November 13, 2010


Whew!! I am just recuperating from a wild October! First there was CoastFest in Brunswick, where record crowds visited me. And halfway through the month I went to the Festival at Indian Springs. That was really fun and different. After that I went to a teacher’s conference in Athens, but I will save that for my next diary entry.

Today I want to tell you all about the crazy Georgia National Fair in Perry. As you know, Diary, this was the very first time I went to the fair. I knew it was going to be a big deal when I heard that 26 volunteers would be working with me during the eleven days of the fair! (Not to sound conceited or anything, but it seems everyone wants to work with me.) It was fun to meet them all. They are very different, but all were nice to me and tried to take good care of me at the fair.

But now for the real story…. There I was on a nice big green lot—downwind from the petting zoo and the camel rides, within earshot of the timber saws, and across from sea lions Kim and Rosie in the Sea Lion Show. I’m not sure why they didn’t put me on the main stage. But hey, I can hold my own with the competition, even Kim and Rosie!

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Well, for fourteen hours a day, what seemed like virtually everyone on the planet traipsed through me, looking at my exhibit panels, pushing my buttons, and interacting with all the hands-on activities inside and outside. I loved it! Mostly because they truly appreciated me and all the things I was trying to teach them. Emmy said she loved me! So did James and Amy’s children. Little Barbara said “This was very exciting.” Young Sarah was thrilled to see me because she wants to be an archaeologist when she grows up. A teacher said “What a great exhibit. As a teacher it has opened my eyes to a lot more lessons.” I heard a lot of educators saying that they didn’t know you could use archaeology to teach all sorts of subjects and higher order thinking skills. (Whatever that means. But I think it must be a good thing.) Mason was a nice young man and he said, “Thank you for bringing this to Georgia, the knowledge was great, thank you again!!” I could go on and on, but modesty prevents me from doing so.

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Diary, I think I’ll just give you some of my flash thoughts after 154 hours of interacting with visitors at the fair…smiling faces…neon ferris wheel lights at sunset…the smell of funnel cakes frying…little children laughing…my nervous handlers at their opening shifts…my handlers relaxing as they interacted with the public…the savory smell of BBQ…a child intent on completing all the ceramic puzzles (even the hard ones) before leaving…curious visitors peaking in my doors…parents delighting in bus activities with their children …the incessant sound of the music from the sea lion show…sticky fingers…the buzzer sounding as adults missed the answers on the true and false game…the giant clock tower…children asking to stay longer to play with me… the explosion of fireworks at the end of a long day….

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I survived the Georgia National Fair 2010. What a ride!!