Saturday, January 18, 2014

Cafe-like museum / 像咖啡館的博物館


Now every Saturday morning is my self-study time. The more I learn, the more questions will spring up. However, it's really a blessing to find myself in the midst of the plant world. On my way to the museum, I am always filled with anticipation, wondering what kind of visitors I will encounter. 


   Many people automatically ignore this lovely sign right upon entering the exhibit room, but it was the hard work of the staff and volunteers. Since I haven't got opportunities to look at all the seeds in person, I can only do some cramming. Whenever asked if I major in botany, I can't help feeling a mixture of shame and pride. 


   The main room used to be a botany lab. Now it is totally different after being designed and renovated. If there isn't any visitor, I can pick my favorite seat and read. The cabinets, desk and chairs are all antiques from the Japanese colonial period. 


   I had only myself in the early afternoon, which offered me a good chance to examine every exhibit as a visitor. This is the rubbing and manuscript of Prof. Yushun Kudo. Though I've been working in the exhibit room for three weeks, I never run out of things to learn. 


   The director of the herbarium, Prof. Chen-Meng Kuo, gave a talk on the history and stories of the herbarium last month, and he instantly became my idol. There are some exhibits indicating the effort of the professor. We had afternoon tea this afternoon to celebrate his birthday, which was actually yesterday, without his presence. 

        郭教授的老師是棣慕華教授(Charles E. Devol),仔細研讀標籤才發現有張他的親筆字跡。棣老師對於植標館的貢獻良多。

   The mentor of Prof. Kuo was Dr. Charles E. Devol. After a close look at the specimen labels, I found one with his handwriting. He also made immense contributions to the herbarium. 


   Apart from visible exhibits in the showcases, there are more put away in the cabinets. I came upon a bottle of unknown seeds unexpectedly. Since I started learning botany, I have constantly reminded myself that it is ok that there are so many things I don't know. 


I found the answer: These are the seeds of Chinese soap berries! 


   I was really amazed when I saw this wooden box. I bet it's my gift from God for doing voluntary work on Saturday! 


   Before closing, there came five young girls majoring in art. It was such a joy to converse with them about plant specimens, art and antiques. Seeing their eyes sparkle, I knew this was another fantastic Saturday. 


   Come to TAI herbarium for fun asap! 

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