Sunday, December 12, 2010

Museum of Broken Relationships

Who knows better about bad matches gone wrong than the people we tried to call Yugoslavians?

You may not be planning a trip to Croatia.  Though Dubrovnik at Christmas can be enchanting….  But you might find yourself in Vienna, only a 4 hour drive from Zagreb, where the permanent collection of the Museum of Broken Relationships is open from 9 – 9 every day.

This collection of objects was originally a travelling show, and does still make the rounds, but has found a home at last in a bleak-looking shell of a brick low-rise, that appears to have once housed apartments with terraced views.  How fitting.  (ArtCulture defines it as a former department store)


The objects displayed are accompanied by the years of the relationship they represent, and a brief story, such as the wedding photo matchstick box above:

Maribor, Slovenia

A box – Jelka, Vlado, November 15, 1975. Vlado made it after the wedding, when he was in the army. After 18 years of marriage he left me for another woman; we officially divorced after our 25th wedding anniversary. I decided to surprise him for the anniversary. I ordered a cake with the number 25 written on it and the pastry shop cut it in half. I sent him the half with the 25. Our sons celebrated our anniversary first with me and then with their father. He and his girlfriend were very shocked but they ate the cake anyway. The cake is gone and so is our marriage. I still have the box, two sons and a lot of memories…
Much of the press is drawn to this wooden prosthetic leg – donated by a wounded warrior who fell briefly in love with his nurse.  It is duct-taped together and badly worn, but as the donor comments, it was still “sturdier” than their love.

In fact, so much of the press comments on the same handful of items, that I did wonder how many pieces are in the permanent collection.  Spiegel counts 200 on 6 stories; NYTimes reported on about 70 objects in a traveling exhibit in Turkey: nice aerial view of that.  Note the broken heart array….15broken_CA0-articleLarge
There are a few other objects from the period of Yugoslavia’s collapse, such as the prosthetic and a love letter written during the evacuation of Sarajevo.

What seems to be missing is a gallery devoted to the arranged marriage that was Yugoslavia itself, and the relationship counselors it sought.  “Too Soon,” perhaps?  Maybe this is a gentler way to start the conversation, or to replace it.

yugo-1-630op  An installation dedicated to this little fellow would be a nice touch too.    Yeh, “sometime.”  Not for long though.

The Museum received 1000 visitors in the first week it opened this October.  Both Leonard Cohen and Lady Gaga have performed in Zagreb this year.  Coincidence?  I think that about wraps it up.


Saturday, December 11, 2010

Poster Postulate



Teenage boys like to feel taller than their movies.

But headlocks are optional.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Mess with the bull

You all know that I can not get enough of job descriptions, and I still get a pile of them every day, many of which I share on the various blogs and Facebook pages I manage.  networking is still the way these things get done, and sometimes the feeling that a job description (dx, we lazily say, in my world) has dropped from the sky can be the right incentive for someone to make a move.

This job title came in the mail today:

I have to say that I never thought of this being an actual job title, that a person would apply for.  I thought this was a duty pawned off onto the coach of the losing team, the bachelor biology teacher, or Never Wills like Dick Vernon, giving up his every Saturday to supervise the Breakfast Club.

It is an 8 hour day (they don't pay for lunch) but only a .75 FTE.  That may be true of most public school jobs, since it reads 210 days/year part-time.  A way to manipulate the books, I expect.

"shape school culture and ensure a safe and orderly environment that promotes academic achievement" ~~ means, get the trouble makers out of our way, please.    Important to note that on The Wire, this required 1 doctoral student, 1 social worker, and a retired police officer.

"a variety of support roles while serving as the intake coordinator in the Dean’s receiving area."  Even I know this is secretarial.  In the way that being a warden is.

"ensure student achievement through the restorative justice process..."  They stood an applaauded themselves when they wrote that one.  restorative justice.

"Provide support to the ...Think Time & Tardy Lunch Teacher, and School Nurse."
1.  I want to see the dx for the Lunch Teacher and .....
2.  You support the nurse.  If there is anyone lower than this on the chart, it is this guy, and we all know he is the eyes and ears of this school.  

In fact, the word "assist" appears 5 times in the bullet points of this job description, including this sad line:  "Assist with all Student Services related mailings including summer school letters, attendance notifications, suspension letters, health screenings, parent college information nights, invitations to scholarship nights, etc."

I suppose it's only fair that the next bullet point, under duties, mind you, is "Model appropriate behavior and display professional conduct at all times."  I guess there has been a problem.

When I got to this line, I realized, oh yeh --- I have had this job.
"Assist in updating the comprehensive Student Handbook in collaboration with the Principal, Dean and other staff, as appropriate."

You will never win the argument that it is not appropriate.
But good luck making that career change.