Thursday, June 6, 2013

Let me brag...about my sister

I have been blessed with a wonderful family. It is full of great people who love life and one another. There are no shortages of talent, conversation, confrontation, and love. My parents have done a remarkable job shaping us into unique individuals, helping us to see the many gifts God has bestowed up on us. My sister Mary is my older sister by two years. The gifts and talents Mary fosters involve art and history. Not quite together, though they definitely influence one another. Here, I hope to brag about Mary the Historian.

Mary perserved in academia. It didn't necessarily come easy to her, but she did not lose hope or ever give up, and she has come far! Mary graduated high school, joined a missionary program for a year, and moved back home. She lived at home, attending Cabrillo Junior College and then California State University Monterey Bay, completing college after a rigorous 7 years. She persevered and I was so proud of her. But she didn't stop there; rather than searching for an OK job in Santa Cruz, Mary ventured into graduate school. She attends CSU Fullerton where she studies public history with an emphasis in oral history. What does this mean? This means my sister digs through the trenches of museums to find the truth about what happened. She wants to look at the primary sources and put the puzzle together herself. She wants to talk to the people, listen to their stories, and find out their truths. Not only does Mary want to do this, she does do it and she is extremely gifted in her ability to convey the stories of others. She has a compassion for their lives and their circumstances and she sees with a wholeness that I find historians often miss. 

I had the opportunity this last year to help Mary through her first year of graduate school by editing her papers. It gave me a unique opportunity to see into Mary's mind and the way she thinks and it made me appreciate the challenges of her program. This summer I also had the opportunity to see Mary's history come to life in an exhibit. We went to the Oakland Museum of California, an awesome, very tactile museum, where Mary's work was on display. She and her colleagues studied the effects of the recession in Southern California. They interviewed people, received first hand accounts, and had to creatively design an exhibit that showed this part of California's history. It was so awesome to see Mary's work and to see her name "in lights" so to speak. 

Here are a few pictures of the exhibit! 

These magazine covers capture the lifestyle of OC. The names of the historians are on the back. 

Can you see it? Her name in lights! She focused on the educational effects of the recession.

This corner discussed the foreclosure. There was a door with a notice of foreclosure taped to the front and a mailbox with letters written from people asking for loan forgiveness on their homes. 

This corner discussed education and the different propositions made that affected students and professors. 

This discussed how the OC culture still thrived, but only under the guise of extreme debt.

The historian herself! 

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