Walking into this internship I had no idea what to expect as I had never worked in a museum before. It has turned out to be a fantastic experience! I’ve learned a lot about Sir Frederick Banting’s life, his discoveries and passions, his schooling and his military adventures. The opportunity to interact with those directly affected by his discovery has opened my eyes to what it means to be truly thankful to exist. There’s a wide variety of people who visit Banting House National Historic Site and it’s always fascinating to learn what this place means to them. Some visitors will come to see the place where the idea that has saved their life was sparked, others will come for the art, the military history, and some just want to learn everything they can.
The tours of the elementary school-aged children were my favourite part of this internship because they asked many questions and seemed eager to learn about the life of a man who they knew of because a high school in town bears his name. The questions they asked were ones that I did not always have an answer for which I found exciting. It’s a new thought, a new way to see the man and the house. Most of the times I’d be able to find an answer from the more experienced volunteers or staff but sometimes the question was too specific for there to even be a concrete answer.
On a more personal note, I struggled with what I wanted to do next year after my graduation; I saw four pathways that I could choose but didn’t know how to go about it. Being in this space two days every week has helped me solve this. While I can’t do all four, I know that there is a way for me to do three of them. They just so happen to be similar to how Banting led his life: health, military, and art. They can coexist and he’s proof of that. This internship has not only been a wonderful learning experience but also a fantastic life experience and one that I will cherish for the rest of my days.
This post was written by Juliana van Gaalen, intern at Banting House NHSC. Juliana is currently completing her BHSc in Health Studies with a Major in Museum and Curatorial Studies at Western University.
We would like to thank Juliana for all of her hard work last semester at Banting House NHS. She will be missed and we wish her the best of luck in her future endeavours!