An Intern's Perspective About Working at the Abbe

I’m Dan Shorette, and I’m going to be a freshman at the University of Maine in the fall. I’ll be studying anthropology/archaeology as a major and Native American Studies as a minor. When I was a kid growing up in Massachusetts, I always enjoyed coming to MDI. I particularly enjoyed going to the Abbe Museum because of the unique subject it addressed: Native American culture in Maine. So when I had the chance to do a summer internship right out of high school, I took it.

Intern Dan Shorette at the 2012 Field School,
ready to screen for artifacts!
This summer I worked with both Raney Bench, Curator of Education, and Julia Clark, Curator of Collections, with a variety of projects. Raney had me transcribe a panel discussion that the Abbe Museum had hosted not long ago entitled “Emotional Politics.” Honestly, that was one of the more memorable experiences I had here because I was listening to the voices of Native scholars and leaders and hearing their opinions. I learned a great deal about what they thought about the dams in the rivers; what they wanted to change; what they wanted to teach. The experience was life-changing, especially since I’m going to be studying this sort of stuff in the fall.

As for my work with Julia it was split between a few different tasks that involved handling some donated artifacts as well as preparing and participating in field school. The donated artifacts were part of the Feher Collection, and I mainly cataloged and did data entry for those artifacts, meaning I listed them and then put that information into the computer. The most enjoyable of all my summer projects was, however, field school: along with a whole group of people I got to go out and participate in an archaeological dig. It was very enjoyable because of experience I gained from both last year’s and this year’s field school. It is always great to get out and work with some great people.

One of the most memorable parts of my internship was working out at the Abbe Museum at Sieur de Monts with Guest Services Associates Jane Clifton and Roger Marks. Working in Guest Services at Sieur de Monts, I realized how distant I kind of was from socializing with people face to face. I learned how to go about trying to talk to people in a way that wouldn’t be taken as an insult. I also learned of some of my own biases, and how I need to live with a truly open mind.

The Abbe Museum would like to thank Dan for all his hard work this summer.  During this internship Dan donated over 350 hours of service to the Abbe Museum, completing projects in Education, Collections, Guest Services and Events.  Many of our visitors and members may have had the opportunity to meet Dan this year as he worked at Sieur de Monts, helped at the Downtown location, or assisted during special events such as the Native American Festival and Gathering Gala.  When not working with our visitors and guests, Dan was diligently at work transcribing at his desk or processing collections in our archaeology lab.  We are grateful for Dan’s help, and wish him the best of luck as he begins his academic career at the University of Maine this fall.