“Now run along and play, but don’t get into trouble.’ George promised to be good. But it is easy for little monkeys to forget.”

These lines are from Curious George. He is the curious little monkey! The photo here is of a little friend Catherinanne gave me as a gift the day I started my doctoral studies at McCormick Theological Seminary. He is called “Back to School George.” He has a backpack and his lunch, a banana, is inside.  Since she gave me this gift, my little friend George has travelled with me to every course in Chicago. He has attended each class that I have taken. Apart from writing a thesis, George has does most things necessary to be awarded a DMin at this May’s graduation.

My Buddy - Curious George

When I write – he is with me. When I am reading he is with me. Some people have ‘good luck charms.’ I have a little stuffed animal called Curious George. Catherinanne thought it appropriate to give a man with the surname George, who was curious enough to go back to school this gift – she was right. He has been a faithful concomitant. When she is unable to be with me, I know that my sidekick is filling in for her. Now this has upsides and downsides. On the upside he is a better listener than Catherinanne. It is not that Catherinanne is not a good listener as much as Curious George NEVER interrupts me. Catherinanne does interrupt from time to time. Now the downside is that he NEVER interrupts me. He NEVER speaks. So unlike Catherinanne who has sage advice with my writing and work, George is more the strong silent type who prefers to leave me to my own devices.

That being said, George has been such a great help. For the past seven days I have been struggling with a little writers block. It was really getting me down. I would start to write and inevitably find myself “stuck.” What could be wrong? Then it all became clear in one horrific revelation. I received a letter…. (ok Facebook Message)

“We have your friend Curious George! We have kept him here for a week now. He is sad that you do not care enough to come looking for him. If you ever want to see your friend again, you will need to go to Boston Pizza on Manning Road and purchase an item from the Delicious Alternatives Menu.”

A RANSOM NOTE! I was alarmed! How could I have not missed my dear companion for a whole week? What has he been trough in the days that have passed? How many long hours did he spend in the cold confines of a dark oak cabinet? How often did he have to endure the words “cactus cut potatoes?” Tears filled my eyes. My faithful friend George has been missing and I was completely unaware.  It turns out that I had left him there when I was last there writing a paper.

Jessica LeFrense - One of George's Kidnappers

Despite the peril involved, today I set out to get him back and rescue him from the pizza stained hands of those ladies at Boston Pizza! It would take courage and a discerning eye to know what to order on that delicious alternatives menu. But I knew that if I concentrated and prayed hard I would find the intelligence and the courage necessary to find my friend and restore him back to my side. I sauntered into the Boston Pizza and requested my usual booth. My request was granted. Kelly looked at me with one part disgust and two parts determination. “Do you know that you left your friend behind? Did you even miss him?” Not long after he was returned to my side when I promised to make my regular order or Chopped Chicken Salad. When Jessica (George’s other snatcher) came in she came directly to me.  “You are lucky that you ever got to see him again – He deserves better than you!”

I ordered a diet Pepsi, sat Curious George up in front of me, and began writing – writers block cured! Both me and George are looking forward to defending this thesis in March — but right now we have some writing to do!

Thank you to Jessica and Kelly for releasing George to me. You are the best captures for my little friend because you looked after him. [The whole gang at BP have been great to me during this time of study] I promise to never let him leave my side again.

Thank you Catherinanne for my friend…. he is a great reminder that I am loved and supported even when things get a little tough along the road. One of your best gifts ever!

Me and George leaving for my first day of School 2009off we go......