Saturday, October 3, 2009

Lesson Plan: Teaching a Young Doberwoman How to Swim

More like teaching Ballou that she can swim, but doesn't know it.
Classroom Equipment:

  • tennis balls 
  • water-proof bag of chopped salami
  • fish-net with long handle (optional)
  • water proof scandals for instructor (optional)
Goal: The student will learn she has the capacity to extend her retrieval range in moderate surf so that:

  • She learns that she doesn't have to retreat shoreward or stand on her hind legs with each breaking wave.
  • She learns that she has the option of swimming over or through breakers to retrieve her target.
  • She doesn't have to lose possession of tennis balls or Frisbees which are rightfully hers to every low-life Labrador who thinks the beach belong to him.
Sequence of Objectives:

  1. Learning how to fetch and return. The problem Redoct (Ballou's predecessor) had was that he always wanted to transform any game of catch into a game of keep-away, which reduced effective use of class time.
  2. Conquest of inherent aqua phobia (Are you kidding?????). Dobies are fearless. They love the sea and view breakers only as playful adversaries. Ballou's major, major, major problems are kite-surfers/boarders who distract her into ballistic mode when she is en route to or from class.
  3. Quarter-Monty Swim: basically using only her front legs, with her ass sinking so that her hind legs can achieve an early touch-down. This is uncomfortable to observe. There is much splashing. Eyes of the student are wide open, expressing anxious impatience to reach dry land.
  4. Half-Monty Swim: Use of hind legs for propulsion. At this level, half of the student's body can be seen emerging from the water. There is a dramatic reduction of splashing and an increase of speed through the water.. Student's facial expression reflects concentrated effort.
  5. Full-Monty Swim: Student's chin is barely above water, and her ass is fully visible. Passage through water is phenomenal. Student exudes supreme self-confidence: the sublime knowledge that she can beat any other beach canine to her property, be it contested on the sand or in the brine.
Allocation Classtime Activity:

  • 45 minutes of drill and practice
  • 15 minutes of free, off the leash romping on beach.
Schedule of Classes: as weather and kite-boarders permit.

Student Evaluation:

At mid-term, Catherine Ballou is only a Half-Monty swimmer. But she has already proven herself to be a willing and demanding student.

1 comment:

  1. Your student goals can be aptly applied as 'lessons for life'.... at least I think so... enjoyed this post Vig!