Change of Heart

Well, this is so long to the Newhaiels House for me. I met with Dr. Joe Rock on Tuesday, who was my point of contact for the Newhailes project, and he agrees that I need to do something that will benefit my education more than the Newhailes internship had to offer. Joe really is a gentleman and a scholar and I’m disappointed that I won’t be able to work with him. I’ve just met with Claudia, the academic internship coordinator, to discuss other options and I’ll be contacting the National Archives this afternoon.

There are several factors that have gone into this decision – I’ve gone a week without posting anything because I was so uncertain exactly what I wanted to say/do/gain from the internship. One of the main reasons that I feel I need to change tracks is that the work I would be doing for the Newhailes House is so similar to what I was doing back in the States. The difference is that it had the potential to be more detailed than most of the projects I worked on in CRM. I feel that I’ve got a pretty good handle on the research and writing end of my profession, and that’s really all that the Newhailes internship had to offer me. Granted, I would be going to different institutions for research than I would back in Colorado, but that’s merely a matter of figuring out where things are housed and how to gain access to them; I’m confident that I can do that anywhere. I was also hoping to get to be involved in the resource management aspects of the National Trust, but the more I learned about the internship the more it became clear that that would not be a part of what I was doing. Another thing that helped tip the scales is that the house is now closed for the season and I would not have access to any of the artifacts or even to the interior of the house without special prior arrangements. I mean, I could handle that, I didn’t expect unrestricted access to the house, but the effort involved in getting there, and that I would have to coordinate not just with the learning director of Newhailes House (another delightful scholar that I unfortunately won’t be working with any more), but also with Kelly, the other intern who has a very different schedule from me, made it unlikely that I’d go out there more than once or twice over the course of the internship. Additionally, every single object in the house will be shrouded in a dust cover and I would only be allowed to view the artifacts one at a time, and only ones specifically relating to my research, and it was uncertain whether or not I’d be able to handle them at all. There would be no context, no experiential connection to the project, and that is the truly wonderful thing about the Newhailes House – the experience. I’m not passing judgement on whether or not this is fair or reasonable, I have no idea what sorts of decisions went into the rules associated with the internship, I’m just saying that it’s not for me.

So onward to the future, and all that. I’ll update soon with news of the National Archives internship.


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