So, I’m not usually a bench scientist.While I have a freelance gig as a forensic anthropologist when one of the local coroners need extra hands, and I run away to do field work whenever I get a chance, my usual job is as a museum educator. If you’ve ever worked on the floor of a museum, then you understand just how this would drive one to do drunk science. If not, then I’m going to give you a little window into my world. These rules are all based on things that have happened in the museum at least once.
Dear museum visitors,
I love working with you. I really do. I love being an educator, and I love talking about science and history with you. But in order to keep my sanity intact, I’m going to have to ask that you refrain from taking the following actions:
*Making up ‘facts’ to tell your significant other/students/children while I can hear you and have to restrain myself from correcting you and/or smacking you upside the head.
*Telling your children that despite the fact that we look normal, the museum staff will be going to hell.
*Coming up with any theories that involve rhinoceros, elephants, lemurs and/or plesiosaurs being the direct ancestors of dinosaurs.
*Praying over exhibits.
*Singing hymns at exhibits.
*Mentioning brontosauruses and cavemen.
*Letting your children sit in sandplay and scream at the top of their lungs for almost two hours.
*Telling me that I’m wrong after you’ve just asked my opinion on something in my field.
*Implying that the world is less than 10,000 years old.
*Vomiting on exhibits.
*vomiting on staff.
*Making out in the cave.
*Distributing creationist/religious tracts on the museum floor.
*Witnessing to me.
*Grabbing the head of any animal that I am holding and telling you not to touch the head of.
*Asking me if I can make the snake I am holding bite me.
*Trying to make the snake bite me.
*Tying to make the snake bite your little sister.
*Telling me about the time you got really drunk and killed a snake with a hammer.
*Getting really drunk and trying to ride the life size Allosaurus.
*Sticking Chick Tracts into my dinosaur books.
*Sticking Chick Tracts or copies of The Watchtower into our dinosaurs’ mouths.
*Sticking your toddler into our dinosaurs’ mouths.
*Losing 18 month olds.
*Writing on anything that is not a craft material.
*Yelling at the youth volunteers.
*Sliding down railings.
*Going “Whoooo!” and “Boo!” in the cave, after I specifically told you that it agitates the bats.
*Jumping out from behind a corner in the cave and scaring your child after I spent 15 mins. telling him that the cave isn’t scary.
*Riding the dire wolves.
*Riding the mammoth and/or mastodon.
*Riding the ankylosaurus.
*Climbing up the sheer rock face on the ice age trail.
*Setting off the alarms on doors clearly marked ‘Emergency Exit Only. Alarm Will Sound’.
*Carrying a small animal into an exhibit in your purse (this rule applies to volunteers as well).
*Helping your child do any of the above.
With these simple rules, I think we will find that both of our experiences at the museum will be more fruitful and peaceful.