Wednesday, June 28, 2017

First Day on the Job - Fieldwork, Architecture and Running on Fumes

My name is Katie Harvey, and I began work as the Historic Places Intern with the Heritage Foundation yesterday.

I arrived at the Intangible Cultural Heritage office yesterday morning dressed for a day in the office. I underwent a tour of headquarters, and before I knew it I was on the road to Heart's Content. We were delayed only slightly by the fact that I had to return to my house to change out of my high heels and add copious amounts of sunscreen to my almost translucently white skin. As you may imagine, I was not expecting to be out in the field on my first day, but it was a welcome surprise.

I spent my first day bathing in sunshine in the beautiful heritage district of Heart's Content. My colleague, Eddy, and I reviewed some of the already-designated buildings within the town.

Western Union Operator's House in Heart's Content. Photo by me.

Being out in the field, I was reminded why I love my work so much. Surrounded by old buildings, I felt at ease; sensing the history these buildings had survived and been witness to throughout their existence.

Documenting the church. Photo by Eddy O'Toole.

The trails and tribulations of course existed. From completing paperwork for two of the wrong houses to nearly running out of gas in a highly stress-inducing and unintentional act of initiation, the day did not pass without obstacles.

Despite these minor inconveniences, I think it was the perfect first day of work. As I've learned from my training as a folklorist, it is essential to remain flexible, and be sure to always maintain a sense of humour.

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