I had a pretty good class today. It was only the conversation, and one would think that would be the easy one. It should be a place where people can just chat, without worrying about homework or grammar all the time, where they can choose the topic and yammer to their heart's content. It should be a class where we have some fun and challenge ourselves or just take it easy and laugh. It IS all that, but wow...trying to get it started is a nightmare.
I try to make the class interesting and fun. Some days I have to all but turn handsprings to get people to participate. They seem to be content with letting me talk and talk and talk. If I did not insist that they participate, they would come every Saturday to listen to that nut-ball teacher from the U.S. talk her head off. They come with empty heads and just wait for me to fill them up with something. I bring "Omar" the boy puppet. I bring word games. I bring books on tape and cd, tv and radio shows on tape and cd. I bring conversation topics. The problem seems to be that they do not understand that there are two parts of a conversation. People also do not seem to remember how LISTENING is as much a part of communication as speaking is. The bottom line seems to be that if they are not the topic of the conversation, most people aren't interested. Hmmm.
But today, after only 45 minutes of coaxing, we got a spontaneous conversation going. Three of them, in fact! All about different topics, all mostly in English, and late comers happily joined in! What a relief! I turned my last handspring at 11:15 this morning and then the conversations began to flow! It was wonderful!
What really sucks is that next week, there will probably be a whole new group that comes and I'll have to start over again, talking till I'm blue in the face...with a side of handsprings.
Apparently the decision to have Celeste spayed is not a popular one amongst the friends and relatives. Each one bemoans the surgery. I found out last evening that nearly all of them were counting on a free blue-eyed puppy when Celeste inevitably got pregnant. They knew we wouldn't have space to raise a litter and would probably be desperate to place the pups as soon as possible, thereby practically guaranteeing a free dog for the kids. Maybe even more than one - one for the family and one to sell on the street somewhere. Hmmmm.
I have my own ideas about what a dog owner should do and what the owner's responsibility to the dog is. Celeste will never be a street dog. She will never live in a home where it is overly populated with dogs. People who do not have expertise in canine genetics and who do not have sufficient room to let them run and exercise freely should not engage in indiscriminant breeding (that would be me). And certainly there are enough unwanted dogs out there already! And here, there are enough dogs put out on the street during the day that there certainly will be indiscriminant breedings. What are people thinking when they kick the dog out on the sidewalk for the day? Hmmmm...
As I look at the jagged, 6-inch incision on Celeste's belly, I know she hurt for a while, and may still have some pain. I know it looks like I tried to gut my dog. I know it was an insult to her body and that I forced her into something I wouldn't want inflicted on me. But I still have this overwhelming feeling that I have to do the responsible thing. It will always be this way. I will never have an un-neutered dog, male or female.
My only regret is that Celeste has been dubbed "Lamperina", because of the lampshade collar she's wearing.
I've been on a time out from fiber for a little while, since I got strep. I still have pain in my left leg and some swelling, but it's better than it was. Maybe it will just take time to get over. But now, I'm ready to continue. I have almost finished Greenlee's skirt. I have a brown fleece dog in the works. I have probably enough white Celeste hair to make a life-sized fleece dog. The best thing is that I'm motivated again!