I’ve always wanted to be a lot of things when I grow up; an archaeologist, a museumist, a backstage manager, an academic and a zoologist. So far, I have actually managed most of these in some form or other! A Great achievement! But one always remained elusive… the dreaded z…
I have always loved science and animals, they make my eyes dance with excitement. But I have always thought I was terrible at science. A case of imposter syndrome rather than lack of ability.
A big part of my love of science, zoology, history, archaeology and museums came from my childhood visits to one of the most amazing museums: The Hancock. The Hancock Museum was (now the Great North Museum) my favourite museum ever. I visited so much when I was little. I could be there for hours. I can remember exact details, about the building, the layout, the exhibitions and the objects. I learnt so much. It was amazing.
Now I am know for my excitability and my exuberance with whatever gets thrown at me. And I do get excited by a lot of things. I am like a puppy. But even I didn’t think I would be able to experience that excitement, that absorption in a subject, that fascination and complete awe as I did when I went on a behind the scenes tour of the Hancock when I was about 6. That was until 17th March. Thursday night saw the launch party of the Grant Museum of zoology.
I am so grateful for the QRator project that allowed me to mix three massive passions: museums, digital things and animals. What I am amazed about is how much I have learnt mostly by osmosis (hark at me with my scientific terms) about zoology during the length of this project. I caught myself saying when Claire W pointed at a skeleton and stated that it looked like a horse – without blinking, or being anywhere near a label I blurted out ‘that’s a Quagga, its extinct but it is sort of related to a Zebra’.
According to the fabulous Jack Ashby zoologist extraordinaire and Access and learning manager at the Grant Museum “It’s never too late to be a zoologist”.
So this is my next personal challenge: can I become an amateur zoologist simply by throwing myself at as many Natural History collections as I can? Only time will tell.