Published: July 1st 2012July 1st 2012
Monday:Matt picked us up because of the storm this morning. He took us to the shore of the Manatee River before we went in. It was lovely I have some pictures. There was no shore where we walked up – we were standing on the rocks that separate the shore and the parking lot. It was awesome. When we came in we searched the walls for water stains. It turns out that concrete block walls that surround the outside of the building can have water seep through. It looks like mold bubbling beneath a layer of paint and above the stone bricks. The tissue paper covering the items in storage can pick up the moisture and it can ruin the artifacts. Our building also has a roof that has rubberized layer above a couple of foam layers and a concrete layer below that- if I understand correctly. That’s not good in rain, as all the water pools and insects burrow into the roof and birds poke around for the insects. All of these contribute to developing small holes in the rubber and foam which allows water to travel around until there is a whole in the underlying concrete. This is where
we get problems for the top shelves of artifacts and such. It was very interesting to see all of this. Changing a roof is also a huge investment, I’ve newly learned. We revisited the Clendenin collection and saw all the progress Ashley’s made in reworking the shells. They are currently in acidic boxes with acidic felt lining. This breaks down the calcium carbonate in the shell. It’s rather unfortunate given all the time the accountant put into his collection – he made all of the boxes to fit the shell exactly. We also got to see this collection of miniatures… They’re the mini furniture representations that vendors would go door to door to sell furniture because there wouldn’t be a walmart down the street to get it all. They made them exact replicas so to show their craftsmanship and their own ability. It was really quite cool – it looked like a kid’s house set. Feelings:
I’m tired… We brought back so much. I am for real not straying from my grocery list again - especially not if we are on foot again. Last time we were there, we were behind a couple with 3 kids who
had food stamps -the food kind. I’ve taken my stipend money for granted. I am hurt at the sight of the cashier slow yell-talking at the family who clearly spoke English. She’d say this here, raising the milk, won’t work. The husband would run back to get a different brand. The wife telling her that it must. I felt me being there embarrassed the young mom. Her husband would run back into line, and the barcode of the original scanned, to my satisfaction, but the cashier didn’t apologize for talking down to them. It was sad at the time, too, but in my acknowledgement of the frivolity of what I choose to consume, I am at awe. I spend 60 bucks every time I walk into the grocery store. On anything that I want. I get fresh foods galore. I get expensive teas, and I have the freedom to choose which ever milk and unflavored almond milk for a pre-run cereal. I don’t know what to make of these feelings, but I need to look into food stamp regulations. I don’t know why they wouldn’t be allowed to have fresh food. I read an article early this week about a nutritionist trying a vegan diet on 33 dollars a week to advocate for allowing healthier choices. Still, I couldn’t imagine narrowing down my fruits and veggies, quinoa and beans to 33 dollars a week, especially not after my crash course in living on my own. Again, I don’t know what to make of this, but I hope this entry reminds me to stop taking these things for granted.
Tuesday:We came into the office excited and ready to start, and we saw a note and a beetle in a jar! I had told Matt to keep an eye out for the peanut bug and he caught a bug for me! The note said “Not exactly a potato bug… It’s a male ox beetle, found em walking in our patio thought you’d like to see him but Zach my 4 yr old said we have to put him back when you’re done.” It was truly thoughtful, and I was very touched to see the beetle crawling around its tiny jar. I made a visit to the camp that our office mate, Sarah, is running. They adored him! It made its way around to all the kids, they offered some names for me, and we were off to answer some questions Matt had for us in a document. I’m thinking of getting a small terrarium for him, he looks like he wants out. I don’t want to hold him against his will, but I could treat him rather well. When we went home on the bus, we had a bit of an embarrassing problem. Well, the bus driver, Byron, noticed the ox beetle in his glass jar and started saying things like “That is not a service animal”, “Do not open that jar or I will step on that bug”, “What are you -in elementary School?” He ended up taking my beetle – like actually stopping at a stop sign, coming back to me, and getting the beetle. I could have fought harder to keep the beetle. Throughout this whole this, I knew he just wanted a reaction out of Shannon and me. When he began shaking the jar around, I wanted to cry. I didn’t know what to do. Yelling at him – begging him to stop was just the reaction he wanted, but I couldn’t help myself. I stopped as soon as I could. I decided that talking to him up at the front of the bus. I asked him if he wanted a giant to come and shake him around and another passanger across from me said I bet you wouldn’t like to put in a jar, just after talking about her pet pig… that is domesticated – not in the wild… and going to be killed to be eaten. I got him once he dropped us off.
