Anxious for help...soon

Discussion in 'Octopus Care' started by Armstrong, Oct 10, 2005.

  1. Armstrong

    Armstrong Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    Besides the issue of having the opportunity to experience a live octo specimen for my friend as you've probably read about before it got locked...remember I mentioned about volunteering for the aquarium myself so *I* could experience an octopus off-hand, up close and in person? Oh, and have the pleasure of taking care of it. Things arent going well though. Like I said, there policy is strict and you MUST be 18 years old to even volunteer for a spot to do the type of volunteer work related to the octopus which is "Invertabrate feeding."

    I don't know how much more enthusiastic I can be though. Iv already stated that iv studyed them since I was 6 years old consistently. I started dissecting them when I was only 9 years old as well as squid which weren't cleaned. However, I don't think there buying it. I emailed them with no reply and iv listed like...over 6 telephone numbers to access any info on how I can reach someone related to any opportunity. Basically..all the calls are nothing but recorded operators and I actually managed to speak to 1 person, however...again, the policy doesn't fit me and its so unfortunate. Suggestions I had were to contact the New Jersey coastal institution located in Atlantic City. Called them...and again, this time a resume is needed to prove your status in the marine bio field in order to have any access to ANY cephalopod such as an octopus.

    I am sorta flipping out over this whole thing. To be honest with you, I don't think im going to have many opportunities in the future to even own an octopus, or even see one in person were I could have the pleasure to touch and get close with and connected with...cuz thats my dream and its been my dream since I was 6 yrs old. After im 17, im emmediatly going to college to be a fashion designer which iv been set-up on since I was also a kid. Im an artist and iv excelled in the fashion business so far consistently with knowledge and so forth and my other dream is to make it big in that industry. Unfortunately, a chance of even becoming big in that field is 160,000 to 1 so thats why my mind is going to set permanently towards that field which iv had experience with previously. It's going to be tough, and I figured...why NOT enjoy your child-hood so far by meeting the most favorite animal to you thats touched your heart.

    But, lifes not fair and I wouldn't be suprised if I never got satisifed with my dream before catching onto my other dream once im 18. Cuz then on, i'll be working hard. I used to wanna be a marine biologist...until I discovered that it would be useless cuz I love fashion for 1, and 2...the octopus as well as the squid and cuttlefish are the only creatures I would have the motivation to study mentally. If that were the case, I wouldn't have any versatility in the field and it would be pointless. So why not make the best of it now? Sadly, its difficult, but if you have any ideas at all please let me know. Or let me know if any members on this board that can help me along with this problem. Iv been going through lots of anxiety after witnessing the octopus on display at the new jersey adventure aquarium and its reminded me of things I should be doing before I become an adult.
     
  2. corw314

    corw314 Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    Wow....I wish I had some answers for you.. I know Jenkinsons Aquarium lets people younger than 18 volunteer, but again I do believe there are strict quidelines for dealing hands on with the creatures. But the thought was if you could add you have volunteered at an aquarium even that does not have an octo, it would look good on your resume. I remember talking with someone on one of my visits to Baltimore Aquarium who was very much involved with the remaking and opening of Camden. I am going back beginning of November. I will see what I can find out for you. Maybe a contact name. Have you tried to email them?

    Best of luck! Maybe someone else will have other suggestions. It is frustrating when you know in your heart what you want to do but don't give up, yet.

    Best of luck!
    Carol
     
  3. Armstrong

    Armstrong Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    Your right, and I have been to the Jenkinsons aquarium about 15 times because I live 10 minutes away from the shore. However, I do envy their aquarium for packing in so much creatures in such a small building. They do a great job.

    But yes, iv tried emailing the new jersey aquarium twice now with no response. The contact-info says that they always respond promptly (on time), however...I haven't received a response from them for almost 2 weeks straight. Don't know whats going on. But iv already spoke with a person involved there on telephone and I think that was enough to know that their policy is strict and 'set' and cant be altered or changed for the sake of 1 person...that would be me. I wish I could prove to them how enthusiastic I am....because I don't honestly know any other kid who already knows as much as I do related to cephs, biology and captivity-keeping. I even compiled and wrote a book about how to manage them as a pet-owner. But, im kinda getting off topic, lol.

