The Denver Aquarium seemed like a good place to find audiences interested in hearing my Stirring Sea Secrets presentations, and it is, but when I contacted the education manager there I found I’d stumbled on a motherlode. Colleen Shipley’s standards for volunteer enrichment programs are stringent. Every driblet of information in my hour-long talk had to be cited to respectable sources. My terminology needed updating too. Starfish and jellyfish are now sea stars and sea jellies because they aren’t fish–the very sort of nitpicking I needed to bolster my confidence and credibility.
Colleen’s passion for education keeps her running hard, but she made time in her crazed schedule to give suggestions on my twelve page script, listen to me read it, check my slides, and host an extra enrichment session just for my presentation. She even let me throw some jibes at environmentalist shark huggers. Maybe she thinks it takes one to know one…wait…no…I couldn’t be one of those!?!