Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Ruffle Trim Tank Photos

On Monday, I wrote about the fun I had with the Ruffle Trim Tank.  I promised pictures, so here they are.

First up, my first try (click on the image to enlarge): 

tank view 1

And here is the longer version: 


I don't know if you can tell that the second one is longer or not.  

I still have not taken it to my niece.  I should get it to her by this weekend.  Hopefully it'll fit.  

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Learn Solitaire

I used to have a MySpace account.  I started my blog there.  But after I had a few too many technical difficulties, I moved the blog here.  I have since closed the MySpace account.  I hate to lose some of my better blogs from that time, so from time to time I'm going to repost them here.  

This was originally posted on Saturday, January 6, 2007.

School starts back up on Monday.  I wonder if I'll get called.

Before the break I'd been spending a lot of time at the continuation high school.  I ended up covering this math (mostly algebra) class two days--a Thursday and a Monday.  I think that this occurred on the Monday.

In this particular class the students all work on computers.  It's kinda cool.  The problems are first demonstrated online, and then the students have a chance to try them.  The computer spits out a score, and this score is recorded in their grade books.  They complete so many assignments for a credit.

But, they're on computers, and these computers are connected to the Internet.  And remember, these are the kids who couldn't make it at the traditional high schools.  So, while there was work going on, there was also a whole lot of goofing off happening as well.

One girl was playing the evil Solitaire.  The boy next to her was trying it as well.  But it was obvious that he had no idea what he was doing.

I watched for a bit.  I did a lot of wincing.  The boy basically had the computer deal for him many times.  He'd try to put cards in the aces pile--random cards like kings and fives, just to see if they'd stick (they didn't).  He'd move cards around the screen randomly, and of course the cards would go right back to where they started.  Then he'd deal again.

I watched this for a bit, and then I couldn't take it anymore.  He should have been doing his math.  He could have been making some sort of progress.  But what I asked him was: Do you know how to play Solitaire?

He lied.  He said he did.  The girl next to him said that he was just trying to do what she was doing.  So, I got a real answer out of him, and then I tried to show him how to play the game.

There were only about seven minutes left in the period, and five of those needed to be devoted to "cleaning up" or at least an announcement that it was time to clean up (log off).  So, it wasn't a very in depth explanation of the game.  But I tried.  I had to.  I couldn't bear to watch him do whatever it was he was doing.

Later, the aide in the class told me that he had done no work since he had been in class.  Sure, I felt a bit guilty, but then again, it wasn't like I was going to convince him to do any math anyway.  And maybe he'll learn the game that we all know (and know is evil).

I saw him a week or so later.  He still didn't know how to play.

I saw him a few months after this.  By that time he had learned the game.  He thanked me for helping him learn to play.  I haven't seen him recently.  I hope he graduated.  

Monday, June 28, 2010

Ruffle Trim Tank 2.0

It's finally finished.

For my niece's 9th birthday I knit her a tank top.  I let her look through one of my knitting magazines, and she chose the one she wanted.  Of course, she didn't choose one of the kid tops.  No, she picked an adult model.  But I have the math skills to size a pattern down, so that was no big deal.

(The best I can do to show which top it is: go here, and it's the top marked "cover top".)

At least, I thought I had the math skills.

Since I was sizing the top down, I thought that I should also make it a bit shorter.  I was nervous the whole time. Was I making it too short?

She's smaller than a size small, but she's also tall for her age.  I debated what to do.  In the end, laziness won out.  It would take me less time to knit fewer rows.  17 inches should be long enough, right?

Wrong.  When she tried it on, it was almost long enough for her.  If she held her arms up over her head, the top showed her belly.  (It was the right size to fit, so I shouldn't denigrate my math skills too much.)

Because of the way the top is constructed, there is no way to just add length.  I would have to knit the whole thing over again.  So, on Sunday the 13th, I cast on again.

On Wednesday of that week, I had a blinding revelation.  I was about half way through the skirt portion on the back.  I was on track to finish the back in a couple days.  But, I used the wrong size needles.  Oops.

The pattern calls for size 7 needles.  I used size 6.  (I had both in my knitting bag, and I didn't double check the pattern for that detail.  Stupid mistake.)  When I held up what I had knit to my first version, I found that it was considerably smaller.  There was no help for it.  I had to rip it all out and start again.

I finished the top for the second time on Sunday.  (Knitting for kids goes that much quicker.  I got the first version done in about two weeks as well.)  It's all ready to go.  I just need to get it to her.

