Monday, November 8, 2010

So now we have a dog ... again

It has been about six years since our black Lab passed away, a stray that wandered into our hearts.

Once again, we have been adopted. This time, the dog is a little Jack Russell -- very loving but a handful.

I am tired this morning. Tired from having had to find the temporary rescuer's home last night somewhere in the middle of the city. She could not keep her another night, and we have almost run out of possible friends to adopt the dog. Tired from waking up in the middle of the night to take the little dog outside since we are not sure yet how housebroken she is.

We were spoiled with our Lab. He liked being outside and when inside for storms and cold, he was unerringly house trained. This dog will need to stay indoors and needs some work ... has already made a pile in the living room.

But she is so cute running around the house with her mangled Snoopy doll in her mouth.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Honeybee

The amazing creature that is the honeybee ...

And the comments below the article reference the new (to me at least) idea of being a bee steward. Setting up a hive with no intention to harvest it for honey, just to give bees a chance at survival.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


While eating lunch with my mentoree today, I witnessed a typical interaction for that age group. Really, a typical interaction for any age group -- but as we age, we learn to refine the methods of our meanness.

On one side is a Girl who obviously has a crush on him -- maybe doesn't even realize that's what it is. We'll call Her Natasha. In the middle is my mentoree, a fifth grade student. Call him Michael. On the other side is some boy in the class who is friends with Michael. Call him Shawn.

At lunch today, Natasha obviously has a beef with Shawn. He is to be ostracized, apparently for resorting with his other friends to namecalling of Her and Her friends. Michael wants to be friends with both of them. Natasha instructs Michael not to. She teases him, pokes him, scolds him, warns him not to.

I am supposed to be a "buddy" to Michael. I am not supposed to lecture or compel him to make moral decisions. I presume that means his friends as well. The idea for the mentoring program is that I am to be a friend, not another authority figure.

So how do I proceed? I finally tell Natasha, gently but firmly, to leave Michael alone because I would hate to have to report Her behavior to their teacher. I don't know without reading Michael's mind how much of Her behavior crosses the line from teasing between friends to outright bullying. Certainly if the roles were reversed and some boy was pinching, poking and arm twisting a Girl, I would immediately intervene.

Then I say, "We should all get along." Gack, sounds like some pot-huffing hippie.

Then I talk with admiration about my best friend in high school who made friends with everyone, the cool kids and the ones on the edge.

Natasha thinks about it for a few moments. She has a murmured conversation with Shawn. Then She tells Michael: "You can be friends with Shawn if you want."

I have never been a parent. So I do not have the skills that parents develop. Did I intervene unnecessarily in this instance? Or should I have done even more?