As you might have guessed from our recent silence, school is back in session. Papers are coming in. Lessons need to planned. My inbox is never empty. No matter how short our break is, I always seem to forget how exhausting teaching is and all I want to do for the first two weeks is nap.
The beginning of the semester had a little extra excitement this time because I got to kick off a new program on campus by bringing Barley with me! I work with our student government group and their main goal on campus is to build relationships between students, faculty, and administration. This semester, we started inviting faculty to give informal talks about their hobbies, interests, and research by the fireplace in our lounge area. As an advisor for student government, I got drafted to do the first chat and the dean gave me permission to bring Barley along to talk about life lessons we've learned from training and then to do a little noseworks demonstration.
We walk on campus fairly regularly when the weather is nice, so Barley was familiar with the location, but when we got to the doors to go in the building, she could hardly believe that she was actually going inside. She's used to walking over to the library and putting books in the book drop, but that's as close to getting into a building as she's gotten.
We went to my office so she'd have a chance to relax a little bit before her big moment. A couple people were on my hall, so they stopped to chat and pet her. She also got very excited about exploring my tiny office--especially when she realized that every available surface was covered in pictures of her. (Don't tell Rye that there aren't pictures of her in my office yet--I've printed some, but I have to get some frames still!)
We did a little bit of focus work and a little recall work in my office before making our way down to the lounge to spread out her mat and put down some boxes for our demonstration.
The students were so excited to see her--and Barley was equally excited to soak up all of the attention. Everyone wanted to pet her and she was more than willing to oblige. We spent about 25 minutes talking about the lessons we've learned that students might apply to their own lives: break tasks down into smaller pieces, reward yourself and celebrate small successes, don't compare yourself to anyone else, failure is ok. Then it was time to show how all of our training added up to success--and Barley decided it might be more fun to demonstrate that failure is ok!
We had three boxes set up with Birch scent in one of them and Barley was not interested in sniffing the boxes at all. She was a little warm from the fireplace being on, she was excited about the new location and all of the attention, and the cafeteria wasn't too far away and the scent of French Fries was wafting through the air. The boxes were the last thing she wanted to explore. We also had a little tin with Clove in it that I set on one of the tables near the students and she did cooperate with sniffing for that one and gave me a chance to talk about how scent travels since she sniffed a few different parts of the table before locking onto the tin.
She had a chance to get a little more love from students before we went back to my office and got ready to head home. While I set a few emails, she flopped down by my desk and fell asleep. The rest of the day she was more than happy to nap. I think she appreciates just how tiring going to work. Now if she could just pass on the message that going to school is exhausting to Rye . . .