"As long as I live…

… I’ll interpret the rocks, learn the language of flood, storm, and the avalanche. I’ll acquaint myself with the glaciers and wild gardens, and get as near the heart of the world as I can." John Muir

This week in my public history class, we discussed the topic of environmental history, a topic that I find fascinating, but I usually reserve as a casual interest of mine. If you caught my podcast episode, you’ll remember it was on milkweed and how it’s presence in the town of Petoskey, Michigan caused it to be one of the best materials for life vests in WWII and I may have mentioned the tragic Johnstown Flood in one of my posts as well.
I’ll be honest, our readings this week were absolutely FULL of mentions of Pennsylvania (by normal standards) including one written by my undergraduate advisor. I think I counted around 5 or 6 mentions of my home state (one of them mentioned Amish farmland so I’m just going to count that as a win).
It’s no surprise, there’s a lot of, well, environment i…

"It's hard to be a diamond...

in a rhinestone world." Dolly Parton

From memes to bizarre social media captions, museums, like the most basic of us, are well known to jump on the band wagon and guiltlessly go for the likes. But can you really blame them? If you're able to get a massive response and put your name out there for even just a day, you would probably take it, right?

While the US National Parks Service has an absolutely amazing PR team who can draw an instagram crowd with a terrible dad joke, most museums decide on different methods.

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Alligators can grow up to 15 feet...but most grow four. 🐊⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ Hey, don’t look at us like that. The American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) is the largest reptile in North America. They live in freshwater wetlands in the southeastern United States. Alligators continue to grow throughout their lifetimes. Male American alligators average 8 to 10 feet long, while females tend to be slightly smaller. Very old males can get quite large, …

"I met a man who lives in Tennessee, and he was headin' for...

Pennsylvania and some homemade pumpkin pie" - There's No Place Like Home

So this blog was initially created on my own terms to recount my adventures in grad school, then it was turned into a graded blog that made up part of my grade in my digital lass, now, we're back to recounting my adventures while simultaneously talking about classes because something tells me this semester is going to be one wacky ride!

But for starters, I went home!

Yes, I, Jessica Chernich, returned home to the lovely state of Pennsylvania for the holidays for a much needed break from staring at a mid-19th century house and singing Civil War era songs. 

Instead, I stared at 18th century houses and still sang Civil War Songs Christmas Carols. 

It's a funny thing how you can simultaneously realize that you might not want to get nose deep in preservation but still scream out of a moving vehicle: "THAT IS A LOVELY GEORGIAN FARMHOUSE!" 

At this point, I don't know if I would ever want to spe…

The Historian Reanimated!


At least that's what I was thinking to myself as I put the final touches on my digital history project and even more recently, my heritage designation project.

These are the reasons I haven't been able to exactly keep up with my blog. That, and the creative writing block I've been having. Honestly, I just haven't had any witty revelations or news to share until now. Now, you get to hear about my projects!

Project I:

Heritage Designation reports are due tomorrow and I have to say, it was an interesting project. I have never been particularly interested in architecture and it may be because where I'm from, I'm just so use to seeing one room school-houses turned into single family homes and old Georgian farmhouses that still maintain their rustic beauty. That's just the nature of the Pennsylvania countryside!

When you're in a city though, especially one undergoing a good deal of development like London, ON, it certainly op…

Museum Hack and other Interpreters who SLAY

You can ask any history major why they got into history and it certainly varies a lot, but within their response is usually something about visiting museums and historic sites frequently growing up. From that, we all learn things we're passionate about and perhaps choose techniques to emulate.

I'm no exception to this "theory" and I find myself frequently reflecting on some of the best interpreters I've come across on vacations.

I credit my first experience with an exceptional interpreter at Ford's Theater in Washington DC. It was a while ago so I can't recall any precise details, but I do remember that he was the most passionate individual I had seen giving a tour up until that point.

In high school, we were required to complete either 72 hours to graduate or construct and present a presentation outlining what our college major would be. Incidentally I chose the presentation route. Probably since 11th, maybe 10th grade, I was fully aware of public histor…