Monday, August 31, 2015

Patterning

My students are never sure what to think when I compare them to Barley and I have to remind them that Barley is one of my two very favorite things in the entire world.

Someone wouldn't want to be compared to me?

Barley patterns very well. Barley's a quick learner and once she's done something once, she's can usually do it again. This is nice if we are running the same course a couple times in class, but not as nice when our trainer has us practice a trap--like discrimination between a tunnel and the dog walk--and then has us do the other obstacle on our next turn. That means I have to work that much harder to make sure she does it right the second time--and even if I give the right cues, she's so certain that she's right and I'm wrong, she often will take the obstacle we're supposed to be avoiding.

The new semester started today and I learned that my students also pattern very well. For the last several years, I've been in the same class (my favorite on campus) for every single class. Even though I have an office and office hours, my students know that I usually teach my classes back to back and if they have a quick question between classes, there's a good chance I'll be in that room setting up for the next class. This semester, 3 of my 4 face-to-face classes are in that room. The one that is not is full of students that I have had in previous semesters--in my regular room.

When I got to class this morning, the room was almost empty. Knowing these students well, I knew it was unlike them to miss class, especially the first class. A few minutes after I started handing out the syllabus, a large group of them came in together. They'd all gone up to "my" room and weren't sure what to do when they realized it wasn't me in the classroom.

After class finished, one of my most reliable students walked in as I was packing up my books. She said, "I went upstairs and sat down. I knew I wasn't in the right place because I know what you look like and I knew that wasn't you, but I just didn't know where to go, so I sat there."

I had to laugh. All of their schedules had the correct room number printed on the schedule, but they were so sure they knew where to find me, they had to check the other room first. We went on to have a great first class and I think we're all going to adjust just fine to the new room.

Barley, on the other hand, had a tougher time with the adjustments to our schedule. When I got home, she just followed me around and when I stopped, she'd sit and stare at me. By the time I put on my workout clothes, I thought she was going to just have a meltdown. So we snuggled up in bed and took a nap instead. Send my girl so good vibes as she adjusts to our new routine this week!




10 comments:

  1. Love the photo with you snuggling with Barley. Nothing better than a snuggle with a border collie (or in my case two!).

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  2. Love the photo with you snuggling with Barley. Nothing better than a snuggle with a border collie (or in my case two!).

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  3. Who wouldn't want to be compared with such an obviously brilliant and adorable dog?

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    1. That's exactly what Barley thinks :)

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  4. My dogs are pretty good at adjusting to routine changes, and I bet Barley has already adjusted!
    I had to laugh because I am always drawing comparisons between dogs and kids. I have to hold back saying things sometimes when visiting our grandkids, so my stepson and his wife don't take offense to me always comparing the boys to dogs!
    Jan, Wag n Woof Pets

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    1. She's getting more used to the routine, but while I was doing dishes, I did find her on her dog bed with an empty container of cheez-its that had been full when I filled up the sink! I have to try hard not to constantly tell my students they're like Barley, too. This happened to be a similarity I just thought instead of actually saying to them ;)

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  5. Aw, sweet Barley! I'm sure she'll adjust to the new routine soon.

    Nala (and I) are really similar in our patterning tendencies. This week in Rally class, we were supposed to back up and have Nala sit in "front" position three times. Nala was quite sure that I was signifying that I wanted her to play with me, and kept jumping into my space and bunting against my legs. Our trainer wasn't impressed, but I was actually thrilled--it took Nala a long time to get comfortable enough in class to play! And it won't be too hard to clean up that cue at home (right? probably? hopefully).
    Also, next time I put an empty chip bag back in the pantry and my partner makes fun of me, I'm going to tell him that I'm just skilled at patterning. ;)

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    1. Yay! I'm glad she's warmed up enough to play in class :) I'm sure that with a little work at home, she'll get that down in no time.

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  6. Ha, that's funny - let's hope they can find you for the next class.

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