Wordsanctuary Revisited

Musings of a writer-teacher-counselor.

My Photo
Location: Cleveland, Ohio, United States

I am inquisitive and have worked in writing, editing, and teaching. I am a citizen of the USA and also concerned about the world. This is an addendum to my original blog, Wordsanctuary. That's at www.wordsanctuary.blogspot.com Please check out my column at www.insidehighered.com, "A Kinder Campus." Click on Career Advice to find it. Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, May 31, 2010

International Canine University

“Every dog has its college.”

The search is on – for a college or university that is right for you. And it’s not an easy task. You don’t want rigorous academics. You don’t want petty rules and regulations. You want two square meals a day, lots of snacks, room to run, and a few chances to do tricks for grateful spectators.

If this sounds like you, read on.

You will say “Wow!” and maybe even “Bow!” when you discover our nonsectarian, nondogmatic, unaccredited institution, International Canine University.

In a doggy-dog world, it’s the degree that makes the most of your natural talents that will either set you apart or make you run dizzily with the pack.

At ICU, you don’t need to make that choice.

We prepare you for all the challenges of the future right here in our comfy-cozy kampus kennel!

Our Spacious Campus:

…in the middle of nowhere is just the place for you to run, breathe, wag your tail, and sniff other dogs in an atmosphere of peace and collegiality. Our 8-million-acre campus is a canvas on which you can dig and do whatever else you want—alone or in packs.

An invisible fence along the perimeter will reassure your owners that you don’t stray too far. This is an idea that has not yet caught on at other colleges; at ICU, we pride ourselves on innovation, doggone it.

If you are a trailblazer or a garden digger, join us!

Our Degree Programs:

…are carefully designed for a future that will be waiting when you finally graduate. No more worries about “Will there be a job for me?” Of course there will!

• Human therapy (believe me, they need it!)

• Culinary arts (how to eat)

• Conservation of waste (eco-friendly)

• Violence and aggression (stopping them)

• Conservatory of howling (in a troubled world, the arts unleash the human spirit)

Unity in Diversity:

Too long have animals been divided when they have so much in common. Our special “Dogs Are From Venus, Cats Are From Mars” scholar in residence, Ms. Felicia Feline, on leave from the St. Felix Tigress Academy, will draw you close while keeping you at a distance and help you understand what goes on in the mind, tail, and claws of someone with different origins. Meow! (Or was that, “Grrrr”?). In today’s world, you will need to get along with others.

Special Award Opportunities:

Thanks to a generous gift from The Baskerville Family Foundation, an incoming freshman capable of sustained howling will be eligible for a full scholarship and the opportunity to lead the campus in the traditional first day invocation. The Baskerville scholar is a tradition begun in the year of our founding (2010).

If public service is your forte, consider applying for the Toto award, given to the canine most likely to bite for a good cause.

Like to dress up fancy? Our Wishbone grant will recognize your flair with a comfortable stipend and a pat on the head.

Fond of search and rescue? The Lassie award recognizes the applicant who can run for prolonged periods in response to a vague sense of unease, tilt her/his head, and make whining sounds that elicit immediate response from humans.

Athletic Programs:

…are mandatory at ICU. Under the direction of our coach, Mr. Pit Bull, you will stay en pointe, so to speak! We offer running, jogging, sprinting, jumping, swimming, and anything else that can be done on four legs. Seasonal specialties such as golf, catch, croquet, fetch, and frisbee keep you from getting too husky. You won’t be (or eat) a couch potato at ICU! Go Bulldogs!

Financial Aid:

Completion of the F.L.U.F.F.S.A. Financial Aid Eligibility form by 1/1/11 for admission in Fall 2011 is required. Don’t let financial concerns stop you. The F.L.U.F.F.S.A. ensures that “every dog has its college.”

Admissions Requirements:

• Spayed or neutered

• Current shots (the healthy kind)

• Certificate of health signed by vet

• Three rufferences

Early Admission Decision (additional requirement):

• Evidence of chewing up the application.

This suggests that the candidate is eager to come in or go out – or both.

Degrees Offered:

Barkalaureate (B.A.)

Master of Paws (M.P.A.)

Master of Digging (M.D.)

Dogtorate (Ph.D.)

Where does your tuition dollar go? (In descending order.)