Here is my dilemma: I cannot possibly expect everyone to love bugs. I cannot assume that everyone’s respect for life spans to “creepy crawly” mysterious creatures. What’s more is that we had established a friendship with him. He gave Shannon and I his number last week, invited us out to some clubs, and Shannon texted to respectfully decline for the both of us. As Shannon so eloquently put it, the line between professionalism and friendship was blurred. We definitely reciprocated his extension of friendship… I just didn’t know how I felt about it. I talked to Nick about it for a good hour or so; he always knows what to say.
Wednesday: Well… We went in late to leave later to avoid Byron’s bus, but we didn’t tell Matt, so he was worried. We went to his office to tell him we were okay, and when we told him why we were late, he had us explain everything to our director, Brinann. I felt like a small child explaining why someone had made me cry. She recommended that I write an incident report and told me that I was an adult and that she wouldn’t mother me through this. I appreciate that, as I wasn’t sure I wanted to make anything of it. As I said, I was as over it as avoiding Byron at all costs allows. She said she didn’t want us to feel uncomfortable in the city of Bradenton. She called some director guy while we were in the office with her to find out what to do. I’ve decided that I won’t make anything of it. Even after the several recommendations to give an incident report.
I’m glad that the animal shelter finally e-mailed us. We both ruined our skirts and were covered with pet hair when we got back but it was well worth it.
Thursday:We decided to continue coming in early and leaving late, so that we could volunteer one whole hour and still get 6.5 hours a day. This seems to work pretty well. We were given the task of making a 500 word panel for the butterflies that will encompass as much information as possible. We need to be very, very direct while being very, very young reader friendly. This will certainly be difficult. Scott visited for a little while, and he said he might be giving us some homemade pasta! That guy that Brinann called in front of us called back, and she told us to call him back. Although, I didn’t want to make anything of it, we had already jumped in that pool, so to speak. After that I told Brinann about what happened with the phone call. We were leaving her office when Martha pulled us in her office to see what we thought of a flyer she made for the fundraiser/Snooty campaign to raise money for feeding Snooty- and they have three manatees! Shannon noticed a map on her desk, and inquired about it. Good thing she did, as Martha mentioned the Chicago zoological society, that she has connections all over the place near Chicago (shedd), and most pertinent now, that Randy is her husband. Randy knows all of the dolphins, he’s heading one of the longest running dolphin tracking studies. We may be able to go out and survey with them!! Oh, glorious networking. While we were discussing things with Martha, we got to see Matt’s children; they’re full of energy and so adorable.
Friday:Scott left us some sticky frogs on our desk this morning. I called to him with a “pssst” from behind a door to trick him and thank him. Today we continued with our multiple versions of the 500 word butterfly panel. I’m pretty intimidated because I am very critical and sensitive about my own writing, but I’m sure that I’ll do fine and learn a bunch. Jeff came back in today (unofficially) – That was enjoyable. He had a great time with great food during his fancy archeologist’s dig in Nebraska. He asked us to help him bring all of the goodies into the building. It was cool afterward because he went through all of the things that he brought back. Turns out digging artifacts and bones are just as ridiculous as I thought it was! You find something that looks like rock, predict how big it is. Cut the approximate size around it, and make a cast shimmy it out, and hope you have something. That’s just about as crazy as it gets. It turns out that there’s not really a 100% dinosaur fossil. There are always a few pieces missing. Matt also told us that we should start our weekend early. We decided that was a swell plan after a very little coercion. Feelings:
Animal shelter predicament: There’s this darling little cat named Pluto. He’s the reason I’d stay in one cage the whole hour of volunteering. I’d never thought about the kind of cat that I wanted. This one! He would climb on my shoulders, and sit close to me when I another kitty wanted a turn for petting. This cat looked like Nicks cat, Pander, well color wise; this cat was tiny comparatively. I heard someone say, I’m here for Pluto if he still wants me. NOOOOO!!! When she came in she took Spice – Pluto’s heavy lookalike with a patch of skin missing behind his neck. Good choice, I thought. Shannon came to my rescue when she heard that she wanted Pluto. We sighed in relief, but when the lady actually went to adopt, she needed to get the real name with the real shot records. I relinquished Pluto, as from the description and Shannon finding out the genders, we knew which cat she actually wanted. I wandered from cage to cage today. This is probably a good thing, as I’m volunteering to socialize all the cats.