    It would be the greatest honor to ever experience an octo in person. Even though some on here may think im seeking a "thrill" and entertainment..thats not the case. If octo's were new to me, than it would be entertainment, but me wanting to see an octo in person, up close and hands on would be the same as in meeting a friend online and wanting to meet him/her to get to know the person off-hand and experience them without having to "read" about them in a book or see their emails right? The same goes for the octopus and I kinda do regret seeing that incredible one at the adventure aquarium in new jersey cuz its made me get a lot of anxiety. Iv been trying to contact many places, but have no luck. I hope that something helps me though. Octopuses are another life-form on this planet and my favorite mentally and physically. To get to experience another life-form to that degree would be one of the greatest things in my life.

    But, I hope you do get a chance to contact that person your talking about who's involved with the camden aquarium. I think if I had the chance to know someone personally, it would higher my chances by a lot.
     
  4. DHyslop

    DHyslop Architeuthis Supporter

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    Its probably a policy that's set by their insurance company. Try not to take it personally because it is likely that it is out of their control.

    Dan
     
  5. Jean

    Jean Colossal Squid Supporter

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    Armstrong, I replied to your pm but hey if you've written a book on it, send them a copy (or extracts!). Be willing to do ANYTHING that get's your foot in the door. Even envelope stuffing, floor washing whatever....show willing.

    The Jenkinsons aquarium sounds like your best bet! But don't get too hung up on working with the octopus. Do whatever they want well...once you've proved yourself they may let you have more hands on with the animals.

    We are not inclined to let volunteers work with the more delicate animals until they have been with us a while and have proved that they can deal with it. Even you we would want to see you with other critters first. I'm not implying anything here but they don't know you and anyone can say they've worked with whatever...they need to know...both for your safety and for the animals safety. We usually start volunteers off with cleaning the touch pools as these animals are selected for toughness! And maybe chopping food or floor washing. Only when we're happy with the volunteers ability and willingness would we let them move on to the bigger critters (although if the boat is going out we try to get them on board for a collecting trip ASAP ya gotta have some fun too!).

    J
     
  6. William Tyson

    William Tyson Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    when i volonteered at the dallas world aquarium, i was stuffing envelopes and "giving tours" for the first three months before they let me do the real stuff. which eventulay led to feeding the gpo there, but that too almost 6 months since i started. so i would just try to get your foot in the door. because eventaly they will know you know what your talking about.

    wow i wish i was still there, too bad i have so much damn school
     
  7. TidePool Geek

    TidePool Geek O. vulgaris Registered

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    Hi Armstrong,

    Here's a somewhat 'outside the box' suggestion:

    1. Buy a student rate annual pass to whichever aquarium suits your situation. Virtually all such institutions have these and they're probably a good deal cheaper than setting up your own octo tank.

    2. Start spending as much time as you can manage at the aquarium. I wouldn't be surprised if the staff didn't eventually offer you a chair so that you can watch the octo more comfortably - especially if you bring writing material and take notes (or at least appear to do so :wink: ).

    3. Develop a few octopus stories to tell the tourists. By "stories" I don't mean 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea - When I'm docenting I try to package information into stories such that I don't lose my audience by going into too much detail. I've got a den/midden story, a breeding story, a gestation story, a learning story, and a hunting/killing/eating story. [I've also got some anemone stories, a couple of rockfish stories, an urchin story or two - you get the idea.]

    4. Use the stories to help the staff during busy times rather than appearing to usurp their responsibilities. There is absolutely nothing a docent likes more than a truly interested and knowledgeable visitor. I'd be very surprised if the staff didn't start looking for ways to bend the rules on your behalf.

    Persuasively yours,

    Alex
     
  8. Armstrong

    Armstrong Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    I really love all your suggestions...however, they all require volunteer-work to do so. And to even get my foot into the door, all volunteer work requires you to be the age of 18 and have completed high school. That's something I can't do because by 17, im going to college to become a designer soon. It's really unfortunate. The only possible way I could ever do what I want is if I knew personnel who were involved with marine biology or captivity within the camden aquarium, but I don't.

