One bright spot in the bleak Zoom landscape of online school is the appearance of a dog or cat (or bearded dragon?) wandering through the frame. We asked professors to sit down for a chat with their pets to see what life is like with their human companions home with them all day.
Messy Winkelman, c/o Daniel Groll, Philosophy
“You know dudes [Ed: he says “dudes” a lot. We don’t know where he picked it up. We’re trying to get him to stop], it’s been super good. They know I’m the dude in charge so I get to be the big boss even more. I call myself “The big boss in a little body.” Except when Nice Lady #1 Who’s Very Tall [Ed: that’s what he calls Emily, my wife] is around, then I’m the Assistant Regional Manager [Ed: Assistant to the regional manager]. The only thing I’m not a big fan of is the big dude who’s home all day [Ed: that would be me]. He just sings stupid songs about me all the time [Ed: they’re actually awesome]. It needs to stop [Ed: It won’t].”
Jane and Louise, c/o Andy Poppick, Statistics
Andy: Tell me how things have been going lately.
Jane: I has routine thees dais. Lawts ov frenz 2 c. Liek mostly Brigit an Andy lot but also mah frend teh window skewrl an sometimez I git 2 say oh hai 2 mah frend the houz sentipede 2. I also got 2 chase sum snowflakez resently! Sometimez I say oh hai 2 teh mirror kitteh. An I git 2 say oh hai 2 the computr screen peeps 2. I git 2 say oh hai lot thees dais!
Louise: I have also found a lot to enjoy about my daily routine recently. I can talk to Andy whenever I want, even though sometimes he talks to his computer instead of to me, and there is also much more time lately to play with my favorite shoelace. It’s true that sometimes I complain, like when Jane tries to say hello to me, but when I put things into perspective, I have to admit that things have been pretty good for me recently.
Andy: Have you taken up any new hobbies?
Jane: I has new blanket!
Louise: I was enjoying cozytime on that blanket.
Andy: Any final words of wisdom?
Jane: Meep. Yoo r mah frend now? Hai.
Louise: Keep your friends sort of close but also not always so close, your shoelaces closer, and your frenemies away from your favorite blanket.
Bandido, c/o Gisel Flores Montoya, Psychology
Gisel: So, how has life been for you these days?
Bandido: Well, you know… life is good overall these days. I get to rest a lot, you spend a lot of time at home and play with me when available. I also like that we go on walks that are surprising everyday. For example, sometimes I see some squirrels around and I try to chase them and other days I am surprised with the sudden weather changes in Minnesota like snowing in October, I love playing in the snow!
Gisel: Great, so it sounds that for the most part you are having a pleasant and happy life!
Gisel: Health psychology is relevant for our daily lives specially these days that our health behaviors are key for protecting us from viral infections. But I see what you are saying I’ll try to schedule more play time during the week so that we are both happier and healthier and our immune systems are stronger!
Bandido: Great, I am looking forward to that!
Bandido: Well… not exactly.. see I am very happy that you take good care of me, that I eat good food, and that we go out for a walk once in a while.. but to be honest I could take more play time. I have seen you spend so many hours in front of a computer and talking directly to the screen. I am not sure exactly what you are doing there all day long. I do hear a lot of words like “health” and “psychology” but I am still unsure about the relevance of that.
Mr.sneky and Baron Tweedmouth, c/o Anna Moltchanova, Philosophy
Mr.sneky was born at Carleton. Because he was too normal he wasn’t needed for gene research, and I took him in. He is very curious and a talented artist, making fine body shapes and rearranging his belongings. He is a commoner compared to his younger pet-sibling, Baron Tweedmouth, a bearded dragon. I got the Baron in Aquatic Pets because—then a baby dragon—he was sadly sitting in blue-colored sand turning blue. He likes the concerts of his private cricket orchestra, not eating all of them at once, and, as his household poet, I dedicated one poem to his food (printed on the sidewalk near Watson now). Mr.sneky can wrap around my arm, and the Baron would sit still for about a minute on my shoulder, but otherwise they are not very cuddly. They are wonderful pets nonetheless, and not only because I am allergic to anything with fur.