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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