Zee Spencer

Gertrude the Giraffe

I have a small menagerie I take wherever I go. One who has accompanied me since I was a child is Gertrude. Gertrude is a giraffe with a long, beautiful neck with spots which spell four words: Guess, Google, Grab, Go.

When I get stuck Gertrude reaches up with her long neck and plucks a leaf out of a Guessandtrythis tree. She drops it in front of me and prods me until I pick it up. With each guess I gather information to help us make another, better guess.

Gertrude is nobodies fool. If guessing isn't getting us anywhere, she nudges the big red Google It! button. The Great Google opens up and we glean information from her pages.

If Gertrude senses Google doesn't have the wisdom we seek she reaches her long, elegant neck out of my office, grabs a colleague with her teeth, and drags them to my desk. Once they recover from their shock they share opinions, expertise, and experiences which illuminate nooks and crannies I never knew existed!

Gertrude is far more empathetic than I. She senses when I'm too panicked to learn and will grab me from my chair and shove me out the door for a walk. Each step takes me further and further from my frustration until when I finally make it back it is a brand new problem! The assumptions that were clouding my vision fall away and I see how to move forward.

I'm glad Gertrude reminds me to guess and try, google, grab others, and go for walks. I don't know where I'd be without her!

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