Quick Chit Chat: Mini-Charla on Change by Chompipe

We just got a cat.

The kids have wanted pets for EVER. We were not that into it. After the fun and fur and hip dysplasia and heartbreak of dog ownership years ago, we said: Never Again. We have 3 kids–that’s enough to love and worry about. But the 3 kids really wanted pets. One year I got them each a carnivorous plant and though these additions to our household had names (as I recall my eldest called their Sundew “John Dewey”) it did not do the trick. Even the betta fish (Alpha Lupin, Howl, and Calcifer) didn’t quite satisfy their vision for bonded companionship. But we held firm on our No Furry Pets policy. Until now.

Some moments of nostalgia for our own childhood pets, some floated suggestions that the act of petting an animal might relieve homework stress, and some other strokes of serendipity brought us to a place of “Maybe.” More to the point, they brought us to the Treehouse Shelter. And we saw him see us right away. He nuzzled the glass of the enclosure and drew us in, he was pretty but not in an obvious way, he was friendly but not frenzied, and he chose us. Then they said his name was Turkey. My 14-year old and I turned to each other, wide-eyed, and blurted: Chompipe!

So we just got a cat.

Since I often work from home, Chompipe and I have spent a lot of time together already. I’ve learned many things about him so far. He is quirky, nimble, fiercely affectionate. He is highly vocal, clear-eyed, concise and dogged in speaking his mind. And he observes everything.

And in his time as my workspace companion he has observed that I have more project ideas than I can possibly undertake, more blog drafts (currently 17!) than published posts, more words and commas and m-dashes and parentheses in each sentence than are remotely necessary (he reminds me: Think of Baldwin! Write a sentence as clean as a bone!), and more willingness to explore rabbit holes than he does. He has also noted my frustration with the plain wrongheadedness in the world and the overwhelming amount of change we need to make happen. So Chompipe has offered his talents to me to do some short pieces as a guest blogger–to get some ideas out there in a mini-charla (he says: Spit it out!) and then see what ideas may emerge. Here’s his first go with a quick bit of chit chat on stuff that he and I agree needs to change…

Mini-Charla on Change by Chompipe: What’s up with schools and the arts?

The arts are our foundation. The arts help us explore our own world and see beyond it. The arts help us find the light. Surrounding ourselves with art can help us live in contentment. Why do humans create schooling systems that treat the arts as “extras” and “specials” instead of integral to our identity and existence? What’s up with that? That should change. ¿No?

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