Monday: Short day because everyone had to leave early. I spent one-hour reading local publications for articles on SHS to clip for the archive. One and a half hours researching for my deeds project. I have only one more property to look into and then I’m done with the property research. One hour showing the director what I did while she was gone and getting the rest of the 2016 collection information. Then I spent two hours putting accession numbers on the 2016 & ’17 collection. Writing on items is more difficult than I thought it would be.
Tuesday: Two hours of research and writing. Five and a half hours putting numbers on the 2017 and some of the 2016 collection items and finding the items homes. The director completed my midterm feedback. She is happy with the work that I’ve been doing. I’ve also been given a key to the building and a code to set the alarm. I’ve got the power!
Wednesday: One and a half hours in the gift shop and talking with the visitors. Six hours in collections: I filed all the cards for the 2016 and 2017 collection then I started pulling things out of a kind of cubby whole. The things on top looked like they were for the 2016 collection, but as I pulled more and more out… things got a little out of control. Stacks and stacks of files that need to be indexed and filed in the archives. Getting all that done might be a two-day job in and of itself. I found two times that will help me with my deeds project. Things I would never have found if I hadn’t just kept pulling items out. I put everything on two tables and a chair then asked the director what she wanted me to photograph for the collection and what I should put in the archive. She was surprised by what I had found. Filing is always a nightmare. Nearly every job I ever had in the Air Force came with a massive stack of files that had to be sorted and put away, and people just never made time for it. I think that speaks to the importance of filing. Sometimes we only keep things because there is a law or rules that require it, not because it’s useful. But in an archive it’s difficult to anticipate how someone will use the records and that makes it difficult to know what is important.
Thursday: One hour in the gift shop. Six hours taking photos of the 2016 collection, and editing them.
Friday: One hour compressing the photos to get them ready for Past Perfect. One and a half hours in the gift shop and talking with visitors. Then we had a little party for my birthday and I was sent home early. I spent my time thinking about the kind of minimalist I want to be. I had over 7,000 photos on my laptop. Many of them were from my year in Iraq. Everyone on the team gave me all their photos, and I never edited out the good from the bad. Did I need 100 pics of random people from a luncheon? No. I only kept the best photos that had my team mates in them. That meant hundreds of images of the Iraqi country side ended up in the recycle bin. From my library, I had a lot of duplicates and bad photos… like the back of peoples heads and such. Gone. I now have about 1,600. In a few months I’ll review again and maybe get rid of more. If I do fine and if I don’t that is also fine.
Thoughts: The director is very passionate about SHS. She works a lot of long hours and weekends. In the past, I’ve been like that, but long hours and no rest take a toll. Work/life balance is difficult to achieve and maintain. I hope to one day have a job that I love. But I also want to continue to have my life. It requires constant attention but it can be done.