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Tolerance toward courtyard geese diminishes

Pat Foley

Pat Foley

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The geese in the courtyard treat Central’s property as their own, causing mixed reactions among students and staff.

Some students want the birds removed from campus. Kaile Catalano, senior, believes they belong in a proper habitat, such as a nearby pond. “Relocate the goose,” Catalano said. Junior Shelby Halloran said, “Give it to the zoo.”

Although some teachers may agree with these students and consider the geese a distraction to the learning environment, German teacher Mrs. Johanna Jurgens strives instead to make it part of the learning environment.

“We’ve always had experiences, watching geese in the middle of instruction. It lets us learn to cohabitate peacefully. [They are] a welcome distraction.” In fact, it provides Jurgens with the opportunity to teach her students the applicable vocabulary for the word goose: Gans.

Each year, Jurgen’s classroom provides a front-row view of the “little ones’ lesson in flight” as the geese nest just above the doors outside her classroom in the World Language hall. The geese’s honking and wing sputtering usually makes this obvious. “Years ago, feathers would fly in,” Jurgens said.

However, with the new air conditioning system, the classroom windows have been closed, so Jurgens and her students cannot hear the geese during class. Less exposure to this so-called open learning environment means that students have less experience in handling goose encounters. In the past, Jurgens has seen some students throw things at the geese or chase them. “But for the most part, people have been very respectful.”

What Jurgens perceived as decreased exposure may be the reason for some students’ intolerance of the geese, but for now, the geese remain.

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Tolerance toward courtyard geese diminishes