Danielle Thibodeau

Danielle graduated from Montserrat College of Art in 2010 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography and Art History. She has interned at the Central Street Gallery and Peabody Essex Museum. Danielle is currently a graduate student at Bank Street College of Education where she can combine her passions of fine art, art education, and museum studies.

First Semester - Complete!

Well, I officially finished my first semester of graduate school—and what a whirlwind it was!

Initially it was easy to balance school and work, but then I started to make friends and adding in a social life on top of my other responsibilities was challenging. Somehow I managed to finish, though, and that’s all that matters.

Overall, I’m SO happy with the choices I’ve made. I love Bank Street, I love going into NYC by myself (even if the commute is exhausting), and I love all of the field trips that I was able to experience. I visited: The Roerich Museum, Brooklyn Children’s Museum, Frick Collection, American Museum of Natural History, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Museum of Chinese in America. All of them were amazing.

I’m still missing one of my grades, but I finished on a pretty strong note with an A in my School/Museum Curriculum course and a B in my Child Development course (which kicked my butt, so I’m pretty content with that). (Update 2/2014: My missing grade was a B+, phew!) 

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I will update soon to share what my second semester entails, but for now…I’m on break! :)

Danielle

Artist-Animal Collaborations

Hello, followers!

I haven’t updated in a while—I’ve been so busy with commuting, school, work, and homework that I am just too tired to do anything else. Things are going well, however, and I am loving everything. I promise a more up-to-date post soon, but for now I wanted to share some exciting news.

The Peabody Essex Museum has recently reopened their newly designed Art & Nature Center with a new exhibit called Beyond Human: ArtistAnimal Collaborations. I actually helped compile a list of potential artists, animals, works, and child resources for this exhibition during my internship last year and I’m so excited to see it finally open! I haven’t had a chance to see it yet since I’m out of state, but I can’t wait to go visit next time I’m in New England and see if they used anything I suggested. :) Go visit and let me know how it is! 

-Danielle 

Apartment

We went down to NJ during the first weekend in August to quickly obtain an apartment. After touring about 8 cruddy and/or expensive apartments, we settled on a clean (and still relatively expensive) apartment.

Home sweet home:

I’ll be about a 5 minute drive from work, but it’s going to take me about 4 hours roundtrip on school days to travel via car, bus, train, subway…sigh.

We move in September 8th, orientation is on the 9th, and classes start the 10th. So, we will have to power-move all of our things into the new place, and fast. No word when I start work, but it should be sometime that week. 

I’m pretty stressed. I’ll let you know if I survive! 

Preparations

We’re trying to gear up for the big move, but still don’t have a place to live yet, which is frustrating. My parents have been great and are trying to scout out some potentials for us. We’ll see if anything turns up in the next couple of weeks.

I did find out that I am able to transfer to a brand new Disney Store (opened June 18th), which is the best news I’ve gotten in a while! So I will be able to work part-time alongside my classes. Now we just need to find something for Chris… 

I also made my first purchases towards grad school! I bought a school/internship ID case (with spaces for subway cards), some notebooks, and an iPad mini! 

Everything feels like it’s starting to fall into place, but we just need a little bit more. I’m sure the next couple of weeks are going to be a whirlwind. Hope I can handle it. 

Graduate Classes

So, I ended up accepting the offer of enrollment at Bank Street College of Education and was able to register for my grad classes this morning! I’m getting very excited to start my studies, even though the only thing now standing in my way is finding an (affordable) an apartment in the New Jersey area. 

Anyways, here are the descriptions for the courses— 

Seminar into Museum Education I (Tuesdays):

This foundation course examines the history and philosophy of museums and museum education, emphasizing the role of museums in a pluralistic society. A key focus is on learning theories and on the relationship of learning in museums to learning in schools. Students examine the progressive educational philosophy of John Dewey and consider issues such as cultural diversity, interpretation from multiple perspectives, and museum-school partnerships (on-site and virtual). Through readings, discussions, visits to museums, talks with museum professionals, and written and technology-based assignments, students develop a theoretical framework for learning in museums and schools. For matriculated Museum Education students or by permission of the program director.

