Posts Tagged ‘scavenger hunts’

Dear friends, I know that several words come to mind when you hear Walk-O-Rama and when you recall the many adventures chronicled on this site. Heroic, fearless, fun-loving. All true. Lazy is another. There, I said it. Adventures were often thwarted by heat, cold, humidity, precipitation, and the promise of delicious food. Even now, I sit here writing to you not of a walk in the physical sense, because that sounds exhausting, but of a mental stroll just taken down memory lane where I recalled my many great years with the wonderful staff at Stony Brook University Libraries.

I began after earning my Master’s degree in 2005 and was happy to have my first full-time job. My search committee assured me that I was not hired because I currently worked selling chocolate in a retail store and could potentially double as their supplier – or perhaps they indicated that that was the sole reason, I forget. To be on the safe side, I brought in a generous assortment when I started to try and win favor with my new friends.


Definitely hired for the chocolate.

My first weeks were a little rough. I recall catching a student employee error in the Stacks, which angered her and caused her to leave. I felt guilty and thought for sure the other workers in Circulation would all hate me. Fortunately, I was quickly adopted by The Library Club, a group started and led by the very talented and creative Victor Santiago. This club really helped me develop as a person and a professional in so many ways, and it is my hope that I helped others do the same as one of the advisors. We did our best to share our love of libraries and information literacy by creating tutorials, educational events, blogs, web reviews, etc. and began a fundraising effort to send books to Africa. We took library students on field trips, including two ventures to Salem, MA where we held some pretty exciting scavenger hunts. They were good times.


LC road trip to Salem


Human Resources nightmare: losing a student employee on a field trip to find seals. It’s ok, we left an arrow so they could find us


LC takes on NYPL


LC takes on SPL



Packing some books for Africa!

When I think of my time in Circulation, I remember the wonderful, wonderful people, and the terrific Halloween parties! I don’t mean to group these two together because they are equivalents – the people were definitely better –  but both are such vivid symbols in my mind of my days in the Main Stacks. It was great having a close-knit family environment to help me as I eased into my profession.  I don’t recall all of what I did those first few years, but all timesheets and paperwork seem to indicate that I was in fact present and actively doing something or other.


This Bigfoot quality photo is a rare shot of me doing something very important in my work environment


Arrrrrrren’t you feeling sentimental about these days? I know I am!


Long hours spent on our epic haunted maze! I can still hear the screams of horror. It was perfect.

Gradually I began to learn more and take on additional responsibilities. I became a volunteer member of the virtual chat team and a selector for the Cinema Studies Department. I made Reader’s Advisory signs to try and get people to read our dusty books. I worked closely with our students, checking their accuracy, creating assignments, and introducing them to some pretty high-brow American experiences during our free time. When I felt I could do no more, I moved to a new role in the Central Reading Room.


Teaching students how to do proper American things

During these next years, I worked more actively with the public and saw ways that I could create events to simultaneously entertain and educate our patrons. I created a few scavenger hunt with the help of some awesome colleagues, worked with the incredibly talented Arielle Hessler (and others) to create some library-themed board games that I think someone once played, and introduced other activities such as button making, Pi-Day, Banned Book Month contests, e-games, and more.



Rebel volunteers who made Spy Hunt happen!

It is also during this time that I became active in Walk-O-Rama, thanks to Richie Feinberg (who began the group) and Celeste Hessler, who asked me to continue the activity after his retirement. These walks, as you may or may not have read in past entries, helped us all regain a small sense of childlike wonder as we left the comforts of our desks and began to bravely explore the campus grounds each week, searching for humor and meaning in all we saw. We found the remnants of an ancient feline civilization, tried our best (unsuccessfully) to make sense of the hospital floor plan, learned Ken is secretly an all-star baseball player, photobombed the President, and even buried our own time capsule somewhere we’ve long forgotten. And we ate. Mostly we ate. But it’s all good, because walking, talking, and breaking bread together is what creates bonds and keeps people happy as a team! I will always have a special place in my heart for Team Walk-O-Rama!


It was only fitting that WOR founder, Richie, should walk the time capsule to it's burial spot, wherever the heck that is

It was only fitting that WOR founder, Richie, should transport the time capsule to its burial spot, wherever the heck that is

Ken assures me this card will be worth big bucks someday

Ken assures me this card will be worth big bucks someday

President Stanley out with Walk-O-Rama

President Stanley happy to be out with Walk-O-Rama one day

I did other things I never dreamed I would do as a professional, or in any other capacity for that matter. I helped make several boats out of carboard and duct tape for the annual Roth Regatta and helped row two. To our surprise, none of them sank, and we even earned a trophy for coming in second place in the Speedster division during our first attempt. Go us! Staff all came out and cheered us on, and for days following I received small gifts and cards like a real hero who had done something wonderful. As someone who does not usually do things, I can tell you that it meant a lot in my little world to feel this way.




