Hi! My name is Callie VanAntwerp -- yes, the same last name as Deb VanAntwerp, the McLean County Museum of History's Director of Volunteers and Interns, although I usually just call her “Mom." I'm seventeen years old and gearing up to start my senior year at Normal Community High School. I've lived in Normal for a little over a year now, and I've been volunteering with the Museum almost as long. I've done work in the Registrar's office helping to catalogue objects, assisted at the Museum's History Careers Day Camp last summer, and now I'm writing a summer blog to take you on a journey through history and museums from a teen's perspective!
History and writing have always been two of my favorite things separately, so I'm excited to be able to combine them. When I'm not writing (about history or music or fictional characters of my own creation), I'm usually reading. Fantasy is my favorite genre, but I also have a soft spot for science fiction. Occasionally I'll log onto a database and read about current events or social issues or anything else I find interesting -- for hours. My dream is to become a published novelist; I'm not sure yet what I want to write about, but I want it to make people reconsider the way they think about their lives, the way my favorite books have done for me.
Aside from being a book nerd, I also consider myself a museum buff, since I've visited plenty. The City Museum of St. Louis is one of my all-time favorites (although it's more like a modern art piece/playground than a museum), but I'm also a pretty big fan of the Chicago Art Museum, and over spring break this year I got to re-visit the International Spy Museum and the Smithsonian Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. (I visited both several years ago, but I was too young to remember them well or appreciate them properly.) I also spend time lurking around the MCMH (and stealing chocolate from my mom's second-floor office) so be sure to say hi if you see me!
I'm looking forward to working on this blog, and I hope that you'll enjoy it as much as I do. If you have any comments, critiques, suggestions for what to write about, or even just a greeting, please leave a comment. Looking forward to a fun summer with you all!
Callie VanAntwerp is a volunteer blogger at the McLean County Museum of History. She is a senior in high school with an interest in creative writing.