    As I wanted before, getting up close with an octopus for only a few hours for 1 day would be enough for me to be satisfied. I can't even accomplish that. To do something as brief and short as that would require all the hard you work they guys mention such as volunteering, and starting from the very beginning such as doing letters and cleaning the floors and bathrooms. Trust me, I would go through all that trouble just to one day get to the cephs for ONLY a day and a few hours, lol...but there's no way for me to even establish myself into the volunteer-position. And even if I did, the means of transportation would be almost impossible. I don't drive yet, bus money would be sorta pricy...and again, Camden has to be the most dangerous city in the USA.

    Im just out of luck and it goes to show that people can't always get wha they want right? Lifes not fair and it never will be. Mabye someday when im a lot older i'll have the chance and pleasure of seeing one up close and off-hand. Cuz thats my dream at the moment. I guess i'll have to wait because thats the way its going...there are no options.
     
  9. CapnNemo

    CapnNemo Vampyroteuthis Supporter

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    Hi Armstrong.

    You are obviously really passionate about cephs, and I know what you mean about wanting to be near the octopuses. Here in the UK, where I am landlocked (the five rivers that converge in Salisbury, don't really do it for me) I get so few opportunities to see cephs. Any Chance I get I'm in an aquarium, just hoping they have some cuttle or an octo. Couple of weeks ago I went to Weymouth Sea Life centre, where they say they have an Octo, 35 minutes I spent staring into that tank waiting for the octo to appear, until my youngest son (who appeared to have gone bioluminescent) demanded we move on. I didn't catch even a glimpse of the Octopus. In fact I haven't seen an Octopus in real life since 2003 when I took my first born son to Plymouth aquarium, before that the last one I saw in real life was in 1998, when working at the Museum of the Moving Image I used to get a free pass to the mighty London Aquarium. I would to sit and watch that Octopus for hours. If it wasn't for TONMO I think I would get Ceph withdrawal symptoms.

    I know you say Fashion is your number one priority, and from what you say it sounds like you are talented in that area, but don't give up on the cephs. You say you are not interested in Marine Biology and that cephs are the only things that capture your interest, but I feel that once you start learning about Marine life you'll just want to know more. You strike me as a really inquisative person, I bet you'd really get into a book like "Mapping The Deep" by Robert Kunzig, or "The Sea Around Us" and "Under The Sea Wind" by the late Rachel Carson. You might find your interest broadening.

    I really think you should give some consideration to the ideas about just continously visiting an aquarium, a season ticket would probably turn out cheaper than the costs of owning a ceph. I can guarantee that the staff will be impressed if you're there all the time. There is nothing someone who is passionate about a subject likes more than to find someone else who's equally as excited about something. Who's to say they won't give you some special treatment. Even if they don't, just think of all the quality ceph time you will spend looking at the octopus. There is no greater way to learn or understand a creature than to observe it's behaviour.

    Also as a last resort see the Tonmocon forum for pictures of the amazing cephwear created by Erich Orser, proof that fashion and cephs can mix.
     
  10. Nancy

    Nancy Titanites Staff Member Moderator

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    Armstrong, I wouldn't despair so soon.

    What about LFSs - maybe there is one near you that handles octos and you could visit one there.

    Also, what kind of design do you plan to study? If you're going to a university with marine biology, maybe they would have labs with octos.

    Nancy
     
  11. Armstrong

    Armstrong Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    Well, I never plan to give up. I just will not be suprised if I never get the chance to even come up close to an octo for even a half hour once in my life in captivity. Lifes not fair and iv been trying to find and seek every opportunity. Unfortunately, im just under-age, and I live in an area not anywhere close to any place with octo-relations...the closest is about an hour and 20 minutes away from me located in a dangerous spot. By the time I do reach the right aging, i'll be off to study what I plan. Im going to study fashion-design and of course, fashion merchandising. Both terms im not new with and iv been familar with the fashion industry for years now. My mind is set and luckily, I know so many personal people involved so I have a lot of help with that. With this Octopus however, I don't know anyone. I only know my friend who's studying it and plans to soon learn about it professionaly from a university somewere.

