This week, we get to meet Zookeeper Marilyn! Aside from being one of our amazing forum Champs, she has also lived in Alaska, rescued animals, and is a home school teacher to her lovely children. Be sure to read on to discover more about Zookeeper Marilyn and why she loves to help her fellow Zookeepers!
1. Where are you from?
I was born in Portland, Oregon and am currently living in Redmond, Oregon. In between, I have lived in Alaska, Idaho, and New Mexico, with a total of about 30 addresses in my life so far, and I will be 44 next month.
2. How long have you been playing Zoo World?
I started playing in November of 2009 and very quickly became totally addicted! This was back in the day when the *only* free Wild Life Points were from the first 42 Achievements, and there was nothing for less than 50 Wild Life Points in the shop, so those points were worthless. Needless to say I was thrilled when the ability to earn Wild Life Points through breeding was introduced!
3. What’s your favorite part of Zoo World?
Collecting as many species as wild life points and real money will allow, which sadly, is not as much as I would like, but I will take what I can get! When I was in 9th grade I thought I wanted to be a Veterinarian, sadly with severe hay fever and asthma, this was not a realistic dream.
I would also like to add that as a Champ, I do not get any privileges, nor do I get my problems solved any faster than the rest of the Zoo World community. I truly love being able to help my fellow players with game knowledge and trying to assist our hard-working Advocates in seeing common factors that may lead to a solution when game oddities occur!
4. If you could be any animal, what would you be?
Hmm, this is a tough one. I would choose a song bird. Spring is my favorite season with trees budding, flowers blooming, and bird song filling the air. Last year, just before school let out for summer, my husband was taking our boy to the bus stop, (at 6:30 in the morning, ugh) when they heard a very loud and annoyed CHIRP come from near our son’s feet. When they located the source of the sound, they found a very small fledgling bird. Of course there was nothing for it but to try to save its life. We brought it in and contacted a Fish & Game authorized bird rehabilitation expert for assistance. When we delivered the baby bird later, we learned that we had rescued a Downy Woodpecker. The Downy Woodpecker is the smallest woodpecker in North America and has one of the sweetest and most varied bird songs. This was about the same time the Woodpecker was added to Zoo World and one of my wonderful Zoomates was kind enough to send me a woodpecker in honor of the baby we had just rescued.
5. What’s your favorite animal-related memory? (a trip to a zoo? a favorite pet?)
In late summer 1996, a solid black cat started hanging around our house. We tried to chase it off, as my husband was a “cat-hater,” but the cat came back and kept coming back, day after day until I broke down and started making friends with it. He turned out to be the most friendly cat I have ever met, even to the point of turning my husband into a “cat-lover!” He even picked his own name; while we were discussing names for him, I was putting out names like Ebony or Midnight, typical black cat names, then my husband suggested “Nicodemus.” The cat, who was watching us intently the whole time, sat up straighter, flicked his tail, and meowed as if to say, “Thank You, that’s my name!” Nikki, as he came to be called, was with us for better than 11 years, the vet estimated that he was 16 or 17 years old when the time came to put him to sleep. Nikki will remain in my heart forever.
6. What are you passionate about?
Besides Zoo World? (Ha Ha) Alternative Education: after several years of less than satisfactory education in traditional schools, culminating in a disastrous year for both of my children, I began exploring my options to home school my kids. I found a great company that provides all curriculum materials and lesson plans aligned to National and State standards with guidance from state certified teachers. In states where K12 has a charter school, it is free of charge to families who wish to enroll. I have received tremendous satisfaction from being my kids’ teacher and watching them blossom as students.
7. What’s your favorite quote, movie, and book?
Quote: “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face…. You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” ~Eleanor Roosevelt
Movie: Disney’s Cinderella. When this came out on VHS, I had to have a copy, even though I did not own a VCR. When it came out on DVD, I was standing in line to get my copy on release date, with my very small children laughing at me the whole time because, “But Mom! We ALREADY have Cinderella!”
Book: It is impossible to pick just one book, but my all time favorite author is Anne McCaffrey. If PERN were real, I would love to be a colonist on that planet.
8. What makes the world go ’round?
My husband and children. We have been through some really tough times over the past several years and are still hanging strong together.
Thank you for sharing with us a piece of your life, Zookeeper Marilyn. You are a valued member of our forum team, so keep up the great job as a Champ! I hope your children and any animal lucky enough to find you continue to blossom and flourish under your care. Best wishes and keep hangin’ on!
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