Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Zizi Rho Designs

Did you know I have an Etsy shop?

(I try not to hit this too hard or too often. But there is a little link to it over there in the sidebar.)

It has a Facebook page, too.

(And now I'm not allowed to mention it again for at least six months.)

Monday, April 29, 2013

Yaddo Cardigan

I so totally lucked out with this. I didn't even realize that my newest crochet project's name started with a Y. But as I was plotting out the rest of the alphabet, something made me look at the pattern.

When I saw the name of the thing was Yaddo Cardigan, I think I laughed. (I don't want to get dinged for posting a pic that I do not own, so check out the link to see what I'm going for.)

I'm not very far along just yet...

I made a few modifications. The main one being I'm using a heavier yarn than is called for in the pattern. (The sock yarns that were the right weight didn't have the feel or the color I wanted.)

So, I'm doing my usual cheat. Instead of doing all the math to resize the pattern, I'm working the smallest size. I'm not a small person. But because my stitches are bigger, I'll end up making a much larger cardigan. (It'll fit. I did do some math.)

I was going to have to modify anyway. The pattern isn't sized up to my size.

I'll likely post a pic when I'm done. As what's in the pic is about 3 weeks worth of work, it will be a while before I finish.

Saturday, April 27, 2013


I figured X would be a hard one. Anticipating this, I planned ahead...

By the way, this took me two tries. The first swatch didn't turn out so hot.

Now I wonder if I should try to make swatches for the whole alphabet. Should I?

Friday, April 26, 2013

Wrong Slideshow

I spent all of last week in an 8th grade science class. We got through a chapter's worth of material. On Tuesday and Wednesday, my job was to cover the lecture and notes portion.

The thing that got me through that week was the other 8th grade science teachers. They were there for me. Especially the head of the department. They made sure I had the materials I needed. They gave me places to send misbehaving students. And as I was walking in totally cold, they made sure that I knew what lessons needed to be done.

For the lecture, the head of the department gave me a USB drive with the lecture slideshow on it.

The students got a packet of work. They finished filling in the notes in the packet from material taught to them via the slideshow.

On Tuesday for first period, I got the electronics (the projector, the computer) all working. We got through the first few slides just fine. And then I found that information that the students had in their packets was not on the slides.

Oops. I probably should have, I don't know, looked over the material before trying to present it.

Yeah, I felt like an idiot. In my defense, I thought that everything the students would need to know would be in the materials I was given.

Then I got a call from the head of the department. She had given me the wrong slideshow. She was sending the correct one right over.

I used the correct slideshow for the next group. What a difference! Everything that was missing from the previous presentation was there. And it didn't take all that much time to fix what period one missed when I met with them next.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Vague Predictions

Thursdays are "What if?" days at LoG. I come up with the craziest question I can think of with the only intent being to jump start story ideas. Let the question take you where it will...

Did you know that you can reject a future a psychic might predict for you? If you don't want what the psychic sees for you, you can take the steps to change it. That's why people go to see psychics (or at least it should be why people go to see psychics).

But, of course, some predictions can be rather vague...

What if the psychic gave a vague prediction on purpose? That is, the prediction was vague so that it would have to come true?

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Unexpected Connections

I know the A to Z reflections post is supposed to come after the challenge, but it's just been amazing to me how things have lined up with letters and events.

(And I really don't want to do another complain-about-last-week post.)

Going into the challenge, I made a sort of back up plan, and I'm pleased that I didn't have to resort to it. Much. I did decide ahead of time what my "What if" posts would be. And I made a plan for X (which you'll see on Saturday). But several posts took me by surprise.

I decided early on that Saturdays would be post a picture days. I knew I could get a picture of some roses easy. And X was decided on early. But what was I going to do for L?

Then I opened my front door to find a lizard staring up at me. And it was even kind enough to stick around while I grabbed my camera. Score!

I hadn't noticed that the scarf I was crocheting had a name. Or that it would coincide with a Monday post. At the beginning of April I started a new project. (I finished a bunch of stuff. I needed something to do with my hands!)

I just started wondering about Y and Z. I thought, nah. It couldn't be. But about two days ago I pulled out the magazine with the pattern. And guess what? It starts with a Y.

I was thrilled when a teacher gave me a quiz to proctor. And it just happened to coincide with the Q week. As did the minimum day with M. (Sure, I had to do that week in reverse order, but they still happened in the correct week.) And I never get to cover zero periods, so the one time I do, it coincides with a week where I can pull "early morning" out.

Yes, it's been quite the challenge for me. I figured I might have to stretch a bit to get things to fall into place. So far, not so much.

I still have no idea what I'm going to do for Z, though. But at the rate things are going, I won't be terribly surprised if I don't have to resort to my back up plan.

So, how have the letters been treating you?

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Tardy Sweep

...is my friend.