    As for the LFS, I don't live near any pet stores that house just marine life/water life. I live near 2 pet shops...and 1 pet supply store. All of them do not hold any octo's OR saltwater marine life barely. It's all fish and mabye a starfish here or there if your lucky. I do know an LFS in philadelphia which is about 2 hours away from my house which does hold an octo. I just doubt that having the opportunity to touch it wouldn't keep you from purchasing it as well. I wouldn't want to do that. But again, if anyone here has an great ideas, or suggestions...im open to anything you have to say that would be of any help.

    Sadly, im going to my local aquarium on the 28th of this month...I mean, I love going but once I leave, im going to feel sad again, lol. It's just like seeing your pet dog placed in a cage at a zoo...and then leaving it after not even getting to pet it and be intimate with it. That's how I feel, but I feel very greatful that I at least get to see one in a glass cage. It's usually rare that the NJ state aquarium even has an octo.
     
  12. Jean

    Jean Colossal Squid Supporter

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    Maybe when you're a little further on with your studies you could afford to learn to dive (or even when you've completed them and actually have some money :grin: ) then you could take diving holidays and see octo's in the wild!!!

    J
     
  13. Armstrong

    Armstrong Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    That would be very great. But yeah, im going to have to establish myself for a few years to do something like that. It would be a pleasure to do. Right now, seeing an octo in captivity up-close is all I need. Then i'll be satisfied, lol.

    If I flew to Japan, and went to a fish-market over there, my dreams would be complete. They sell live octo's livestock all the time because its considered fresh to the limit of purchasing seafood. Im sure I would have been able to get up close...I mean, they want us to buy it right? lol. Too bad I don't live in Japan:sad: Not that I enjoy having octo's killed though for food.
     
  14. Armstrong

    Armstrong Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    * Well, iv had some news. I contacted the pet-store in philadelphia called "The Hidden Reef" which isn't such a large aquarium shop, but like I said...they do have an octo. I called them up, and the LFS person wasn't as nice as he could have been. Nancy, your right about not relying on them. I asked about any octo's in stock, and he said yeah...but it's missing 6 of its arms. He said "legs", so I corrected him, but he wouldn't listen. He sounded sorta young and in-experienced. He has no clue to what species of octopus they have. I asked him why the octo had 6 arms missing and he said it was due to stress. I don't know what there doing to the poor thing, but I asked if I could have the opportunity of seeing it hands-on at least for only a short amount of time. He said it was alright, but he asked why I was interested in the thing...he said that alls it does it sit on a rock all day. It's about 6 inches long, and the person giving me info doesn't sound experienced or show any enthusiasm with customers. However, there selling a damaged octo with 2 arms...for 60 bucks thats currently STRESSED. Well...how does that sound? And alls it does is sit on a rock all day? That doesn't sound like the typical octo I know. Something must be up. I might just go and visit the thing after going to the aquarium.
     
  15. William Tyson

    William Tyson Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    well, you clould always get an octo of your own later on in life, i plan to keep one next year in college,(im graduating early as well). well i will get one after my cuttle passes away. remember you can always have an octo of your own one day if you want it hard enough. and as far as the 18 year old limit is concerned, its for insurance puposes. The aquarium that i worked at only let me because it was small, and a privatly run facility.
     
  16. DHyslop

    DHyslop Architeuthis Supporter

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    I think visiting it would be a very depressing experience. The reason it just sits on a rock I'm sure is that rock is probably the only thing in the tank. Excuse me, the 16 oz critter cage that the octopus and the rock are in is the only thing inside the tank.

    Dan
     
  17. Armstrong

    Armstrong Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    Your probably right, and its stressed according to the person I spoke with. I don't know if its in a critter cage..I wouldn't think so cuz he said its around 6 inches across tentacle span, but I could imagine the tank being very small for it.
     
  18. Jean

    Jean Colossal Squid Supporter

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    Yikes! only two arms ..........not good. It may even have stress induced autophagy bad, bad, bad :mad:
     
  19. Armstrong

    Armstrong Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    Must I also insert that the guy said that when the octo was shipped...it wouldn't let go of the aquarists hands, so they pulled the thing off. Thats not good either...that could cause damage. I doubt that they knew what they were doing. LFS people seem to know so little about cephs.
     
  20. Jean

    Jean Colossal Squid Supporter

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    AAAAAAAAAARGH:mad: :mad: :mad: :mad:

    must go get a sedative now!

    J
     

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