Category Archives: curator chronicles

look ma!


(it’s not a big deal that i’m in the newspaper, it happens a lot here. however, this one was a bit different. i was profiled for prominent people in the community. kinda cool.)


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Mail like this is one of the reasons I love my job. Letters from a Gr. 2 tour we had through the museum a few weeks ago.

They loved the doll exhibit. Who knew! Also, there was a great letter from one marvelling over getting to talk on a rotary phone.

Something about your job that made you smile today?



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protecting the pale

I laughed out loud when I stumbled across this picture.

Not because this is a picture of the first Barbie doll, because of the one pale one.

I’m putting together an exhibition on vintage (non creepy) dolls, and was searching for a photo to go in the “fashion doll” section. Instead, I found a picture that best describes me.

The pale girl giving the side eye.

I would have totally played with Barbie growing up if there had been a pale version. Instead, Strawberry Shortcake held my heart.

Did you have a favourite toy growing up?


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there’s always one room

In every house, place of business, etc., there seems to be always one spot that you don’t show the public. Or at least, that’s been the case in my experience.

My boss likes to keep everything. The trouble is she doesn’t organize the stuff she keeps. So I’ve taken over the task, as I need a proper place to process collections.

She’s away on vacation at the moment, so I’ve used that time to tackle one of our buildings that has just become a giant junk drawer. These pictures below were taken believe it or not, after we’d done some cleaning.

And this is what it looks like now. Still some finishing touches, but finally, a workable space!

Is there a room in your house, or place of work that needs a spring clean?


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and they called me miss

Today I held the first round of interviews for our summer student positions. There are 4 positions, and typically a lot of applicants, so it’s a bit of a process.

I had one of our researchers sit in with me while I interviewed the candidates. Most good, one great.

Of the five interviewed today, I will be hiring one for certain. I was struck by two simple things that made this candidate stand out (besides experience).

1) She knew what our organization does

Which is very simple to learn if you spend 5 minutes on our website

2) She asked us questions

I love when candidates do this. It’s one thing I always made sure to do in interviews as well.

Amazing how little details really can make an interview.

Have you had bad interview experiences?

And on a completely random aside. I read this today on Patton Oswalt’s Twitter and it made me laugh out loud.

“How does Frankenstein fuck a vampire lady and have a werewolf boy?” — network note on The Munsters television pitch


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walking calamity

This morning we were assembling shelves and moving artefacts into a new storage space. I was moving between buildings, bundled up in my jacket, hat, gloves, when my stomach started to rumble as it was nearing tea time. I quickly grabbed a pear from my desk and dashed outside with keys in my hand for the other building.

I should mention again that this is the key chain.

So I’m running, as quickly as you can on slippery pavement in torrential rain, pear in one hand, keys in the other and go into the other building to grab a table. It wasn’t overly heavy, but awkward. I soon realise picking up the pear was a bad idea, with a pockletless coat (cute, but not practical). The only solution – stick the pear in my mouth and grab the table and make a run for it. I wasn’t about to make two trips.*

I should also mention at this time I was wearing earplugs because the metal shelving banging on the concrete was not helping my constant tinnitus. Yet to anyone watching me, you couldn’t tell as they were hidden under my hair and hat.

So I lock up the other building and head to my car with the table. I lean it up against the side to unlock the car, and suddenly the wind picks up it up, and as the table is just hard plastic, it goes flying across the parking lot. Did I mention it was windy?

It’s at this point the pear drops out of my mouth, as I start to yell, I attempt to catch it, as I point to my co-worker who has just emerged from the main building – but instead of verbally speaking I just continue to motion and world’s heaviest key chain lodges itself in the air as well. And thanks to many years of baseball I still have a strong-arm. The Cartman key chain flies through the air and my co-worker ducks so it doesn’t hit her, well yelling and gesturing towards me. I, of course, cannot hear her as I still have my earplugs in.

Too late.

A chocolate lab from the dog park (who walks their dog in torrential rain??) jumps me from the side, presumably mistaking my pear for a tennis ball. Arms flail, leashes tangle and my pear is crushed to the ground in all the commotion.

I would have liked to have been the one watching this unfold.

Perhaps someday I’ll have that luck.

*In hindsight, taking 5 minutes to eat the pear then and there would have been a better solution.


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curator tip of the day

When someone walks into the museum and thrusts an old tin box in your face, saying “Here, for you” – insist that they open and present the objects to you first. As a) it could be Gwyneth’s head or b) an old, destroyed gas mask wrapped around a porcelain clown doll whose combination crushed in the tiny box may cause an unsavory reaction on your part.


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