When I was young – probably spanning from age 4 through 7, I acquired an adoration for baby chickens. And who doesn’t love a cute baby animal? Be it a dog, cat, chicken, etc., many of us seem to be charmed by the cuteness factor behind the baby critters of this world. I was no exception to this.
There was something about baby chickens. Their little peeping sounds, their fluffy little yellow bodies, the way they moved...I just loved that about them. Chicks became something of a minor theme in my life. So much so, that a distant relative who was a comic book artist, drew me a humanoid chick wearing a superman-esque outfit and named him Superchick. I need to find that drawing – it was amazing.
An old stapler from my childhood, decorated by yours truly with a baby chicken sticker. The sticker upgrades the stapler.
This all would come to a head when one day I decided I wanted some baby chickens of my own.
Pulling from what I knew about hatching chickens at that time in my life, I knew that first and foremost, I’d need some eggs. And the great thing about that? There are eggs right there waiting in the refrigerator! I took a couple. I didn’t have a chicken to sit on the eggs, though I knew the eggs needed to be kept warm. So I grabbed a couple of small boxes for the eggs and insulated them with whatever soft, fluffy things I could find. From there, they would probably just need some time left alone until hatching, so I hid them in the closet where they could be quiet and undisturbed.
I don’t remember exactly how much time passed. But I understood that patience would be a part of the process.
Now I personally never noticed a smell. But my parents did. This prompted a lot of questions and investigating, though not a lot of answers. At that age, while I knew that chickens came from eggs, I did not know that rotten eggs produced terrible odors, nor did I seem to notice. My parents would eventually discover the eggs hidden away after some weeks, but they were so amused by the situation that they couldn’t be mad.
After that debacle, things would settle down on the chicken front in my life for the next handful of years.
It wasn’t until middle school – sixth grade, in which as part of life sciences we would incubate and hatch baby chickens in our class, all while studying their embryonic development along the way.
At this phase in my life, the following were a HUGE deal to me:
So eventually, at the conclusion of our life development project, the class now had a large batch of freshly hatched chickens. These baby chickens were now in need of new homes. I remember that the kids who got to take baby chickens home were considered quite lucky at the time. As an adult looking back, this now kind of seems like the opposite of lucky.
I’ve mentioned before in my blog that my parents have been nothing but amazing to me. This baby chicken situation would also turn out to be one of those instances of my parents once again being incredibly amazing, because for some reason that’s unfathomable to me, they agreed to let me bring home a couple of baby chickens.
A little cardboard box, a little chicken feed, a heat lamp, and some daily play time with the kids, and everything for the most part was pretty dandy. Things went like this for a week or two. But the chickens grew. And soon, they could no longer be confined to a cardboard box. They began jumping out of the box. This posed as problematic; the box resided in my bedroom, safe from the family dog. But now that they were jumping out of the box, we were that much closer to some kind of accidental massacre involving our ornery, chubby schnauzer.
We decided to give the chickens to family friends of ours who had a remote home with space for some livestock. They had a son my age whom I was friends with - a stoic, sturdy boy named Evan. I remember hanging out with Evan a year or two later on the playground when I suddenly remembered the chickens we had given him.
“Evan! Hey how are those chickens doing that we gave you??” I asked.
Evan, in his usual fashion of few words, slowly turned towards me, straight-faced and somewhat sleepy eyed. He slowly brought one of his hands over his stomach, rubbed it in a circle and with a very slight smile replied, “mmmmmm”.
And that was that.
Wrapping up, you could probably look at those stories as a great example in how there are right ways to do things, but there are plenty of wrong ways. Some individuals, when they learn just a little bit about a subject, might suddenly think they have it all down. This phenomenon is described as The Dunning-Kruger Effect.
In an environment that depends on professionalism, experience, and knowledge, this can easily sabotage your intents. In voiceover for example, this can translate into making mistakes like poor quality auditions, misquoting the costs of your services, or falling for the “in perpetuity” trap that comes attached to some of those $100 projects.
There are plenty of ways for that egg not to hatch, many of which are rooted in simple ignorance. But the good news is: you can learn and do it right.
Ms. Hackbarth – if you’re reading this, you are a saint to have taught ANY 6th graders, let alone myself.
If you enjoy reading my blogs, I bet you'd like some of the other voice over blogs that I really love! Take a minute and check out these truly wonderful voiceover blogs. Reading these is always a big highlight in my busy life!