Thursday, August 8, 2013

Learning What Books Can't Teach: Part 2

Guest Blog Entry by Emily Reinl
As an intern doing interpretation at Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum this summer, I have been very much enjoying myself. One of my favorite parts of working here – and something that surprised me – is how many people I get to meet from all over the world. In particular, I like getting visitors from Germany; I have taken several years’ worth of German classes and plan on studying abroad in Germany in a couple of years, so I enjoy having the opportunity to speak German with native German speakers. I also often get the impression that the visitors appreciate my attempts to converse with them in their native language, which makes the experience all the more gratifying.

I also love having the opportunity to dress in period costume. Ever since I was little, I have loved historical clothing; this contributed to developing my interest in living history museums. I put together the outfit I wear for my internship over the course of several years, buying some here, making some there. For instance, I made my skirt but then bought the blouse I wear with it. I try to be as historically accurate with my costume as possible, even down to wearing the proper undergarments. I always have to laugh a little to myself when I am in the store and a visitor points out the corset and comments on how uncomfortable he or she thinks it looks – I wear a corset every day I work, and I find it very comfortable. I feel great in my costume, and I love the way wearing it and being at Landis Valley transports me back in time.