Hello! My name is Savannah McMullen. I'm from Washington, DC. I recently began my two-month work placement at Worcester’s Medical Museums as part of my Masters in Museum Studies at the University of Leicester. Here are my thoughts after my first week:
I have been thoroughly enjoying becoming rapidly acquainted with a new educational system, an unfamiliar theme of history, and an age group of students that I have no experience with. I have minimal background knowledge in the various levels of UK educational qualifications, or in medical history, so I have been reading for general knowledge (and quickly googling everything else). Teaching teens… you can only learn by jumping in the deep end headfirst. Wish me luck! It is a challenge trying to catch up, but it is incredibly exciting. These challenges are the reason I chose this placement. I also wanted to work at a small museum because of the diversity of experience you get when working with a small team. But in a museum like this, you also learn a lot from experiences that you did not anticipate having when you first applied for a placement here. Already, in my first week, I gave a spontaneous tour of the Infirmary to two visually-impaired visitors; guided a group of teenagers through the gallery at the GMMM and discussed with them the ethics of testing the first vaccine on a child; mastered a 3D body replica puzzle; and assisted in a workshop in which I played the role of Dr. Robert Liston, a surgeon famous for his speedy amputations before the advent of anaesthetics. I cannot wait to see what the next few weeks here have in store for me.
I am already so thankful to Mark and Louise for being so willing and eager for me to get involved in whatever aspect of their work sparks my interest. I hope to assist them in planning, marketing, and executing the museums’ special events, in addition to my planned contributions to the museums’ educational offerings. They have encouraged me to ask whatever questions I want and trusted me, and my skills, enough to give me important responsibilities and leadership opportunities. We have also become fast friends—much appreciated, since I moved to Worcester sight unseen and knowing no one! I felt welcomed and appreciated immediately.
P.S.—Mark said I had to have had a negative experience last week, so I’ll just say that I desperately wish the Infirmary was air-conditioned.