Well, Macaulay blog world (a.k.a. Prof. Berger’s CHC class), here I am!
When our class visited the Tenement Museum, I really enjoyed acting like a German immigrant. This is probably because I still have a foot in both worlds. I came to America in 2002, with all sorts of odd German mannerisms and expectations. Going to the tenement museum was like traveling back in time to redo my move here. Of course, it was easier because I had dual-citizenship at the time of my “immigration,” and the comforts of the 21st century are much more reassuring than that tenement.
The immigrant game at the beginning of the group tour was slightly awkward because we didn’t know how to respond to the woman’s questions. It was exciting to learn about this great city’s past, though, and I’m glad I had this experience. It would have been a lot more interesting if the woman that was explaining everything to us had been in costume. Despite her lack of enthusiasm and convincing dress, she was a pretty good guide.
Our own personal Victoria Confino was a whole different story. The actress was in character the whole time, and didn’t seem phased in the least when we deigned to respond to some of her questions. I have to admit I got a bit annoyed at the fact that the group often didn’t speak up to help the poor actress out in her quest to interest us in her character’s life. Honestly, I found it much less awkward and more enjoyable when I started to play along. She even let me do LAUNDRY!
I learned a few things during our tenement escapades two weeks ago:
There are so many questions that immigrants need to ask before they can be secure in a new country, especially if they are not familiar with the language! Also, Victoria Confino was quite the interesting 14-year-old, and I now know that bamboo symbolizes longevity in China. First and foremost, however, I know that I never, ever want to be Nick’s daughter. 😉 I enjoy the dance halls and school to much!
I hope you all had a similarly engaging experience!