Fin: The Official Hamster of North Atlanta


Fin the friendly hamster: Mr. Greenlee's class pet.

Class pets add a unique character to classrooms around the nation. Among the typically popular class pets are creatures like fish, geckos and turtles. North Atlanta is not immune to this prevailing trend and the school’s most adorable classroom pet certainly is a hamster that’s found in the classroom of chemistry instructor Darren Greenlee. Ladies and gentlemen, we present to you — Fin! 

Everyone’s favorite rodent is located on the seventh floor, and this approachable hamster is living his best life as a Warrior. Although he is not the first, seeing to the fact as he has had five previous hamsters that past students still remember.What. A. Boss.

Greenlee has had an interesting past with the furry species. In fact, during his youth he followed the typical pastimes that young men take up, such as playing video games and being an all conference athlete the popular teacher raised and bred hamsters as a hobby as well. After his first hamster died, he never wanted a hamster again. 25 years later, and he’s had dozens.“Kind of odd, I know but I’ve just always really dug these little guys,” Greenlee said. “My parents were cool with it as long as I cleaned all the cages.” 

Fast forward a few years and his interest in hamsters certainly abides. This summer he purchased Fin after his son adopted last year’s hamster over the summer.However,  Greenlee decided a hamster’s love and warmth would benefit students who could use a huggable pick-me-up. “I ended up getting another,” Greenlee said.

Greenlee’s intentions were for Fin to just be a class pet who made the classroom a little more interesting. He has noticed though, the rodent has a therapeutic effect on visitors to his class. After a long stressful school day, the furry creature provides a welcoming break to many of his biology students. “Everyone is going about a sometimes stressful day,” he said. “Animals can serve as a welcome release”.

Greenlee has a nice layout for this lucky creature in his classroom. He lives in a bi-level cage with an exercise wheel and wood chips. He mimics natural elements by scattering the food throughout the cage so the happy rodent can forage. Greenlee is the main caretaker of Fin, but occasionally he lets students feed him treats. 

During breaks he stays at the Greenlee household, but he is considering letting a responsible student take him home. In addition to all of this special treatment, Fin also has, “a hamster ball that he runs around the class in on special days,’” said Greenlee. 

The Dubs are always doing it different. When we get class pets, we don’t do normal. Instead, we go ham (ster). Fin’s furry face is what keeps Greenlee’s chemistry class fun and entertaining. Greenlee is no hamateur when it comes to unique class pets. We are proud to call Fin the first official four-legged Warrior.