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When I was a boy growing up in rural Arkansas, there were only two lessons dogs needed to learn. First, do not chase livestock. I once had a puppy—I forget its name because I did not have it long—that killed chickens and consequently, I think, was ruthlessly shot by my grandfather. (They did not tell me they shot him; one day, I remember, he was just gone.) The second lesson was not to follow, which for some years I believed was best taught by shouting “Go home!” and launching a barrage of rocks directly at the dog’s haunches. Sometimes my dog would turn back, tail tucked between her legs; just as often, she would follow just out of reach of my throwing arm. I think on it now, and I am amazed at how much misplaced trust I put in those rocks to teach what I wouldn’t!



Is this story an allegory of what you’re trying to do to readers of this blog?

You’re rocks will not dissuade me from reading this blog! I’ll skulk outside your throwing arm’s range 4evuh!

Since the readers of this blog (excepting you) disappeared months ago, not at all!

A week and a half ago at work word came down from on high that our staff had to rush four publications—two of which didn’t even have complete drafts—to print by September 30. Ever since, I’ve been reading and writing about how to teach Precalculus, pretending as if I have all the authority of my organization. Sigh. You would think we would have people to do that, and in a sense we did, but one of them quit last Tuesday… So I haven’t had much energy to blog.

To the point, though, in much of the free time I have left, I end up walking Newton, who needs a damn lot of walking, and thinking about the difference between how I learned to treat dogs and how I want to treat them now. (Likewise children.) Every so often I am surprised by how stark the contrast is.

Yeah, I knew from FB that work had you busy with some unspecified bullshit. I was just poking you with a stick to see if you were still alive.

FYI, having the Roots alongside the Carter Family in one’s last.fm library is awesome.

4: In fact, I’m at work now.