Geese were back in my neighborhood this morning, making noise in the backyard like they’re delighted to be here. To refer to them properly, I took a moment to look up the information and found the following:
A flock of geese is a generic term that describes a group of geese that is in any physical location. A gaggle of geese describes a flock of geese that is located on the ground or in any body of water. A skein of geese describes a flock of geese as they fly through the air (reference.com).
How fascinating that they need three words to introduce themselves!
A number of geese species mate for life, as discussed by Stuart at Fauna Facts. Stuart explains that the species who follow this pattern find it advantageous to stay together in order to protect their offspring (goslings). Equally fascinating, these families stay together as a unit for two to three years until it’s time for the males to create families of their own.
Couples like these produce great love stories, such as the one about Juliet, the female geese whose mate was run over by a car. For months, Juliet remained at the spot where he died, not even migrating with her flock, until finally rescued by an aviary staff. Similarly, Donate at Ducks and Clucks tells a touching story about Joey the gander who loved raising orphaned ducks and goslings. Then there’s also Joanna Lucas’ startling story of The Goose Formerly Known as Lucifer, about a “rescue goose” which befriended a threesome of a gander and two females but kept all other beings at a hostile distance.
LEARNING FROM THE GEESE
Currently I’m preparing to go back to school, or, rather, reconnecting with my educator roots. In the process, I’m very much having to learn all over because the students this time will be adult learners for whom English is a second or foreign language. As I prep for these students, I’m stunned at the thought of what they have to learn, the sheer volume of what’s involved in using English well. This is going to be a major learning experience for me as well as for them.
Given this interest and my concern for my students, Lessons from the Geese: Inspiring Story About Leadership is exactly what I need right now. The story explains that “By flying in a V formation, the whole flock adds 71% more flying range than if each bird flew alone.” Being retarded in math, I can’t even begin to paraphrase that into distance, but I do know that 70 percent of anything is a bunch.
Think how much my upcoming students will benefit if I’m able to bring that much more teaching and learning into the classroom. They’re already eager to learn, so I’m willing to believe that they’ll be able to learn that much faster if I can bring a V formation effect into the learning environment. Something like that is worth striving for, whether through more effort or otherwise.