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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review May 8, 2009 / 14 Iyar 5769

SeaWorld, Shamu and spouses

By Lori Borgman

Lori Borgman
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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | A journalist named Amy Sutherland spent a year observing trainers who work with exotic animals and wondered if she could apply the same training principles to her husband.


I mentioned the idea to my husband and he said he had no interest in moving to SeaWorld or learning how to bounce a rubber ball on the tip of his nose.


He was, however, not completely disinterested in learning how to spring from the bottom of a pool and shoot 30 feet into the air. It doesn't matter if you are a dolphin or a homo sapien, that one is always a big crowd pleaser.


Some of Sutherland's discoveries, which she writes about in "What Shamu Taught Me About Life, Love, and Marriage," are very practical: reward good behavior immediately, do not reward bad behavior and completely ignore behaviors which will never change.


When my animal, I mean husband, was home for dinner, he turned on the television searching for a particular news story while we were eating (something we agreed not to do years ago). I responded with what trainers call the Least Reinforcing Technique where the trainer renders herself emotionless from head to toe so as not to reinforce a bad behavior. I froze over my dinner plate.


After two, three, eventually 10 minutes, the husband finally noticed I was motionless asked if I was feeling all right.


"Fine," I said, still trying to remain perfectly still and talk without parting my lips.


"Good," he said turning back to the tube and changing the channel to C-Span.


I waited five more minutes, giving the training technique time to work, then broke my statuesque pose and offered him a banana in exchange for the remote.


I realized our problem. Progressive training is used on baboons, capuchin monkeys, chimps, cougars, elephants, whales and dolphins. Those are exotic animals and we are not. We do not have fins, tusks or tails, just a little extra padding around the middle.


The husband and I are common creatures. In the morning we are a humming bird and a turtle. The hummingbird awakes full speed, darts about, throws open windows, chatters endlessly while showering, doing her hair and unloading the dishwasher.


The turtle pokes his head out, takes a reading on the wing beat per second speed of the crazed humming bird and pulls back into his shell until that second cup of coffee.


By evening, the hummingbird has morphed into a sloth and hangs upside down from the sofa while the turtle turns into a busy beaver, gnawing away at the mail, bills and on-line banking.


In our worst moments, we have been known to do fine impressions of a badger and a porcupine. Trainers don't work with those sorts of animals. They release them into the wild — or a 30 year marriage.


In the end, Sutherland found the animal behavior she was best able to change was her own. She lightened up, stopped nagging and quit taking so many of her husband's behaviors personally.


Isn't that the way it goes? A woman has high hopes of transforming her wild thing into something sleek and sophisticated and finds out that the animal who needs the most training is herself.


Great. So now what am I going to do with this big bucket of little fish?

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Lori Borgman is the author of , most recently, "Catching Christmas" (Click HERE to purchase. Sales help fund JWR.) and I Was a Better Mother Before I Had Kids To comment, please click here. To visit her website click here.

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