Mentally preparing ourselves to sink upon contact with water

I have learned so much in my time here, both about myself and about my profession, and I have had the pleasure of meeting so many kind, creative, talented people who have made such a difference in my life, whether they realize it or not. Walk-O-Rama may be ended in some sense, but the energy that started it still remains. I hope you all will not forget to devote parts of your day, or even just your week to doing something that is brave –  even if only brave for you at your level, something silly, something adventurous, but mostly something fun. And take a friend – or several friends. Or drag someone you don’t particularly care for and force them to be your friend, because being adventurous together is awesome, and I have enjoyed my awesome adventure with you.




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Today we welcomed Ken back to Walk-O-Rama on his first day back on the job since returning from Paradise. We don’t know why he chose to return from such an aptly named place, but we sure are glad he did.  It was nice being grounded by a sensible decision maker or a change, after weeks of walks so filled with chaos and lawlessness that they could not be safely chronicled in this blog.  His return warranted a Welcome Back fiesta, which could mean only one thing.  Burritos.

We welcomed Ken back in the office today in traditional Stony Brook fashion

We welcomed Ken back in the office today in traditional Walk-O-Rama fashion

Despite the fact that it was National Cheesecake Day, we were all good and avoided sweets, sticking to more nutritious lunch choices such as salad, some other kind of salad, and dishes doused in cheesy sauce.  Go us.  Eventually, as must always be the case, we had to up-heave our now sleepy selves from our seats and make the long trek back to work.

Our now lazy, unfocused minds touched on many subjects while trying to avoid abandoning our goal of returning to the library and just lying down in the grass for a quick nap instead. Perhaps an hour or two would hit the spot.  NYC scavenger hunts were planned, as were future trips to the zoo. A story of questionable veracity was told about a leaf bag that many moths mistook for a large lady moth who demanded their affection. Apparently this event was confirmed by two eye witnesses in our party.

At this point in our chatter, it was proposed the the structure of our lunch breaks be forever changed as we know it.  Instead, time allotted for eating would be granted for siesta purposes, which Ken concurred would be in our legal right as state workers. In his sleepiness he expanded on this opinion with a falsehood, claiming we were allowed to do anything we wanted during our lunch hour.  The following is a brief, non-exhaustive list of things we would likely not be permitted to do during our lunch hour:

  • Feed Skittles to penquins
  • Host a llama beauty pageant
  • Play soccer with our cars in the South P lot
  • Attempt scaling the Simon Center wall using office supplies we believe will provide suction
  • Burn down our workplace to provide fertile grounds for a better workplace
  • Provide a zero credit course to teach the Canada Geese to speak Canadian English

With that being said, I will now join the rest in my party by embracing the right bestowed upon me by Ken to siesta on state time. We hope you will join us next week when we continue testing the limits of what the university will and will not allow us to do on our lunch breaks.

Walk-O-Rama, 3pm

Walk-O-Rama, 3pm



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If there were diplomas given for awesomeness, members of Walk-O-Rama would be the first in line for their distribution.  When that fateful day comes, know that you, too, can receive such an honor of superior excellence. That is, when you choose to be awesome enough to sign up for one of the new scavenger hunts written and designed for you by the author of this blog. Really?!! you say.  Really. For those of you who follow our adventures, you know that Walk-O-Rama loves scavenger hunts, so this project was inevitible. We love them so much that we have lost two (badly) and won one that involved a ton of eating, which we trained vigorously for.  Walk-O-Rama also mildly loves Halloween.  We love it so mildly, in fact, that we briefly considered donning costumes for last year’s Halloween outing at work, but did not. To be fair, this does have something to do with the fact that a hurricane temporarily shut our operation down.  Where am I going with this?  I don’t remember.  Ah yes. These scavenger hunts will be held this October, in the country’s Witch City, Salem, MA, during their Haunted Happenings celebration.  Hate Halloween? Hate historic Salem? That is weird, but for those of you who are weird like that, more hunts will be available in Boston and Long Island in the coming months.

Visit the new WordPress page, http://borntosleuth.wordpress.com/, and learn more about these super cool events.  And read more about Walk-O-Rama this Friday after we embark on our highly anticipated field trip to nearby Avalon Park. It should be a smashing good time.  Not smashing destruction-wise. Though Ken is our version of the Hulk, he hopefully will not get angry or overly excited about the excursion, despite its many hills and stairs and mosquitos and…darn it, I’m mad just thinking about it. See you there?  We hope so.

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