The 'now page'

A view of Platt Fields Park from the upstairs window of Platt Hall

Here's what I'm thinking about right now. 


Well maybe not *right* now, but you get the gist. 


I pinched the idea of a 'now page' from Zak Mensah, who pinched it from Derek Sivers. I'm pretty sure neither of them will mind. 


It's January 2021 and I'm plate-spinning again, managing client work and pitches for future projects alongside home educating my 7-year-old following the unanticipated but entirely predictable closure of schools last week. We are trying to plough our way through the maths and literacy work set by school (verdict: "boring") so that we have enough time for creativity and fun - which after all is what learning should be about, as any museum educator will tell you. I am excited that this stint of home learning has coincided with Prehistory on the Year 3 history curriculum, given that I once did a degree in Archaeology & History and have previous form with this topic. This could be the pinnacle of my career. 


Work wise I am thinking about participation and what that means in a museum context, given that both my current client projects have participatory practice or co-creation at their heart. I finished a report for the Platt Hall In-between project just before Christmas that contained some reflections on their practice stemming from my evaluation work so far, intended to help the team navigate their way forward in defining a new role and purpose for the museum. That's led into some deep and sometimes challenging conversations about role, purpose, values, working practices, authority and power, linked to the concepts of what it means to be a 'good neighbour' and how to prioritise care. I'm thinking a lot about language in this context: how, as we make new ways of working and being in museums, we need to find new ways of articulating what we do that are precise enough avoid confusion or misinterpretation but jargon-free so that they are meaningful outside the world of museums. I'll let you know what I come up with. 


In terms of my business I am thinking about my own values and where they might take me. Last summer around the time I left my job as Director of the Holocaust Exhibition & Learning Centre I did a lot of work on defining what my values are. The next step is to figure out what they look like in the context of work, what the behaviours that stem from those values look like, and how they define the work I choose to do. This is a work in progress, and maybe next time I write a 'now page' (roughly once a month, give or take) I'll have something more to say. 


Personally I'm looking forward to the days getting longer and the return of spring. It's slow, but it's happening. Hang in there. Brighter days will return.