Kid Reviewer Sam Roldán visited the Gaylord-Pickens Museum. Here's what he thought:
What made the experience stand out?
This museum was different than other museums I’ve visited because it was all about people. Some museums have fossils or displays with animals or pieces of history from a long time ago, like clothing or pioneer wagons. Instead, there’s a Hall of Fame with bronze statues and portraits that have been painted of people who have done something for the state of Oklahoma. What made it stand out was that I learned about Oklahomans and what they’ve done that I could do too. I also found out the five characteristics that make up an Oklahoman: perseverance, optimism, pioneer spirit, individualism and generosity.
What was the best part?
I met a poet! There was a live poetry session with a woman named Candace Liger. My Mom let me ask her questions after I heard her poetry about how to be the change that I want to see in the world. That sounds really fancy but what I mean is like how can I be a good person in our community. I’m reading the book “Wonder” by R. J. Palacio, which makes me think about how I treat other people. All of the men and women in the Hall of Fame treated others as they want to be treated, I think, and that’s what the poet talked about too. I watched videos that showed each of the five characteristics in people like Maria Tallchief and Wiley Post. I didn’t know about them before but now I do and I like to think that we share the same state. If they did amazing things here, I might be able to also.
What was the worst part?
I didn’t want to leave. We visited the museum for more than three hours and I really wanted to stay and see all the videos, do a craft and visit the gift shop. We have to go back because I did not have time to do those things. My Mom made us leave so we could go eat a late lunch but I wasn’t even feeling hungry because I was busy seeing everything.
Will other kids like this museum and why?
Yes, I think other kids will like some parts even if they don’t love history. I really like history but the other areas are really good for all kids, like a giant Jenga game and art squares you can add to a community quilt. The best area I know other kids will like and that I loved too are the photo areas. There are three displays where you can press a button and the exhibit will turn on to take your photo. You can dress up and pretend as it’s taking your picture. The three photo areas that are there right now are a space shuttle, a rodeo horse and a News 9 weather forecast. Our tour guide said they will change later. I have to come back to see those too.
Would your siblings enjoy it?
I’m not sure. My Mom and I went just by ourselves, which isn’t something we usually do. I think my brother, Isaac, could enjoy the craft and the photo areas. He’s 5 so I don’t know if he could have stayed still for the poet and all the videos; I think he would have just wanted to press all the buttons. It’s better for kids who are a little older, maybe past second grade, but there are still things to do for smaller children too. We would have had a good time playing Jenga together.
If you could do this again knowing what you know now, what would you do differently?
I would go with more time to see all of the people in the Hall of Fame and find out what got them in there, like what they did during their lives. I really could have spent all day there.
Does what you saw match up with anything you're learning in school or have seen before in a book, on TV, etc.?
Yes and no. My school has chapel and I have learned from our pastor about the Golden Rule. I heard the poet talk about that and some of the people in the museum definitely helped others a lot. There’s also some history that kind of matches up but this kind of learning is much better than just reading from a book. I read a lot about other kids but I don’t know that much about adults. Exhibits like this help me think about the person I can be when I grow up.
What do you think you'll remember most about the museum?
I will remember the people it featured because they are how we should want to be. I’ll never forget the poet. She’s the first one I’ve ever met but I don’t think she will be the last.
[Editor's Note: Sam recently received a Gold Award from the Parenting Media Association for his reviews. Find more of his reviews at www.metrofamilymagazine.com/kid-reviews.]