Introducing new MSc students year 1

Alicia de la Serna

October came and with it, a new academic year began. While our predecessors start their internships (MSc2), we – this academic year’s MSc1’s – are excited to start our year in the lab. Each one of us comes from very different backgrounds and experiences. We have a beautiful mix of nationalities and careers, from archaeometry to history of art, from pharmacy to archaeology, from physics to fine arts.

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We are getting closer to half way through the three year program in conservation at Institute of Archaeology (UCL) and we can start to see the horizon after the MSc (How scary and exciting!).

This year at the MSc in Conservation for Archaeology and Museums, we start developing our practical skills. And with October the most fearful and expected moment came: we were sitting in front of the first object allocated. That was the moment, the beginning. We all looked at each other, then to the object. We asked each other, and then back to the object. Tentatively we started. Moments came when fear stopped us. When that happens, one of our lecturers will sit with us and guide us through the object. And then, we are left alone again, but each time they leave we are a bit more confident, a bit less fearful. A long time ago, one of my teachers said, “You don’t have to fear the object, you have to respect it”. And that is what we learn to do.

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Each one of us has come with our own bag packed full of information, knowledge, skills and life experiences. Slowly, we start to share those bits of wisdom and abilities. We start to fuse our experiences. Each week we absorb information from a mix of both our lecturers and our fellow students. Isn’t it the most important part of growing up? Learning that knowledge is hidden under every stone and not always under the most obvious one.

So this blog is a way for us to extend the sharing of experiences and information beyond the lab walls. I hope you decide to follow our progress. In the posts here we will continue to share our experiences, our research and practical tips, anything that we think is useful, interesting, or reflective of conservation. The MSc 2 students will of course keep posting about their experiences. We welcome your comments and feedback and look forward to a great year!

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