I’ve struggled with writing this, not because I have nothing to say, but because I don’t know where to start. I want to impress the importance of the social aspects of human culture. Something for which I am far from an expert as I tend to be more anti-social, than social. It seems that I have finite capacity for socializing, after which, I simply shut down. I am much better at watching than participating in social activities, perhaps why watching how whales behave intrigues me.
There appears to be social hierarchies in humpbacks but we’re not exactly sure how they work. For instance, when there are a group of humpbacks feeding together, it seems that the dominant female of the group is in charge as she is the first to dive and resurface through the bubble net. I, honestly, don’t envy her position. Though I know someone that would be a stellar candidate for her job!
Sue Rocca, WDCS Biologist, Social Networking Queen, and someone I have the honor of calling my friend. Sue is the exact opposite of me- a gorgeous blonde who loves crowds, meeting new people, entertaining, and social networking. She sees the bright side to every situation (not always an endearing quality for those of us that thrive on sarcasm) and cares deeply about making sure everyone is enjoying themselves. And most importantly, she tolerates my insanity and my complete inability to understand why she enjoys East Bay (a ridiculously over-crowded restaurant/bar in Plymouth and I’m not the only one that thinks so Sue!………).
May 11th is Sue’s birthday and I have asked some friends to provide anecdotes of life with Sue- Happy Birthday Suzy Q- We Love You!
The first time I met Sue she was buried up to her eyeballs in envelopes. They were envelopes with the wrong address on (WDCS had just moved offices and someone had been too enthusiastic with ordering). Sue was supposed to finish work at 5.00 and actually should have finished at 12:00 because she was not getting paid for the extra hours, but she diligently stuck new address stickers on the envelopes until the early hours.
For all the hours she sat on the floor saving envelopes (and money for WDCS and the whales) she chatted and talked to me, telling me about the her recent research work with WDCS and talking about the local humpbacks with a passion I have seen before in people whose work involves these remarkable animals. Her passion for whales and people alike is infectious and as such she has been part of the backbone of WDCS NA for several years now/ Its a privilege to call her our colleague and friend. Happy birthday Sue. Chris (WDCS CEO)
What can I say about the person who has helped to drag me kicking and screaming (me that is, not Sue...at least I think that's right!) into the 21st century-world of social media? Although after hearing me refer to tweets as twits in the beginning likely would have caused a lesser person to give up and run, Sue guided me gently through my first blog, my first visit to Facebook, my first tweet....Sue (who still sends tweets for me) is full of patience and humor, and she is a welcome addition to the new generation of the WDCS family. Happy B'day, Sue, and tell Regina and the gang to give you a hug from me. Kate (WDCS Program Officer)
Maybe just that she asked me to get a birthday cake and candles.......and…… ketchup! for Alex's birthday when I had only known her for about two weeks. Keith (WDCS Program Manager)
I'm french, I eat frog and smelling cheese. One year ago, i have followed an internship in WDCS to improve my english (failure) and knowledge about whales. I have stayed few months in Plymouth with this crazy team. Sue, Sue, how can I describe this amazing girl, probably few extraordinary qualifications like :
Sue is abble to gobble up garlic for the breakfast. If you travel with her, buy mint candy !
also, when you try to identify a whale after 3 hours face to your computer, not so far away to nervous breakdown, she's arriving and saying immediatly "Sloop with Star" she knows all humpabacks whales (2000) by their fluke. Not easy to ask her the same for men (I don't know if you want to censure that)
we can imagine that this marine mammals girl prefer animals more than human. Mistake, she always attentive, take care about each of our stupid person. animals and human rescuer
Finally, If you want to have a drink with Sue, don't hesitate to call her 3479 times before before make up, during make up, before hair dresser, during hair dresser.
I have to confess that I have never seen before a marine biologist who take all the staff for the make up in a boat to be interview in the middle of the sea : gloss, mascara, lip stick, nails varnish, lash torture system (I bouhgt it and I lose one of my eye). So Woman, so humanist and so funny. love you Sue, see you to the mustard festival
Blandine (WDCS Intern 2009)
East Bay sucks!!
Sue you are amazing. Why else would I travel thousands of miles every eight weeks slumming it in Business Class with non-vintage Champaigne!
I concede that East Bay Lobster is better than Weathervane’s, but if you’re really going to get spoilt, get James to take you out to the Orleans Inn. Lot’s of love Chris (WDCS Finance Officer)
I remember the first few weeks I started volunteering for the WDCS crazies. I thought they were both nut jobs, but I was glad to be out of the house doing something exciting. They sent me out on my own after just one trip training with Erica. I came back to the office after stopping off to grab a snack at CVS. I had a candy bar and offered Regina and Sue both a bite. Regina took one and immediately said, "Ew! It has caramel! Sue do you want it?" She spit it out and popped it right into Sue's mouth like a baby bird, who proceeded to chew happily away. I know I have tons more stories but the majority of them are not approved for the public eye. Without this level of compatibility between Regina and Sue the WDCS North America Office wouldn't be the joyous and rambunctious place it is. Love you bunches Suer and I hope you have a wonderful birthday!!!