• Beef

• Chicken

• Pork

• Fish

• Hot dogs

• Peanut butter

• Dog biscuits

• Other treats

• Water

• Flea repellent

• Administrators

• Landscaping

• Faculty

Our faculty are loyal to a fault. Thus, they are a perfect match for our warm and fuzzy student bodies! Ninety percent have the terminal degree in their fields, which means absolutely nothing to our student bodies. Just by laying on the praise, our teachers get the results they want, you beg for, and today’s employers demand.

A 4.00/4.00 GPA (Growl-Paw Allotment) is guaranteed. That’s one point for each leg. Dig it!

Academic Probation:

O.K., we lied. You can get in trouble at ICU. If you don’t come to meals or when called, there are consequences. But don’t worry; we are humane. If your GPA falls below 4.00 you will be retrained with a clicker reward system. Now that’s a good dog!


There was no dry eye in the house when 200 members of the class of 2010 (on the 9-month quickie pilot program) tore off their commencement caps and gowns in what we hope will become an annual tradition.


Alpha Alpha Alpha

For dominant dogs who want to rise to the top.

In the News:

The highly publicized plagiarism case that rocked our campus has been resolved to the satisfaction of dogs and administrators alike. The offending dog fessed up to impersonating the bark of another dog in a mid-semester melee.

Alma Mater (to be sung to the tune of “Bingo”)

Sons and daughters
Of all canines
‘Neath your doghouses we rest!
We will pledge devout allegiance
And will strive to eat our best.
We will dig for hidden treasure;
We will beg for human love.
Alma mater:
Hear our barking,
Which rings out to you above!
Alma mater:
Hear our barking,
Which rings out to you above!

Bored with Trustees? Not these!
Ms. Bess Corgi
Dr. Laubra Dohr
Dr. Clifford R. Edog
Ms. Terri Err
Dr. D.O. Good

Mr. Wolf Hound
Mr. Steven Kennell
Dr. Dollie Matian
Mr. F. Rench-Poodle
Mr. Jack Russell
Ms. Britney Spaniel
Dr. Dyss Temper
Dr. Doc Zund

Our 13-member board is assembled with you in mind. They stand behind, on, under, between, and next to our motto, “E pluribus puppies.” (Let there be many dogs.)

Endowed Chair for the Study of Humans:

In difficult economic times, the generosity of donors provides the margin of excellence needed to keep ICU running smoothly. If you ever wondered just what an endowed chair looks like, so do we.
Our President:

Dr. Rex Fido, known by students as “faithful friend,” remains committed to ushering ICU into the 21st century. And he’d better remain committed because you don’t want him running around outside the campus grounds.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

A Walking Doll Waking: Summer Project

I am going to try to get my once-favorite Walking Doll fixed. Every one of her limbs is hanging loose. She is wrapped in two bandannas on my bed at this moment.This once-stunning doll still cries and shows the careful manufacturing of a day gone by. Her eyes are still luminous. Toys in childhood carry so many of our dreams and so much of our imagination. What happens if we revisit them? I give this as a journal writing prompt from time to time. It's a welcome relief for college students and for senior citizen writers as well. It's somehow very natural to rewind the mental clock and remember those hours of concerted play.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A golden oldie from my other blog, Wordsanctuary

Click here for my musing on academic blogging. I was a new blogger then. Just where do the years fly? Maybe the hummingbird pictured knows.

Not child's play but women's work

"Adjunct Barbie," in second person, was a departure. Although there were few posted comments, I did hear from others privately. I hope that it might be a gentle call to action.

Out of School and Back to Blogging

It was an exciting term with so much to do. I am barely catching my breath. This winter in Cleveland seemed to drag a bit. I was able to write while tutoring and teaching, and I'm very grateful that a number of these essays and articles saw publication. Here are three, for the curious:

"Words to Live By"
"Spice Up Retirement"
"Afterglow From the MLA"

I love to teach, but writing recharges me in a private, creative way. Each project completed -- with its movement up, down, sideways, forwards, and back -- gives me another "case study" I could use some time in class.

But, even if I don't, it allows me to work in tandem with students--a parallel process, even if they don't know about it. I can remember the copy negotiations, the work to get an audience to understand, the struggle to capture ideas into words.

A moment or two of wonder goes a long way, also.

As a writer, I work with my hands. Right before Mother's Day, I got to pick up something truly amazing and a bit sad to watch, a fledgling robin that had broken a wing and was tossed from its nest after some fierce winds in Cleveland. It is recuperating at Penitentiary Glen in Kirtland, a wonderful place for birds and for people.