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UCL Culture Blog


News and musings from the UCL Culture team


Things I learnt at the Grant Museum

By Emma-Louise Nicholls, on 2 May 2014

In 2011 I started work at the Grant Museum on a six month contract. When it finished, they failed to get rid of me for a further two and a half years (mwah hah hah) and I have now been here for three years exactly (tomorrow). After much coaching by me, I have decided that Team Grant has finally reached a level where they can cope without me, and I am subsequently off to a different museum. Although my new role will be amazing, I’m extremely sad to leave the Grant Museum behind, it’s like divorcing someone you still love!

I would say I have learnt ten really important lessons during my time here. So important, I thought I should share them with you, so you too may benefit from my acquired wisdom.

1. Blogs are more popular when words such as penis, bare, filth and dirty are used

2. Don’t allow helium balloons at events. People inevitably let go of them and when you have high ceilings, it apparently takes three people with seven degrees between them a whole morning to get them back down again

3. I’m better at decorating the Museum for festive events than my superiors and Christmas will never be the same again [Yes thanks and it’ll take us years to clean the tinsel up- the curator]

4. Before heroically wading into the Museum’s basement store to save specimens from a flood, check it isn’t sewage first

5. I have the best dressed desk of any museum professional, anywhere

My desk at the Grant Museum

My desk at the Grant Museum

6. You don’t need to have happy, optimistic colleagues to enjoy your job (when asked to help me think of a list of highlights, curator Mark Carnall’s reply was “Why don’t you do a list of lowlights? There must be loads”

7. Singing when alone in the Museum, can be heard in the offices down the corridor

8. ‘Dead’ cockroaches left on your desk for speciation can be revived when your desk is directly over a heater

9. Testing the robustness of an aardwolf skull when dropped onto a hard wooden floor, is not popular with the curator even though it was in the name of science

10. At Museum and Heritage Award events, the dress code is black

Team Grant winning our (second) Museums and Heritage Award

 Emma-Louise Nicholls is (no longer) the Curatorial Assistant at the Grant Museum of Zoology

One Response to “Things I learnt at the Grant Museum”

  • 1
    Susie Offord wrote on 2 May 2014:

    What a fab blog, really made me laugh. I loved all of it!

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