Thursday, April 24, 2014

Universal Equation

It's Thursday, so it's time for my weekly random question...

I had Through the Wormhole on in the background again. This was the dark matter episode (I think this was the one), and one of the scientists was talking about finding the one equation that mathematically explains the universe. But, as usual, my mind wandered...

What if the whole point of our existence is to figure out the universe? What happens when someone finally finds the equation that explains it all?

Today's A to Z Challenge post brought to you by the letter...

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Tissue Issue

The lesson plan stated that the tissues had been removed from the room because the students had lost nose blowing privileges. Uh oh.

8th graders can be difficult. They will get up repeatedly to sharpen their pencils, throw away trash, or get tissue. They'll make up excuses to walk across the room--they need to discuss an assignment with a classmate or they need a pencil or they need paper. Sometimes I have to resort to draconian measures to get them to stay in their seats.

I thought it was only me.

(I've had days where the tissue runs out. Early. Because the students get multiple tissues throughout the period.)

Of course, a few students in first period started looking for the tissue early on. I mentioned that the tissues had been removed, and that's when they recalled that their teacher had told them this.

"You know, you can buy those little packs of tissues to carry in your backpacks for when you're in this class," I told them.

"But why buy tissue when you can get it in class for free?" a student asked me.

Later that day, I had to remove the pencil sharpener. Well, if there's no tissue, the students need some excuse to get up...

Today's A to Z Challenge post brought to you by the letter...

Did your teachers have tissue in your classrooms? What excuses did you use to get out of your seat?

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Suspended for Cell Phone

I met Beatriz at the beginning of the school year in this same class. She took an instant dislike to me. (That's putting it mildly. She developed a deep-seated hatred of me on sight.) So, when she saw that I was her sub for the day, she was not pleased. She had some not nice things to say about me which she said outside the door to the class before class started.

Of course, I could hear everything.

Beatriz started off challenging me right away. And as I was only going to be there for two days, I wasn't planning on getting into it with her. If she wasn't going to do any work, it was her grade. I heard her say something about the continuation high school, and I laughed to myself. If she's really going there soon, she's going to be seeing a lot more of me.

But this is just the set-up.

Beatriz and her friends thought it would be funny to play their music on their cell phones. Or maybe they weren't thinking. I gave them the usual warning (that is, I told them to put them away or I would take them away). They put the phones away.

And I knew immediately that I had been too lenient. The rest of the class let me know. They didn't say anything, but their manner told me loads.


But there was no help for it now. I couldn't very well go and take Beatriz's cell phone from her when it was where it was supposed to be--away in her pocket or her backpack. (I don't know where it was. I didn't see it.)

I got busy helping another student.

I turned to go back to the front of the room. I glanced Beatriz's way and saw sitting on her desk--her cell phone. Now I had cause. I held out my hand.

"You're not taking my cell phone."

She had been warned. In fact, I don't have to warn her. School policy states that a seen or heard cell phone can be confiscated. So, I was well within my rights...

She wouldn't give it to me. So, fine. She gets a referral. (She refused to follow my instructions.)

This is already getting long, so I won't go into the argument she gave me over that referral. Eventually she left. After school I checked. She never made it to the office.

Okay, fine. Now she gets a referral for not only not giving up her cell phone but also for not going to the discipline office.

At the end of the next day I checked in with the discipline office. Curiosity. Did they talk to Beatriz? Turns out, Beatriz ended up suspended from school. Over a cell phone.

(The punishment for having a cell phone out: cell phone gets confiscated. A parent can pick up the cell phone after school the same day. End of punishment. And considering this all happened 6th period, Beatriz would have lost her cell phone for maybe a half hour.)

I am not looking forward to seeing her again. Although, the look on her face when she finds out I'm at the continuation high school all the time... Might be worth it.

Today's A to Z Challenge post brought to you by the letter...

Have you ever hated someone on sight? Have you ever taken something so minor to such an extreme?

Monday, April 21, 2014

Rose Ring

Here's another letter that sort of stumped me. My knitting projects don't really lend themselves to R very well. So, it was time to find something that would fit the bill.

I searched Ravelry. I had it in the back of my head that I could knit a rose. Somehow. In the end, I found a crochet pattern instead. (Link to the Crochet Rose Ring Tutorial.)

I rather like the way it turned out. However, I was not able to find the ring back that would actually make this a ring, so it's more of a rose embellishment in search of a home. For now. (The tutorial suggested that it might go well on a hair tie. Maybe.)

Today's A to Z Challenge post brought to you by the letter...

What should I put this rose on? If you crochet, are you tempted to make one? (This took about an hour to complete.) Are you on Ravelry? (If you are, you can friend me. I'm ZiziRho.)

Saturday, April 19, 2014


I was worried about Q. Last year Q fell on a Friday, so it was easy enough to deal with. But this year it falls on a Saturday, and Saturday is my photo day. What can I get a picture of that starts with a Q?

Time to pull out a dictionary...

And that's when I saw "quartz". Oh, cool. That's easy...

(I love what the photo editing software did with the lighting on this one.)

Bonus photo: black amethyst (which I believe is quartz as well)...

Today's A to Z Challenge post brought to you by the letter...

Did you have any trouble coming up with a Q topic? Isn't that black amethyst cool?

Friday, April 18, 2014

Paper, Please

It was the last day before spring break. The class was to write the final draft of an essay on the Holocaust. The students were to "use paper provided" and write only on the front of the sheet.

Okay. I passed out the paper. Gave the instructions. Suffered through their grumbles. No worries, right?

Except I saw the problem right at the top of first period. There was no way I had enough paper for every period.

First period used about a third of the stack that the teacher left me. Second period more than halved what was left. I ran out just as I passed out the remaining sheets in third period.

I follow lesson plans. This one said, "Don't let them use their own paper." (Emphasis was hers.) But I only carry enough paper with me for my use (like writing notes to the teacher).

This is not the first time this sort of thing has happened to me.
Dear Teachers,
When you leave paper (or worksheets) for your students to use in your absence, please leave more than you think they'll need. The sub (me) does not have access to where one can get more of anything. Thanks for your help.
Sincerely, Your Sub
I hate not being able to follow the lesson plan to the letter.

Today's A to Z Challenge post brought to you by the letter...

Do you think the teacher will be mad at me? (I swear, I wasn't wasting paper. The class was working on their essays diligently. Not a paper airplane or crumpled page in sight.) What would you have done in my situation?

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Only One

It's Thursday, so it's time for my weekly random question...

I have the sneaking suspicion I have done this one before as well. But it was in my cache of future posts, so maybe not. Maybe I just think I did it. Anyway...

What if you were the only sentient being in existence, and everything you see around you was a projection meant to keep you sane? That is, what if our world and everyone in it is some sort of computer simulation (for want of a better description) made just to fool you into believing you're not the only real being?

Today's A to Z Challenge post brought to you by the letter...