I really did not know what to expect from the tenement museum. I figured it would be like any other museum I had ever visited filled with the mementos and keepsakes of those long gone. I never imagined it would be such an interactive experience. It was definitely fun getting into our respective roles. Although at first some of us were hesitant, I could tell we all got really into the situation later on. The actress that played Victoria was amazing (Oscar-worthy). Due to her behavior, I almost felt like I really did just get to the United States, did not speak the language, and had absolutely no idea what to do. There was a second of panic before I realized how ridiculous I was being. Of course we were in 2011 and I did speak English.
In our last assignment we had written about the immigration history of our families. Being an immigrant myself, I realized that my troubles did pale in comparison to those of Victoria’s family. I guess with the advent of technology and greater civilization, our lives have actually been made easier. I was so glad that I was getting an education rather than having to stay in a small apartment all day doing chores for the entire family.
I really enjoyed the overall experience. I was hoping to visit more apartments to see how different families incorporated their respective cultures in their individual rooms. Still, it was nice to see an old tenement apartment, frozen in time. Although it was an enlightening and informative experience, I do not think I’ll go back since there really isn’t much else to see in the building itself besides the apartment we already visited. I would definitely recommend the experience to family and friends however.