Last week... Well, I don't want to turn this into one long whine. It was bad. Really bad.

Fifth and sixth periods were the worst.

On Wednesday and Thursday, lunch was extended for various school activities (something about a college fair day and a career day). To get the extra time, a minute was taken away from the passing period, so instead of getting six minutes to get from class to class, the students had five.

One thing the school has is a tardy sweep. If a student does not get to his/her class on time (before the bell), he/she doesn't get to go to class but instead is sent to a kind of in school detention for the period.

On Wednesday, they all managed to get to class on time. On Thursday, the ringing bell surprised some of them. (They were not even close to the room, only running to make it after the bell started ringing. And it wasn't like they were on their way. They were chillin' with their friends instead of making their way to class.)

I closed the door and wouldn't let them come inside. Of course, the door was unlocked, so they tried to get in anyway. I shooed them out.

The classroom has two doors, one at the front of the room and one at the back. The door at the front of the room remains unlocked. The door at the back stays locked.

I turned away to do some getting-class-started stuff, and when I turned around, I noticed that there was movement by the back door. That's when I saw four students, the students that I had sent to tardy sweep, attempting to sneak in. (The door is always unlocked from the inside, so a student near the door had to have opened it to let them in.)

One boy was even crawling across the floor, trying to keep his head below the desks so as to not be detected.

They protested loudly, but I still kicked them out.

And the class was so much calmer with them gone. (Still not what I would call a good class, but much more manageable.)

Monday, April 22, 2013

Sneaking By

Last week was a very long and painful week. I was the stop gap sub between the 8th grade science class' second long-term sub and the return of their teacher from maternity leave. I got all of the responsibilities of a long-term sub with none of the benefits.

(If I had known any of this when the week long gig was offered, I would have turned it down.)

We covered a chapter's worth of material that week. On Wednesday, I warned them there would be a quiz on Friday. On Thursday, I reminded them of this. Yet still, on Friday, several of them begged me for more time.

One boy was especially pitiful. He just needed the weekend to study. But they all were told and they had time to study (the homework was pretty light all week). Still, I felt bad when I saw that he got 4 correct out of 20.

In fourth period, several students had been out the Thursday on a field trip. Even though they knew of the quiz, they had missed one day of the material, so I let those that missed on Thursday skip the quiz (to make it up on Monday).

Unfortunately, this announcement was heard by the entire class.

I noticed that I had way more answer sheets than I should have. Questioning some students on this, they explained that they needed more time. Even though they had been at school on Thursday.

I explained to them that they could take the quiz that day or they could take a zero.

Once they got underway, I did a double check. I had a feeling. Sure enough, I had an answer sheet for a student who was present in class on Thursday. When I questioned him, he explained that he needed more time.

Trying to sneak one by me...

Saturday, April 20, 2013


I've been playing with some photo editing software. Too much?

Friday, April 19, 2013


The lesson plan said: "Quiz. They may use their books."

Odd timing for a quiz--the Monday after spring break. Ah well. Whatever. If it's in the lesson plans...

No one batted an eye until 4th period. 4th period, however, was shocked. Shocked.

"He didn't tell us we had a quiz."

So, I gave my standard reply. "Surprise!"

(I'm pretty sure the teacher announced the quiz. The other classes weren't terribly surprised or shocked. Considering how period four acted, I kind of think them not remembering announced quizzes is a normal thing.)

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Prediction Thwarted

Thursdays are "What if?" days at LoG. I come up with the craziest question I can think of with the only intent being to jump start story ideas. Let the question take it where it will...  

What if an oracle predicts that someone has some major destiny, but before that destiny can be realized, something major changes (revolution, natural disaster) making that destiny moot?

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Orange Pillow Prop

A few weeks back I posted this pyramid pillow prop...

...and the pattern for it.

The thing is, it didn't work for me. When I read, I'm in bed. Using that pillow, I couldn't tilt the ereader to the angle most comfortable for me reading. I tried. For two days. I twisted my head around, but it just wasn't comfortable.

So, I put the thing away and pondered.

(A funny thing happened, though. After posting the pattern, I got a lot of interest through Ravelry. At the moment, nine other individuals have made their own versions. Don't believe me? Go see. I think the fuzzy one is my favorite.)

The week before spring break I had a lot of plotting time. Besides some knitting, I found the time to come up with a complete redesign.

Believe it or not, this works for me. It's at just the right angle for reading while lying in bed on my side.

There is still one issue. The thing tips over easily. Perhaps I should make it bigger?

Yep, I'm probably going to redesign this yet again. When I have some time. And a different idea.

Okay, what do you think? Crazy? Strange? Would it work for you?

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

No Lesson Plans

I really shouldn't have been surprised. The call was late. The secretary, as she checked me in, informed me that Mr. C was going to cover Ms. D's 5th period, so since he called out the extra assignment was mine. So, not a planned absence.

