Sunday, September 11, 2011

First Week of Volunteer Training

I am officially a Waikiki Aquarium Docent Volunteer... trainee.  For those of you who, like me, didn't know what a docent is, it's like some sort of teacher.  They called people who taught classes at universities and stuff docents before they had professors.  Or something.

Anyway, a docent at the aquarium does the presentations for school groups that come in, kindergarten through sixth grade.  There's a 30-minute class-type session given by one docent, then the rest of the docents break the kids into small groups and take them on a tour of the aquarium for like 45 minutes.

First week of training went well.  All the other trainees are super nice, and everyone is there for a different reason.  I am one of the only students in the program.  A lot of people are retired and need something to do.  The first person I met, Krista, is a grad student and is really friendly.  She has her car with her and offered to drive me to class and stuff.  She's really awesome.  She surfs like every day of her life.  I'm jealous.

The first night was introduction to the aquarium and all that important stuff, and then we did the kindergarten presentation which was all about the different sea creatures and if they got oxygen from the air or water and if they were vertebrates or invertebrates.  I'll admit I was a bit rusty on this basic information.  Yikes.

Thursday was similar to Tuesday.  We learned the first grade presentations about how animals protect themselves.

Saturday was similar to Thursday which was similar to Tuesday (this could get real old real fast).  We learned the sixth grade presenations on coral and habitat conservation, which is a really big deal in Hawaii, considering that's tied into the tourism industry.

So now on top of my homework from school, I have to learn all this information about every animal and memorize seven different tours of the aquarium.  And I'm starting from scratch.  Like I'm baking a pie and all I have are apple tree seeds and wheat.

But it will definitely be worth it.


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