Sunday, June 7, 2009


My right calf is chalky blue from dried horseshoe crab blood. An angler on the ferry jetty hooked the creature earlier today, and did not know what to do.

I removed the hook from the mortally wounded creature, then let it grab my finger with its pincers, to show it could not hurt me. I then put my palm on its tail.

"It cannot sting you. It cannot hurt you."

I climbed down the rocks to get closer to the bay water, then let it go.

An hour or so later, I heard the angler say the same words to another frightened fisherman.

"It cannot hurt you."

That's a good day fishing.


Kathryn J said...

Teaching opportunities are everywhere. Your part of the ocean continues to intrigue me based on your reports on the sea creatures.

Kate said...

Good morning Doyle!

This is wonderful and wanted to share with you, one of the few people I know who will have the appropriate kaleidoscope of responses, a quick garden story:

Friday night, preceding a wine-soaked English department pot-luck, one of my colleagues (60 years old - Masters in teaching from the University of Chicago) followed me into the garden to "help" me pick arugula for the salad. She admired the wall of sugar snap peas plants, covered in blossoms and said, "These are amazing. What I don't understand is, where do peas come on the plants?" I explained that every flower, with a little luck, became a pea pod.
"That's so cool." (Yes. Yes, it is. But, seriously?)

Our gardens continue to feed and teach us, no matter how much we think we know I never really do know what to expect.

Happy June - how goes your garden? We will be overrun with squash if all goes well.

doyle said...

Dear Kathryn,

Indeed. Sea creatures are everywhere, too, at least if you're near the shore. Amazing what one sees.

I think seeing varied (and alien) life forms keeps me sane (or comfortably insane). If you think you know anything, look at the edge of the sea. If you think you're powerful, live by the edge of the sea. If you think you're immortal, breathe in the dank muddiness of low tide.

Dear Kate,

Amazing, isn't it? We have gotten so far from what we are that we no longer know what we need to know.

My garden has been peas, peas, peas! Cool spring. The eggplants have also (inexplicably) taken off--I thought the cool season would have dampened their enthusiasm. My squash has been slow, but maybe once it warms up....

Anonymous said...

hi! Randomly landed on this blog post. Had to admit it brought a smile to my face.

similar experiance happened to me not so long go. A student was having an asthma attack, and his friend could not understand what was going on. While I was calming down my px so that he could take his inhaler, I explained to his friend how an asthmatic cannot breath out and the mechanism's of carbon dioxide build up. A few hours later when I was in my lab, I hear the same voice proudly explain to a teacher why asthmatics cannot breath out. That was brilliant.

doyle said...

Dear Danielle,

Glad you landed here!

I used to spend hours upon hours teaching about pulmonary physiology and asthma. I don't miss a lot about medicine, but I do miss teaching the medical students and the residents.

I wasn't always successful, and at times teaching can be frustrating for one as impatient as me. Listening to someone teach someone else what you taught her, however, warms me up.

Some people teach to save the world. I teach for selfish reasons, the joy I get watching the dots connect.