If you have been furiously binging Netflix shows during the quarantine like I have, you may have come across the Korean historical zombie-thriller Kingdom. The show is set in the late 1500s during Korea’s Joseon (조선) period, which lasted from 1392 – 1910. One of the most distinctive parts of the show is the variety of hats, a constant halo around the head of almost every male on the show. Seeing the unique, conical top hats on screen immediately transported me back to the Museum’s collection storage room, where I had spent hours inventorying the Korean collection. It was in one of the drawers that I came across several of the Museum’s own Korean top hats.
The end of the school year is upon us. We made it through. Or did we? Usually this time of year we’re looking forward to summer fun: days for slowing down, get togethers with friends and family, camp adventures, time off, the general vacation daze ahead. But while businesses begin to reopen and life slowly returns to some semblance of “normal,” as a working parent, normal still feels a long way off.
The Collections and Archives team may be working remotely these days, but collections care doesn’t stop for a pandemic. Caring for and preserving the diverse array of historical materials at the Museum is a big job and an ongoing task as part of the Museum’s stewardship responsibilities. To help in these efforts, we recruited our team mascot, Hans, to share some of these tasks and explain why they are a priority in our work. Our staff is helping to oversee Hans’s work from afar…
Museum President and CEO Carole Charnow and Children’s Services of Roxbury President and CEO Sandra M. McCroom offer support to parents and caregivers searching for a way to speak with their children about racism in response to the brutal death of George Floyd.
In August of 1918, the first cases of the Spanish flu hit Boston. The Globe reported last week in an interview with Jared Rhoades that museums and schools closed that same month. “They closed the MFA, the Boston Public Library, schools, bars, barber shops, theaters,” Rhoads, the debate program director at the Coolidge Foundation, said. “You name it, it was closed down.”
Boston Children’s Museum, however, remained open.
As the Health and Wellness Educator, I’ve been part of many conversations about how to best support children’s mental health during this difficult time. Parents, caregivers, and even educators are desperate for tips to meet the social and emotional needs of their children, who are missing their friends, teachers, extended families, and everyday freedoms. I’d like to provide an objective view on some of the tips and resources so many organizations have been sharing to help support children’s well-being during the pandemic.
There’s no doubt that these are trying times. For many of us, including me, our patience and faith are being tested and our resilience is wearing thin. I’m fortunate to have a job and be able to work from home. As the Director of Community Engagement for Boston Children’s Museum, I’ve been trying to maintain contact with my community – the nonprofits that work with families daily, the school system, and the families who are also struggling during this time. Here is what I have learned from them about how they are coping during this crisis.
When you’re working from home with kids, it’s hard to separate work life and family life. I entered into this new social construct with all the optimism I could muster, for which I blame my midwestern roots. I give myself a gold star for having a mindful approach to this new unknown. My daughter and I made a schedule and brainstormed activity ideas, but unfortunately, the reality isn’t matching up to our initial sunny outlook. If you, too, are working remotely with your kids as your new coworkers, maybe you can relate.