Wednesday, December 13, 2017

The Snitch

Monday I was back at the continuation high school. Math class.

They do all their work on computers, so my main job is to monitor them and make sure they're on task. (I also occasionally am called on to assist with problems that they're having difficulty with.) There is a computer program to help with this, and on this day I found that more of them were off task than on.

Not surprising. Annoying. So, I kept a list of those who were off task.

For some reason, they think they're sneaky by keeping their video tab small. Nope. I totally see that and note it.

In one class, a student decided to apply for a job online. While I applaud his determination, job applications are best filled out when one is not in math class (when one should be doing math). I told him something of the sort.

"But I need a job. I don't need math."

I should mention that he was applying to work in a retail environment.

I pointed out that math has some bearing on selling things. He argued that he didn't really need algebra.

Perhaps. Perhaps not. We did the usual argument. He refused to get back to work. I walked away (because belaboring the argument doesn't help). And, of course, I noted the exchange in my note to the teacher.

The next day I was back at the continuation high school but in a different class. Naturally, the job seeker was my classes this day, too.

He had a bone to pick with me. Apparently, his math teacher wasn't pleased that he was applying for work instead of doing his math.

"I thought we were chill. Why'd you have to snitch on me?"

I'm not sure what part of our conversation led him to believe that I was okay with him not being on task. Or why he'd think I wouldn't report what did and did not get done in class.

Deep sigh. Just another day dealing with teenagers.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

A Whole New World

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. 😉

If you've been watching Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency (the second season has been airing on BBC America for the past nine weeks), you'll know exactly where this question came from.

What if your dreams created a whole new world/realm? Would you want to live there?

Monday, December 11, 2017

Mini Santa Hat Headband

As of "press time" I had not completed the project with the wire covered in knitting (crochet?). I got sidetracked...

It's a mini Santa hat on a headband!

I saw a kiddo wearing one a year (two years?) ago, and it's been sitting on my "knitting to-do list" since then. I noticed it the other day, and I realized I had all the pieces I needed. I repurposed the white headband I'd already made (the kitty ears came off easily), and I found a mini Santa hat pattern on Pinterest.

Et voila!

In case any knitters want to take a stab at this, I'm including all the links you'll need:

The headband pattern I posted this past February.

The mini Santa hat pattern is here. I used Caron's Simply Soft yarn (I had this on hand already) on size 6 double pointed needles. (I ended up with a gauge of 6 sts per inch.) My hat ended up bigger than the pattern intended, but it was about the size I wanted.

I can't find the link for the "poof" on the tip of the top. I used Lion Brand Fun Fur and made a knitted bead. (If I can track down the pattern I used, I'll edit this post and include the link.) However, the hat pattern has a "pom pom" part, or you can improvise something different.


Once the headband and hat were complete, I put a little fiberfill into the hat (just enough to fill the bottom half lightly), and I grafted the hat to the headband using white yarn. (It was the same yarn I used for both the brim of the hat and the cover of the headband.)

Then I folded the hat so it had that jaunty angle, and I tacked the top to the middle.

This thing is too much fun. If you make one, would you please tag me if you post it to Instagram, Twitter, or Ravelry? I'm @ZiziRho. I would love to see other people's interpretations of these.

Friday, December 8, 2017

The Easy Way

"Look at this. We have to write all this down. It's too much work. I'm going to drop out."

10th grade world history. The assignment the boy was referring to was something about PowerPoint notes. It was two full pages long (or front and back of one page). In the grand scheme of things, it wasn't huge.

However, it was more than the boy wanted to do.

His friend, sitting next to him, concurred.

"You know [I forget who he named] dropped out, and look at him now."

I responded much as you'd expect. The gist was "stay in school". When I pointed out that most dropouts don't end up famous (or even comfortable), the boys responded with, "You don't think I can make it?"

Deep sigh.


They explained their plans. They want to be YouTube famous. (I did point out that they could be in school and make YouTube videos on the side. I did point out that becoming YouTube famous wasn't a sure thing and/or all that easy. You can imagine how they responded to that.)

Ah well. It's better than planning on becoming a drug dealer.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Gross Anatomy

Anatomy and Physiology. They were working on a review for their Integumentary System unit. (Yeah, I have no idea what that means, either.)

They had laptops "for reference" as well as their textbooks. And as I do, I walked the room and specifically looked at computer screens to make sure they were not watching a soccer match, a fight, or playing that pool game that they all seem to be on about these days.

I didn't see much of that. However, what I did see was kind of disturbing. And gross. And completely on task.

Part of their assignment was to look up various skin ailments. And illustrate them.

Some were drawing. Others had printed pictures and were cutting and gluing them down to their papers. And the images...

I'm squeamish. I found it best if I didn't look too closely.

At least they were on task. And it was pretty easy to spot those that weren't. I could actually look at what they were doing.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Rushing Through

Middle school art class. They were assigned an activity based on the flower paintings of Georgia O'Keeffe. Well, sort of.

The students were to observe photos of the paintings. Then they were to observe real flowers. And then they were to sketch a flower, hopefully influenced by O'Keeffe.

It's a great concept, but these were middle schoolers. Middle schoolers don't observe.

I'd barely finished explaining the assignment, and several were already "finished". Had they even looked at any of the flowers--real or painted? Nope. Several didn't have cell phones.

As happens sometimes, the students were encouraged to use their cell phones to find the images online. But many did not have cell phones. Half the class "needed" to go to the library.

I may allow a student or two to go to the library on occasion. But more than that, and I'm kind of pawning off my class on the librarian. I won't do it. So, once it became clear that they wouldn't be able to find the images on their own (and didn't have someone who would share with them--I find that claim dubious), I found a way to find images and project them for the whole class to see.

They were "finished" before I got the first image on the screen.

Mostly, ignoring the instructions, they traced the flower on the handout outlining the activity. And then played for the rest of the period. Typical.

Oh, and protip: Searching Google Images for Georgia O'Keeffe flowers yields some not safe for middle school results. I eventually found a video that did a decent job of giving an overview without my having to worry about the kiddos reading captions.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

The Same Idea

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 you discovered a newly released book by a famous author was significantly similar to the novel you just finished writing? 

No, the famous author didn't steal your idea, nor vice versa. There's no plagiarism involved.

Not that this has happened to me... At least, not just...