Arf. Hola amigos. My name is Clodie and you all probably know me by sight. I’m the little dog with the peace jacket and I walk around campus all day, patrolling for new smells and chasing squeakers into trees.
I also sit in class with my best friend, the tall and handsome and humble guy who talks too much. He really likes all the philosophy and theology stuff, but I –La Chihuahua– am a Mexican-American, and alas I cannot understand your big gringo words. ¡Ay! What I wouldn’t give to be an American college student, (tall enough to reach the treats on the counter)!
As you might know from psychology class, dogs are very well attuned to conditioned response cues that are associated with events, like Pavlov’s dogs. I, for instance, just can’t stand cowbells. Yarararf! Or when Tom Millary starts looking scary at the Gonzo theater.
Or when Tom Millary looks scary period. But more subtly, when y’all start packing up your things at the end of class, I hear books closing and zippers zipping and things moving around. That’s when I know it is time to go outside, maybe do some business, maybe chase a squeaker, and sniff some things.
I get excited, wouldn’t you? (Unless it’s raining. Eee-eee-eee. I hate rain.) But I noticed that sometimes some of you start getting ready, zipping, packing, before class is even over. This I do not understand. ¿Como?
The big gringo man at the blackboard is not yet finished talking. Aren’t you all paying lots and lots of pesos to listen to the big gringo man?
If I start getting antsy before class is over, I get in trouble. (I hate being in trouble.) But even more importantly, is the big gringo man (with his big gringo words) so boring that you decide to tune him out the last cinco minutos of class?
I may not be one of you, but it seems disrespectful to *El Jefe* to just phase out and start thinking about other things while class is just finishing. Often, the whole point of the lecture is contained in the last few moments. You wouldn’t want to miss anything, right? If I were a student and not a dog, I would want to soak up every last second of learning.
That is the American Dream, right? I know this is not all of you.
Nor is it consistently the same people. Perhaps what is making me puzzled is just why. My best friend (*el Guapo*) was in the war and that is why he has me, (*La Chihuahua*), and that is how he is able to afford to sit in your classes.
Certainly he must have gone through hell to be in school with you. It probably hurts his feelings that some of you sometimes don’t even think about the wasted time and privilege you are enjoying.
Can someone explain this to me? Oh, and thanks for saying Hola when you see me! I also accept treats. yyyArf!
*Clodie Morena Knappenberger is ten pounds and one year old. This makes her the youngest visiting scholar at EMU. She also ran unsuccessfully for the Presidency on the Republican ticket, and was only rejected because of her undocumented status
Clodie Morena Knapenberger (Evan Knappenberger)