Parallels: Turns, Students, Dogs, & Development


 Living in Park City, a ski town, life is all about parallels.

 In skiing, I roll onto one edge bending the ski into an arc so it doesn’t slide. Parallel turns require a strong base. By bending my knees in the direction I want to turn, my calf moves, then my boot and through my boots into the bindings and finally, the skis turn.


As a junior high school teacher with three dogs, I see parallels between my students and dogs. For both, it is essential to celebrate desired behaviors. In class, when a student is doing something well, even showing up on time with a charged laptop, I praise the behavior. When I ask my class to do something, like turn to page 919 in their literature book, I praise everyone who does is quickly and correctly. The other students follow.

With the dogs, when one sits, the others follow. When one is patient and waits for a treat, the others do the same.


There is a parallel. With children and dogs, rewarding the desired behavior increases the likelihood it will happen again. In addition, it eliminates the negative.


Another parallel I found is the giant scar across the hillside on Highway 248 heading into Park City. The developer, Chris Gamvroulas, cut deep into the land to build cheap row houses, like the one he lives in in Salt Lake City, on top of mine tailings. Just like the cookies I baked for his children each week, the houses will all look the same.


The scar on the hillside, matches the one he left on my heart. The poison under the development is like his destructive narcissism.  Park City was a mining town. But, in 2014, we are not Kennecott Copper Mine, where families are okay with inexpensive finishes like hollow-core doors and faux-divided light windows.

Like a ski turn, helping students, training dogs, a community needs developers that parallel their values. It is, to say the least, unfortunate that a man who spends so much time enjoying free concerts, trails and the cool mountain air of Park City, is happy to sacrifice the entry corridor for financial gain.










About Julie Hooker

I'm a teacher, writer, and editor. In addition, I'm an animal rescuer, yogi, and friend.
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1 Response to Parallels: Turns, Students, Dogs, & Development

  1. I think I love parallels now. ^_^ Thanks to your blog. 🙂


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