It should be long enough this time (22 inches).  I know it'll fit around as the first one fit around, and the only difference this time is in the length.  But I'm still a bit nervous.

I'll post pictures when I get them.  Hopefully, they'll be pictures of success.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Wake Up Call

The continuation high school is on a different schedule than the traditional high schools. They complain a lot when school starts in July, but I don’t hear those same complaints when they get three weeks off in October, an extra week for winter break, and two extra weeks for spring break.

Because of this, they don’t have a traditional summer school. They have intersessions. They get a week of intersession each time they have a break—in October, in April, and now.

I knew this intellectually, but I didn’t expect to get called to sub for it. The last three weeks of school I was at one of the other schools, so the continuation high school was a bit off my radar.

Intersession is voluntary. The students have to sign up if they want to attend. Then it’s first-come-first-served as space can be limited. The students can earn up to five credits in the subject they take. But they can’t be absent.

The assignment for the week was to plow through 11 chapters of the book, doing all the questions along the way. Each chapter had about five sections.

Many of the students in class were seniors. Well, now they’d be “super” seniors. Graduation for the class of 2010 was last week. If they were supposed to be class of 2010, they are now 5th year seniors, AKA super seniors.

You’d think they’d be motivated to get work done. Not so much.

Three girls would not stop talking. It wasn’t the talking that bothered me. It was the not stopping. They didn’t even finish the first chapter yesterday. By my calculations, if they want to finish the work for the week, they needed to finish at least two chapters. (They had six hours.)

One of those girls, Ana, was upset that the government class was cancelled due to lack of interest (not enough students enrolled). She was almost finished with her science credits. Ana talked about how the administration was ruining her schooling. (Her language was a bit more colorful, and it included anecdotes about arguments with the principal and various teachers.)

The rest of the class had suggestions for her.

Jesus commented that rather than battling the staff, the students needed to emulate them. His implication: the students had not graduated from high school, but the staff had. Jesus noted that the teachers get paid whether or not the students finish the work. But he was aware that the teachers would help if only the students made the effort.

I was shocked to hear this come from him. I’ve had Jesus in class a bunch of times, and he’s usually the one goofing off. He actually got a lot of work done yesterday. I was impressed.

Then Cassie added her two cents. She said that everyone had told her that she needed to stop messing around and concentrate on getting through high school. This time wouldn’t last forever. But Cassie didn’t believe them. She figured that she would get it all done.

Now Cassie knows that her sister was right. She missed graduating with her class. When Cassie found out that she wasn’t graduating, she ran away from home for two weeks (missing the last two weeks of school). She’s back now.

Cassie said that it is up to her to get it done, and she has a goal. She wants to finish her credits by the middle of August. Others are telling her she’ll finish by November, but she thinks she can prove them wrong. Cassie is determined to try.

Again, I found this interesting coming from her. Cassie is another one who spent most of her time in class doing next to nothing. It sounds like she got her wake-up call. I hope she does prove the naysayers wrong. She worked really hard yesterday, and if she keeps it up, I think she could do it.

I’m not sure if Ana heard the good advice from her peers. She still has that teen attitude of the world is out to get her.

As for Jesus and Cassie, I have hope for them. I’ve seen this change in attitude before. I don’t see much of those students after. They tend to graduate pretty quickly.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Surprise Call

The last day of school was Thursday the 17th.

I sort of signed up for summer school.  I told the sub caller I'd be on the list, but then she called me a week later to ask again if I'd be on the list, so I wasn't sure if she had me down on it or not.  I didn't worry about it too much.  In past years I've worked maybe twice for summer school.

(I am only on the list so that they know I'm available when the continuation high school starts up again around July 20th.  I get a few more days there.)

Summer school starts on June 28th.  This is my for sure free week.

So, I was surprised to get a voice mail on my cell phone (that's the number that the sub caller has).  I thought the sub caller might be calling about my being on the summer school list.  What I heard was a message I did not expect.

"Would you be available to work on Monday the 21st?"

The call was from the secretary at the continuation high school.  (The schools have to call us directly during the summer.)  I called her right back.

She explained that they were having their intersession this week.  (Their schedule is slightly different since they are considered a year-round school.)  The science teacher had a district meeting on the 21st, so he could come in to start the class, but he needed someone to cover after that.  Was I available?  

I picked myself up off the floor.  It's summer, and I've got a gig already?  It took me some time to mentally process this.

