As a “Week in the Life” guest-blogger I will take you with me on the road—two trips that represent one of the best aspects of my job as Executive Director of the New York Council for the Humanities. Every year our staff and board undertake an intense touring itinerary of one of the state’s regions; we’ve been hosted (usually by local members) at Buffalo, Ithaca and Syracuse, Cooperstown, Saratoga Springs and Glens Falls in past years, and this year we’ll return to the place where this tradition started: Rochester! And each year we’ve added more to our schedule as we learned how to do this kind of trip, and now, it is truly jam-packed.
(Appropriately for PhDs at Work, Rochester once boasted the highest ratio of Ph.D.’s per capita of any American city).
So the Thurs and Fri will be a whirlwind tour including site visits at the cultural and humanities-presenting institutions we’ve funded with grants, such as the Susan B. Anthony House, Geneseo Migrant Center, and WXXI Radio & TV. We’ll meet some of our state legislative supporters and at least one Congressional staffer. We’ll have a big garden party in honor of the public humanities, while the next day we’ll have take-out sandwiches in Letchworth State Park.
The following week will be a lot of follow-up from our activities in Rochester, but will end with another trip, this time to Buffalo. The Council is supporting the Conference on New York State History at Niagara University this year as part of our commemoration of the bicentennial of the War of 1812, and I’ll be doing a bit of public speaking.
I might not get a chance to say this in my daily reports, but what I do this week also strikes a certain balance in favor of work over life, as I’ll be away from my husband and two small boys during these trips and will miss them. And miss a few of their achievements such as my older son’s last day at pre-school. Luckily not every week is as intense as this one! But then, it wouldn’t be as interesting for PhDs at Work.
Join me and get a unique perspective on what being a non-profit executive director entails and what an amazing place our state humanities councils have in our national cultural life!