Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Geeking Out

Team, I am geeking out.

Yesterday I had my orientation to be a volunteer (technically an "orienteer" but I will get to that later) at the California Academy of Sciences.


I show up at 9 at the rear entrance after swinging by Jamba and picking up a delicious Carribean Passion. One of these days I am going to get a Peanut Butter Moo'd just to see...

I DIGRESS. Have another picture:

So I get there at 9 and there are around 10 other people standing around, grinning their heads off. I check, and find that I, too am grinning my head off. Why? BECAUSE IT'S THE ACADEMY. AND I AM GOING TO BE WORKING THERE.


We are gathered up and escorted to a conference room where there is water and cookies laid out. I grin a little bit more, and it becomes a bit fixed as we introduce ourselves and then are treated to an hour long health and safety presentation. The head of Volunteer Services tries to spice it up a bit by inviting one of the oldest volunteers in the program - this lady has been with the Academy for 25 years. She looks to be about 84, and strides all over the museum. When not volunteering with her husband, they travel the world together. In two months, they will be cruising the Amazon.

Of course.

FINALLY, we begin the tour. We hear about Claude, the albino alligator. The Academy had originally commissioned a mating pair - Bonnie and Claude, but Bonnie beat up on Claude so badly they shipped her back to Florida. Claude is mostly blind, she would sneak up on him, and he would back up into the tank walls. Since she's been gone, he's gained 40 pounds.

We hear about Pierre, the South African Penguin. In one of his last molting cycles, not all of Pierre's feathers grew back. So they made him a lil wet suit. They also call the director of the Academy, Greg Farrington, Pierre. Apparently he loves them. And he is adorable.

The Gorilla in Africa Hall has human hair plugs (he was starting to go bald, and the conservator's son apparently had gorilla-like hair)

The panther in Africa Hall was liberated from some poachers.

The fake woodpeckers overlooking the Swamp have gone extinct in our lifetime.

The poison dart frogs in the Rainforest are plastic. Because they are poison. (Apparently this is an issue)

Clearly, I could go on. The bottom line is I AM SO EXCITED TO BE WORKING THERE.

The Academy OH SO TOTALLY has the sweetness.

Note: All pictures are from the Academy's Flickr

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