I went in this morning, and I had the sort of day that I expected.  I had the same group for six hours (they could earn 5 science credits this week).  Some got a lot of work done.  Some, not so much.  (I'll write about the day next time.)

The last thing I expected for today was to sub.  Wow.  Just wow.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Year End Review

Mr. Homework gave his subbing stats for the 2009-10 school year, and it got me thinking.  Since yesterday was the last day of school, it is now time to compile my own stats.  I pulled out my records, and I started counting.

There were 180 days in the school year.  I worked for 104 of them.

Of those days, I spent 41 in high school classes, 22 in middle school classes, and 41 at the continuation high school.  (One day I spent in a 4th grade class.  The less said about that, the better.)

Twenty of those days, I subbed for teachers who did not have a prep period.  On 21 of those days, I was asked to cover a different class during the prep period.  (41 divided by 6 gives me 6 and 5/6 extra days' pay.  We get paid extra when we work that extra period.)

I spent 17 days in English classes, 8 in math (no wonder I feel like I never get math classes), 23 in social studies, 17 in science, and 13 were weird days--either roving or in testing.  I spent 4 days in core 7th grade classes (these are classes where I had the same group for 2 periods--one period of English and one period of world history).  I only spent 4 days in special education classes, but 9 in opportunity classes.  And 9 days go into the miscellaneous category--art, music, computers, ELD, health.

I worked the first day of school but not the last.  I worked seven days before the official start of the school year at the continuation high school (they're on a year-round schedule).  I'm not sure whether or not they should count with the 180 day school year.  They're not part of the traditional school year, but the continuation high school is only in session for 180 days as well.  I guess I could say that of the 180 days there, I worked 48 days.

And now the summer begins.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Graduation Daydream, Again

It was two years ago when I first dreamed this up.  Then last year at this time, I posted it again.  I've started an annual tradition.  So, here it is again in it's entirety--my graduation daydream:  

It begins with the seniors. They're onstage in caps and gowns. They throw their mortar boards into the air. They cheer. Then, they hug each other. Some are in tears. And they all slowly leave the stage.

The stage isn't empty for long. The juniors, who had been watching all of this from the edge of the stage, run onstage to take the place of the departed seniors. They've made it! They are excited. They're jumping up and down, high-fiving each other, and running at each other doing chest bumps. They are so enjoying themselves that they don't see the scene before them, of all the lower grades lining up to take their new spots.

The sophomores now move into the spot just offstage that the juniors just vacated. They look around in wonder. There's this line behind them, but mostly they watch the new seniors in front of them. And the former freshmen also move up into their new spot.

The former 8th graders run into their new freshmen spot, and they're thrilled. They're in high school now, and they won't let anyone forget it. They're almost as excited as the new seniors, and some chaos ensues.

Now the 7th graders take over the 8th grade spot, and the former 6th graders are a bit in awe of their new position. They've finally finished elementary school, and they've come into this new middle school place. They feel a bit out of place as they look around.

The 5th graders kind of act like the 7th graders--now they're at the top of their school. And the lower grades all take up their new positions. The kindergartners slowly leave their initial position to take up the 1st grade spot. And now there's this big hole that the kindergartners have left, but it's not empty for long.

Along come the young 5-year-olds, some pulling their parents while others are being dragged. There are tears in the parents eyes as they place their children in that new spot--the future class of 2023. The parents look at the line of kids, and they see the seniors off in the distance. They are a bit awed by it all, and they wonder if they'll ever see the end of that line.

As the new kindergarten parents stand there, they see the graduates with their parents, celebrating. One of the graduate's parents passes by. She pats the young mother on her shoulder. The young parent wonders how the older one got through it all. The older parent explains that it seems like no time at all that she had been where the younger one was, and she wonders where the time went. They both shake their heads.

I'm not sure why I keep posting this.  I hope you liked it.  

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Best Laid Plans...

Today I was in to cover an 8th grade English class.  The 8th graders had their promotion today.

First, some background:

Layer one: the school was on block schedule for finals.  They had periods 1, 3, & 5 yesterday.  Today was periods 2, 4, & 6 for two hours each.

Layer two: the 8th graders did their finals already.  They had to know if they could participate in the promotion before today.

Layer three: 8th graders who didn't promote had to go to class.

I knew all this going in.  So, I was not surprised to find a lesson plan consisting of showing movies.  I was also not surprised to have very small classes.  The 8th graders who did promote got "signed out" of school by their parents after the ceremony.  (Read: I got stuck with the students who did not pass the 8th grade.)

