Monday, January 21, 2019

Finishing Up Christmas Knitting

My Christmas knitting is almost at an end. I just finished up the last pair of ugly slippers... 

Since I never showed these off as I was knitting them, these are the pair that I finished before the green... 

And a shot of all four complete... 

Although, not quite. They'll require a bit more finishing before they're ready to be mailed off. I have yet to attach soles to the bottom so that one doesn't slip on slippery floors when one is wearing them. And the twins requested dinosaurs. A little sewing, that's all. 

And I'm doing a little designing. A walking purse... 

I still have a couple pieces to finish, and then assembly. I may write up the pattern eventually. 

And then HapkidoKid's 13th birthday was the day after Christmas. His birthday scarf is in progress... 

So, I have a few projects still. But, I'm closer to the end of them all than the beginning. Not too bad. 

(Ideally I would have had everything finished in time for Christmas. But I'm good with only being a month or so late. I'm better off than last year.)

Friday, January 18, 2019

A Very Short Walk

I was covering a math class (one I've written about before). And, of course, I was asked to cover an extra period. (Last week was another week where I didn't get a prep period.)

I laughed when I saw where this other class was. Not only was it next door, the two rooms were connected.

Door inside the math class.

Door inside the special ed class.
This turned out to be a very useful door, actually. The math class' outside door's lock was stuck, so the only way to enter the room was via the special ed room.

It was so nice not to have to walk to the opposite side of campus for a change.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Milking the Injury

Middle school special ed U.S. history. The classes had been pretty good until 6th period. But, 6th period...

All boys. They came in loud. And I had to scold them to get settled at the bell.

Rico immediately called me over. He had to go to the health office. He hurt his hand.

The third and fourth knuckles on his right hand were purple with a bruise. It looked like he had hit something, hard.

Rico was goofing off. Loud. Not getting settled. So, I didn't really want to let him go. Because, he was clearly looking for an excuse not to work. But, those knuckles looked painful, and I'm not in the habit of denying students passes to the health office when they ask.

He wasn't gone long. He got some ice and returned. And now, it was all about how he couldn't do the assignment due to his hand.

The assignment was a timeline. They had been given a list of events during the Lewis & Clark expedition. They were to transfer those events to a preprinted timeline. Every other class finished by half way through the period.

But Rico "couldn't write". It "hurt too much". And I was reminded of the saying:
“If you really want to do something, you'll find a way. If you don't, you'll find an excuse.”
Rico was milking this excuse for all it was worth and then some.

And he was joined by two other boys who somehow couldn't get this timeline finished by the end of the period. Sigh. Middle school. Boys.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Vocabulary Challenge

English class at the continuation high school. The kiddos were to read a very short excerpt from John Locke's Of the State of Nature.

The students at the continuation high school aren't the strongest students, so the passage was a challenge for them to decipher. (I did read it with them and I tried to break things down so they understood.) Part of the assignment was to circle any words they were unfamiliar with so they could look them up.

I bet you know what's coming. I was expecting it.

"I am familiar with all of those words."

I believed two or three students. But way more than two or three students claimed this. So I warned them.

"If you're going to tell me that you know all the words in the excerpt, I'm going to ask you to prove it."

I had a group of students turning in their work. None of them had defined any words. Considering the paragraphs I had in front of me, I could give each student a different word. Words like: reciprocal, promiscuously, subordination, dominion, promulgated, and absolved.

And so I did. I asked each student to define a different word. And they made good stabs at it (using the context a bit). But they weren't even close.

Eventually they took their papers back. They didn't then look for words. Of course not. But at least they couldn't claim they were done.

(Considering that I heard one student looking up "arbitrary" but pronouncing it "obituary", there were more words that would have tripped them up had I asked for definitions.)

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

A Dragon

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 Dutch flower parade (similar to the Rose Parade) popped up on my Facebook timeline recently. And, as I've been reading some dragon fiction lately, it made me think...

What if that dragon was real?

Monday, January 14, 2019

The Gray Behemoth, End

So, yes, I finished it...

And I'm still learning my camera, so the pictures could be better.

It's about bed-sized...

And in case you're curious, the back side looks like the back side of stockinette stitch...

I finished it up last Monday. Now it's just a matter of getting it to my niece.

Hey, it's only 20 pounds. Not too bad.

Finally, I had to pose with it, just to give you an idea of how big it is...

And now I can go back to focusing on my other projects.

Middle nephew (one of niece's little brothers) is raising money for the American Heart Association. If any of you are so inclined, he would be most grateful for your help. (This link will take you to his page.)

Friday, January 11, 2019

Don't Date High School Boys

Winter break is over, but because I'm always posting last week's stories, I've pulled this week's posts from before the break. 

It was the last day before the winter break. Sort of. The continuation high school had to attend the Friday while the rest of the schools in the district were off. (They did a weird thing with the calendar this year.) But it was my last day, as no teachers from the continuation high school were going to be out.

And, as with all of December, I was again covering an extra period.

Which was unusual. This teacher had an emergency and had to leave early. (I heard it was a chipped tooth or something similar.)

For those keeping score, this gave me my second bonus day for the month.

Anyway, the class (there were like seven present) were busy watching their phones, mostly. They had a project, but most had already checked out mentally for the break. However, the room was dead silent.

So, I could hear Warren's entire conversation. It was all about his 22-year-old girlfriend and all the *ahem* things they did together. Yes, he was talking about sex. He was in the middle of relating one escapade when he looked up.

"Yes, we are listening. You can hear a pin drop in here. We can hear you."

Nope, that wasn't me. That was Jason. Jason M. No, not music Jason. (Music Jason is Jason C.) Jason M. is more of a gamer. (Certain names are popular. As I frequently have both Jasons in class at the same time, I am quite good at remembering which Jason is which.)

Jason M. was seated right in front of me. And I was grateful he spoke up. I gave Warren a glare.

"You might want to pick another topic," was all I said.

Warren didn't. He tried talking more softly, but the room was silent. I caught the gist of it.

All I could think was, why would a 22-year-old date a high school boy? (Warren says he's 18. I'm inclined to believe him. It's likely true.) Doesn't she realize that everything they do will be discussed with his friends? In class.

Probably not. If I knew who she was, I'd give her a heads-up.

My email to their teacher was short:
Yeah, so they didn't do a whole lot. No issues other than that. Although, we heard way more about [Warren's] sex life than I care to know. (He's dating a 22 year old.)
His reply was about the same: 
Wow...ok thanks for the heads up...I will talk to them
And revenge is sweet. I did warn Warren to find a different topic. If he's okay putting his business on front street, I'm okay letting Mr. A know that's what was discussed in his absence. (If Mr. A embarrassed him, all the better.)