Posted 28 August 2016 - 06:30 PM
Glad to hear that things are continuing to go well at the nature center, Michael. As has been said, kudos to all who set it up and have since maintained it. To be the optimist to Lilyea and Josh's correct observation, that's the nature of the beast with outreach. You never know if/how it will reach anyone or how long it will be welcomed. BUT, often the payoff is never realized by the "outreacher". How many of us have had an interest of some kind stoked by a seemingly random event? How many of us were exposed to an experience/idea that at the time was of passing interest, but later found it instead to be the long-dormant but eventually vibrant source of passion? As "outreachers", we tend to fall into the sneakily buried trap of ego; "I did this for them because it's important and they need to realize it." I am very guilty of this even when I know I'm doing it! I have to really step back and remember that just because this particular effort didn't catch fire and change the world, that doesn't mean it wasn't a success. We have to outreach to outreach, not to measure our level of success. I bet more than one kid (adult even) came away from your outreach Josh with an interest they wouldn't have had otherwise. You may never know it, but you may have inspired and unleashed the world's most influential ichthyologists. Or maybe the cray you added for diversity sends them onto the path of arthropod fame. Maybe they decide to maintain a simple ten gallon tank that sets their grandchild's mind and senses reeling. (That was how I really got hooked.)
I realize that may all sound hokie, but it comes from a little bit of experience. I was a classroom teacher for ten years. Out of the blue I got a fb post (this is back when I was still on there) from a former student thanking me for helping shape a certain aspect of her personality. It had been at least ten years since she had been my student and almost that long since I had seen her. She had a couple of the specifics wrong, but the lesson had stuck. And I never would have known otherwise.
Truth is, you just prolly never will know if you did reach someone. But the world will know if everyone quits and nobody gets reached...
"No thanks, a third of a gopher would merely arouse my appetite..."