Mid-Afternoon at the Museum

There’s something lurking in the eerie depths of Boone Hall, readers. A lot of somethings, actually. It’s not just your average, run-of-the-mill basement, where the only thing you have to fear is asbestos and whether or not the smell of mothballs washes off clothes. No. Here, lurking in the shadows are terrifying things like lions. And tigers. And I think even bears.

Oh my.

The Orma J. Smith Museum of Natural History is a sprawling exhibit encompassing the majority of the bottom level of Boone Hall. There are fossils, dinosaur footprints, and more creepily accurate preserved animals than you can count. Trust me. Well, I mean, I didn’t actually try to count them, but I did do a good passing glance at them. Like eight solid seconds of eye contact, and there looked like there was a lot. Probably.

“Wow, Ashley, you sure do seem to know a lot about this place, you must spend a lot of time there!” – what everyone is thinking as they read this.

I hate to shatter the illusion, but I actually found myself in the museum for the first time Wednesday, after my roommate, who is an assistant bookkeeper in charge of … something, left her nametag sitting on the giant … thing (if we have learned anything from this week’s blog, readers, is that I have a razor-sharp level of focus when it comes to details.)

I was absolutely floored by the place when I stepped into the museum. Not because it was night time and all the animals had come to life to wreak havoc, but because there is a full-fledged, natural history museum literally a floor below the classroom where I day-dreamed and slept through my math class freshman year (I’m kidding! I love math. That’s why I’m a Creative Writing major. Because I love math so much.) I cannot emphasize enough how huge this place is. I could have spent two hours down there and still probably wouldn’t even have made a dent in looking at all the exhibits, including the ones stored in all the cases that are just begging to be opened, with their excessive chains and “seriously, for the love of God, do not open this!” signs (Like I said, begging to be opened.).

It’s amazing. I’ve been at this school for a year and a half, and I’m still discovering new things. For instance, I never realized fully how much I enjoy a free sweatshirt until I got one this week. The answer to that question is ‘a lot’. My sweatshirt in honor of the campus-wide celebration of Diversity Week is like comfy, cozy, and a whole bunch of other adjectives that basically mean I am never going to be taking it off. Diversity Week has wrapped by the time you read this, but I assure you, it was another successful year. There were guest speakers, food fests, a Sex Panel (because welcome to college, people), a cultural fair, a raffle, and the opening of the non-denominational meditation area in my dorm building. And there was a film screening of the crappy Vince Vaughn/Owen Wilson movie The Internship. I don’t think that was connected to Diversity Week, but there was free pizza so I was good with it. Basically, it’s been a busy week.

Especially since I have to split my time between here and the Boise Weekly headquarters, where my internship is well under way. It is, quite simply, the coolest thing that has ever happened to me in my nearly two decades of life. Everything there is so cool. I even feel cooler just walking through the doors. The first issue that has my name included in the masthead came out Wednesday, and I’ve been carrying it around with me everywhere to show anyone who makes eye contact with me. Needless to say, I’m pretty excited.

Anyways, I’m off, readers. It’s 2 in the morning and I have a busy day ahead of me tomorrow. By “busy day” I mean I have absolutely nothing to do at all and will probably end up pestering my roommate until she takes me to the museum again so I can reenact key scenes from Jumanji with the displays.

Don’t worry. I’ll make sure to take pictures. Assuming campus safety doesn’t throw me in the brig first.


Ashley is a sophomore Creative Writing major from Payette, Idaho.