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Liberty Dream at the Museum

Employees at Presbyterian Homes & Services (PHS) love to make dreams come true for residents, and today we share a story we’re calling: Liberty Dream at the Museum.

Our story starts with Avalon Square resident Juanita Gordon in Waukesha, WI, and her fascination with archeological digs. Although participating in an actual dig seemed a dream too deep, the Avalon Square team excavated the next best opportunity for Juanita — a hands-on, VIP, behind-the-scenes experience in the Anthropology and Archeology Labs at the Milwaukee Public Museum

The museum’s Curator of Anthropology Collections Dawn Scher Thomae planned the perfect visit, pulling artifacts specific to Juanita's life and interests. Because Juanita was born and raised in Wisconsin, Dawn shared artifacts from the Wisconsin cities where Juanita has lived. Dawn also brought out items from Ireland, celebrating Juanita’s Irish ancestry and interest in Celtic history.

Juanita was given access to "staff only" floors and the Anthropology Lab. Dawn had many artifacts laid out — including some Juanita could touch! Juanita was amazed she was able to hold something over 10,000 years old and had fun guessing what materials artifacts were made of (e.g. animal bone, copper, etc.).

Dawn also set up an "exercise" for Juanita — identifying different types of arrowheads. With her magnifying glass and an identification guide, Juanita gazed at all the fine details on the arrowheads and recognized which types they were. She was especially fascinated by a Thebes arrowhead estimated to be 8,000 to 10,000 years old. Dawn told Juanita that she could keep it! Juanita couldn't believe it and said, “I can’t wait to tell my son, because he is going to be so jealous.”

From there, Dawn walked Juanita through “a day in the life” of a curator, including how they catalog artifacts and put together the exhibits. Juanita asked loads of good questions about archeological dig sites and identifying artifacts, all which Dawn answered in great detail. Juanita absolutely loved it!

Enjoy a video of highlights from the Liberty Dream at the Museum:

Also, stay tuned for part 2! We’re told another curator from the museum is planning a public Archeology Day when participants including Juanita could watch real archeologists at work in the field! This is still tentative, but Juanita is really “digging” the possibility of a sequel.

Liberty Dreams help us inspire those we serve to shift beyond their daily routines to the dreams they have for better living. Employees are continually inspired by the life stories of each individual we are honored to serve. Our staff consider it time well spent to truly get to know residents, and Liberty Dreams are the result of conversations about what ignites their passion and purpose in life. Liberty Dreams are part of Liberty Personally Designed Living™ at Presbyterian Homes & Services.

If you have a Liberty Dream idea to share, email [email protected].

Enjoy other Liberty Dreams come true:
Coach’s Home Run Liberty Dream
Vikings Betty Scores a Liberty Dream at US Bank Stadium
Bev’s Ticket to a Liberty Dream
Julia’s Paisley Park Liberty Dream

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