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Grad Student, the latest hat I get to wear.

So, here I am about to begin week three into my MA program at Ryerson. How do I feel? Well, a combination of utter joy and dread all at once. On the one hand it is incredible to be back at school, feeling re-invigorated with new knowledge and being surrounded by brilliant minds. It's a true joy to engage in long, intense discussions about culture, photography and museums with them; so many ideas and perspectives. 
At the same time it is dreadful to once again be writing short essays and citing them at every possible turn. I had totally forgotten about this very precise structure of putting your thoughts and opinions down for academic purposes. I'm finding it challenging after so many years of being away from such rigorous structures on a daily/weekly basis. The readings to can be quite challenging, as I attempt to absorb and synthesise so many points of view of the brilliant intellectuals that have shaped our understanding of the photographic discipline and those who have created the field of collections management.
We have already turned in a number of assignments, and it was fun overcoming some of these barriers. So far I've had to give a presentation, engage in an online discussion and an article analysis on the invention of photography. I am learning so much, so fast. I find this earliest history of the medium fascinating, and looking at and handling daguerreotypes one of the greatest pleasures I've felt. I'm gonna be honest and tell you that seeing how museums operate when it comes to managing their collections is quite challenging, as there are so many rules, procedures and policies that vary not only from institution to institution, but from country to country. The experience I gained at SoHo has been invaluable in familiarising me with many of these things, but the difference in scale is staggering. At the gallery I got to wear many hats and perform a great deal of roles in what I thought were the normal duties of a gallerist, but in the museum setting, these tasks would be carried out buy a small army of specialists. I won't lie, it felt good to know that I could do a bunch of stuff on my own that big museums need a team of swats to accomplish, but then again, much I had to learn on my own at the gallery. Collections Management isn't sexy, but it is highly rewarding to handle so much information. 
Well, now I get to wear the grad student hat, and I do love it. I'm learning new things about photography, about running a collection, but also about myself, about my limits, weaknesses and strengths. In the end, being here at school is a huge thing for me, a goal I've had for some time. Now that I'm here, it is time to focus on the next goal and action plan...
Till next time!
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