School / Museum Curriculum Development (Tuesdays):

In this course, students learn how to develop and teach programs that are integrated with elementary or middle school classroom curricula in the areas of science, language arts, social studies and art. Students develop inquiry-based teaching techniques through which children can explore and interpret the information, concepts, and cultural values that an object or a collection communicates. With a strong emphasis on conceptually oriented, developmentally appropriate program and curriculum design, students explore learning techniques including activities in the natural environment, analyzing objects, creative writing, movement, drama, and perception games. Students are exposed to many teaching approaches in museums throughout the metropolitan area, and put theory into practice by designing their own curricula. Students learn about the most productive ways of working with children with disabilities and special healthcare needs.

Child Development (Thursdays):

In this course we will examine the interactions among the cognitive, social, emotional, linguistic, and physical development of children from infancy into adolescence. We will pay close attention to children as makers of meaning in the contexts of their development, including family, school, socio-economic class, and culture. Through reading classic and current literature, we will attend to some of the larger questions about development, such as the relationship between nature and nurture, the role of developmental theory, and the tension between the search for developmental universals and the reality of individual differences. The goal is to make developmental theory vibrant and meaningful so that the generalized theoretical child comes to enhance and inform how one understands individual children.

What I find the most exciting is that my courses are only on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so I should be able to balance my studies and be able to work part time. 

[Course descriptions from bankstreet .edu]

Acceptance Letter

So, I’ve been quiet the past couple weeks, but that’s because I’ve been swept up in a crazy whirlwind since I WAS ACCEPTED INTO GRAD SCHOOL!!! 


I’m super excited and relieved that the application process is over, but I’m starting to freak out about the prospective loans I have to take out. I don’t have any previous student debt, so part of me wants to stay like that, but the other part thinks that this will open up more opportunities in the art / museum / teaching / career world.

I only have until the 20th of this month to respond to their offer, which is creeping up quickly. I am 99.9% sure I am going to accept, but I am having so many doubts (mainly about finding an apartment in NJ and the loans). I am also excited to know that I will be able to transfer to a Disney Store if I want to continue to work part-time, which will be completely necessary.


New adventures on the horizon! :)

Interview

I got back from NYC yesterday and completed my interview on Wednesday. I was nervous over the (5 additional!) impromptu essays I had to do a couple hours before the interview, but they weren’t too bad. Then I met with the program director and talked about the program I applied for, my work history, interests, etc. Turns out the education certification part of the program I applied to was a little different than I thought (it’s just general education, not art education), so she recommended I apply for just the museum studies portion of the program. I’m still highly interested and excited about this, so I’ll just have to see how it all pans out. The interview ended with her suggesting I fill out financial aid information and that she’ll get back to me. Cross your fingers for good news!

Program Interview

I submitted my graduate application just last week to Bank Street College of Education and today I received a phone call from the program director! I’m going down to NYC to have an in-person interview and complete the second batch of essays on March 13th. I’m ecstatic!

Wish me luck! :)

Application COMPLETE!

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  • Completed application form
  • Non-refundable application fee
  • Three letters of reference 
  • A reflective autobiography
  • Short Essays 
  • Résumé
  • Transcripts (still in the mail, apparently…) (update: they arrived!)

I sent in everything last night! (Due the 15th.) A great weight has been lifted from my shoulders. I have been working on these grad essays since October and even though I’ve had multiple people proofread and revise, I still am a bit worried. Oh, well. Here comes the waiting game! :)

Grad School Applications : Round 2

So, I applied to graduate school last year and did not get in.

Well, It took a little bit more work experience and soul searching on my end, but I’m happy to say that I’m getting ready to apply again. (Nothing’s gonna keep me down!) However, I’m applying to a different school entirely. I found the best program at Bank Street College that combines what I’ve been focusing on recently : Museum Studies AND Childhood Education. I feel confident that everything that has happened thus far in my life has prepared me for this role. (Thank you, PEM, YMCA, & Disney Store!)

Their priority deadline is February 15th for Fall applicants, so I really have to set goals for myself and get to writing the personal essays that go along with the application.

:)

New/Old Job

So, my YMCA art classes are over and my PEM internship is wrapping up. I randomly went to a job fair for the new Merrimack Outlets and applied for the Disney Outlet that is opening up…Well, they ended up hiring me on the spot and placing me at the Manchester, NH location since 2 of my old managers are there! I’m so excited to work for the Disney Store again. I know it’s just a retail job but it makes me so happy. 

Change of Heart (?)

A few things to update on:

I heard back from SFAI and did not get accepted.