-Amanda (WDCS Intern 2008, 2009)
I’ve known Sue for four years now and the only ridiculous part about that is that; it has only been four years… I feel like we’ve known each other much longer, or I guess that’s just how it feels and how quickly she has become such a good friend. Sue is the only person I’ve met in which I took pride when someone called me “mini Sue” However, I’d like to point out we have pretty comparable maturity levels which works out quite great. Oh, and East Bay is okay sometimes, just not every night… But beyond her amazing socialization skills, Sue also quite the multi-tasker. I’ve seen this woman talk on the microphone, record data, drink a protein shake, take photos, maintain her balance on high seas, and make dirty jokes with the boat captain…. ALL at the same time, easily. Sue is also quite the charmer and very persistent, I’ve never heard someone literally talk their way into anything and everything. With all of this, Sue is also an amazing teacher, I am doing my best at learning all of the “Sue Skills” I can, but I can’t seem to get down the whole eye batting hair flipping maneuver of hers; think I am o.k. with that. HAPPY BIRTHDAY SUE! Miss you and Love you! Alex (WDCS Intern 2007, 2008, 2009……)
never steps aside when a hand is needed
when a big heart is crucial
for the day to end with a smile
selfless and brave
she doesn't let any moment pass
without a twist
with a heart that i know in her
the best of this world lives
and breathes progress in all we wish for.
Karolina (WDCS Intern 2008)
Happy Birthday Sue!
I know i'll soon be saying AWSOME! loads...(i like it!) So have an awsome birthday and drink lots of taquilla!
Love Jenny (WDCS Intern 2010)
I'm sorry I haven't thought of an anecdote yet, but I do think you could do something with the word "awesome." Either just use it repeatedly, or mention something to the effect that to Sue, it is a word that is impossible to overuse, life is full of awesomeness, and there's an inner awesomeness in Sue. Sandy (WDCS Volunteer)
It's hard to picture Sue without a broad and impossibly white smile on her face-or at least a welcoming look in her eyes. I know that, given the time we've shared together over the years, I must have more than one funny or embarrassing anecdote to share, but when I think back I keep coming up with memories of her being thoughtful. I picture her working behind the scenes helping set up (or clean up after) meetings and fundraisers, pouring over data and photographs to glean some bit of information that might help us to better understand and protect marine mammals, helping her mother faithfully, being a sympathetic shoulder for a friend in need, blushing when she is recognized or thanked for doing something thoughtful, laughing boisterously at a joke or story and...yes, raising a glass (or two) in toast of something. I think of how appropriate it is that her surface good looks match the depth of her kindness. It's good to celebrate another year of Sue! Cheers ! Sharon (Marine Field Director, Humane Society of the United States)
Where do I start with what to say about the vivacious blonde birthday girl?
She is one of the most positive, upbeat people I have ever met. Sue’s bubbly personality and love for life is infectious. I had the pleasure of travelling to San Ignacio Lagoon twice to Sue’s Mexican retreat – oops, I mean her gray whale camp. If you haven’t had the experience of spending a week in the desert with Sue – I highly recommend it. Sue helps run a pretty tight ship down there in Baja, but believe me, she makes it one of the most amazing experiences you will ever have. Sue is so passionate about so many causes, I don’t know where she finds the time to let the rest of us know about them all – but she gets it done.
Here’s to you kid - Happy Birthday, Suzy Q!! Heather (Office Manager, Cape Wildlife Center)
I met Sue when I was an intern in 2002. Over the years, I have been lucky to get to know Sue better – both as a colleague and friend. There have been many, many times that Sue has generously opened her home in Plymouth to me when I was working, commuting, and playing long hours in that area last summer. I’m soooo appreciative of this. And I look forward to even more good times this summer! Happy birthday Sue! Hope your day is as fabulous as you are!
Karen (US Programs, Jr. Manager, World Society for the Protection of Animals)
What to say about little miss sunshine?
I’ve only known you for 4 weeks now, but it feels as if I have been here forever.
That’s because you are such a warm, loving and welcoming personality.
The room somehow get a little brighter when you laugh
And there are a lot of things we all can laugh about.
Stay the way you are, you are wicked awesome!
Happy birthday! Anja (WDCS Intern 2010)
Sue has been an incredible friend and colleague to Regina for many years. Beautiful, smart, caring, and generally a great person to be around. I hope she will around Regina for years to come. She certainly makes things more interesting and fun, Aye! Dave (President, Systems Marine Inc.)
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