The Heart & Science of Learning: A tale of two rabbits

Posted by Glynn Below - 15 August, 2016

Art room bunny, Mr. Pants

Dear Darryl,

I am secretly glad to see the students return to the classroom. Imagine my relief to learn that I am not the only rabbit at Randolph School. I hope that you will not mind my taking the liberty of writing to you directly, as one rabbit to another. While I do not lack human companionship, I am isolated as the lone Sylvilagus on the Garth Campus. You and I share a unique vantage point as we observe the human kittens come and go.

About myself, I am a Havana bunny who lives with art teacher Kimberly Reyes. I prefer solitude, but I am secretly glad to see the students return to the classroom at the end of the summer break. They bring treats and joie de vivre and offer frequent backrubs.

Mr. Pants gets a stawberry from a studentThey are always eager to curl up by the cage and chat about their current drama - Homecoming or prom date selections, the topic for an I-Search project, parent or teacher relationship woes. Fireworks are really flying these days about politics! I love to hear them get all worked up!  Sometimes they talk to each other in a foreign language – which for me is anything other than bunny-talk, but for them is French or Spanish!

There’s a reason that my classroom is never empty. These students feel safe and free to express opinions, dive into difficult conversations and brainstorm their latest academic complication. When I asked Mrs. Reyes why many of her students return year after year, she told me that they love taking art. Did you know that 86% of our Upper School students take art electives above the graduation requirements? The School believes that you’re a better math student or essay writer, whatever these things are, if you have the creative juices flowing in art.  And I thought some of them were just taking a long time to finish their projects.

Tell me a little about yourself and what it is like to live in the midst of the smaller people.

Yours,
Mr. Pants

Dear Mr. Pants,

Darryl, the Lower School science lab rabbitBoy oy oh boy, it sure was a treat to get your letter, which I read and then promptly ate. I love being at Randolph School! I am white giant rabbit. I was rescued by Kelley Wolfe and I live in the science lab with a lot of other animals. I am glad to know about another rabbit at Randolph.

I am not really sure what art is, but I hear students talking about art and Mr. Howse. 

Mrs. Wolfe rocks.  She has so many fun animal friends who keep me company and we have conversations about food, poop, and the inevitable circle of life. Sometimes Mrs. Wolfe actually conducts pet funerals on occasion. I think that I will live forever, but if something ever happens to me I know that Mrs. Wolfe will do a great job of helping the children with their feelings.

Every now and then, a student will come talk to me about a problem they’re having and want to share with someone.  They run in the door first thing in the morning to help care for us so I totally get what you mean about the joie de vivre – you wouldn’t think that a Lower School rabbit would know French, but I do, because the little humans are learning those languages here, too.
What I like about the science lab is that I get to watch all these cool experiments.

I will tell you a funny story. One time, the class was working when a boy called Patton found out what happens when you put the lid on a pink foam exothermic reaction experiment. EXPLOSION!  Pink foam everywhere – I was cleaning my cage for a month after that.  All for now.

Your pal,
Darryl

 

IMG_2763 Mrs. Reyes and Mr. Pants

 

A few notes about this post from the Editor. First of all, this is the first time we have ever used the word "poop" in a Randolph publication, but it's a valid component of a Lower School science program, and lesson demonstrated well by class pets. Second of all, rabbits are notoriously difficult to interview, so our thanks to Mrs. Wolfe and Mrs. Reyes for encouraging them to write to each other, and Ms. Below for having the inspired idea that they should tell their stories, which she and Ms. Moore helped them with. Class pets have a unique and valuable perspective on the Randolph experience, but they can be insecure authors. Also, Darryl and Mr. Pants are rescues, from Huntsville Animal Services and Friends of Rabbits, and we appreciate the good work these organizations do in our community.

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Topics: Academics, Admissions, art, class pets, friends, Lower School, My favorite place, science, Upper School


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