When I grow up I want to be…

Image: UCL Grant Museum of Zoology/Matt Clayton

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.

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2 thoughts on “When I grow up I want to be…

  1. hi Claire – what a lovely blog you have – thanks for bigging up the Great North Museum – i do communications for tyne & wear archives & musuems and it’s the venue i work with. I love it too! I grew up in newcastle and used to go all the time as a child. Peering into those wood lines boxes – the unwrapped mummy used to have me fascinated. Ityru I think she’s called , i can’t believe i work for them now! such a privilege, it shaped my childhood.
    if you use fb please join us we’re very new – http://www.facebook.com/greatnorthmuseum
    best wishes, Vicki

  2. Thanks Vicki!

    I’m very jealous that you work for TWM! I also loved the unwrapped mummy! Thanks for letting me know about the FB page. Great stuff.

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