The Big Fresh October 13, 2018 Raccoon
The raccoon problem is under control. They have their part of town and we have ours.
The raccoon had likely begun its climb in search of food, probably pigeon eggs. After reaching a certain height, the raccoon found itself in a pickle, too high to climb back down safely. So, it did what instinct compelled it to do: continued to climb upward.
Within a short time, people took notice of this raccoon scaling a skyscraper. In fact, it did not take long for someone to create a Twitter handle for the creature: @TheStPaulRacco1. Others started tweeting with the hashtag: #mprraccoon, naming it after the building it initially began climbing. Many tweeted hopes for a safe climb. Some even started to campaign for a safe rescue. It was clear that everyone was rooting for the raccoon.
With all of the attention, the raccoon (who could have otherwise made it to the top of the building to find no source of food or water) was given a hero’s welcome. A cage for its safe relocation was placed on the roof, complete with an ample supply of food and water. Fans who were following its story would settle for nothing less than the happy ending of the raccoon’s healthy release into a wild area.
Now, months later, you can even find your own #mprraccoon swag in the form of t-shirts and coffee mugs. People continue to celebrate the thrill of the raccoon’s successful climb and rescue.
I came across this story while it was still unfolding. I was charmed by the seemingly fearless raccoon and the swell of goodwill it inspired.
I thought about the way this raccoon had gotten itself into trouble by acting out of need and instinct, unable to foresee the consequences of its actions.
I thought about how it had seemed fearless, but was probably acting out of that very emotion -- driven upward by the fear it seemed to be defying.
I thought about the way people had rallied in support of the raccoon’s journey, despite how it had ended up in the situation.
I thought about the way people had arranged to rescue this troubled raccoon by providing for its basic needs.
I thought about how even after its journey was over, it has continued to receive the admiration of countless people.
Finally, I thought about how many students I know who are like this gritty, wily raccoon, and I felt a swell of goodwill.
Every student deserves a hero’s welcome. Even the ones who climb into danger--driven by need, instinct, or fear.
Especially those students.
This week we look at creative takes on learning words. Plus more as always -- enjoy!
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Gretchen Schroeder's high school students are surprised to see a deck of cards on their supply list. The cards are a tool for teaching the vocabulary of tone in creative ways:
That's all for this week!
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