The promotion ceremony took place during the first block (2nd period).  Someone had gone to the trouble of coming up with a supervision plan.  Half the 8th grade teachers were at the promotion while the other half remained in their classes to watch the 8th graders who were not promoting.  Those teachers at the promotion were assigned buddy teachers to send their non-promoting kids to.

It was a good plan.  Unfortunately, somebody forgot about the sub.

Right before the period started Ms. M. showed up.  She was told that she was supposed to watch the kids in the English class.  I was there, so she went back to her classroom.  (Oh, by the way, all the kids in the 2nd period English class promoted.  That was the advanced English class.)

I was supposed to get 11 students from Ms. R's class.  There was a note on Ms. R's door stating which students went where.  (Four of her students were supposed to go to Ms. M's class.)  But this confused them (clearly demonstrating why they weren't promoting).

Four students showed up to my class.  Only two of them were on my list.  The other two said that Ms. M. had something like seven students in her class.

It always amazes me how these things get so messed up.  No matter how well planned, once students are introduced, something always goes wrong.

As for me, I roll with it.  I took who came.  I kept a list of who I had in class.  And I showed the movie.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Not Dark Enough

I was surprised to get an assignment today.  It's finals time.  The last day is Thursday.  I figured that I was done for the year.

They were on block schedule (only periods 1, 3, & 5).  According to the teacher's lesson plan, I ended up with her worst class followed by her best class.

The plan was to show them a movie.  (They took their finals already.  They're 8th graders.  They do their promotion thing tomorrow.)  I put in the movie.  I turned off half the lights.

"Would you turn out the lights?"

I explained that I turned out half the lights.  That wasn't good enough.  I explained that I was going to leave some lights on.

It's not that the room got all that dark.  There were two good windows.  I could have opened the blinds.  But I had been warned that this was the worst class, so I wanted the lights on to keep them honest.

"Would you turn out the lights?"

It wasn't that much later that this question came up again.  I heard it several times after this.  I was ready to snarl at them.  Instead, I said, "I already answered that question."  There was probably some snarl involved anyway.

Then half the class left.  It was time for them to go and practice for their promotion ceremony.

Suddenly, the timbre of the room changed.  I was no longer doing battle with them.  The students who remained sat quietly, stopped fighting me, and were almost pleasant.

I went over and turned out the rest of the lights.

I could still see them.  The room wasn't that dark.  But as they had stopped fighting me on the lights, I no longer felt the need to keep half of them on.

Yeah, I'm stubborn like that.

Monday, June 14, 2010


I don't lose socks.  My dryer doesn't eat them.  I always get the same number of socks out of the dryer that I put in.  (Which I suppose is more of a challenge since I always wear this type of sock.)

So, I was a little disturbed to find a lone sock in my dryer the other day.

I had just finished washing a load, and I was about to put it in the dryer.  The last time I had done laundry was about a week previous.  So, the sock had been sitting in the dryer since then.  But I hadn't noticed a missing sock.

I had an even number of socks.  Now I had an odd number.

There was nothing left to do.  I had lost a sock somewhere.  I moved on.

It was about two days later when I went to get something from my underwear drawer when a sock fell out.  Ah, so that's where it went.  And my perfect record stands.

Friday, June 11, 2010

The Cheat

It was 6th period in the middle school computer class.  Two boys had my attention.  They weren't bad per se, but they were on the border of playing around too much.  (It's the end of the year.  There's going to be some goofing off.) 

The first assignment was a crossword puzzle.  It took them way too long to finish it.  The next assignment was to take a three minute typing test (here).  One of the boys got a score of 107 words per minute.  ??? 

He was cheating.  There was no way that he could type that fast.  But how can you cheat a typing test website?  Is that even possible? 

So, I asked how he cheated the site.  He was kind enough to show me. 

He started a test.  He typed the first word.  Then he hit space.  Then backspace.  Space again.  Backspace again.  He could hit those two keys very, very fast.  And his words per minute went up and up and up. 

Also, no errors. 

Of course, the point of the typing test was to practice for their final typing test next week.  They are supposed to be able to type at least 35 words per minute.  So, the cheat cheated only the boys who were doing it. 

Although, now the teacher knows that it is possible to cheat the site.  I wasn't about to keep that tidbit to myself. 

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Grammar Police

Today and tomorrow I'm covering a middle school computer literacy class.  When I was in school, this class was called typing.  Ah, how times have changed. 

