new playground

memory found || stiles stilinski

word count: 4242

warnings: season 6 spoilers, mentions of sex, light swearing

prompt: part one of this imagine

author’s note: yeah, so i got just a little carried away with this tbh. i really liked the idea of this imagine and i am really happy with how it turned out. also, THAT SEASON 6A FINALE! AM I RIGHT?? anyways, enjoy this imagine and feel free to make requests!


By definition, Stiles and Y/N were friends with benefits.

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nessrs  asked:

I recently learned that my local zoo (Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium) forfeited its AZA accreditation over a disagreement about elephant handling...I'm conflicted now, because I take accreditation very seriously, and while I don't think they would drastically change their other care practices from when they were AZA accredited, it still makes me uneasy. Thoughts?

Don’t condemn the facility entirely based on that decision, because it’s a super complex topic and just because the directors made the choice doesn’t mean all the staff agreed with the choice. While losing accreditation forced the facility to drop out of major conservation programs and lose other funding (as well as potentially have to transfer AZA-managed animals back to AZA facilities), it wouldn’t change the quality of their husbandry or the ethos of the facility. 

The disagreement was about whether Pittsburgh would switch from having the choice to work with their elephants without fences or barricades between them and the humans, or if they’d adhere to a new AZA policy that would have required to work with elephants through a barrier at all times. 

The tl;dr of what happened is that elephants have been worked with free-contact for most of the existence of zoos, and a couple decades ago (after a few really nasty elephant keeper deaths) AZA decided to push for a new and radical type of management that only allowed for protected-contact elephant handling and positive reinforcement training methods. Over time, the new methods proved safer and better for animal welfare (and getting AR people to stop yelling) and AZA forced all of their zoos to shift over to stay accredited. (There are a couple major exemptions to this, such as the old ladies at Audubon in NOLA - elephants for whom free contact work was such a fundamental part of their life that it was decided that they’d be grandfathered out of that policy because changing it would be detrimental to their welfare). The policy that required places to go free-contact was outlined in 2012, and facilities had until 2017 to make the change. Most places did it - some folk at Pittsburgh didn’t agree. 

One of the biggest things about AZA most folk don’t know is that the facilities are required to have the final say over the animals in their care - they can lose accreditation if a city or state organization forces them to change their animal care (or move their animals) because they’re no longer in the position of being fully and ultimately responsible for their charges. From what I can tell, the Pittsburgh facility felt that they truly knew what was best for their elephants - and it wasn’t changing to protected-contact management styles. It’s a pretty sensitive topic for the facility as a Pittsburgh elephant keeper who died back in 2002 was part of the reason AZA started looking into alternate management forms. 

From what I remember seeing when it went down, not everyone at the facility supported the choice - it wasn’t a democratic decision. I don’t know if the elephant keepers supported it or not. Either way, the director/CEO decided it was what was going to occur, and staff were simply told it would happen. This is a huge deal - 68 other AZA facilities made the change to protected contact. AZA is fairly elitist about their organization and very strict about regulating member facilities - so the only option was for Pittsburgh to lose their accreditation.

Losing AZA accreditation came at a high cost - they lost a $5000 grant from the AZA for a new playground and suddenly no longer qualified for participation in a sea turtle rescue program that had operated out of the zoo since 2009, since US Fish and Wildlife will only send turtles to AZA accredited facilities. They also lost the ability to participate in more than 100 species sustainability programs unless they reapplied to the highly political organization looking to be a non-member partner (I’m not sure if this has since occurred - my google fu isn’t helping). 

There are some pretty major philosophical differences regarding protected- vs free-contact handling for elephants, so it’s not necessarily a case where you can condemn a facility for refusing to switch. After all, some AZA facilities are still allowed to use it in special cases (but will be required to switch when those elephants pass way). Protected contact is much safer for human caretakers, but also limits what interactions staff are able to have with elephants - and this is a big part of the debate, as the relationship between highly emotionally intelligent animals and their keepers is definitely a defining aspect of their enrichment and welfare. AZA made their choice to keep staff safe and standardize caretaking to increase positive training, but that does not necessarily mean that their ruling is a one-size-fits-all solution. There’s no good answer as to who, if anyone, is in the wrong with what happened. 


Foggy Night at the Reiche Elementary School Playground by Corey Templeton
Via Flickr:
In Portland, Maine’s West End.

Something to Talk About

One Shot

Sebastian StanxReader

You were ready to punch him. Not a playful giggling arm punch, an ‘I think you just bruised my rib’ punch. He had been in a mood all day and you were 90,000% done.

This was “date night” if you could call it a date. You and Sebastian had been seeing each other, been an item, so to speak, for three months, and no one knew. You wanted to tell everyone, but had just sensed early on, when there was a blip of press about Seb and his Mystery Woman, that he had wanted to keep your private life just that, private. So when you went out you were careful. Now the gossip mill called you besties and you let them just go right on thinking that. By extension, you had basically started always denying that you were together, even to close friends.

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Our county is in a no-burn period, as it’s too dry for bonfires, so the local cable installers were accruing extra spools. They very generously delivered them to our house today so the goats could have a new playground!

It seems like a lot of people are under the impression that autistic people don’t like socializing because we don’t like other people as much as allistics do (hence some scientists actually trying to investigate whether autism can be “cured” with oxytocin). I don’t think that’s true for most of us, or at least it’s not because we are just inherently antisocial. I think it’s because of the expectations of how a “normal” person is supposed to be and the constant effort to fulfill those expectations.

Me, I used to love socializing as a kid. Every time I saw a new person at the playground I would try to make friends with them. And I would get upset if they didn’t want to play with me. But then as I started growing up I learned that the way I socialize is inappropriate and rude and wrong, and in fact a lot of my behaviors are wrong, and a lot of things about me are somehow unacceptable.

So I started monitoring myself and paying attention to everything I do and say. I started copying other people to seem more normal. I started stressing about being around other people cause every conversation was like an exam I didn’t know how to prepare for. And then despite my best efforts I was bullied for several years and developed social anxiety and now not only do I feel compelled to be careful about my every word and every move, I also feel incredibly anxious and stressed when I seem to do something wrong.

And as a result socializing and being around people is not an enjoyable activity anymore, but not because I don’t like people - it’s because I don’t like all the acting and thinking and effort that I have to put into it to not seem weird or rude and not to be mocked and bullied. For me going to the cinema with a friend is more like an obstacle course because I have to be on guard 100% of the time and pay close attention to everything in order to at least partially pass as neurotypical. Now around a person I trust, like a close family member, I can be myself and I don’t get as tired from socializing, or at least not more than your average allistic introvert.

So basically if you know an autistic person and it seems like they aren’t very social, that doesn’t automatically mean they don’t like people. It’s possible they like people a lot, and want to be nice, polite and be accepted, so they put a ton of effort into passing, which drains their mental energy super quickly and it makes them wanna stay home and recharge. But all you need to do to make their life easier for them in that case is to tell them you accept them the way they are and give them time to build that trust. Then they can be themselves most of the time around you, and they’ll probably hang out with you more often.