Five Year Club

April 19, 2016 at 1:17 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , )

Last Wednesday, I attended the annual Volunteer Appreciation Ceremony and Reception for The Field Museum. I go to these every year because they’re a great reward for the service we docents provide to the museum, plus there’s delicous food and an open bar. It’s a win-win all around!

This year was a little different, though, in that I’ve now officially been a docent for five years and I received a little award during the ceremony! I got called on stage and took a picture with the President of the museum, then received a certificate of recognition and an engraved keychain with my years of service. It was all really nice and meant a lot to me and I am so proud and grateful to be part of that institution.


Yes, they had cupcakes too!

I remember the first time I went to The Field Museum, which was on a college spring break trip to Chicago with my roommates at the time. I was blown away by the entire place and rather mad at myself for never having been there before. When I moved to Chicago, I instantly became a member and spent many a weekend wandering around the place by myself. It was glorious. Then I became friends with someone who was doing an internship at the museum and I remember being so jealous of the badge she wore that got her in the staff entrance on the side of the building. It was my grand hope of all hopes to one day have such a badge for myself and guess what? I’ve had one for over five years now!

How did it happen? Well, I took a night class on Museum Studies at Northwestern University and at one point we had a guest speaker from the Field. She left us with her email address and I unabashedly emailed her and told her my love of the museum and basically offered to pick up garbage if I could just hang out there some more. She put me in contact with the Volunteer Coordinator and after a brief interview, I found myself a docent! Since then, I’ve worked in a specific handful of permanent exhibits and also worked in almost every traveling exhibit we’ve had come through. I’ve also branched out and am now a contractor with a couple of other programs, including the overnights I work there with kids and families. In short, I’ve been luckier than I could have ever hoped for and I am so happy that my dream came true!

As much as I love helping out the museum, it’s helped me tremendously as well. Being a part of the Field has connected me more to this city than I would have thought and I’ve met some incredible people, heard amazing stories and learned a great deal about myself and the world around me. And if my luck holds out, I’ll get to spend many more years wandering the halls and talking the ear off of anyone who will listen to me!


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