Their assignment was first to complete a crossword puzzle with computer terms (a review for their upcoming written test), then to practice their, sorry, that's actually called keyboarding now, and finally to work on their final PowerPoint Presentation.  (The last day of school is next week.) 

The crossword puzzle took maybe 15 minutes (longer for a few).  They quickly moved on to the PowerPoint. 

I like computer classes.  I walk around.  I watch what they're doing (and make sure they're not on the wrong websites).  And I offer suggestions when they are working on projects. 

I read some of their slides.  The grammar was atrocious. 

I'm generally picky when it comes to proper grammar.  The senior projects bothered me when they used the wrong your/you're in their on screen text.  I was especially perturbed when they'd use a plural when they meant possessive and vice versa.  But the projects were done, so there was nothing I could do about it. 

These projects were still in the working stage. 

When I saw a glaring mistake, I commented.  One girl wrote, "My most embarrassing memory was when me, my mother, and my sister..."  I explained that the list was a subject, so she should have used "I" and put it last. 

The boy sitting next to her laughed. 

I turned to him.  I asked him if he was laughing that I corrected the girl.  He denied it, but I suspected that was the case.  So, I carefully looked at his PowerPoint.  I knew that I could find something. 

He had written that he lived in "city state"--no comma.  I pointed this out.  Now it was the girl's turn to laugh. 

I found a couple more glaring errors before walking away. 

I suppose I shouldn't say anything.  But such errors bother me.  And I would think that the students would want their projects to be as correct as possible (although, I could be wrong about that).

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


Last night I was busy writing up my note for the teacher.  He'll be back tomorrow, and I'll be off to another assignment.  That's the way subbing goes. 

Since it was a seven-day assignment, I typed up my note on the computer.  I think better when I'm composing on a word processing program, probably because I get such awful writer's cramp when I use a pen.  This way, I also get to keep a copy of what I wrote (all but what I add at the end for what happened today). 

This is not usually the way I do notes to the teacher.  After some time subbing, I came up with a way to streamline the process. 

What I usually do is to "grade" the class.  I have my own system.  I made up a grid and a "grading rubric".  I found that it goes so much quicker to jot down a number and a couple notes rather than trying to compose a full on note every day. 

My grid has four columns.  In the first column I give the class three scores.  The first score is for behavior.  For example, a class that was silent and on task for the period gets my highest score (some teachers reward this).  A class where "some made better use of their time than others" gets a middling score. 

I use the second score to rank the classes best to worst (although some days I skip that one).  And the final score is the answer to a question: did they cooperate with me?  (That answer is usually "mostly" or "somewhat".  They are teenagers, after all.) 

As for the other three columns, I list who left the class for whatever reason (to office, to restroom), any names that I need to list (good or bad), and any miscellaneous stuff that isn't covered in any of the other columns. 

I found that my system cut down on the time it took to write a note.  I can usually have the period noted in about a minute. 

But when I work a class for longer than a day or two, I like to leave more detail.  So, while I didn't need to list a lot of misbehavior this time, I did want to give a sense of what the classes were like while the teacher was away.  I think I captured it nicely. 

Then again, tomorrow I'm only going to be a couple doors down from this class, so I could just tell him. 

Monday, June 7, 2010

The Final Project

Today the final project was due in the two periods of economics that the student teacher runs.  It was a video assignment.  The kiddos had a topic that they had to explore through interviews and other visual media.  They had to edit it and have it ready to go today.

They have had six weeks to complete the thing.

We only got to see a few of the projects today.  A couple were pretty good.  One was awful--they hadn't finished (or even started by the looks of it) editing it down to a workable version.  And a few of them hadn't finished.

Their teacher had told them that if they don't get it in today, they get a zero.  In some cases, that zero could keep them from graduating next week.  But they knew that today was the deadline for a while.  Their teacher had even reminded them of this several times last week.

Their teacher told them that they had until the end of the day.  But after his last group of seniors, he's out of the room.  He told them to bring their projects to the activities office.  He repeated this a couple times.

That's why I was surprised when a group came in looking for the student teacher.  Apparently, they had not heard him say where he would be.  Then another group came in.  And another.  One group came in and then returned later, expecting the student teacher to have come back.  I think I snapped at them.

I wonder about them.  They're graduating next week, and they're still not following directions.

(Whoa, just had an earthquake while I was writing this.  Well, at least I wasn't in the shower again.)

