So, for those of you that were not able to make the last Volunteer Education meeting (naughty, naughty!), I made a brief announcement about the revival of the Volunteer/ Docent Field Trip program. What it comes down to is the fact that I can spend hours explaining a new idea, concept, or approach, but seeing and learning about it in person is a much more effective and fun way of mastering new material.
Also, I just think it would be fun to get out of St. Michaels with some of you volunteers.
The first spot, for our December trip, I decided would be ‘Livie’s choice’, so I went for Historic Londontown. See their website here: http://bit.ly/mRGLQu
As all of you know, I frequently try to dissuade you from interpreting the Colonial tobacco era in terms of numbers- millions of hogsheads, thousands of acres, hundreds of slaves, etc. It depersonalizes the historic narrative, and frankly, most people can’t truly envision numbers in a meaningful way (unless it’s money, which is maybe the best way to make history seem remote and calculated- I mean, net profit? Dry, dry, dry).
Historic Londontown, on the other hand, is actively embracing the concept of personalizing the 17th and 18th centuries, and is doing that primarily by focusing on the culture and impact that tobacco produced. This focus can be appreciated in their different interpretive spaces, whether an historic manor house, a reconstructed 'tenement’, or an archaeological dig. It’s the people, how they lived, where they slept, what they ate that is the leading story they tell. Through those stories, you learn more about the time, and what a pervasive influence the tobacco industry had on every facet of 17th and 18th century individuals. The importance is on how history affected people, rather than how a few movers and shakers affected history.
Think of it as “where is the 'I’ in history?” If you were to travel back in time, how would that new time, culture, way of life have impacted you?
The field trip is scheduled for December 15th. You can sign up on the volunteer website, or contact me for details. Hope to see you 'round Londontown!
Where is the “I” in this picture of Londontown’s gardens?