Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Old Age Debate


It was one of those days when the kiddos had work, and I could just sit back and watch them work. One boy decided to sit next to me to converse.

He touched on various topics. I contributed when called upon. Then he came up with the oddest idea.

"I don't want to live to be old and sick. I'd like to die before I reach 55."

They have some odd ideas about age. I commented that 55 isn't old, and there's still so much to do once reaching that age. But he wasn't having it. He figured that's when he'd be too sick to enjoy the rest of his life.

This went back and forth for a bit. Then another boy passed by.

Boy 1: "What age would you like to live to?"

Boy 2: "80."

At which point, a couple other students chimed in with more reasonable ages. So, it was just him.

Ah, the naivete of youth.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

God School


At the heart of much speculative fiction (and fiction in general) is a question. What if? On Tuesdays I like to throw one out there and see what you make of it. Do with it as you please. If a for-instance is not specified, feel free to interpret that instance as you wish. And if you find this becomes a novel-length answer, I'd appreciate a thank you in the acknowledgements ;)

What if this world is the training ground for future universe creators?

Monday, February 20, 2017

Kitty Ears

I have hit the part of the year where I have no outstanding projects, so I'm working through my backlog of odd ideas...

A few years ago, I bought some plastic headbands with foam. (Click on the link to see what I'm talking about. This is not where I bought them, though. They have since been discontinued from that retailer.) I ordered them because I hadn't quite made the minimum threshold for free shipping I thought I could come up with a knitted cover for them.

A few years later...

You know those cat ear headbands? I kinda wanted to try my hand at making something similar. So, I thought and I plotted and I knit. I even braved Kitchener stitch. And...


...I finally got a working model. (In orange, natch.)


OK. Curiosity sated.

And for me, I'm posting the pattern I used so that I won't lose it later.

Knit Headband Cover


Materials:
  • Caron Simply Soft Yarn (this project doesn't use all that much yarn--use whatever scrap yarn you've got)
  • Plastic Headband with Foam--1 1/2 inch
  • Size 7 needles
  • Scrap Yarn
  • Tapestry Needle
  • Pipe Cleaners
Gauge: 
18 sts and 26 rows/4 inches in stockinette stitch

Pattern:
Using a provisional cast on (I used the crochet chain method) cast on 66 stitches
Work 10 rows in stockinette stitch (knit right side, purl wrong side)
Unravel the provisional cast on and place live stitches on needle
(Note: instead of using needles, I placed all live stitches--from both ends--on scrap yarn.)
Graft first row to last row around the headband using Kitchener stitch
Sew ends shut, then wind in ends

Ears are made using one pipe cleaner in matching color. Cut in half. Fold each piece in half. Bend the ends at a little under half an inch. Place them evenly on the headband, sticking the pipe cleaners through the knit stitches.

If you attempt this, I would love to see how yours turns out. I'm on Twitter, Instagram, and Ravelry as @ZiziRho.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Choosing the Late


Friday. It was almost 5th period. 10th grade world history.

It had been an easy day thus far. The classes had worked silently without my having to ask. As the class filtered in, one of the boys started yelling towards someone outside the room.

"Where is he going?"

When I asked the obvious question, the boy pointed out who he was yelling to. I spotted him. He was walking away from the classroom. The first boy explained that the boy outside was supposed to be in their class.

Half an hour into class, the boy showed up. He had a pass from the tardy sweep. (Long time readers of this blog may remember me mentioning tardy sweep on previous occasions.)

This year, that school has revamped the tardy sweep policy. Instead of students being kept out of class all period, they now get sent back to class with a tardy sweep pass. They still get dinged for the tardy, and the more tardies they rack up, the harsher the punishment. (Three tardies and they get Saturday School.)

So, the boy, who totally would have been on time to class, decided to walk in the other direction, get the tardy, and get sent back to class... Why?

I don't get the logic sometimes.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Early Dismissal?


I have a couple classroom pet peeves. One of my big ones is students trying to slip out of class a minute or so early.

Occasionally students may legitimately need to leave early. Special ed students whose bus leaves early. A student on crutches. A student who goes to take medicine. Students on athletic teams who have games. In all of those cases, the students ask permission and all is well.

7th period at the continuation high school. Environmental science. They had a packet of work that most ignored. Five minutes before the end of class (and the day), they all lined up at the door. And I saw a girl slip out...

I called her back. A couple times. Eventually, she heard me and turned around.

"It's almost time to go."

True, but it wasn't time yet. She needed to come back to the classroom.

She was halfway across campus. (It's a small campus.) She argued that she was almost out the gate. I told her that school wasn't out yet, and she needed to return for no matter how long it was.

She took two steps toward me when the bell rang...

In anticipation of the end of the day I had shut down the computer. This was how I logged into the attendance system. There is a screen that has all the students' pictures...

I didn't know her name. This is rather common with subs, especially in classes with no seating chart. The rest of the class "helpfully" didn't call out to her as I called out to her, so I couldn't glean her name that way. I'm pretty sure that's what she was counting on.

What she didn't get, though, was how much that stunt pissed me off. And it turns out I can access the attendance program via my phone. Finding her name was very easy after that.

It then took me a few minutes to write down her name, pack up my stuff, and check out from the office. On my way to my car, who do I see hanging out in the parking lot? Because she had to leave class early to hang out just outside the school?

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

A Visiting Cricket


Insects and spiders don't freak me out. (They may gross me out, though.) This can be useful in the classroom.

I finally made it back to the continuation high school. It's been a while. This day I was covering an English class. They were supposed to be reading and analyzing a current event article. And some of them were.

The boy hadn't been doing much, but he had finally settled down. Just when I thought all was well, he jumped out of his seat and ran halfway across the room.

"Crickets creep me out."

The rest of the class found this amusing.

"Do you move that fast when the cops show up?"

"If you had stepped on it, it would no longer be an issue."

The boy's response (to the second comment): "I can't kill it. Crickets are lucky." (He didn't respond to the first comment.)

This is the point where I got involved. I did my usual when there are critters in the classroom (or spiders in my shower--so long as I saw it before I turned on the water). I found a clear container (the teacher had a plastic cup with markers and highlighters in it) and put it over the cricket. (It was a big cricket. I'll give the boy that.)

The boy then jumped in. I guess he felt his manhood had been questioned. He started to scoot it out the door. But I called a stop to that as the only reason I had left the cricket under the cup was to go and find a folder to put underneath. Once I had that in hand, I took the whole thing outside, and the cricket was dumped in the bushes a few steps outside the classroom.

The class concurred that crickets were lucky. That one sure was. It lived past its encounter with the scary high school class.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Ghostly Visitation


At the heart of much speculative fiction (and fiction in general) is a question. What if? On Tuesdays I like to throw one out there and see what you make of it. Do with it as you please. If a for-instance is not specified, feel free to interpret that instance as you wish. And if you find this becomes a novel-length answer, I'd appreciate a thank you in the acknowledgements ;)

What if the places we go in our dreams we actually travel to, but while we're there, we're ghosts?