02 March 2010

Someday we might even graduate to using the big girl scissors.

I never really liked school. Yet somehow managed to make it all the way through a masters degree. Because graduate school involved things like I could build earthquake machines and paint entire walls with tiny little brushes and let Timmy chase the ducks out of the duck pond every morning. Art majors are perfect for highly distrustful, contrary people like me. If I learned anything in school, I think I had to be tricked into it. Or trick myself. When professors couldn't trick me, they deemed me unteachable and there may have been yelling sometimes. And actually, not really sure what I ended up learning but Timmy sure did like chasing those ducks out of the pond. We got done with school in the '90's, and I never thought I'd go back.

Except that 2010 seems like the year of dog agility education for me and my essentially homeschooled dogs. Marched them in their prairie dresses off the compound and stuck them in school. A seminar with Jim. A bunch of classes with Laura. I'll count November's Silvia Trkman class because it was close to 2010. We are practicing things OTHER people suggest I practice, instead of whatever I want. Like listening to suggestions. Pretty much. With creative flourish license, let's say.

For many years I've had a weekly class with Rob who I like and trust and I don't do the opposite of what he tells me. Or actually, I do sometimes, but I'm not doing it on purpose, I swear. I SWEAR! And he lets me run his dog. And in all these new classes I've found myself in lately, I am not being at all contrary. I am very lucky to have great teachers, who have good senses of humors, and who let me keep trying the thing I am spazzing out over until I get it. I am pretty picky about who I'll actually listen to. I never, ever thought I'd say I was happy to go to school, but I think right now, I found a school that I like.

Last night's topic, decelerating. Sounds easy, right? Just slow down. Stop. Makes your dog turn tight. So easy! My brain gets distracted. I do weird things no matter what. But I am trying hard to be a good student for once in my life. I take NOTES for god's sake. Drink a huge mug of coffee before class for optimal FOCUS. We did better this week. Gustavo has been an excellent student and even though he's afraid of the generator noise that runs the lights that make for stunning photography, he is trying hard and also can sit the whole entire class in a soft crate without destroying it or barking at the border collies. No drama. From either of us. We are, both of us, experimenting with being good students.


vici whisner said...

Gustavo was a great student last night. Fin can learn a thing or two from Gustavo.

Elf said...

Wow, no monkey screaming?! That's progress!

Must say you tolerated school better than I did, even if it was in art school where you get to do fingerpainting. I could hardly wait to get out of high school. I did 3 years of college, dropped out, went back and did 3 more years to get just my BS (heh) and I've never had the slightest urge to go back.

But. I have been taking agility classes once or twice a week for jeez forever. So some school, yeah, better than others.

Celeste said...

Great blog, Laura. Thankyou! Took my young dog Riff to LDerrett's Pre-Boxwork class Sunday. Great class but my hands and feet felt totally out of sync. After reading your story - Lightbulb! Not my fault! It wasn't too much wine the night before...just another manifestation of years of classroom rebellion! Love it.

team small dog said...

It is hard to have people tell you what to do and even harder when they are right!

Unknown said...

Gustavo is Zuma's Idol. Agility School is fun and your blogs are LOL fun!

team small dog said...

Zuma can be Gustavo's beautiful but somewhat frightening girlfriend. She is one badass little dog. Talk about small fast kick yer ass. Go Zuma!