Day 30 - Tangibles, Intangibles, Universals, Oh My!

Tuesday, October 24

I have officially been in Southeast Arizona for one month. For tomorrow's entry, I will write a month reflection!

Today was spent in the VC completing my "Foundations of Interpretation" course. The main idea of interpretation is to connect the physical resources of a site to the emotions and values of the visitor. It answers the question, "Why should I care?" It seeks to get the deeper, human meaning of these resources. This involves using tangibles, intangibles, and universal concepts. Tangibles are physical items that you can see, hear, taste, smell, or touch. Intangibles are abstract meanings that include ideas, relationships, beliefs, and values. Universal concepts represent an intangible that can be understood by everyone no matter what background, and that each person experiences differently.

For example! Take a tangible item: the forest. Some intangibles that go with forest include solitude, refuge, deforestation, and exploitation. Universal concepts here would be solitude, refuge, and exploitation, because these ideas are part of the human experience. Another tangible item could be: bear. Intangibles to go with bear include power, fear, and conservation. Which ones are universal? Power and fear.

As with any type of speech or essay, it is essential to develop a theme for your interpretive program. It should articulate the reason(s) for caring about the resource. 

In the end, the goal of interpretation is to get visitors to care about the resource. When they care about the resource, they will then care for the resource.

I got back home and started to pack for my trip to Mississippi on Thursday - AH!

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