Like many approaching middle-agers and digital immigrants, I'm new to the blogging world. I read blogs; I comment on blogs; I like blogs--I even know that "blog" is shorthand for web log, so there ya go.
While I hope to post about a range of topics, and hopefully focus in on issues of teaching and social justice, this first blog post is dedicated to my dog, Buster.
Buster is a rescue dog--and his issues run deep.
I used to be annoyed at those bumper stickers people had regarding their rescue pets, the ones that read: Who rescued who? Mostly, I was annoyed because I went back and forth between whether the object of the verb should be "who" or "whom." But then when I came to the surface and got over my pretension, I thought of Buster.
Buster doesn't care about the who/whom debate (most of my students don't either). And when it comes to the notion that a pet can rescue his/her/their owner as much as an owner can rescue his/her/their pet, I find that kind of tender and sweet. And Buster is a dog who needs tender and sweet (so do I).
Buster has every issue you can imagine: compromised vocal chords (most likely from a botched de-barking episode); food allergies; former abuse; fear aggression; bad breath; phobia of air, barometric pressure changes, and houseflies. It's hard to be Buster.
And this is why I love him. Despite every type of setback imaginable, Buster is unabashedly Buster. He teaches me a lot about authenticity, even when it's not so easy. And while I'm not apt to lunge at someone for petting me, and while I may not hide in the fireplace when a housefly is buzzing about, I know that Buster's authentic response to the world is something I strive for, too.
In the midst of global turmoil and homegrown racism, we need more Busters in the world: those who are ready to lunge at the problems we face and strike them head on. And perhaps our fears will become a source of empowerment that propels us to keep fighting the good fights.