New House Protocol


First of all, I learned today while finishing up my methods section for my first-year project how to take screenshots on a PC. You just press this nice convenient button on the keyboard and then it copies the image of the whole screen onto the clipboard. Then you have to open up Word and paste the picture into the document to be able to see it. Convenient for how I needed to use it but not convenient if I wanted to use it for anything else. Macs have this capability too, but it requires more buttons (command+shift+3) and I quite like the function that allows me to select which part of the screen I want to capture (command+shift+4).

Second, we’re trying a new obedience training technique. Dezie is bad about jumping up on people, especially when they’re making food that smells good in the kitchen. When we use the oven she tries to get inside, practically. She bounces around like a maniac and we accidentally step on her sometimes because she makes barely any noise. So, the baby gate is going up permanently. The hope is that if we leave it there for several weeks that she will get the idea that she isn’t allowed in the kitchen. Hopefully if we also combine the use of a spray bottle she’ll really get the message. Today was the first day I attempted this new idea while I was making fried rice. She wasn’t happy about it, and sat outside the gate making squeaky toy noises for 45 minutes while I prepped, cooked, ate, and cleaned.

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You can tell she isn’t pleased. She’s so good at bouncing around on her back feet now from trying to get her nose closer to the counters that I half expect her to hop over the gate the next time anyone cooks something that isn’t just vegetables and rice. She will get water sprayed on her nose, but she won’t burn it in the oven or get her feet stepped on by accident!

I also re-learned today that when people already have their minds made up about something that you shouldn’t necessarily try to change their minds. One of my professors wants us to do our second exams differently than we did the first time. He asked us today what we thought about writing the paper “in class” during the final exam time slot instead of at home over an extended period of time like we did for the first exam. We told him that we didn’t necessarily like the idea, but I could tell he didn’t appreciate that we were disagreeing with him. I spent over eight hours writing the exam, and I don’t think my ability to construct a well-thought-out response that includes lots of sources would improve if I had less than half that time and if the sources weren’t in front of me for reference. Anyway, I think we were all frustrated. It would have been easier if he’d just told us that he’d decided we were going to change the format of the exam so we could move on and stop harping on it.

Today especially I am appreciating flexibility. And even though lots of things went wrong today, both logistically (our power went out briefly but inconveniently) or interpersonally (miscommunications), I was determined from the start that today would be a good day. Sometimes to feel empowered you just have to wake up and make it so. And if things try to get you down, find ways to get back up and turn things around. Through resolving my miscommunications I gained clarity and knowledge about the people with whom I’d been talking. Silver linings are important to me, especially if they’re hard to find. I’ve found that if they aren’t immediately apparent they’re sweeter and more welcome when they appear.

Best “silver lining” to complement a long day: freshly washed flannel sheets to fall into at the end of the night.

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