February 12, 2011

Docent Training

More updates! Well, one.
I interviewed last month for a docent position at beloved Columbia State Historic Park and was accepted. Hooray!

The last three Saturdays (including prep day before Camster's birthday...I know...I'm such a trooper) I have attended Docent training classes and still have three to go before I "graduate". Isn't it kind of funny to think of "graduating" into a volunteer position? I'm imagining the eight of us standing out by the gold panning shop in robes with the park rangers moving our tassels from one side of our caps to the other. Hee hee.

But in all seriousness, (or mostly) I am having a lot of fun learning about the California gold rush and Columbia's part in it. Now that I'm older and not in school and history isn't being shoved down my throat, I am really enjoying learning.

In fact, I should be doing my homework right now by reading all about placer mining, but isn't that what procrastination is for?

The most interesting thing about Columbia is all the history and stories all of the old buildings have. Every week we walk around to three buildings and one of the veteran docents tells us all about it and the people who owned it. That's what fascinates me... the people of Columbia.

So in order to graduate, we have to do a brief presentation on one aspect of the California gold rush or an event between 1850 and 1870. Some of the things my classmates are doing are: how the Oregon trail linked into California, Columbia judicial system, Columbia brothels, period costuming, the role and responsibilities of women, and a few more that didn't stick in my brain.

I decided that the majority of books, journals and other records account the lives and doin's mostly of men, a few women, and no children. Why doesn't anyone talk about the kids of Columbia? There was a schoolhouse built in 1861, but books only mention the teachers. There must have been children if there was a schoolhouse... right?

I mean to get to the bottom of this lack of information. I just have to make an appointment to do some research in the archive library. I plan to post my presentation on this blog as well in hopes that it will spur your own historical curiosity.

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