Tag Archives: classroom

The squirrel whisperer

Students in my college courses can attest to my habit of using unusual examples to illustrate concepts during class.  One of my favorites?


It began innocently enough.  A student asked a question, and as I was trying to think of a good analogy, I spied a squirrel outside the classroom window.

So I went there.

And I liked where it went.  Now future classes have heard me use the squirrel in various analogies ever since.  Yes, they give me strange looks at first.  But they eventually come around…or, I like to think so.


Not actual robosquirrel used (but wouldn’t it be awesome??)

Which is why I greeted the story of the ‘robosquirrel,’ a biology project at San Diego State University focused on predator/prey interaction, with much affection.

I know it has gained national attention because of its $325,000 price tag, and its funding from the National Science Foundation, and ultimately, taxpayer dollars.

I’m not here to debate all that.

I just want to say, to any of my former students who may be reading this blog…

SEE???  Squirrel stories work.

They really do.

Listen to your inner voice

Today the sun was shining bright in Singapore. I could see it from the windows of my classroom, where I was teaching all day.

My timing, as always, is excellent.

I could also see this beautiful patch of green.

green space singapore













It covered one of the underground garage entrances, and was a welcome break in the glass and cement office park.

You see the stairs leading to the grass?  I wondered if people actually used them…perhaps sit in the sun on days that are a little less tropical.

So I asked.

Apparently Singapore always has weather like this. No cooler season that drops the temps below even 80 degrees.  That’s when I knew — I could never live in this island paradise.

(My hair told me so.)

Lost and found

There is a well-known Native American proverb that says:

“Don’t judge any man until you have walked two moons in his moccasins.”

I’m not judging — I’m just wondering who is walking around in mine.

You see, last Saturday — like a typical city dweller — I wore flip flops to walk to Boston University and quickly changed into pumps before class began.  Once I was finished teaching for the day, I rushed out to catch my ride back to NYC.

My flip flops?  They lie forgotten…alone in the empty, dark classroom.

Now, the janitor may have seen them later and thrown them away.  Or some cash-strapped student could have picked them up the next day and thought — “Hey, free flip flops!  Score!”

Who knows what adventures my beloved brown havaianas have begun?

Me?  I’m going shopping today.  I need new flip flops.

Hissy fit

I had an unexpected visitor at the back of my classroom yesterday afternoon…

He was just inside the doorway.  Watching.  Waiting.

I personally think — with the nasty lisp he was sporting — that the guy just wanted some one-on-one coaching in presentation skills.

But building security came, caught him with one of those fancy loops you see on wildlife shows, and made him go back outside.

A clear case of snake discrimination.