Thursday, September 21, 2017

Not Feeling It


It was an intro to engineering class. They had an assignment on computers.

So, naturally, someone had to not be on the assignment...

Lucas and I had met before. He's not usually an issue. But he was in full on play mode, claiming he had no idea how that game got on his screen.

Yeah, right.

The second time I told him to go ahead and exit completely out of the tab so he wouldn't be tempted. The third time he claimed it was just magically appearing.

I don't know if it was Friday, if it was the fact that I'd been on my feet all day, or if it was a woman thing, but I had had it by then. So, I let him know I was displeased and his teacher would be hearing about this.

My next time by, Lucas had a story for me. He explained that he was having problems (that he wasn't going to tell me about, not that I was going to ask), and school work wasn't important to him at the moment.

I get it. I really do. And perhaps I didn't need to lose it like I did. (I didn't yell at him or anything. I only told him that I was done asking him to get off that game.) But he was having way too much fun. The game was "addicting" (his word). He couldn't stop playing. And he was laughing and joking about it all.

Ah well. His teacher can sort it out.

(Apparently the class is going to "receive the wrath of Xerxes". Uh oh...)

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The Missing Assignment


The lesson plan stated that the students could find their math assignment on the school's website. As the students were filing in, the teacher called to inform me that this class hadn't ever done this before. (It's the third week of school, so things are still getting up and running.)

No problem. I understood. And this was 3rd year high school math. The kiddos should be able to handle it.

Ahem.

Class started. I informed the class that they needed to log onto the school's website and find the teacher's page.

There was no assignment.

The kiddos had no problem finding the school's website, the teacher's page, and their class' page. They showed me. Blank.

But the teacher said she'd posted it.

I frantically clicked around the teacher's page. Under the calculus class I saw an assignment. I clicked on it, and it was the assignment that had been described in the lesson plan. At least, it looked like it.

I figured that must be it...

So, I told this 1st period class to go to 3rd period's assignment. And voila. It was the right assignment for them.

Whew.

(I got a chance to talk to the teacher at the end of the day. She discovered the error after first period. I assured her that we found it eventually.)

If only things had gone this well for 2nd period...

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Explorers


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 ;)

This past Friday, the Cassini spacecraft was deliberately crashed into Saturn. It had been sending back data from Saturn and her moons for seven years, on a mission that's lasted twenty.

The reason the Cassini was crashed into Saturn was so that it wouldn't contaminate any of Saturn's moons. A couple of them have a possibility of life, and the scientists didn't want any of Earth's microbes (which probably lingered on the spacecraft as it was built by people) to accidentally pollute them.

(There was an excellent NOVA on this.)

Which got me to thinking...

What if an ancient (prehistoric) alien probe was uncovered here on Earth? 

Monday, September 18, 2017

Bullseye Beanie Pattern Now Available

I finally finished writing up the pattern for the Bullseye Beanie (thanks for the name, Alex :)

Bullseye Beanie, modeled by middle nephew
If you're interested in knitting it, you can find the pattern on Ravelry (link). (I'll soon have it up on Etsy, too. But you don't have to be on Ravelry to purchase patterns from them.)

Why did it take me so long to write up the pattern? Because I had a time trying to figure out how to explain a few things. While this is a basic beanie in shape, there are a few considerations that come with getting it to look just right.
  1. Because it was supposed to look like a target, I didn't want lined up increases to mar the look at the top. (Usually increases are stacked to create a swirl pattern. Which can be cute. But not what I wanted.) But how could I explain what I did? It made sense in my head and on the needles, but how do I convey that in print?
  2. How do I explain how not to get a jog at the color change? (It's something that happens when knitting in the round.) 
  3. Do I write the pattern assuming that the knitter who wants it knows all the ins and outs of working a pattern like this? 
In the end, I found videos on YouTube of all the techniques I used. It was easier than trying to explain what I did. 

It's amazing what you can find demonstrated on YouTube.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Stressed


I'm a sucker for these. I can't say for sure why. These are simple, but harder than you'd think.

Words that Rhyme with Stressed


The idea is to find all the single-syllable words that rhyme with stressed. You can type them in any order. Good luck. 

Let me know how you did in the comments.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

The Easy Way


It was only the second week of school, so call outs are light. And, they're unplanned, so I wasn't shocked that the lesson plans were rather sparse. While I could have had them go on to the next section (math class, so the next section was about exponents), enough of them were still working on the polynomial section that I didn't feel it necessary.

I did my usual walk around. Several students had finished the assignment. One boy had two assignments on his desk. One complete and one not.

As it wasn't a test, I didn't mind them working together. And, if a student wanted to check his work against a neighbor's, I didn't have an issue with that. But these were not simple problems, and the boy appeared to just be copying his neighbor's work...

I asked the usual question. The boy said he understood the assignment. Okay, fine. "Explain how you do this to me," I challenged.

He hemmed and hawed. But not for too long. Pretty quickly he relented and admitted that he didn't understand how to do the assignment.

Okay, then. I can help with that.

I don't think they get how bored I am when they don't need my help.

And besides, they can copy the answers to the assignment, but this practice thing isn't going to be graded. And if they don't figure out how to do it during the practice, they won't have any idea what they're doing when it's time to take the test.

I think that's a lesson some of them are going to have to learn for themselves.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Slandered


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 ;)

In the vein of last week's question...

What if your most strongly held religious beliefs were suddenly denigrated by the in-power majority? And what if that powerful majority was telling lies about what you believe, and everyone believed their version?