“One Day…” Is Sooner Than It Seems

The St. Louis Art Museum

Winter break included a plethora of smiles

Earlier this week I went to an exhibit of Monet’s Water Lilies at the St. Louis Art Museum. Although I’m not the biggest Monet fan, the exhibit banked on the fact that the museum was reuniting one of their most highlighted works, a large oil impressionist painting of water lilies, with its accompanying panels, showing the triptych in its entirety for the first time in over 30 years. While bringing the panels together did offer a different interpretation of the work, showing Monet almost as a precursor to abstract expression through his later works at Giverny, I’m extremely excited about two things that will also be reunited very, very soon: me and Hopkins. After watching probably a dozen movies, visiting 5 teachers from high school, accommodating a 7-hour time difference with most of my Hopkins friends in Italy and France, a 52 oz. Slurpee challenge (gross), 3 seasons of The Sarah Silverman Program and one dance off with strangers we met in a Sonic parking lot, I’d say it’s been a winter break well spent, but I’m also more that ready to go home to Hopkins and start off the new semester.

Seeing as I haven’t been at school for over a month, I don’t have too much on the Hopkins front to talk about, so I thought I would talk about some of the resources Hopkins provides that have been getting me more and more excited for the future. In Wafa’s last blog Let’s Talk Reality Check, she explained how there comes a time when we begin to follow through with our aspirations, things so easily expressed in words and just left at that. One of the greatest parts in coming to Hopkins has been realizing that all of the things I’ve said I want to do with my life can actually happen. The opportunities really do seem countless and this long winter break has given me an excess of time to not only think about how I’d like to shape my experience at Hopkins but also how I can make it happen. Here’s are just a few of the things I’d like to do in my time here, (maybe some of my goals are similar to your own) and how Hopkins is helping me to make it possible.

Summer Museum Internship

A screenshot of the interactive map I made for my Intro to the Museum class showing the development of the St. Louis Art Museum since the 1900's

While I’m still trying to figure out if I could balance a job and an internship this summer, I feel that, since I’m going into a field that depends a lot on prior experience, it would be valuable to try to get museum involvement over the summer. I’m especially thankful for the Student Employment Services which made it simple to apply to jobs in the beginning of the year and helped me land my job at the Baltimore Museum of Art, something I’m hoping will help me out when I apply for internships. I’ve been continually impressed by Hopkins’ attention to museum careers; for example, the Program in Museums & Society held a Museum Internship Resume Workshop in November. Professionals from the Maryland Science Center, Walters Art Museum, Maryland Zoo, and Jewish Museum of Maryland (where a practicum course is being held this semester) came to campus to offer insight into what museum employers look for in an applicant and the resume and interview process. The Museums minor also has a database outlining open museum positions around the country to help students like myself in our search for opportunities. Sure, careers in the museum are extremely competitive, but I feel a lot of support coming from Hopkins to help. After finding internships around St. Louis that I plan on applying to, this break has given me a lot of time to work on my resume. The JHU Career Center has a lot of resources that have helped me in creating my resume so far, and the advice from the Museums workshop has given me a good idea of the direction in which I should focus. Once I get back I’ll meet with the Career Center to look over my materials, submit my applications, and hope for the best for a potentially awesome summer.

Studying Abroad

My friend Vio took this picture from her flat the morning she left for Hopkins

I’ve always dreamed of going to France: walking around the Musée d’Orsay, visiting the Centre Pompidou, and being immersed in the French language. It’s crazy to think that, within the next two years, this dream could actually become a reality. The Office of Study Abroad suggests meeting with them by the end of your freshman spring semester, especially since you can study abroad as early as your sophomore spring or as late as your senior fall, so I plan on doing that soon after getting back to campus. I’m anxious to determine when it will be best for me to study abroad, but it also seems like a fairly nerve-racking experience. While we do have family friends who live in France, I’ve also made three extremely close friends at Hopkins from France, one of whom’s parents I’ve met, so it will be nice to have that kind of support around me. Over break I’ve been looking a lot at the various programs and, as an art history and french student, there are a lot of programs that will fit my interests and still help me get the credits I need. I haven’t met JHU_Sarah yet as she’s been abroad in Spain this semester, but in reading her blogs it seems that she was able to find an amazing program to fit her major in Mol Cell Bio and Spanish. I’m really excited to see how my vision of spending a semester (or more?) in France could actually happen in the near future.

Pursuing Art

I will admit that not taking an art class my first semester affected me more than I expected; as someone who was thinking about pursuing a BFA for a pretty significant amount of time, it was hard not taking art for the first time in years. I expected my abundance of interesting classes and time doing art on the side to make up for this, but I began realizing that it’s still a part of my life and not just something that I can put to the side. Seeing as Hopkins doesn’t offer a minor in art (but does offer the Homewood Arts Certificate) I realized that I needed to take art classes even though they won’t be taken into account for my major or minor requirements. Over break I’ve had a lot of time to work on independent art projects which has been much needed, and I’m really excited to start my Introduction to Digital Photography class this Spring. It’s a small class of 10 students where we’ll work on both shooting portraiture, landscape, still life, etc. and editing our work on Photoshop. Even though it’s not a required class, I think gaining Photoshop skills will be useful, especially in seeing how new media has become increasingly prominent in curation practices. Next year I’ll have the opportunity to take classes at MICA, the Maryland Institute College of Art, and although it may mean having to pass on certain classes at Hopkins in order to a fit a 4-6 hour studio class into my schedule, I’ve realized that it’s something I have to do. I’m really excited to getting back to my art in a classroom setting and taking advantage of art at both MICA and Hopkins.

Hopefully some of my ambitions match a few of your own and give you an idea of how Hopkins helps make them possible. If not, that’s cool too! One of the greatest things about Hopkins is that there are literally so many opportunities to help you follow what you’re passionate about, and trust me, it’s a pretty cool feeling when you see them begin to lay out. Thanks for reading my (rather lengthy) post, I’m excited to be blogging next time after coming back to Hopkins!

2 thoughts on ““One Day…” Is Sooner Than It Seems

  1. We missed you in Baltimore the last month Joseph and can’t wait to get you back this week. I am glad you enjoyed your winter break, and even more excited to hear of all your future plans. It is great when freshmen make the most of the resources available to them via Hopkins.