One aspect I like about the Sydney Internship Summer Program is that our class attends museums as part of a hands-on learning experience. The State Library of New South Wales (the state Sydney is located in) is currently hosting the World Press Photo. The photos were dynamic illustrations of various issues from environmental to ethical. Our class went one afternoon but since I was out at the rehab center for my internship, I went another day. It was nice to go with a friend and wander the gallery to see what was in store. We needed to write about one of the photos that spoke to us. It was a creative assignment that challenged us to consider what happened immediately before, during and after the photo was taken. I chose to talk about a picture where four women placed their hands on a rare breed of rhino in Kenya. The caption beside the photo read that the specific breed of rhinos in Kenya is nearly extinct because of poachers. I can only imagine how jaw-dropping it must have been to see that breed of rhino in person and have the opportunity to touch it's face, feeling the rough skin. The photos were thought provoking and I'm so glad our class was required to attend. Otherwise I would have missed out on a great exhibit here in Sydney.
Another museum that we went to was the Sydney Jewish Museum. While we weren't on an official tour, which would have included a discussion with a Holocaust survivor and so forth, it was interesting to weave our way through the exhibits. The Sydney Jewish Museum talked about the Jewish presence in Australia prior to, during and after the War. Mick, our teacher, met us outside the museum to give us a run-through of what he felt were the key exhibits to key in on during our tour. I'm grateful he did that, because some of the sections were tucked away and I feel I may have overlooked them had I not been looking for them. The exhibit that stood out to me was the one to remember the children of the Holocaust. There was a water display that dripped one drop, a tear-drop if you will, to mourn all the children lost. There were photos of some of the children. The caption there read that these photos may be the only evidence that these children existed at all. As someone who wants to work with children as a therapist in her professional field, I was moved by the reality of the War's affect on the world. Overall, it was a great day at the Sydney Jewish Museum.
Michelle Handy is a student at Gwynedd Mercy University and is blogging from her summer abroad with the Sydney Internship Program Summer in Sydney, Australia.