In an attempt of holding on to the past week and long walks along the lake road or hiking a mountain, I headed out for a long walk with just one of my two dogs. She likes to walk faster and our other dog was outside all day "doing" yard work with my husband. I wanted to hold on to my walks and climbs of the past week in New Hampshire and our longer journey might just do that.
We were almost through this small wooden part of our trek when something shiny caught my attention. It was low to the ground and looked a bit glassy but was very dark. I looked again and then saw stripes. I looked again but it was hard to distinguish what I was seeing because the woods were settling in for the night. After several quick short glances, while my dog kept going forward I decided the stripes were brown and black. I then realized there were not only two shiny eyes looking my way from the edge of the path. I counted four sets of eyes and decided there were four raccoon pups looking at me. Now, when I call them pups they were probably teenagers. They were bigger than my hand, maybe the size of a bunny, small cat, or a very small dog.
I wanted to stop and observe. I wanted to know about them and wondered if their Mama was near. I wondered why my dog didn't notice them and kept on walking for a brief moment because then I realized if she did chase them we might be in trouble. What would four raccoon pups do if they were spooked? What would their mother or father do if they thought the pups were in trouble?
As I walked away reluctantly, I thought about my classroom and while we want to capture everything that happens, it might just be unrealistic. It is unrealistic. Maybe there are small moments where one needs to only savor and/or ponder that observation. Maybe students, like these raccoon pups need to explore the world without the notion of someone always watching and jotting things down. Maybe the notebook, electronic device, or photo equipment should/can be laid to rest, a bit more.
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