Dozing Over and Out

May 17, 2016 at 2:16 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

Goodnight Moon, Goodnight Museum

Another season of the overnight program at The Field Museum has drawn to a close and my sleep patterns can finally return to normal. These events (where kids and families/Boy Scouts/Girl Scouts/groups come to stay a Friday evening in the museum) are always a blast but they’re often exhausting, especially since I work overnight after a full day of my real, actual job at the office. The kids have a complete blast though and that makes it more than worth it for me (or at least worth it enough to keep going!). I stayed the entire night more this year than I have any other and here were some of my own, personal highlights:

  • Sleeping above a (real, dead) mummy in a giant stone mastaba
  • Spending two hours in the middle of the night consoling a sick kid while her dad broke down their camp and tried to contact an Uber for a ride home – on the coldest night of the year
  • The conversations said sick kid and I had about the entire Harry Potter universe
  • The phenomenal soy butter and jelly sandwiches we served at snack (because allergies)
  • Seeing a beetle that Darwin himself collected on a behind-the-scenes tour
  • The hall with various haunted artifacts that made some weird noise on our last overnight – the security guard eventually said that since no motion detectors were going off, we were going to ignore the noise and hope it went away
  •  The little girl who borrowed a few pennies from me to use in the penny press machine and then returned to give me one just for myself
  • The parents who (sort of) jokingly ask about sneaking Bailey’s into their coffee
  • The little boy who came up to me all night long to let me know he could still see me and my dinosaur shirt – we ended up getting a picture together of our matching dino tees
  • Trying to go take a picture of the mummies in the middle of the night and being too scared to go in there by myself (this was a recurring event)
  • Walking through different exhibit halls armed with only a flashlight to do my nightly rounds
  • The way one particular room smelled with a group of pre-teen boys sleeping inside (this wasn’t a highlight but the combination of sweat, dirty socks and body odor is something I’ll never forget)
  • The little boy who had a nosebleed from hell that took almost an hour to end
  • The mom who freaked out about having to sleep in the bird exhibit and demanded to be moved or suffer a panic attack (we moved her)
  • Another little boy who had the most glorious mullet I’ve seen this far of Southern Indiana – and a shirt proclaiming him to be part of a wolf pack to match it
  • Changing into pj’s and brushing my teeth in public restrooms before bed, only to wake up 2.5 hours later
  • The little boy who found a rat tail in his owl pellet and then donated it to the museum so we could show other kids
  • Really – pretty much all the interactions with the kids were my highlights. They had so much fun and it was awesome to be able to see science from their point of view. The parents…most of them were cool but acted worse than children themselves!

All in all, it was a successful season and I’m grateful that I was able to be a part of it. Now I have half a year off to just focus on regular Docent duties…and if I can remember to leave my pj’s at home for the next few months, I’ll be okay!

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January 11, 2013 at 12:19 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

We made it!  Just when I thought I might break, another weekend is finally upon us!

I’ll be beginning my third annual Dozin’ with the Dino’s program tonight, where I go hang out at the Field Museum for a few hours with a bunch of kids and families who are staying the whole night in the exhibits.  I’ll be working a recycled jewelry table this evening and while I have no idea what that means, I’ve been a fan of recycling ever since I dressed up as a recycling bin for Halloween (in elementary school, not like last year…by the way this costume included a milk jug as a hat.  I was incredibly popular, lemme tell you).  As much as I’d like to go straight home after work and enjoy some quality time with my pajamas and my couch, I know that once I get there and get moving I’ll have a blast with the kids.  And the fact that I don’t have to stay the entire night with them makes it even better!  In fact, this is my theory on child-raising on general.  As long as it’s something I can do part time before heading home to the quiet of my apartment and a bottle of wine, I’m all for it.

Ohh fancy!

I’ve also got big plans for Saturday, thanks to the former accountant at our office (the one I thought never really understood the concept of numbers…which could be why she’s no longer our accountant).  Before she left, she gave me two tickets to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.  They sell for $135 a pop and she didn’t charge me a cent, hence my questioning her math abilities.  But I’m not complaining!  Scott and I have never done something so classy and we’re going to get all dolled up before the show.  Do guys get dolled up?  You know what I mean.  I will admit that a small part of me considered putting them up on Craigslist and turning a profit but since the Symphony is something I’ve never done and seems like quite the experience, I’m glad we’re going.  To be fair, we’ve gone to the Orchestra performances in Millennium Park during the summers and those free events outside in the sun are a blast.  After all, I’m sure bringing my own bottle of booze and bag of snacks to the one tomorrow won’t be the norm as it is in the Park.  But this will be a whole new way to listen to the music and I’m pretty pumped.  I may even wear a new skirt!

What else is on the agenda for this weekend?  Well, I have talked big talk about going to a yoga session at my gym Saturday morning too.  Since I’m writing it down for other people to see, maybe that will make me more accountable?  We’ll see.  I’d also like to take down my Christmas decorations (early for me!) and maybe watch a movie.  We’ll see how much of this other than the museum and symphony stuff actually gets done.



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Dozin’ with the Dinos!

January 18, 2011 at 12:16 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

If I had been a child in Chicago, I guarantee that I would’ve participated in this program at the Field Museum.  Dozin’ with the Dinos is an overnight camp that allows kids and families to stay for an entire evening at the museum.  I just began volunteering for it and my first night helping out was Friday – and it was probably the coolest thing I’ve done in a while.

I arrived and changed into my super official T-shirt, then went off to greet the kids and their families.  The kids were between the ages of 4 and 12 and there were numerous Girl Scout, Boy Scout and school groups in attendance.  I’m not going to lie, the kids were pretty freaking cute…I had a lengthy

Sweet dreams

conversation with one little girl about fossils and dinosaur bones and a chat with a boy about how not everything you see in a museum is always real (authentic).  Then, as I was helping one family set up their sleeping bags in the Dinosaur exhibit, the power went out.  That section was on a timer and someone apparently forgot to turn it off so off I went to try to rectify things.  I had to navigate my way out of the exhibit in the dark but since it was one of my absolute favorite ares (all about evolution!) it was actually supremely cool.  I was completely alone and it was totally quiet and only mildly creepy.  That was probably the highlight of my night but the rest of the activities were pretty fun too.  Oh, and someone turned the power back on as soon as I found my way out.

The workshop I worked involved helping kids recreate a few Native American tools.  Since the Native Americans used wood and stone and we used paper plates and tape, they replicas didn’t work or look quite as well as the originals but I think (most) of the kids enjoyed it anyway.  The time flew by and before I knew it, it was time for us to pack up and go home.  While many volunteers stay the whole night, us newbies have to go through a few runs before we’re allowed to sleep over.  Which is fine because my bed is just a little more comfortable than my sleeping bag.

I’ve got one of these nights scheduled pretty much every months until sometime in the summer, so that’s something to look forward to.  I kind of wish that they allowed grown-ups to do this sort of thing but I was once told that a few years ago, there was a party there, people had a little too much to drink and were caught committing very adult acts in very inappropriate places.  So apparently we can’t be trusted with staying there for a whole night.  Makes sense.  I’m okay hanging out with the kids though and I’m already excited for my next night there!  I just need to remember a flashlight this time.

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