I have collected countless stories throughout my three years at the University of Delaware, but I know that some of the best will be from the time my roommates and I lived with our adorable dog, Nico. Nico, a lanky old English Pointer, has a snaggle tooth and mismatched ears. A disciplined former hunting dog, he spends most of his time sitting by our sides, looking very distinguished. He is very smart, and always holds an expression that convinces you that he knows what’s going on. Whether he is giving us an excuse to step out of the house a few times a day for a walk, or making an odd sound here and there to break a long silence–we like to call him our resident foley artist–he has brought great value to our lives.
Having a dog around has also made me think about what his perspective is of the University of Delaware, and of the Honors College. Nico has been living with three Honors STEM students for a year. He has sat at our feet through countless lectures and has developed a sort of routine around our lifestyles. When he sees any of us sitting in front of a laptop, he joins us. He is a hidden member of a number of chemistry and math classes at the University of Delaware. I am convinced he knows more quantum mechanics than I do and more about the stock market than my roommate.
He is a good student too, except on rare occasions when he makes a loud sound or jumps into view, which is always followed by a series of “Puppy!” and “Look at him!” by everyone else in the class. We could learn from him in this way: Nico approaches school with attentiveness and patience. He sits well in classes and gives the appearance that he is intently listening. Nico serves as a reminder to be a model student.
Aside from his diligent attendance in class, he tries to involve himself in all other aspects of student life. He has spent days outside while we studied and worked and walked all across campus, seeing as much of the school as a typical university student. The not-so-good days are the ones where walks lead us past his arch-enemy: the vent across the street from Colburn. It breathes a very threatening fog, and Nico finds it quite intimidating. But his favorite day on campus was likely one where it was windy and CR was serving fries. After a student lost hold of their tray of fries, Nico had a free-for-all trying to eat them up! Here, we can take another page from Nico’s book, to enjoy our campus for the small things. He loves the people on campus, and the nature surrounding our Jeffersonian-style buildings. We could all take time to appreciate campus in the same way.
Overall, I think that Nico’s college adventure can bring a unique perspective of our day-to-day lives at the University. We agree that walks, hikes, and fun with friends are all enjoyable, and while we may disagree with Nico on the trips to Main Street and the walks past Colburn, it has been a joy to have him along for the ride.