Friday, October 22, 2021

I Love Math

Back in April when I was doing that long term eighth grade English class, I had a co-teacher. On Friday, I subbed for her. 

I did get a chance to work with Ms. R for the first class of the day. For the last class of the day, I worked with a seventh grade math teacher. The lesson for the day was multiplying and dividing positive and negative numbers. 

Ms. M (and all the math teachers at the school, really) are great. I wish my math classes had been taught like this. It's very interactive and hands on. 

After having gone over the essentials and having given them some time to practice, Ms. M showed a little video to drive the lesson home. It's amazing what's on YouTube.

To the tune of "I Love Rock and Roll": 

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Energy Boost

Special ed chemistry. They were to look up current news events in science and write a summary about an article they read. 

Warning: this post is NSFW. Proceed with caution. 

First period. As Thomas walked in, he announced his presence. "Who are you?" he asked me. When I explained, he replied, "Ms. Y didn't tell us she was having a sub today."

The rest of the class disagreed. Ms. Y had warned them of her absence. That's when Tom admitted that he hadn't been at school the previous day as he hadn't wanted to get out of bed. He wasn't feeling much better on this day as he had forgotten to take his meds. And he had an energy drink which he warned was going to make things much worse. 


While the rest of the class worked quietly, Tom loudly made comments about stuff that had nothing to do with anything. For the most part, the rest of the class did not respond. Apparently they are used to Tom's antics. 

Thomas started almost immediately. While I explained the assignment to the class (something they had done a few times before, so I didn't have to do too much explaining), Tom told the girl seated near him about his energy drink. 

It boosted his energy with caffeine, but he felt it needed something more. Semen. Specifically, his semen. (I wish I was making this up, but that's the word he used.) When I jumped in at that point, Tom pointed out how he felt his power should lend him energy, or something like that. And not only him, but he felt the energy drink should use that in their formulation for everyone. 

Later in the period, Tom explained that he liked to say rude things because he liked making people angry. He liked to get people to react to him. He also said he had no empathy, which I suppose is why making people angry was fun to him. 

If he was trying to get a reaction, he failed. Mostly, the rest of the class ignored him. (They heard him, but they did not react or even respond.) 

He made political statements. He talked about the Satanic church. He called people, especially his classmates, stupid. Many things he called out for being racist (none of which were, actually). 

Funnily enough, I didn't disagree with many of his statements. The only thing I had a real issue with was his calling for murders. Well, that and the tone of his outbursts. 

If I had had an aide with me that period, she would have removed him from the class early on. As it was, I kept a list of what he talked about, and I left it for his teacher. I imagine there was a meeting with administration after all of this. 

(Oh, he kept his mask on the entire period without my having to remind him to pull it back up. If he had really wanted to get a rise out of me, all he would have had to do is refuse to wear his mask.)

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Crochet Egg Lip Balm Holder Video Instructions

In August, I posted a video of me making my lip balm holder. I had been wanting to do the same for the egg-shaped lip balm holders.

So, last week when I got a surprise day off, I figured it was time. 

I'm still figuring out this whole video thing out. This shows the steps to make the thing. (Pattern is written out here if you're interested.) 

While I would really love to have someone who knows how to do the whole video editing thing (and filming thing) help me out, as long as I'm doing it myself, it's going to be a bit before these get any better. Practice, right? 


Tuesday, October 19, 2021

For Writers

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 I created a virtual writing group (that met via Zoom or such)? 

(It's an idea I've been toying with.)

Monday, October 18, 2021

Missing an Eye

I'm rather pleased with my octopus progress this week. 

The tentacles and suckers have been attached. 

This is almost done. 

I would have been completely done by now, but on Friday I got derailed. 

Back on hat #1, I had a genius idea. All three hats would need a pair of eyes, so I figured I could make all six eyes at the same time. That way, when it came time to attach the eyes, I wouldn't have to stop to make the eyes first.

Friday night, I pulled out my remaining eyes (the first two having gone on hat #1), and I found I had three. 

I knew I should still have four. 

Now, I had enough eyes to complete this blue hat. But I should have another eye someplace. 

So, rather than attaching the eyes, I spent my time looking for eye #4. 

I did not find it. 

I tore everything apart. I have no idea where it could have gone. It's not with my projects. It hasn't fallen behind anything. It must have fallen into something, but for the life of me, I can't figure out what it could be.

Deep sigh. 

There's nothing for it. I'm going to have to remake that last eye.

But first, I can finish this hat. I should have it finished by next week.

(The pattern for it is here: Octopus Hat.) 

Friday, October 15, 2021

Burning Up

Guess who spent another Friday in another sixth grade class? 

The lesson of the day was "The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost. (Yeah, for sixth graders. Yeah, I know.) 

As an introduction, I was to ask them for instances where people had to make difficult choices. I wrote their responses on the board. (I did this three times as the classes swap out, kind of like they'll do in middle school.) I got some standard answers, and I had to give a couple examples to get things going. 

The third group, after giving me several pretty standard answers, came up with "leave someone behind in a fire". 

Well, that qualifies. 

Then we were to discuss if they'd ever faced a choice like this, what choice they made, what effects the other choice might have had, and what advice they'd have for people facing hard choices. 

So, I picked a couple choices from the list to discuss, choices like "moving" or "doing your homework". (The second group came up with that one. The class vehemently protested that this was a choice. Having met many kiddos who don't do homework, I assured them that it was, in fact, a choice. We also discussed consequences.) 

I couldn't resist. I decided we had to go down the "leave someone behind in a fire" rabbit hole. 

They hadn't actually experienced that. (Whew!) But we talked about why someone might be forced to leave someone behind. 

Somehow, that turned into them saying if the other person was someone they didn't like, it wouldn't be a hard choice. 

I told them that they were wrong. I said that if they were in such a life-and-death situation, if it was them and their worst enemy, they'd save that enemy. They wouldn't leave that person to die in that fire. 

They didn't believe me. They said no, they'd have no trouble leaving that person behind. 

I'm not so sure. But rather than get into a shouting match, I moved on to the next part of the lesson (reading the poem). It was going long, anyway. 

Sometimes I wonder about me, though. I could have picked a way less controversial item from the list they generated to discuss. Ah well. 

So, do you think I'm wrong? Would you save a person you disliked from a fire? 

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Subbing with a Sub

For period four, the lesson plan read: "I have a student teacher. He will take care of everything." 

Yeah, I know.

I've known Mr. D for a few years now. He's one of the subs I'm on friendly terms with. We talk. 

He decided to go back and get his credential. (I know the whys and wherefores of this because as I said, we talk.) He started in 2019. 

I ran into him on the second day of school. He told me he was student teaching this semester, and one of his master teachers was Ms. A (from my long-term gig in February/March)

So, when I got the assignment, I knew I'd be running into Mr. D. 

I've worked with student teachers before. Working with a friend is different.

There was no hesitation. He asked me to take roll and deal with restroom passes so he could focus on reading with the class. (Eleventh grade English. They were reading The Crucible.) So, I took roll and dealt with restroom passes. I didn't feel weird about reminding him about Poe Day as he asked me to remind him to tell the class about Poe Day. (It's a thing all the English classes do on October 8th.) 

It was kind of fun.