The Tenement Museum

When I heard that we were going to visit a tenement museum, I did not know what to expect. I thought we would simply be visiting a museum that emulates the characteristics of the conditions of tenements during the influx of immigrants to the United States in the 1900s. I thought we would be simply examining artifacts from that time period and learning historical facts. In my mind, i was picturing a museum similar to that on Liberty Island where many immigrants landed when they immigrated to United States. I was pleasantly surprised to find that we were learning about tenements in a more creative way. It was a great experience to be able to role play and see the world from the point of view of immigrants. Analyzing the postcards was also very interesting because it allowed us to see the different symbolism used by different cultures.  For example, the cycle of life that was portrayed on the postcards with a Jewish influence was very interesting because it depicted the important aspects of life in the Jewish community. The role playing when we went up to the tenement ro meet Victoria was a new experience. The actress who played Victoria was very good and managed to load the conversation with a lot of information about the life of immigrants time period (such as education facilities and the types of jobs available to people). She was very engaging and allowed us a way to experience the life of an immigrant. It was also interesting to see how the descendants of the real Victoria have become integrated in the country. The whole idea of using a story line and the life of a real live immigrant made the experience much more engaging as well as believable. Overall this trip was both informative and highly entertaining.

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