I was pretty bummed at first, because I had a whole plan laid out. However, without fail, I am having a change of heart AGAIN and am still lost as to what I want to do. Don’t get me wrong, I am having a great time at my internship at the museum, however, I am also teaching art to the kids and still have a secret urge to pursue that. I wish I could figure out some way of combining all of this. I will figure it out, in time…I guess?!

That being said, I’ve started a third tumblr to keep track of all the art activities I’m teaching at the museum and through the YMCA. I figure it might help others, or myself further down the road. Here’s the link to that, in case anyone is interested.: http://artforthekiddies.tumblr.com/

Maybe I’ll just run away to work at Disney for a couple of years and then come back to the real world later. Sounds good to me! :)

New Work Schedule

Well, I survived the Lunar New Year Festival at the Peabody Essex Museum last weekend. It was actually quite fun! (We even broke over 2,000 visitors in attendance!) I got to talk with two other interns, and come to find out, one of them actually interned down in Disney World and knows my old Disney Store manager, Jarrod! It’s definitely “a small world after all”.  :)

This past week I started re-teaching my YMCA art class again. Luckily, I am teaching Mondays - Thursdays and enrollment is very high. But as cute as the kindergarteners are, I think I prefer teaching grades 3-5, because they actually finish the assignments and follow directions easier. My Thursday class is also very advanced in their skills, so I’m going to have to tweak some projects for them. The downside: I’m feeling a tidbit stuffy today, so I’m gonna blame it on the germy kids.  :(

Anyways, with the addition of the Y classes, I had my first week of figuring out how to shuffle them into my schedule. I now go from my PEM internship directly to the elementary schools, so I’m beat afterwards. However, it feels really good to be getting back into the work force and gaining all of this art experience.   

Internship Funnies & Lunar New Year

So, my PEM internship is going well. I met another intern who showed me the ropes and how I should be managing my time. So far I have 12 hours clocked, which is exciting. Here’s a picture of the bulletin board above my workspace:

Also, here’s a funny from the comment book, which I just HAD to share:

In case you can’t read it…

Thank you for visiting the Art & Nature Center. We would love to hear what you think!


I think water is like eggs, it’s part of a healthy breakfast.


What is your favorite activity/display?


Favoritism is not healthy. Unlike water, which is healthy.


Do you have any suggestions for us?

More cowbell.


Is this your first time in the center?

I’ve been here. I am a veteran.

Certainly profound and very enjoyable. Oh, snarky children.

AND this weekend (on 2/4) I’m helping out with the museum’s Lunar New Year festivities! Come stop by if you are free! Here’s the link to the event page.

Orientation and First Day

So, today I had my internship orientation at the PEM. I drove over, found parking in the garage, walked through the mall and into the main building. I met up with the 14 other interns in the museum atrium, where we were briefed on what the internship entailed. We signed some paperwork and then went on a scavenger hunt. (This was extremely awkward, since no one knew each other AND the museum is huge, so we got lost.) We went over our answers from the scavenger hunt - I got one correct, so I won this snazzy pin as a prize:

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We then had our pictures taken by security for our swipey-badges, got to view a couple of new exhibitions before the general public, and went on a super-secret tour of the basement of the museum. (All SO cool.) We then received our badges, signed more papers, and then I was whisked away to the Art & Nature Center where I had an hour of training.

Al-in-all, it was a very good day. I feel like this internship will be very beneficial to me. I can’t wait to go in again tomorrow. 

__

Ok, I promise I won’t give an everyday play-by-play on this PEM internship, however, today seems important enough to share.

It was my first real day in the Art & Nature Center. I arrived a little early, scoped out the office, and then learned how to fill and work the interactive art installations. The show that’s on display is, Ripple Effect, The Art of H2O - so there are a couple of things that need to be refilled and drained every couple of hours. It’s pretty neat to be involved in the museum and feel like I actually get to play a role in the art’s functionality. After everything was prepped and ready for opening, I was given an hour to get acquainted with the rest of the art in the exhibition. There are some really gorgeous pieces, such as this:

Water Sculpture #9
2010; Shinichi Maruyama; archival pigment print
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So there you have it. Seems like I’m going to adjust to this internship pretty well. I’ve already been scheduled to come in once a week (Thursdays) plus do the occasional weekend gig. Should be quite interesting!