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Alligator Scarf Finished

I promised.  So, here it is, finally finished:

alligator scarf 2

And here's another view:

alligator scarf 1

If you click on the photos, you will get a larger view.

Now I just need to figure out what to name the beast.  He needs a name.  Any ideas?

Friday, June 4, 2010

Free Hugs

I'm still on the seven day assignment.

Two of the classes (two economics classes) are being taught by a student teacher.  I like student teachers.  They make my day so much easier.

Generally, I get to find a nice place to sit while the student teacher takes care of the class.  This student teacher has been with the classes all semester, so basically they're his classes.  My job is to be the certificated body in the room.

It is almost the end of the year.  The student teacher wanted to do something different with his seniors.  He told them about Free Hugs.  He thought it would be a good thing to try at the school.  He introduced the idea early in the week and asked for their reaction.  The students were open to the idea.

Today they made signs.

The room was in controlled chaos mode.  I helped out by finding scissors (well, one of the students knew where the teacher kept the scissors) and offering advice.  By advice, I mean I said, "Yeah, that looks good".  Although, I wasn't lying--those that asked did have nice looking signs.

One student brought his sign to another student to protect while he went away to do something else.  The sign was only started.  It said, "Free Hugs...I'm Black," and that was it.  There was some blank space underneath, so something else was going to be added.

The student protecting the sign was not black, but held it up and posed for a picture.

The first student eventually retrieved his sign.  When he finished it, I had to find out what the rest of the message was.  "Free Hugs...I'm Black...I Really Need It."  Um, okay.

At the end of the period the class got together to take a group picture with all the signs.  As I was the odd-man out, I got to snap the picture.  I took three--just to make sure that one came out looking okay.

It'll be interesting to see how the campaign goes over.

Thursday, June 3, 2010


On Tuesday, 3rd period was not pleased with the movie selection.  They said that they were going to email their teacher in hopes of convincing him to let them watch something else.  On Wednesday, one of the girls said that the teacher had okayed a movie change.  I asked for proof.

It wasn't that I thought she was lying.  I just wanted to verify her statement in some way.  I asked that she print out the email so I could see it.  (Also, that way I could see how amiable the teacher was to the change in movie.)

Today the student brought in the proof.  It turned out to be an IM chat.  There was a bit of negotiating going on between the student and teacher.  The teacher wanted to know what movie the girl wanted instead.  She started off with Mulan, which the teacher was fine with.

However, the teacher questioned that choice.  He wondered what else she might have in mind, so she upped the ante and asked for Little Miss Sunshine.  That's rated R, so that was a firm no.

Yesterday, the students decided to bring in movies for today.  There were only about four movies to choose from.  None were rated R, so we were safe.

What did the students choose to watch?  Mulan.

So, I got some peace today for one period.  None of the other classes thought to petition their teacher for a movie change, so they got to watch what was on the original lesson plan.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


It's day two of the seven-day assignment.  The teacher left me three videos for the time that he's out.  Today we continued watching The Mission.  

It's kind of an interesting movie.  I'd never heard of it.  Neither had they.  And they weren't much interested in expanding their knowledge.  

They whined that it was boring.  One class said that they were going to email the teacher to change the movie choice.  Fine.  But they were going to be quiet today.  

Fifth period, I kept having to shush a group of four boys.  They were constantly turning and saying things (inaudible to me) and laughing.  It's not a funny movie.  It took me a while before I figured out what it was they were doing.  

At the end of the period I called them on it.  "You need to stop with the Mystery Science Theater 3000," I told them.  They didn't get the reference.  

First I told them to look it up.  They are AP kids, but they're also 10th graders, and it's the end of the year.  They'd never look it up.  So, I explained.  They had never heard of MST3K.  

I thought it rather sad that they had never heard of the show.  I also felt a little old (not for the first time) for using the reference.  Sigh.  

(And just for kicks, Amazon has a bunch of these for sale here.)  

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Easy Week

"Economics," the sub caller said.

It's not really my subject.  The only subject that is worse for me is Spanish (I took French).  But I had no qualms in taking the class, even for seven days.  I'm pretty good at winging it.

I had a bit of time to wonder about the class.  I talked to the sub caller about this job last week (we can call in ahead of time).  I knew that the teacher didn't only teach economics.  And it's the very end of the year.  I wondered how the seniors were going to be.

Today was day one.  Turns out the teacher is away grading AP tests.  This means he has AP classes, and those classes are done.  He also has a student teacher for two periods.  The lesson plan: videos.

It should be an interesting few days.