Wednesday, January 11, 2012

National Canine Latin Barking assessments

While immersed in the Krebs cycle in mid-January, pushing biochemical pathways on sophomores who have yet to learn chemistry, I marvel at their persistence, trying to grasp what I know they cannot, but I ask them to do it anyway. (There is something unethical about this....)

Should I ever train a dog to bark in Latin, I will be praised for my remarkable puppy and my methods of puppy training. I could write books about my methods, and others could train their pooches to recite Virgil as well.

I could develop a whole system of tests, the National Canine Latin Barking assessment system, and make those with less educated mutts feel shame. 

I would be rich, my puppies would gain universal acclaim, but truth be told (and truth has become a rare commodity), my trained terriers would no more about Latin than I know about the mind of a frisky horseshoe crab clasped onto its partner under a June moon.

My dogs would know nothing more than they did when they only barked, no matter what the NCLB assessment measures.

Come May, I will take a few busloads of young humans to watch horseshoe crabs mate at the edge of the bay, to remind them (and me) that there's a whole lot more going on than we can ever grasp in a lifetime, much of it as beautiful as it is incomprehensible.

And we will return to Bloomfield, our Bloomfield, different critters than the ones we were that morning, in ways no standardized test can measure.

Mid-January is as good a time as any to be cranky.
Photo by me using Leslie's point-n-shoot.


Tracy Rosen said...

Just want to let you know I love this post. Happy New Year, Michael.

doyle said...

Dear Tracy,

I like it, too! Your words mean a lot to me.

Happy New Year to you and Jack!