Note from curator Mike Rowland: Ross Schumacher, who recently graduated from Veterans High School, came to the museum during the spring semester as part of the “Professional Interest Exploration” program. I asked Ross to share some thoughts about his experience at the museum. Here’s what he wrote:
As a Veterans High School student, soon to be entering college, I elected to take a Humanities course, to see how my last eleven years of history, literature, and art classes tied into the human experience. Part of this class was to begin my real world experience in my future career field. As I plan to be a history major in college, I thought of no better place to get this experience then a museum close to home, the Museum of Aviation.
Since my first day of work at the museum I have had many experiences that many others would not have just visiting. I began with essentially a speed run of the museum, having to visit every hangar in a little less than two hours, during which I had to give my impressions of the best and worst exhibits, which was difficult most because most of the exhibits are so good. From the experience from the WWII paratrooper exhibit in Hangar 3 to the new information to be gained in the Eagle Building, I saw it as a museum to be proud of in my town.
As for the actual work I have done for the museum, I’ve helped with several jobs in the museum, especially in the Heritage Building which is now Collections, holding all items the museum doesn’t have on display. I’ve seen bombs, goggles, unit patches, personal items, and weaponry, used and experimental. I’ve done inventory in the Heritage Building, on a computer sorting processed items from unprocessed ones, and climbed through a warehouse in restoration looking for weapons systems for a new exhibit. Other days I’ve done other jobs, such as helping the Curator measure spaces for the new exhibit. Some days were more exciting than others, as many days I just did filing or moved folders from one cabinet to another, one day I simply observed as a the B-29 Superfortress was raised in the WWII Hangar.
Since my school year is ending and with it my experiences at the museum, I was asked to write a blog post detailing my experiences here. Honestly, I’ve hardly scratched the surface of the experiences possible at the museum. Warner Robins is gifted with a free admission museum that has a large collection and a staff that makes the most of their resources. Many of my classmates may have not seen the value of this job experience program, but I can gladly say I have gained experience that will translate into my future career.