Museums are interesting because their spaces are designed to tap, prod, shake a person’s sense of wonder and curiosity–or else it has failed its purpose. Initially, I had my reservations with working at the Rice Science Museum. I was loathe to leave behind my work of doing research with the indigenous farming communities. I was scared that my budding advocacy of empowering small-scale farmers of the country would die a premature death. But I should have rest assured that anything related to Anthropology (Museology is still a subdiscipline from this) would have given me the freedom and space to do the work and help the people that I have grown to love. Albeit the museum forces me to take a different approach, I found myself engaged and “speaking” with another sector that needs to be inspired in order for them to take up the reins of uplifting the ordinary Filipino farmer: the youth. For those who work with children, they already know the special fulfillment that comes from this line of work. Prior to working with the Museum, I was ignorant of these subtle advantages. Of course, like any work, there is stress, but the feeling of reward is a high unlike any other.
This photo shows one of our youngest participants to the Rice Science and Art Summer Camp that was conducted last May 2015. The visible sweat dripping down the side of her face is no impediment to satisfying her curiosity. Touching the artifacts, asking how they work, imagining the people and the situation when it was used, this young girl was processing knowledge at an immense scale using modalities only children would have great facility for. I underestimated the power of imagination in children, but working with them, I realized that our role as adults is to help enable them to achieve that which they imagine. Whether by teaching them brushing skills to achieve the portrait that they want, mixing different paints to achieve the right color, or simply answering their many questions, we give them the tools and the space to let their imagination become reality.
Not being a mother, I think there’s a lot of things of this nature that I miss out on. But I think that working with children gives similar fulfillment, and who knows, it might inspire me to imagine something else for myself?