We’ve reached a place in our blogger/blogee relationship where you get to learn a little something about me and it’s in the spirit of educating and saving lives. So, I begin a story that is 11 years old but I remember it as though it were yesterday. I’m scarred and I’m changed, but I can stay silent no longer.
I started college as a Marine Biology major. I got my open water diving certification at age 14 in the cold and murky lake waters of the Midwest. I began volunteer diving at my local zoo and working as an assistant aquarist to get experience in salt water, get some mileage out of my wetsuit, interact with the animals, do some water chemistry (everyone knows a girl well-versed in water chemistry is SEXY), and meet some new cool people.
I learned a lot while I worked at the zoo. For example, wear brown clothing if you want animals to approach you (they think you are zoo staff), water temperature, ammonia and pH are critical measures of water chemistry as are nitrates and nitrites. Sharks swim in regular patterns when in captivity and fresh water fish from the amazon like to rub up against you like affectionate little cats. Except fresh water amazon fish are huge, and slimy, and not cat-like in any other capacity so it’s actually pretty nasty. Southern Stingrays can be found as far North as Jersey and as far South as Brazil, and male seahorses give birth. My final lesson I learned the hard way: penguins are diabolical assholes and will try to kill you (and take your wallet) at the first opportunity. Penguins are blood-thirsty, angry, mutinous even, and I’m lucky to be alive after a thwarted murder conspiracy concocted in the summer of 2000.