As this was my first career day, I was a little nervous. It really was kind of silly. No-one there knew that I was a Career Fair novice, but just the same, nervous I was. I had my baby fish and placed them into an egg jar. And of course the egg jar kept fogging up. Here I am with a wadded up Kleenex dabbing at the glass of my egg jar every few minutes, barking out my catchy tag line: “Wanna see my babies” (note to self, develop new catch phrase).
I place my brochures neatly upon the table, and then rearrange them, re-straighten, rotate, and move them to the other side of the table completely. I pull out my handful of free gifts, and then move my brochures back to where they started.
Next to me is Sgt. Joe Slickter, or Sgt. Slick as he introduced himself, and GI Joe for a chuckle to the mobs of kids surrounding the Army National Guard table. He had posters, notebooks, stickers, pencils, pens, videos, and more. He had me out gunned at every angle. As I’m meekly calling kids over to look at my babies, Sgt. Slick is barking out orders to a throng of children.
“Come over here” he orders. I take note of his firm voice laced with confidence. “Now write this down” he instructs. The kids peek over to my table to see if my free pencils are sharpened. As it turns out, the Junior High kids were apparently on a “freebie” scavenger hunt and all my goodies were gone except a handful of six inch wooden rulers. I couldn’t believe those were still sitting there as there are so many uses for six inch wooden rulers.
And that’s when it happened. A kid showed up who was truly interested in fish. Well, you don’t need to prod me with a ten foot pole when it comes to talking fish science. As we talked another kid came up. He told me he wanted to be a Phlebotomist, like a vampire, sucking blood. A fish pathology diamond in the rough I figured.
I didn’t make the connection with that many more children, unlike the brew beer at home stand, but by the end, I felt a sense of accomplishment. I may have possibly just found a couple of kids to help with the caretaking of our living resources, be it for the USFWS or the Nez Perce Tribe, Idaho or one of the many other entities involved in the field. And these kids definitely took something away from me, specifically a pencil and a notebook.
by Jeremy Sommer