My second Saturday at the Cosmo Caixa evolution exhibit was pretty standard, as far as Saturdays at one of the worlds most interesting museums goes. I had the morning shift, which meant about forty-five minutes (starting at 11:00) of waiting around and having only about two or three people to explain things to. But right around 11:45, when everyone in the city has finished their morning croissants and are ready for a day of learning, the “traffic” around my exhibit went from three “early” birds (one of which asked me where the planetarium was) to a group of about three families. Once I got the ball rolling with one family, the other two started to follow me as I talked about, you guessed it, evolution. By the time I reached the point of my final explanation (the last tank of the exhibit) I felt like a legitimate tour guide/evolution specialist. Let me tell you, that experience alone made the whole Cosmo Caixa Explainers Program even more priceless.
I saw that throughout the process of spending four hours a weekend every weekend at my exhibit, you start to pick on little behavioral patterns by all of the animals in the five tanks; as well as noticing little shifts in those patterns. For example, I notice that the Lizard’s get shy around big crowds or that the piranhas always swim about eight centimeters above the bottom of the tank. After decent traffic at my exhibit, my two hours were up and I was headed for home. Little did I know that those two hours on January 26th at the Cosmo Caixa would be my last on two feet for a while.
Thanks to a foot injury, I arrived for the afternoon shift walking on crutches. I was originally supposed to have the morning shift, but I had to go to the hospital. But thankfully, Sofia stepped in and sacrificed her morning plans so that she could cover for me. I owe her one. Blessings aside, I was able to enjoy my two afternoon hours after all. That afternoon was the first time that I had ever had a person in a wheelchair visit my exhibit. He was the first of two to come to my exhibit in a wheelchair. It turned out that my disability increased my ability to do my job well. Those explanations were by far the easiest of the weekend; not only did we maintain an ideal walking rhythm given our conditions, I felt like I was able to connect with them. This connection led to a higher than average level of openness with regards to the number of questions asked, and the depth of my explanations.
Until next time (hasta la proxima),
Cameron Harnish (11th Grade)