Learning Doesn’t Stop Outside of Class

Okay, so…I’ve never done this before. I made my own website when I was like…10 and went to one of those sweet Discovery camps, but I’ve never blogged. It can’t be that hard, it’s like a journal on the internet. I guess I’ll learn as I go! This is private because Fernbank would have to approve anything I say as an employee, so I’m hoping to loophole this since it’s a personal, private thing. Because really, I want to share this with you, and I don’t want to do it as a representative of the Museum, I want to do it as your friend and/or family member.

We’ve (Reid—fellow intern—and I) been doing this for over a month, and I’ve already learned more in June than I thought I would! Lucky for me, my majors in school focus on mammals and other primarily terrestrial animals. However, here at Fernbank, the focus is on mollusks, ancient animals, and kids. Yes, I link all three of those together as if they are all in the same category, because…let’s face it, they are. 😉 The kids that visit are, for the most part, well behaved, intelligent, small people. But kids-r-kids, and some are really…well…kid like. Frankly, my dog listens better than some of these children. It happens, I know I wasn’t an angel when I was three either. I’m just sayin’.

So, back to my original point, I’m thankful that the information I’m learning here is not a constant repeat of the information I’m learning at Warnell. It’s nice to step away from school and still learn new things. But it’s nice to be in the “real world” too, instead of taking more classes. Learning outside the classroom is just as, if not more beneficial to developing yourself..or I think so anyway. I’m learning not only natural resource information, but also people skills, diplomacy, respect, teaching skills, and I’m learning more about who I want to become.

People are hard to deal with. Let’s face it. Even the most easygoing person out there isn’t going to be pleased all the time. And the biggest thing is (this is where diplomacy comes into play), you can’t just say what you want to say when you want to say it. Being in the public eye, and being a part of a big organization makes you double-check yourself before saying anything. It’s hard to learn when to keep my mouth shut–thanks, Omi, I come by that honestly–but keeping your mouth shut and being diplomatic is SO important in a public-eye-job like this. For example…ever seen kid-leashes? I have. Even hand-cuff leashes with retractable leash…you know, like those dog leashes? Yeah. Mama, Daddy, did you ever want to put me on a leash? Maybe you, as parents, can shed some light on this trend? Please feel free to comment on this post if you have some insight.

But, I haven’t bitten anyone…I haven’t even considered it. Although, speaking of biting, my favorite question I’ve ever received from anyone at the museum is….”Does it bite?” This question occurs when I am helping with animal walkarounds (we take an animal or two out onto the museum floor so people can see them and kids 4+ can touch them…don’t get me started on 4- kids that like to grab). So here I am, holding a leopard gecko (which by the way, isn’t more than 8inches long, including it’s fat tail), and I get asks if it bites. My usual response is…”can you bite?” “uh..yes?” “Well, so can it!” I then say something like, “If someone stuck their hand in my face or squeezed me or was mean to me, I’d consider biting them too.” Is this scary for 6-year-olds? I’m trying to help them realize that yes, everything bites, but, I wouldn’t let them touch this animal if I knew it was calm, and when correctly handled, wouldn’t freak. Let me know if I shouldn’t say that. I’m working on my patience, but I know that sometimes I can be blunt, and I don’t want that to affect someone’s museum visits.

Anyways, I think that’s all for me, for now. I look forward to hopefully getting some comments! If not, that’s cool too 🙂


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