Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Time Travel Assassin


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. 😉

You've just narrowly survived an attack. This random person came out of nowhere with some sort of weapon. It seemed as if they wanted to kill you. But why? You've done nothing to them. There's no reason why someone would want you dead.

What if you found out that this would-be assassin traveled from the future with the intent to kill you?

Today's question was inspired by a tweet...
If you enjoy sci fi and fantasy, you might consider following. Some of those stories are quite good.

Today's A to Z Challenge post brought to you by the letter...

Monday, April 22, 2019

Scarves Update

This month's knitting "theme" has been Projects that Fell by the Wayside. But I don't know if that really applies to this week's photos. I'll let you decide.

The thing that makes a big difference in how long a project takes is the weight of the yarn used. My niece's Gray Behemoth only took about a week because the yarn was huge/heavy. For these scarves, I've been using fingering weight, which is a very fine yarn. So, something scarf sized is going to take a whole lot of stitches and way more time.

I put these projects aside with all the others when I started my Christmas knitting. But they were the first ones I picked up. And they're not nearly done.

I started the turquoise one on June 4th (according to its Ravelry page). I've made quite a lot of progress on it, but it still has a ways to go...


I got the color to come out almost correctly (it's a bit darker than this). It's an infinity scarf, so I'm working it the long way around. The width is almost there. I'm using a stitch pattern called Broken Chevron...


...which is hard to see here. I'll have to block it well once it's finished.

The purple passion one I started on November 11th (it has a Ravelry page, too). It took me a while to wind the yarn and pick the stitch pattern, and then I had to rip it out and start over due to a miscalculation. But it's coming along...


It's a much more fun stitch pattern, so I find myself working on it more frequently than the other.


But since the turquoise had a five month head start, it'll probably be finished first.

I'll keep plugging away on them. And I'll post pictures once they're completely completed. Which is taking a good long while. But that's because of the fine yarn, which means they'll be lovely lightweight scarves when finished.

I mean, I'm bound to finish them eventually, right? Right?!?

Oh, I hope so...

Have you ever worked on a project that seemed to take forever? Did you finish it? Do you like infinity style scarves?

Today's A to Z Challenge post brought to you by the letter...

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Redwoods

Nope, I didn't travel to northern California for today's post. I saw these while walking along in a local park.


Not the big one in the center. The little ones on the sides of the picture. My father tells me these are redwood trees.

I'm not so sure. Clearly, they are babies, not like the huge ones that live in the forests up north.


Apparently they're doing better than the last time my father and his wife took a walk in this park. There are leaves. There weren't any leaves before.

I'll take his word on this one. I needed an R for today.

Have you ever been to the redwood forests? Do you have a favorite tree? 

Today's A to Z Challenge post brought to you by the letter...

Friday, April 19, 2019

Quick Fix


U.S. history. It was the week before spring break. The classes had mostly been excellent. Third period was the "bad" class, although I'd take this "bad class" over most middle school classes any day.

Martin was one of the reasons it was a "bad" class.

When Martin walked in, he was in a bit of a panic. He was not ready for his Spanish presentation.

He had mentioned the presentation two days prior. He wasn't sure how he was going to memorize it.

But this was Friday, and it appeared Friday was the day.

Martin had a solution. He'd record his speech on his phone. Then he'd go into class with his hood up and one earbud in his ear. He'd give the speech as he heard the recording.

I can see several problems with this...

I had been covering the history class for a week. They had assignments, but they weren't immediately due. I saw more than one student working on other assignments--math, science, English.

(My general policy is work is work. If I'm collecting something, I'll push for them to be on task. But if I'm not, or if they've finished, I have no problem with them catching up or getting ahead with another class' work. Working students aren't causing problems.)

I would not have prevented Martin from reading through his speech. He could have spent the period preparing.

I'm sure you'll be unsurprised to hear Martin and his two buddies did not prep his speech or his cheat. Nope.

Their conversation, after asking me if I liked specific bands (The Police, The Cure, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Pink Floyd, etc.), revolved around their teacher's prowess as a football coach. (He's not the school's current coach, and he hasn't been for at least a couple years.)

Ah, Martin. Typical.

I wonder how his presentation went.

What problems can you see arising from Martin's proposed plan? Did you take a foreign language in school? 

Today's A to Z Challenge post brought to you by the letter...

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Popping Out


First and second periods were ELD (English language development; read: English language learners). The teacher left me a page's worth of lesson plans for them.

Third through fifth periods were freshman English. Ms. B, the teacher, left me two lines of instructions:
  • You have a co-teacher, Ms. K. She will run the class.
  • Pass back papers. Update portfolios. 
I was not concerned. Ms. K knows her stuff. 

During second period, Ms. K rushed in. She needed to get the computer set up for the rest of the day, but she only had a short time as she was on her way out to see her son get an award at his school. 

Second period was her prep. She intended to get back in time for third period. 

Of course, there was a technical glitch and Ms. K couldn't find the program she needed on Ms. B's computer. As I am in many different classrooms, I have learned to find most of the commonly used programs in several different computer configurations. I told Ms. K I'd find it so she could go. (It took me less than five minutes after she left to get that set up. My second period was working quietly, so I had the time.)

I was a little concerned. If Ms. K wasn't back for third, I was kind of screwed. I had no idea what they were working on. The lesson plan was rather cryptic.

I put it out of my head. If Ms. K thought she'd be back in time...

She was. For once, the estimated time was correct. Ms. K's son's teacher told Ms. K they'd be done by 9:30. Ms. K told me later that at 9:30 she was going through a Starbucks drive thru. (Second period ended at 9:40. Then there's a snack break before third period.)

As it turns out, the lesson plan was accurate. They passed back a stack of papers to all the students. The kiddos put them in order in their portfolios. And then we collected the updated portfolios back.

But where the papers were, the order those assignments needed to be in, and having the classes do this quietly were things that Ms. K definitely needed to be there for.

Do you leave back up plans, just in case? Can you solve minor technical issues?

Today's A to Z Challenge post brought to you by the letter...

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Offered for Sale


"Would you like to buy my AirPods?"

Tuesday. Period four. World history (sophomores). It was day two of a week-long assignment.

Alan only asked me about the AirPods (and gave me the hard sell) when I questioned why he wasn't in his seat. He explained that he had to sell them. He was looking for a buyer.

Alan gave me a sob story about needing money to contribute to his mom for *mumble mumble mumble*. While this may be true, the whole scenario played out less like a needing-the-money and more like a game Alan played.

In a middle school class, this would have been chaos. But the older kiddos have learned (mostly) to not be distracted by such silliness.

Alan showed off his ware to a friend. He demonstrated its features. The friend looked at it, but decided against. He tried a couple other of his classmates.

At one point, Alan even went over to a girl on the other side of the room when she expressed interest. He returned, his AirPods still in his possession.

Did he do any work that period? (The assignment was a Cold War Webquest.) Doubtful. (To be fair, it was day two of the assignment. He could have finished it the prior day.)

Do you have need of a used set of AirPods? They may be broken as I heard him drop them on Thursday. They may be counterfeit. And we have no guarantee that they work. (He was still "selling them" on Friday.)

Do you believe his story? If you needed quick cash, what item of yours would you sell? 

Today's A to Z Challenge post brought to you by the letter...

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Not My Fault


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 were being blackmailed about something your spouse (or sibling or child) did?

Today's A to Z Challenge post brought to you by the letter...