Last Friday, I learned there was a secret club on campus. It grows in numbers regularly, and its members are doing something quite foreign to me.
Just because it is novel to me does not make their activities anything less than unquestionably awesome.
They have free range chickens.
This is not about free range chickens.
What is awesome is that there is a secret group of people on campus who collect lines of chickens from all over the world, who have a chicken of french ancestry and have their children speak to it in french. They also have a chicken of polish origins with a mohawk.
This group is observing chicken social behaviour, and I found it amazing to learn that chickens have a very complex social hierarchy and lifestyle. Chickens have their own language, and it can be understood.
When laying an egg, hens have a song, and they expect a rooster to sing a reply. In a word, chickens are social. Call and response. Code and counter code. Fascinating!
For me, last week was a long week. The tenth week to me is often rough.
Learning that there was a group of secret crusaders about our campus, serving as some sort of faithful stewards to chickens of ancient lineage, and learning of chicken ways with as much attention to detail as any BBC Nature documentarians brought me a great deal of comfort.
Because it might seem like these employees are just working with chickens. Nothing could be further from the truth. They’re asking questions, watching and learning, creating conjectures, and arriving at conclusions after cautious experimentation.
It is a passion and thirst for learning that these folks are sharing with our students. It is the excitement of trying something new. It is bold, new, exciting, and was just the inspiration I needed. So I thought you ought to know too. The next time you pass a colleague in the hallway, ask yourself if they have a secret. Ask yourself if there’s more about them than might meet the eye.
It is alright to have a long week. Perhaps you’ve had one too? All the same, this is a brand new week, and it is filled with endless possibilities.