Friday, February 16, 2018

Grading Surprise


I'm covering an English class at the continuation high school for two weeks. Their teacher retired. So, that means I have to make sure the assignments get graded and recorded. Which hasn't been too difficult since the majority of the classes aren't bothering to attempt the assignments.

On Friday I was caught up with the grading. I had returned the papers to the students. I explained that any papers that hadn't gotten over 70% weren't getting credit. (This is the policy of the school. They can redo and resubmit for credit.) Alas, the two girls who had completed the assignment had only gotten 30% correct.

One of the girls, after I had explained said, "Wait. You're grading this?"

Um, yeah. What did she expect? Why would I give an assignment and not check it for completeness and accuracy?

Deep sigh. I guess she just wanted me to give her credit for writing words on paper. But that's not how I roll.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Not the Heat


The weather in southern California last week was pretty nice. We had chilly nights (down into the high 40s/lower 50s) and warm days (upper 70s/mid 80s).

So, about mid day I needed a bit of the air conditioner. And while the room was a bit cool in the morning, I didn't think it was that cold. I'd walk into the room being at 64 degrees. (This is Fahrenheit, in case you're reading this from outside the U.S. That's about 18 degrees Celsius.)

With student bodies, that temperature creeps up all on its own. (That and the warming day outside.) So, I didn't feel the need to turn on the heat.

But the students... Oh, they were freezing. I had to put on the heat.

(Which just seemed like a waste of time and energy to me. It wasn't that cold. And it was warming up all on its own.)

When I refused to do this, a student decided he'd turn the heat on himself. Only...


Notice how it says "cool setting"? And 83 degrees? That's overkill.

(When I took the picture, it was 69 degrees in the class. When he was messing with the thermostat, it was 66-67 degrees. And that time? Yeah, it's not set correctly. It was closer to 11 AM when I took the picture.)

He has since figured out how to put it on the heat setting. But he's still not getting it to work. Because of other issues, the HVAC is turned off at the breaker box. However, I'm not about to tell him that. No. I just told him the heater is broken. 

Cheating? Perhaps. But at least I'm not being blasted with unnecessary heat.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Refusing to Leave


I'm covering two weeks of 12th grade English at the continuation high school. The teacher retired.

Third period is the journalism class. And they're a challenge. They're not working on their articles for the newspaper, and not even the threat of getting zero credits for these two weeks are managing to push them to work.

So, when Arlo took a seat in class, I wasn't having it.

Arlo is in the second period, but he's not in the journalism class. Why was he there? Because he didn't like his third period teacher. Who was out that day and had a sub of his own.

In second period, Arlo was a pain. He was "done" with the class, so he was more of a disruption than anything. But he was enrolled in my second period class. I had to put up with him then. I didn't have to put up with him for another period.

I told Arlo to go. He had another class. But he wouldn't leave.

He wanted a reason why he had to go. That he wasn't enrolled in the class and had another class he should have been in wasn't good enough. Nor was my telling him that I was asking him to leave. Oh no.

"I won't leave until you give me a good reason why."

So, we went back and forth a couple times. Then I called for security.

Security arrived. I told Arlo his escort was there. And still, he refused to budge.

At this point, there's not a lot to do. No one could grab the student and drag him out. I wasn't going to attempt it, and I didn't expect security to do so either. Security left. And I busied myself with other things.

Shortly thereafter, the principal arrived. (I had thought he was off campus at the time, so I didn't expect to see him.) Apparently, that was enough for Arlo. He willingly left then.

Well, sort of willingly. He told the principal that I was wacko. Apparently, I was being unreasonable asking him to leave. And I was called other names...

Alas, Arlo's departure didn't make third period any easier to deal with. But at least my issues were now with those enrolled in the class.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

A Cheat


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 won the game (or competition, or contract, or promotion, etc.) only to later discover that you had inadvertently cheated?

Monday, February 12, 2018

Not So Simple Scarf

I finished the super simple scarf...


Although, it turns out that even with something as simple as this, I can make a mistake.

Do you see it? Here's another view...


See it now? No?

Neither do I.

And that's a problem.

I cast on 21 stitches. Somewhere near the end, I had 22 stitches on the needle. Which means somewhere I gained a stitch.

I looked for it and looked for it. Ripped back several rows a few times. Still, I could not find the mistake. So, I chalked it up to a "design feature" and finished it off (while watching the opening ceremonies of the Olympics).

If you do happen to see where the mistake is, please don't tell me. It's now a finished object, and it's going to stay finished. If I know where the mistake is, I'll be tempted to go and fix it, and I really should send it off to its intended recipient.

Friday, February 9, 2018

The Back Row


Kids don't like to sit in the front. If there's a choice of seats, the back row gets filled first. The front row gets filled last.

In the computer-aided design class at the continuation high school, the front row was for the "new" students. The "advanced" students had to sit in the back row. (The computers had different software loaded.)

What's funnier is in this class, the teacher doesn't stand at the front of the room. There's barely any room between the front row and the board. There's more room behind the students so he can look over their shoulders easily.

No matter. The students still avoided the front row. Which wasn't an issue until 4th period, where there were three students more than seats in the back row.

And the one girl who was "new" had claimed a back row computer. She pretended not to hear me when I told her to move.

It's not like they were working, anyway. (I know. I watched what they were doing from the spy software.) Deep sigh.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

The Comfy Chair


C.A.D. Computer-aided design. At the continuation high school.

Occasionally a class will have one. A padded, wheeled chair.


Usually it's behind the teacher's desk, and I can easily shoo the kiddos away from it. (I claim the teacher's chair.) But this one was in addition to the teacher's chair. It was over at the side of the room. I didn't notice it until the first kid into class spied it.

He let out a yelp of pleasure as he ran to it and quickly switched it for his hard chair.


What usually happens in this circumstance is some other kiddo will arrive, complain that the student stole "his" chair, and an argument will ensue. I braced for it...

But it didn't materialize. Each period someone claimed the chair, and no one said anything against them.

I found out about this odd occurrence after school. The teacher arrived to teach his after school classes. (His reason for being out was "personal", but I had heard he'd been sick. Probably the same ick I had.)

I was taking the above picture. Mr. G explained that there's a firm rule about the chair. If it becomes an issue, he'll get rid of it.

As it hadn't been an issue, in fact, it had been surprisingly issue-free, I made sure to say I was pleasantly surprised how well the chair sharing had gone. After how well they handled it, there was no way I was going to have it be taken from them.

Now, if they'd only actually gotten some work done...