Thursday, July 31, 2014

No July 31st?

So, I've gone and joined the #ThrowbackThursday crowd. And I figured this post from July 31, 2010 was apropos...

I don't know why these things come up, but as this was rather timely, I thought I'd share.

On Monday, I went over to help my 9-year-old niece clean out her closet. As she did the work, I blathered on about random things.

I told her about the time when I was a child that I was paranoid about July having 31 days. My child brain reasoned that since February sometimes has a 29th, then perhaps other months could lose their last day. My niece thought that this logic was crazy, and she said so.

Of course, I was assured by my parents that July would always have 31 days. And now I see the craziness of the thought. (I was a small child. I had many crazy worries.) I hadn't thought of this for years.

Nothing quite like trying to entertain a child to bring out such strange memories.

Happy Birthday to me.

Niece, whose online alias is ArcherGirl, is currently 13. She goes into the 8th grade this fall.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Is That a Cell Phone in Your Pocket?

He wasn't being very subtle about it.

All I did was to meander over to where Antoine and his two friends were giggling when Antoine exclaimed a few expletives when he saw that I was paying attention to him.

But I hadn't seen the cell phone yet.

It wasn't that long after that I took another stroll and spied Antoine watching some video on his phone. I immediately went in for the confiscate.

He refused to give me the phone. He said he'd go to the office. I had no problem with that and let him go.

He returned about fifteen minutes later with a pass back to class. And I thought nothing more of it. Until I meandered his way again and noticed a cell-phone-shaped bulge in his pocket.

So, when I had a moment I asked the office staff about it.

The secretary remembered the boy. She said he'd gone "behind closed doors" with the principal. But she was the one who was supposed to confiscate cell phones, so something was off. She went to the principal, and the principal said that Antoine had asked to talk to him about his credits.

Clever. And he would have gotten away with it too if I hadn't followed up.

But now administration knows why Antoine was really sent up to the office. (And I know in future to call the office and let them know a "cell phone violation" is on his/her way up.)

And Antoine? He gets the next punishment on the matrix, which is decidedly worse than having his cell phone confiscated until his parent can come and pick it up.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Robots on the Brain

I'm not exactly sure when this started. Fairly recently, I believe. It seems that the Internet has decided that Thursday is #TBT day.

Rather than continuing to swim upstream on this one, I've decided to go along with the current. Which means that I'm making a change. Instead of posting my "what ifs?" on Thursdays, I'm moving my reposts to the day when everyone seems to be doing the same sort of thing. Which means that the "what ifs?" will now happen on Tuesdays.

Right. So, now on to my weekly random question...

What if we could upload our consciousnesses into robot bodies? What if we could upload our consciousnesses into computers? What would that be like?

Monday, July 28, 2014

Missed Day

It was 5th period on the first day of school...

(The continuation high school is on a year-round schedule, so yes, they do actually start back up in July. I was shocked to get called, but I quickly got over it and took the gig.)

I was still in the midst of "getting started", which includes doing a head count and comparing it to the number who answered "here" when I called roll, when I caught a back-and-forth going on in the middle of the room. It only took a moment for me to learn what was up.

The continuation high school has two "sessions" a day--morning and afternoon. Some "morning" students can have an extra 5th period or an all-day schedule. The "afternoon" students start the day at 5th period.

Martin was confused by his schedule. He went to the first class listed--our class--but the first class listed was for 1st period. For 5th period he was supposed to be across campus in math.

Apparently, Martin never got the message that he had morning classes. Which meant that he had already missed the first four periods of the day. Oops.

"I'll just stay here..."

Sure, he was already late to 5th period, but he had, in effect, ditched the first four periods of the day. I kicked him out encouraged him to go to his actual class and explain the situation.

(The students are supposed to be notified as to whether they are morning or afternoon before the start of school. Especially if there is a change. But these mix ups happen, so he won't get into trouble.)

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Window to a Different Time

It's Thursday, so it's time for my weekly random question...

Over a decade ago, I had a lovely little room where I was able to shut myself away and write. It was in the back of the house, and I used to look out the window and watch the comings and goings of the neighbors in their cars.

