Thursday, June 22, 2017


For the penultimate day of school, I was once again at the continuation high school. (I did not work the last day of school this year.) The kiddos had an assignment, but very few of them chose to do it. In fact, very few of them chose to come to school at all.

(I think this is why the traditional high schools give students finals. It keeps them coming to class and makes them try for those last few days.)

I was basically on crowd control. Well, if you consider a class of seven to be a "crowd".

2nd period. I pointed out the assignment. A couple of them even got out books and paper.

"Remember when you pulled that knife on me? I wanted them to expel you for that."

This is not the sort of statement that is usually accompanied with laughter. But there was no anger in Julio's voice. He seemed to be in instigating mode. Waiting to see if I'd have to intervene, I just listened in.

"You stole my pizza," Daniel replied.

This is when Julio noticed that I was listening, so he explained.

Back when the boys were in middle school, they were in home ec. together. One day the assignment was pizza. They cooked it. At the end of the period, they each got a slice.

You know when you take a slice of pizza how sometimes a bit of the tip of an adjoining piece gets stuck to it? Julio's slice had a bit of Daniel's slice's tip attached.

So, Daniel demanded that Julio give him back that little bit of pizza. Julio refused. Daniel grabbed a butter knife and held it to Julio's ribs...

They didn't tell me what happened after that. Apparently the teacher called for backup as it sounds like the issue got resolved with school administrators.

"If I could forgive you for that..." Julio said to Daniel.

Apparently, this is one of those funny stories that they like to remember. At least they can laugh about it. If they were still angry at each other...

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Self Referential

7th grade world history. It was the last Monday of the school year. The students had a study guide for their final (which was going to be Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday, depending on which period class it was).

The day went pretty well. I had the usual issues with fidget spinners or slime, but most of the students were actually finding answers and getting ready for their final.

As I always do, I let the class know that if they were having difficulty with any of the assignment, they could ask me. (That's my job, after all.) Some even took me up on my offer.

One boy 'round about 4th period pointed out the question he couldn't find the answer to:
What do we call the scientific laws that describe how objects move in space? 
It took me a moment longer than it should have, really. But once it hit me...

Because, yeah, I know the answer to that question. And I don't even have to look it up.

I chuckled as I scanned the boy's book to point out the answer. I would have loved to explain to him why I found this so funny, but he wouldn't have gotten it.

But you will.

Don't know the answer? It's right here on this page. Scroll up. Keep going. See those words right at the top of the page? In white on a purple background? Yes, I'm talking about the title of my blog...

Some days the jokes are just for me.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Take a Second Shot?

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 ;)

Last week I pulled a question from the last three episodes of this season's Legends of Tomorrow. (If you weren't here last week, make sure to check that out first.) The setup had me shaking my head and yelling at the TV. But it was their bad choice that leads to this week's question.

Even though they had a time machine, the heroes chose to brave a battlefield in the middle of a battle (during World War I) to dig up... Well, what they needed is rather irrelevant to this discussion. They somehow managed to get to the item, blasted the area (they had no time to dig), and made off with the item only to have a stray bullet hit it and destroy it.

This MacGuffin was the only one of its kind. Bad guys win, right? Or...

What if the item you went back in time to retrieve got destroyed in the retrieval? Is it gone, or can you think of another way to get at it? (And keep in mind, you've already gone to get it, so your past self must find something.) 

Monday, June 19, 2017

I Couldn't Resist

A few weeks ago, the designer of the jellyfish published a new pattern. She posts new patterns to her blog fairly often, but this was the first one in a while that made me say, "I have to make that". 

I have absolutely no use for it. But when I saw it, I just couldn't resist. 

It's a unicorn gift card holder. And I finally finished it this past week. 

Don't see a gift card? Well, open the arms...

It wasn't terribly hard, but there were a lot of pieces that needed to be sewn together. And the rainbow mane had to be knotted on strand by strand. (That makes it sound like it was a lot more work than it was, but there was a bit of assembly involved.) 

Several members of my family should consider themselves lucky that I didn't finish this thing sooner. They might have ended up with it. (I was soooo tempted to give it to my father for Father's Day--he got a gift card for movie tickets--but I restrained myself.) And as the next birthday in the family is mine... 

I'm probably going to put this up for sale. Although, I may just want to look at it for a while. 

Friday, June 16, 2017

Accommodations for a Final

For the penultimate week of school I covered a special ed. health and biology class.

(Yes, the last day of school was yesterday. I write all my posts for the week at once, so you're always reading about what I did last week.)

As they had finals the following week, they spent the week I was with them working on a "study guide".

The teacher and instructional aide (IA) had honed this study guide over several finals that they'd given their classes. (The IA was with me for the entire week, so basically she did all the "work" and I sat around and looked "official".) The IA explained what they were doing to me.

Each student was given the actual final along with the "study guide". While in class (they weren't allowed to take it out of the room) they were to look up where to find each answer in the book (the final was open book) and note down what chapter, what page, what paragraph, and what sentence each answer could could be found in. (They were given what chapter.)

