November 18, 2009

Angst, an apple, and puppy love...

Wow...I haven't quite been able to explain how things have been running in Pang recently. Everything is so new, yet so familiar; does anyone know what I mean?

Working overseas was similar in certain ways, but those experiences  were tempered, somehow, by the fact that I wasn't surrounded by anything I understand...everything seems so much more exotic when the language is different. Here, in the Baffin region of Nunavut, Inuktitut is more common than in the western part of the territory, but it's also true to say that it's rare to find someone who doesn't speak English. As someone who has studied sociolinguistics, I can say with complete certainty that any language is subject to regional/cultural influences which would directly affect communication; after all, language and communication are not synonymous.

Just over thirty years ago, my first words were in English, yet when I'm in Pang, sometimes I just feel like I don't understand anything. It's a weird feeling...something like an arm that has gone to sleep: you can see it, it's still there - you can even feel it with your other arm - but it doesn't register in some fundamental way.

That's rather convoluted, I know, but it's just something that's been pinging around in my tired mind recently.

New Subject...

When I got back to class yesterday afternoon, I found a little baggie of seal...a few ribs. One of my students had some extra, so she decided to 'gift it'. That got me to the last three months (yesterday was the official anniversary) I have had various gastronomical delights plopped on my desk: a whole seal, blackberries, seal eyeballs, seal flippers, muktuk, cookies, cheesecake, candy...bunches of stuff. However, in all of these 'teacher gifts', I had not received the traditional  apple. Of course, as a result of this realization, today one of the students brought in a nice, shiny apple to decorate my desk. Saa-weet! Right now I have the afternoon off and I'm enjoying the wonderful world of fresh fruit.

Another Subject...

Keisha is adjusting well to her new living situation, as are Scarlett and Gryphon. Don't get me wrong - Scarlett is still a bit unimpressed - but there seems to be a bit more harmony in the house. Keisha knows she is not allowed on the furniture and Scarlett, to which this rule doesn't apply, relishes that fact. In fact, she regularly takes the opportunity to tease the bigger dog; getting rid of that is my next task.

Gryphon, on the other hand, is entranced with her new playmate. So far Keisha has been quite gentle...she lets the little one bite her, swing off her ears, and tackle her, but it's still quite worrisome; I say this because her main behaviour (after allowing Gryphon jump on her) is to lick him clean (yes, I have to give the chihuahua regular baths now), then proceed to put his head in her mouth. Of course the little skull fits neatly between her teeth, but with just the smallest movement this could be deadly. Not only the time the play session has gotten this far, Gryphon is totally relaxed, keeps his tail wagging, and seems quite content. I have to literally watch them every second.

Is there anyone out there in the blogoshere (cheesy name, I know) who has raised a husky mix with a small dog? I'd love to hear from you :-)


Christa said...

We raised a husky with a kitten! haha. But really we found that he was very very gentle with the cat and she was vicious when she played with him! He would be patient and just swat lightly at her and never once attacked her even when she clawed his nose.

Allmycke said...

Stop fretting!
I've had huskies and a tiny terrier at the same time - they were ever so gentle with her, she was the one who went too far at times.
My present dog was raised in a house where there were two adult males aside from his mother and the rest of the litter.
At the age of 9 weeks my previous dog put his head in the mouth of a Malamute when he yawned... He did the same thing as he was trying to steal a bone from the Malamute - who jumped back as if in horror...
No need to keep a 24/7 watch over the small dogs - they are all in the same pack now and will get along 99% of the time.

Anonymous said...

"here in the Baffin Inuktutuit is more common than in the western part of the territory."

I am not so sure the good folks of Kuglugtuk would agree with you