Still, it was a shock to find no lesson plans in the classroom.

In my usual scramble, I noted that on the board the teacher had written: "Benchmark exam tomorrow." Well, if he told the class yesterday that the benchmark was tomorrow...

Then I noticed on the floor next to my feet a big clear bag with benchmark exams in it. Score!

I pulled everything out. I was just getting to the sorting when the phone rang. The teacher. The lesson plan? Benchmark exams.

Okay, then.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Minimum Day Scramble

Due to the constraints of the A to Z Challenge, I'm blogging this week in reverse. Minimum days tend to fall at the end of the week, and last Friday was no exception. And as luck would have it, a teacher actually gave a quiz on a Monday.  

The thing about subbing is, I'm always walking in cold. I may know what the subject is ahead of time, but I don't know where they are in the curriculum or how the kids behave.

It doesn't help to walk into a situation where the teacher has been out for a couple months.

You'd think that the last sub in the position would leave a bit of a heads up for the next sucker sub. But instead of finding a "this is where I left off; please continue doing..." sort of note, I got nothing.

At least the other teachers in the department were able to get me up to speed.

I was told to collect some assignment the previous sub gave. And then I was to give the kids a quiz.

Unfortunately, the previous sub told the kids the assignment was due next week. And the quiz was kind of a surprise. Although, not a big one.

It was a good thing that it was a minimum day. I don't think I could have handled a longer one.

Saturday, April 13, 2013


I opened my front door (looking for deliveries), and found this guy sunning on the porch...

Not sure what kind of critter he is, but if he's not some sort of lizard, then I just failed the A to Z for today.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Knitting in Class

Some time ago, I read something where a teacher complained that the sub knitted in class while the class watched a video. The teacher was quite angry about this.

For me, it depends on the situation. I covered an AP World History class for a week in June. Their teacher was out grading the AP exam, and the class' assignment was to watch movies (they were done for the year). I so needed to do something to keep me sane, and knitting saved me.  

But there is this 7th grade science class where the teacher usually leaves a video for the sub. (I've subbed for her a couple times.) The class has a worksheet to answer as they watch, and they need someone to keep after them, reminding them when answers to the questions are coming up. Those days I'm way too busy to have time for knitting.  

The week before spring break (the week I blogged about last week) was one such week where I needed to do something with my hands. By Tuesday I had exhausted my usual keep-my-mind-busy-while-the-class-does-what-it's-supposed-to-do activities. (Some weeks I don't even touch those.) I needed an activity, and fast.  

So, I spent the week (Wednesday-Friday) knitting earrings.  

Cute, huh? Or should I have not knit in class?   

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Jumbled Time

Thursdays are "What if?" days at LoG. I come up with the craziest question I can think of with the only intent being to jump start story ideas. Let the question take it where it will...  

What if time is actually a jumbled up mess, like a ball of tangled yarn? We go about our lives, only seeing that strand of time that we are on. But what might this mean if we became aware of it? Could one time bleed through to another, subtly or not? If two disparate times touched, what might happen?  

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

iPhone Cozy

I made a bunch of these at one time. I put them up for sale. I made the pattern available as well.

I think it's time for a redesign. What should I do differently next time? What should remain the same?

Tuesday, April 9, 2013


Last week was Spring Break. When I have no new stories for the blog, Tuesdays are the days when I dig into the archives and repost things from my past. This was originally posted on October 4, 2008

Yesterday I had a freshman English class. They were studying transitive and intransitive verbs.

It was the passing period into 4th period. I was up at the front of the room watching the kiddos come in. Many of them recognized me. I had subbed for one or more of their teachers last year.

"Great! It's the sub that hates me."

I looked up (she didn't say it all that softly) to identify the girl. It took me a moment. Then I remembered her.

Last year I covered three different teachers who all had the same group of 8th graders within about a week (this group and this group). This girl? I threw her out of all three classes. I wrote her up three times.

Do I hate her? No. I barely even remembered her.

I suppose I should explain. I don't spend a lot of time harboring anger towards students who misbehave. It's not worth the time or effort. They may make for an interesting post. Then, I concentrate on my next assignment. Sometimes I barely remember Friday what I did on Monday. Why then would I hold on to a grudge against a student I may not see for months?

4th period was the best class of the day. They participated. They worked when I told them to. And when they worked they were silent. A dream class. And the girl? She sat in her corner and did little to nothing.

Oh well. I wonder if she never works or if she chose not to work because I was there. But I won't wonder for long.

Since this post, I have run into her a few more times. At the continuation high school. (Most recently.) And for some reason, I seem to recall seeing her name on the graduation list. But I'm not sure.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Ghost Cone Scarf

It was February. I was bored. So, I found some yarn in my stash and started an interesting scarf I saw in a magazine. (Not sure of the legalities of "borrowing" the pic, so I'll stick to linking to it.)

