My heart goes out to teachers!

Okay, let’s get real. This is an especially hard time to be a teacher! Nothing works the way it used to which is a major example of something that isn’t good or bad. It just is.

And pretty much everybody is involved. Teachers. Students. Parents. Grandparents. Sports teams. The folks who sell beer for tailgate parties. Bus drivers.

You get the drift.

I’ve been looking at all this newness from the perspective of both a student and a teacher. This past weekend, I had the great privilege of being a student in a retreat affectionately known as The Bunny Slope.

It had been scheduled to be in-person back when organized people, like Sam Bennett plan things. Clearly that wasn’t going to work, especially with participants from several nations.

So Sam and her team of wizards figured out how to teach business concepts to creatives of many sorts, virtually.

Because I also teach, and am re-figuring a bunch of things I had planned, I feel safe in observing that, there on The Bunny Slope, the teachers were learning right along with the students. In my world, that’s a good thing!

It’s a lot like living with Luther, who graciously agreed to appear, above. In case you’re a new friend, Luther is our latest Newfoundland rescue dog. And one of my greatest teachers.

He came to us, about 3 1/2 years ago, severely traumatized, from a puppy mill in Michigan. (Insert rant of your choice, here.) It was about 14 months before I could leave him alone. Which, in retrospect, was probably good training for the pandemic and quite possibly the reason I’m hanging in there, now.

The social and emotional issues healed slowly and the huge-hearted guy inside began to appear. Unfortunately, his eye problems began to get worse. Despite all our efforts to help, he lost his vision entirely. Eventually, he began to have increasing pain from pressure in his eyes.

About a year and a half ago, we made the difficult decision to have his eyes surgically removed to relieve his pain. I kept thinking about a beloved Vet who once told me that, “When they’re in pain, they think they’ve been bad.”

Luther and I spent the first three post-op weeks literally tied to each other because he couldn’t tolerate a “cone of shame” and I couldn’t let him try to take out his own sutures.

Almost from the moment our current beloved Vet and I got the black silk sutures out of his Newfie face (Time out for major eye rolling on my part!) he started to get more sociable.

Fast forward to tonight and the photo, above. This big guy, whose favorite word is friend, found his own way from the kitchen, which is his usual hangout, to the den so he could bond during Chopped. He’s actually started, just recently, to decide where he wants to be and go there, instead of staying where he is until somebody tells him he needs to be somewhere else, even though it usually means bumping his nose a few times on the way.

It occurred to me, as I was taking his picture, that lots of the world feels like Luther’s world must, much of the time. And the dog-mom inside me, who is also a student and a teacher and a grammy, has hope.

Which doesn’t mean I’m not also pretty livid much of the time.

It just means that livid isn’t going to get me too far down the road to different. So, I’m going with determined. A lot like Luther. And that determined me is definitely going to vote.

And keep learning what I need to know. And helping others learn, too. And giving thanks for all the amazing teachers in my world. Even the ones who didn’t set out to be teachers.

ps… It’s me, Luther. (Sometimes I get to write, too!) Mom painted a picture with me in it. It’s called “Chosen, Safe, and Loved.” You see it if you click HERE!

Sue Boardman, Certified Intentional Creativity®
Color of Woman Teacher & Coach