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My Four-legged Mentor
By Diana Carr

Eyes the color of Irish moss locked onto me and wouldn’t let me go. Willed me into returning the gaze. Made me fall in love on the spot. The rescue kitty, a silver tabby, had chosen me, and I’m so glad he did. He has been my teacher, as well as my friend.

He was so weensy, that at six weeks old he could snuggle up quite nicely in the palm of my hand. Not much time for snuggling, though. He had a cat’s boundless curiosity, which took him on endless excursions throughout the house, exploring this and that, taking such delight in absolutely everything. I would watch him wrestle with a paper bag, every inch of him thrown into the fray, nothing else in the world mattering, and I would think, “This is how life is supposed to be. This good, and this simple.” Read more

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COMMENT (0) | animal companion, animal wisdom, cat, healing, teaching
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Ganesh
By Nayanna Chakrbarty

It was a glorious day. Maneuvering the car every morning through the rush-hour traffic was a frustrating routine for many, but I enjoyed it.  There were drivers who kept changing lanes and tried to nose in at the first gap between two cars. I gave way to such stressed commuters and used the time to eat muffins and catch up on the chart-topping music.

The morning sun glimmered, peeking through the lofty buildings. The rays danced on the reflective exterior of the large towers and bounced its radiance on my rear view mirror. Quickly, I adjusted the direction of the glare, and the light now added a sparkle to my gilded locket.  It was a pendant of Lord Ganesh. He is the elephant-headed deity of the Hindus – the destroyer of obstacles and an embodiment of wisdom and bliss. I clasped the pendant in my fist and thought what had compelled me to wear it always. Read more

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COMMENTS (5) | inspiration, spiritual
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Therapy Dogs Are A Reader’s Best Friend
By Hannah Sutherland

On her regular Friday-morning shift, Katie walks into White Rock Elementary and is greeted by the excited students she has come to help read.

She has two associates in tow – 200-pound, three-foot-tall Chewbacca, whose head could compete with the size of most watermelons, and nine-year-old Dougal, who has been known to sit on students when she senses they are having a rough day.

Despite having a bad back and sight in just one eye – not to mention being a dog – there is no doubting Katie’s ability to engage young learners. Read more

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COMMENT (0) | animal companion, animal training, children, learning
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The Invisible Student
By Casey Lee

Don’t reveal anything about your personal life.

Lock anything that matters to you in the trunk of your car, and make sure that no one knows which vehicle belongs to you.

Don’t worry about their personal lives; if something seems sketchy, refer it to the guidance department and forget it ever happened.

And most importantly, whatever you do, don’t even think about cracking a smile before Christmas.

No, these are not instructions for one’s first week on the job at a maximum-security prison facility. These are supposedly helpful tidbits of advice that I received from seasoned teachers before diving headfirst into one of the most chaotic and stressful experiences one could possibly embark upon: my first year as a high school English teacher. Read more

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COMMENTS (2) | abuse, children, enlightenment, teaching
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