Here's how mine turned out:

Lucky me, I finished it just in time to make the G post.

(I was kind of struggling with what to post this week, as last week was Spring Break, and since I write my posts a week in advance, that meant no new subbing stories this week.)

What do you think?

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Felted Beads

A couple years ago, I went a little bead crazy.

Now I've got tons of these, and no idea what to do with them. Any ideas?

Friday, April 5, 2013

Early Morning Eeek

"Mr. N has a zero period..."

I wasn't sure why this mattered as I checked in on Monday. I would have been too late to school to cover it, and besides, there is no zero period on Mondays. But I was missing one key piece of information--the teacher was going to be out all week. And the secretary assumed that I was going to cover it.

(Normally, the sub caller would have given me the week assignment when she called, but for some reason she hadn't mentioned the week thing when I talked to her. I'm going to blame that oversight on Monday.)

I am not a morning person. Left to my own devices, I'm lucky if I'm awake before 10 AM.

And yet, I said I'd do it.

I mean, AP Calculus. How hard could it be? Well, besides starting at 6 AM?

What sort of individual willingly gets up and goes to school at 6 AM every day? For a year?

The class contained four students. (This was the second year of AP Calculus. The first year met 3rd period.) Two juniors and two seniors. The top of the class (well, not the number one, but numbers two and three of the senior class. The topic came up). Three of them morning people. (The fourth was just really committed to her education.)

All four attended all week. Even though they knew they had a sub.

How I managed to get through the week, I'm still not sure. (Going to bed every night at 9 PM helped.)

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Drugs, the Illegal Kind

It's Thursday, the day I pose a random question. I'm not so much looking for an answer. These are more like writing prompts. If this were so, what would happen? 

Let the question take you where it will. Assume anything you wish. And if you manage to create a story from it, it's served its purpose.  

I love H2: History Channel 2. I recorded a show called The Stoned Ages, and I finally got through both hours. (I watched it in 20 minute increments.) And it got me thinking...

During the Nixon administration, the "war on drugs" expanded. The anti-drug policies used until that time weren't working, so law enforcement got tougher. More jail time. Stiffer sentences. That sort of thing.

What if instead of getting tougher on drugs, the government instead changed tactics in combating drugs and the ill effects they have on society? (Whether this be by legalizing or finding another way to get drugs off the streets.) How would that effect society? Would things be better are worse than they are now?  

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Cheater, Cheater, Pumpkin Eater

AP Calculus. Their teacher was out all week (death in the family). Spring break was the following week.

Their assignment: "Redo all AP review packets, each chapter 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 do half notes and chapter test reviews."

As that was gibberish to me, I copied it exactly to the board. The students saw the assignment and groaned.

They explained. This was a huge assignment. It was even bigger than the one their teacher had given them over Christmas break. They were certain that the assignment was not just for the week their teacher was out, but that it was also their spring break homework. (I emailed the teacher and got confirmation that this was the case.)

So, responsible AP students that they were, they got right to work. Right?

Of course not. They spent the week playing cards.

Deep sigh.

"Cheater, cheater, pumpkin eater."

I'm not sure what game they were playing. Something where they slam down on a card. And one boy used that refrain over and over and over again.

I have this image of them. Sunday, April 7th. 11 PM. Frantically copying notes.

They have no one to blame but themselves.

(To be fair, about half the class was working. And one girl even got the whole assignment finished on Thursday.)

Tuesday, April 2, 2013


AP Statistics. 5th period. Seven students in class, all working silently.

Boom. Against the outside wall.

It wasn't loud. It sounded like a kid may have hit the wall as he walked past. It wasn't terribly regular. Like, three booms followed by an extended period of silence. Only a slight annoyance.

As I had nothing else to do, I decided to sate my curiosity. I poked my head out the door.

"Oh, are we bothering you?"

One adult aide. One wheelchair bound student. Next to the wall sat a bin, and the student was trying to get a mini basketball into it. Clearly, the student had limited manual dexterity, so getting the ball into the bin was hard for him.

"We'll go somewhere else."

Um, no. That's okay. Really.

I mean, they weren't really bothering us. Not much.

I expected to find a couple kids standing near the wall, kicking it, not realizing a class was in session. (The school has two lunch periods, and half the school was on lunch at the time.) I was going to put a stop to that.

But physical therapy? The last thing I expected, and something I can live with.

After that the booms stopped. And I felt awful about it.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Another Purse

I have a problem.

A purse problem.

I can't stop knitting purses.

My latest:

I started this one in November. Just finished it (about a week ago).

I couldn't resist it when I learned that the color changes were done using only two different yarns. That, and I was between knitting projects.

What do you think? Do I need an intervention?