Wednesday, February 10, 2010


While re-organizing the CDs, I came across this photo of the Holland Museum, taken last year on our trip to Grand Haven-Holland, Michigan. It brought back fond memories when I was a docent for about a year, probably in 1992-3. I became interested in volunteering after learning that the museum needed extra docents during Tulip Time Festival, especially with a special exhibit of an original painting by Vincent van Gogh. You probably are thinking, "So why the title of this post, A Funny Story?". Well, it just happened that after the Festival was over, I stayed on because I really enjoyed being a docent. One Saturday afternoon, I was the only docent there and a group of European (probably Dutch) Americans walked in. They looked at me, an Asian American chubby woman, as I greeted them, "Welcome to the Holland Museum", then hesitated whether they were in the right place. Then they looked at "Eddie" standing in front of the gift shop. Here is why it is a funny story, Eddie was a student at Hope College but was born and raised in Laos and came to America when he was about five years old. I could tell that these visitors were confused since they did not expect to see two Asian faces in a museum that was supposed to be about Dutch culture. I introduced myself as their docent and began leading the tour. After the tour, the group spent time in the gift shop, talking to Eddie and purchasing souvenirs. I received compliments for being a knowledgeable docent and providing an interesting tour. (I received one hour of hand-on training and written materials of historical facts for each item in the exhibit. I did not let the compliments went to my head because I knew any dummy with good scripts/speech writers and a teleprompter could give an impressive speech filled with fancy words and empty analysis.)
Would you like to share a similar funny story that happened to you?

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