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Dreams, New Knowledge, and Bonding

Volunteering | Invertebrates

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


Okay, so I have the craziest dreams in the world. They are usually very random, don’t make any sense at all…and when I am having them, I could swear that I’m not dreaming but actually in real life. I think that one such dream about the Aquarium I had a few nights ago is appropriate to talk about!

The dream was basically about me and this one other volunteer named Elizabeth. Let me just say for the record, the Aquarium didn’t look like itself at all. It was a lot larger and darker than it really is. Anyway, Elizabeth and I were supposed to clean the seals and sea lions exhibit, but for those of you who have been to the Aquarium of the Pacific and seen this habitat, it wasn’t the usual one. It was Blue Cavern, the very tall enclosure that is visible upon entry of the Aquarium. Elizabeth had done this before, but I never had and wasn’t exactly sure what to do. But, when I entered the water and was surrounded by cute, playful, sea lion pups, it was great. I actually remember thinking to myself in my dream.” I have to write about swimming with sea lions in my blog!” I am not kidding you. Once Elizabeth and I were done, someone else came up to us and asked if we could tidy up the orca exhibit. Now, of course the Aquarium doesn’t have orcas, but hey, it’s a dream. The sea lions suddenly disappeared and the orcas were in their place. So predictably, I was extremely excited and realized that I needed a camera to take pictures! But, I didn’t have one and I was just about to call my dad on his cell phone to see if he could bring it, but then an incident happened and I wasn’t able to swim with the orcas after all. Oh well. I’ve had other dreams where I’ve swam with them, so it’s okay. :]

Now, back to real life at the Aquarium, the Saturday I volunteered was very typical, so I am going to talk about what I experienced during my break and after my shift was over.

My friend Samantha and I were walking around during our break and she says to me,”Do you want to see the sea anemones?” I was thinking that was an odd question because sea anemones are probably the most common thing I see at the Aquarium. So I asked her,”The ones in the Aquarium?” But then she clarified that they were actually located by the pier right behind the Aquarium. I had no idea there were ever anemones there! I just thought a whole bunch of muscles and barnacles and maybe a few tiny fish at the most. But, sure enough there was a whole bunch of anemones. They were small, but they were there. A whole bunch of green and yellow ones. If they were closer, I would have touched them (with my two fingers, of course!) because I hadn’t touched any in the actual ocean since I was in the fourth grade. She also told me a lot about the local birds such as the night herons. I had always seem them around, but never quite knew what they were called.

After everyone was done volunteering at around 6:00 in the evening, we all decided to go out to eat, an then bowling (yes, still in our uniforms). However, the line was incredibly long for bowling, so we agreed to just go to the beach. At around 8:00 at night. Kristen, luckily, had blankets in her car and we headed off. It was amazing. We all bonded even more than we have been and since the ocean is one of my favorite things in the world, I was very content to be full, at the beach, and with my friends. We all just sprawled out on the beach with our blankets for over an hour talking, gazing at the waves and stars, and just thinking. Sam and I were actually crazy enough to go wading in the freezing water, but then we ran out when I thought I had stepped on her toe, but it turns out it wasn’t. It was probably just a shell or something, but we didn’t stick around to find out.

Why am I talking about this? Well, it is amazing to think about the many ways that the Aquarium has affected me, from my social life to making its way into my dreams! Volunteering at the Aquarium doesn’t just affect me when I am in the building, it enriches my life in so many other ways.

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Christina Guillen

Tuesday, December 04, 2007 08:50 PM

Hi Brittany,

Have you ever visited Crystal Cove in Newport Beach?  The state park has several walking trails leading to the beach, where there are some interesting tide pools, including sea anemones.

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Thursday, December 06, 2007 04:22 PM

Hello Christina!

You know, I don’t remember ever visiting Crystal Cove. It is possible that my dad took me there for a visit once when I was very young, so I don’t remember it much. It sounds fantastic though! Maybe I can make it there during Christmas break. it will be chilly, but oh well. Thanks!

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