It becomes easy to forget about things like stargazing, fireflies, and s’mores as life moves away from the coziness of Main Street to the hecticness of interstate by-passes and big box stores. When you come to the International Preservation Studies Center in Mount Carroll you get a taste of scenic beauty and eclectic appeal that can only be found in the small towns of America.
Many of our students take time to bike around the historic downtown or drive to the nearby Mississippi Palisades, but some students find entertainment right here on campus. Students in the Gilding Conservation and Microscopy for Pigment and Fabric Identification courses hosted a barbecue on the lower patio that ended with the roasting of marshmallows over a fire. I found myself invited to this soiree since I was the intern-turned-den-mother at the dorms.
I will say, when it comes to IPSC you will find it impossible to leave here without making friends with the other students. You even get to know the instructors very well, and you find out things about them that you wouldn’t in other classroom environments. For example, it came to some of the students’ attention that the instructor for the gilding class, Hubert Baija of the Netherlands, never had a s’more before. So, naturally, the students became the teachers and took it upon themselves to direct the preparation, execution, and deconstruction of the perfect s’more.
We only had little bamboo skewers for our roasting sticks, but we let them soak in water all day so to decrease the chance of them catching on fire. Really, it added to the overall excitement. When fireflies started to come out, the students from big cities like L.A. and D.C. were particularly enthralled with the bioluminescent insects.
Sitting on the lower patio listening to everyone “ooh” and “ahh” made me remember that it’s important to take time and watch the fireflies. The International Preservation Studies Center is the perfect place to learn about best practices in the museum and conservation field, but it is also a great place to recuperate from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
Now that you know IPSC can entertain students from even the biggest of cities, check back here next week for a behind the scenes look at the inspiration behind our new logo.