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.
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 thinking...in 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.
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 that...by 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 :-)