Easy, right? But remember, this was a special ed. class. It took some of them all week. Although, to be fair, it took all week for the students who spent most of their time staring at walls rather than looking for the answers for their final.

Deep sigh.

And the IA told me that even with this help, no student gets 100% on their finals.

Ah well, it turned out to be an easy week for me. (Even with Asia in one of the periods.)

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Graduation Daydream

Nine years ago now it was. I was working the last day of school. (The teacher was attending her child's 8th grade promotion.) I had the door open. It was passing period, and I could hear the students just outside. One girl said to her friends, "We're seniors now". It wasn't exactly true as they still had three periods to go, but the seniors had had their graduation ceremony the night before, so they were the oldest students at the school at that point. 

I had a prep period then. And I was beat. So, I leaned back, closed my eyes, and I tried to doze. The girl's comment replayed, and I imagined a scene...

It starts with a stage filled with teens in caps and gowns. A graduation ceremony. The new graduates look over the audience filled with proud parents. They're excited. They've finally finished school, and they're looking forward to the next phase of their lives.

The new graduates exit at the side of the stage. They hug each other. Many are in tears. They meet up with parents, take pictures, and gradually leave the area.

The stage is empty, but not for long.

Off to the other side of the stage is another group of students a year younger than those who just exited. They climb the stairs and claim the stage for themselves.

The new senior class surveys its domain. Some look in corners. Others go to the edge of the stage and peer out at the audience. Many are cheering, fist pumping, and bouncing up and down. Two boys run at each other and bump chests. They have arrived.

While the new senior class celebrates, the area just off the stage that was just vacated starts to fill. This group looks around in awe and wonder. A few look up the steps, itching to join the new seniors. Several look out over the line that stretches out behind them. It's a long line and it seems to disappear into the horizon.

As each group moves up to the next position, they look over their new surroundings. The new freshman class, however, is so busy celebrating and laughing at the group just below them that they don't notice how trashed their new position is. Then again, their old spot in the line wasn't much better.

The newest middle schoolers carefully take up their new position. They are all wide-eyed wonder. The more adventurous pull their peers along. They take their time looking around, acclimating to their new position in line. There's a demarcation behind them, and they thought they'd never get beyond that border. Now that they are, they're not sure what they're going to do next.

Each elementary grade moves up one. As the former kindergartners take their first grade spot (and make themselves right at home), an empty spot is left at the end of the line. But like all the other spots in line, this one doesn't remain empty for long.

Off in the distance, family groups start to arrive. The parents push their little ones into their spot in line. Some of these children run to take over their spot. Others cling. The families stand there, watching their little ones for some time, not sure what to do next.

One mother shakes her head as she watches her little one acclimate to the line. "They grow up so fast," she says.

Nearby, various people are on their way out of the area. One woman hears the kindergartner's mother, so she turns to her and says, "You have no idea." The woman looks off into the distance where her graduate is off with friends.

"You have no idea," the woman repeats.

And the cycle begins again. Happy end of the school year.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Coming Attractions

Welcome to the end of the school year. For those of you keeping track, our school year ends tomorrow.

At the end of each school year, I have a little ritual. First, I repost my "Graduation Daydream". This I will do tomorrow to commemorate the last day of school. And then I'll do my annual "Year End Stats" post where I tally up all the different classes I covered.

But, I have been working, and I'll have classes up until practically the end, so before I go on "summer schedule", I'll have a few more subbing posts. Last week I covered one special ed. class for the whole week. And this week so far I have three days scheduled. There are more stories to tell before I completely close out the school year.

(Yeah, that gif has nothing to do with anything. It just made me laugh.)

As for my "summer schedule", it's my actual schedule (which is posted in my About Me page) minus the subbing stories.

I will continue to update the "Student Name of the Week". What? You didn't notice my newish little project on the sidebar? Just look over to the right. It's under "Twitter" and above "Subscribe To". (Kind of between those last two gifs.) I started this a few months ago, and the explanation and full list of names already featured are on the "Student Name of the Week" page, which has a link at the top of the blog. The list of names I have currently will safely see me through the summer (and through the end of the year and into next year if that were to become necessary).

But the real reason I'm writing this particular post has to do with a question I have for my regular readers. I was contemplating adding a random TV show post one day a week, but before I begin this, I was curious if there's any interest.

A few years ago, I tried doing a random movie post one day a week. I didn't keep it up as I wasn't finding the right sort of random movies that would fit. But I got to thinking that there are a few TV shows that I watch that no one has heard of, and it might be interesting for me to tell you about them. Especially with streaming abilities and summer. Some of you might be looking for some different things to watch.

I used to do my random movie posts on Fridays, but then I replaced them with my random quiz Fridays. So, my second question is, if I do the TV posts, would you like to see them on Fridays? Or Wednesdays? (Because at the moment, while I do have an official topic for Wednesdays, I don't actually do that topic ever. In fact, I usually just skip Wednesdays entirely in the summer.)

I appreciate any opinions on the topic. I hope you'll stop in tomorrow for the "Graduation Daydream" and next week for my "Year End Stats" (spoiler: I worked more days this year than last). And I hope you'll continue to stop in all summer. I'll try to keep it interesting.