hanging meat outside a structure where women were cooking. There is also a fence to separate the village from the woods. I didn't get the entire house in the shot because I wanted to respect the three women cooking. It just doesn't feel right taking pictures of people trying to live like their ancestors, even if they are employed by a museum. It would be like going to Pennslyvania and taking pictures of the Amish living and working. That just isn't right...

There is a wooden path that visitors walk along to get from the Wampanoag village to the Pilgrim settlement. Here is one of the sights you see when you are making your way to the 1627 Pilgrim settlement. Apparently it is a salt marsh, since it isn't a river and we are close to the ocean...

Here is what you see of the settlement when you are on the top of the hill near the watchtower. In the distance is the Atlantic Ocean!

Another view of the houses and the ocean. I LOVE TAKING LANDSCAPE PICTURES! I don't know if it's because an amateur photographer can still have decent looking pictures with landscapes or what, but it was beautiful.

I have other pictures of the inside of the houses, but it is pretty standard objects. Ceramic mugs, limited furniture, drafty houses, etc. Of course, in Plimouth you can take pictures inside the houses because everything is reproduced. There is a workshop on the site that makes everything the village uses. It was different to be in reproduced houses, especially since spending so much time in Deerfield. Historic Deerfield has such a history of preservation and material culture that is was nice to touch things in a museum. Of course, I didn't touch much because I have been trained not to, but it was nice.

After visiting the site, we had lunch with some of the museum staff and interns. They were great. We got the email of two of them. They were very enthusiatic and completely willing to help us, since "we are the next generation [of historians and museum professionals]." They shared how they have restructured the museum to be bi-cultural, some of the roadbumps, difficulties they are still encountering, they vision for the future, etc. It was very informative. It also helped that they provided lunch.

Afterwards, we went downtown to see an exact replica of Mayflower. The Mayflower II was really cool. AND I GOT TO SEE AND TOUCH THE OCEAN! It was very exciting. Here are some images of me and the ship.

Here is the crow's nest of Mayflower II.

A boat...I don't know what the proper name would be, but it's the boat that the ship passengers would have used to get ashore and so on.

One of the berths below-decks. Could you imagine having to sleep here on a rocking ship?

And finally, the moment we are waiting for - me touching the ocean!

That was a good day. A long day, especially since we all had papers to finish for Friday. But we all turned our papers in before deadline, and relaxed Friday night. We just hung out and played games. Good times. It's great because our group has such a nice social dynamic. We get along great, and they are all fun people to be around. There has been casual talk of getting together for St. Patrick's Day in Chicago - I really hope it happens, because at the moment I can't imagine not seeing the other five fellows everyday.

Oh, also on Friday I gave my first tour. I co-toured with the guide who was there. It went fine. I was more nervous than I was expecting, but it went well considering how terrible the weather was.

Saturday was the opposite. A gorgeous day! Here are pictures of the landscape around Deerfield that I took. There are mountains (or hills, if you are from near the Rockies...), the Deerfield River, and lots and lots of trees. These images don't need captions...

Okay, so I have to go help cook supper, but I will write a blog when I come back with pictures of the buildings, and telling of our goings-on on Saturday and Sunday...


  1. Ooh, the Atlantic... I don't think even I've touched that one. Now you just have to swim in it...

    I don't know if the terms are the same, but the little boat on the side of a sailboat is called a dingy (sp?).

  2. Oh, and just so there's no freaking out, it's Karin. I'm working on a blog for next year, but it's not quite finished yet...

  3. Yeah, I did remember your name, Karin, but thanks for the clarification! I hope your summer is going well. So that is what a dingy. Thanks!

  4. Margaret, I must say, your landscape photos are very nice. I would even go so far as to say they are gorgeous! They're nicely composed and really give a sense of what it was like there.
    Your trip to Plimouth (note that I noted the use of an "i" instead of a "y") looks and sounds fabulous!
    As I was touring Alacatraz (which was a phenomenal tour I will tell you more about in an e-mail), I thought, you know, I think I could have a lot of fun designing museums and exhibits. I mean, it has to be a extremely creative process. And, because I think you will be extremely good at it, you should note this as an example of how you are a very creative person, even though you may not think you are. I think I could be goos at it too... all I'd need is a far vaster knowledge of history than I currently possess. :)