Friday, June 3, 2011

Our “10-Year Staff Celebration” Continues

We’re continuing some reminiscences of our last 10 years in Naperville. Here are the memories of four more staff who have worked for DCM for more than 10 years! 

Paul Gooding, Museum Floor Manager, 5/7/2001
Paul began as a Play Facilitator, was promoted to Assistant Museum Floor Manager, and then in 2005 to Museum Floor Manager.
Last winter, I was near Visitor Services when a father was signing up for a membership.  His son, about 2 years old, was hanging around, a little bored, because his father was asking questions about the Museum, the exhibits, classes, membership, etc.  I sat next to the boy who was sitting on the red bench very patiently and started talking with him about the Museum, asking if he’d been here before, and such.  He was kind of shy and wasn’t talking much yet, so I started explaining about Bubbles, the Shadow Playground, and other exhibits I thought he would like while his dad was finishing up at the VS desk.  When he finished, he told his son that it was time to go into the Museum.  Figuring my job of entertaining was done, I told them to have fun in the museum. Then the boy just took my hand and started leading me toward Creativity Connections!  I guess he wanted me to come with him and his dad!  We walked over to Creativity Connections and started hanging “fish” on the Calder Fish, and then moved on to two or three other exhibits. His dad seemed to really enjoy watching us interact too, and he was able to ask me questions about the exhibits, the Museum itself; I got the feeling he was also watching my interaction with his son so he would get an idea of how to participate himself.  Then they were ready to go and see more of the Museum so I asked the boy if he thought he could get his dad to play too, figuring this was a good transition for it. As I was putting my hand out to give a high five, the boy grabbed me and gave me a huge hug!  The dad thought this was great, and said I must have really made an impression on him.  It was a great moment that I was able to be such an important part in a dad and son’s first outing to DCM. On their way out, I happened to be at the desk again and I got another big hug before he left. It’s these kinds of personal interactions that are the most rewarding thing about working at DCM.

Shane Castilo, Play Facilitator, 11/23/1999
Shane began working on the Floor in Wheaton. He is currently a Play Facilitator and helps coordinate Museum Rentals.
One of my fondest memories from the Museum is with a boy named Mason.  The first time we ever met he walked right up to me and said, “Come on.  Let’s play.”  He had one of the most vivid imaginations I had ever seen.  We played together for a long time, and I wondered if I’d ever see him again. Weeks went by and finally one day I saw Mason come in with his mom.   We picked up right where we left off. Sometimes I might not see him for week or even months at a time, but every time he sees me he runs up, gives me a big hug, and says, “Come on.  Let’s play.”

Sue Rainey, Education Bookings Coordinator, 5/10/2001
Sue began working as a Play Facilitator and currently works with School Programs.
I have worked in many areas of the Museum from Play Facilitator in the exhibits to Program Facilitator in the Studio. Now I’m in School Programs as the Educational Bookings Coordinator. Having had jobs “all over the Museum”, I have realized that every individual -  the volunteer greeters at the door, the Play Facilitators, the Lab Rats, the Exhibits and Programs team and various others make contributions that count toward the overall success of the Museum. The community, members and visitors are also part of the DCM family. The result is a great place for children to grow and play.

Sherry Johnson, Visitor Services Specialist, 9/25/2000
Sherry began working in Wheaton on the Floor. When the Museum moved to Naperville, Sherry worked as a Play Facilitator and a Visitor Services Specialist. She currently helps keep the Visitor Service experience running smoothly.
I worked the final day at the Museum in Wheaton before we moved to Naperville. Late in the afternoon I check-in the last member family. The kids were very sad to learn that the Museum was closing.  Their mom and I explained to them that the Museum would be re-opening in a few weeks but in a different location. I immediately got the third degree from the kids.  Will there still be the Construction House? What about the Water Table?  Is the Boat going to be there?  Yes to all the above.  They were satisfied and went on to play and enjoy their final visit at the Wheaton location. As they waved good-bye, they said “see ya’ soon”!! By the second week of re-opening, there they were, bubbling over with excitement, ready to explore the new exhibits and revisit beloved old ones. Just think -- those kids are starting college this year. Time flies when you’re having fun!!

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