The room was above the garage, and it had no door to access the outside. The only way to get outside would be to climb out the window. But why would one do that when one could just leave the room and access an outside door.

But the outside door was far enough away that to reach it, one would no longer see out the window. So, if someone was outside and one wanted to go and talk to them, that person could be gone by the time one got there. Which is kind of where this odd thought I had came from...

What if you had a window in your house that looked out into a different time? (It could be different by five minutes or fifty years.) 

I thought about this one for a long time. Would I be able to interact with those outside? Could I find a way through that window? If I did, would I be able to get back? Or was I doomed to just watch? And would it be a future I saw or a past?

Starting next week, "what if?" is moving to Tuesdays...

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Winner(s)

So, the pillow prop giveaway ended last week... I never did officially announce my winner, did I?

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Yeah, I decided to give more than one away. Because I can change the rules like that. Can't I? (I mean, I said I'd give away one. As long as I give away at least one, I'm still doing what I said I'd do. Right?)

To the winners, yes, you'll get your prizes. Soon. I'm busily knitting away...

...and they'll be in the mail by the end of the week. I promise.

(If you would like to purchase one of these, you can find them here.)

And I'll probably do another giveaway when things settle down for me a bit. September. What should I offer as the next prize?

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Moonwalking Sub

I wonder if I should change these up. I'm in the habit of reposting something on Tuesdays, but the Internet seems to have decided that Thursday is the "throwback day". Which would mean I could post my random questions on Tuesdays. What do you think?

Today's repost came about when I searched through my 8th grade posts. I stumbled across this one which led me to the following which originally appeared on March 30, 2010.

"You're the best sub ever!"

That statement makes me nervous. I wonder what I did wrong. I don't mind the popularity. I do mind that somehow I let the students get away with something that I shouldn't have.

Today I had middle school choir. Their assignment was to work on their "group work". They have divided into small groups, and each group is to perform a song. Most of them picked fairly recent songs.

I spent the day watching them sing along to their songs and work out their choreography. I offered suggestions where I could. Mostly, I watched to make sure that they didn't get out of control (something that middle schoolers are expert at).

6th period was a bit different. One group chose a Beatles song. And the group nearest to me was doing this song from Mulan (yeah!!! I finally got something to embed):

As the group was working out their choreography, they decided that when "dark side of the moon" is sung, they should Moonwalk. They didn't know how, so they asked me if I did. (I didn't live through the '80's for nothing.)

So, I tried to demonstrate while wearing backless shoes (I do not recommend this). I think I explained it better than I did it. They tried. They'll need a little more practice.

After that, they called me the "best sub ever". Apparently, I didn't have much in the way of competition.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Feeling Blue

It's Thursday, so it's time for my weekly random question...

I'm kinda blank. I'm trying to think up something to ask, and all I can come up with is, "What if there was no blue?" Wait...

What if we could see in the ultraviolet or infrared spectrum? Would it be a help or a hindrance? 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Versatile Blogger Award

Last week Pinky Poinker was kind enough to pass the Versatile Blogger Award on to me.

So, I get to tell you seven things you might not know about me and then pass this off to fifteen other bloggers.

Seven things, eh? Hmmm... I can't just use the list from last time, can I? I suppose not. It's not really up to date, anyway.
  1. So, for the 4th of July I was all set to go to out. I made chocolate chip cookies to bring along (because I always bring chocolate chip cookies to these things). I made them that morning (well, early afternoon). Before going out, I laid back on the couch, closed my eyes... Next thing I knew, it was way too late to go anywhere. 
  2. That means I spent the 4th of July listening to all the fireworks going off all around me. Until past midnight. And they were loud.
  3. Around midnight, a helicopter hovered around the neighborhood. It got very quiet all of a sudden. The helicopter left, and the loud banging noises started right back up.
  4. I shouldn't have been surprised. Loud banging noises had been going on in the evenings for weeks.
  5. Oh, and the cookies... It only took me a week to eat them all. When I probably would have only had a couple and given the rest away to those at the barbeque. Sigh.
  6. I have a weird mark (bug bite?) on my neck that I have no idea how I got. It itches.
  7. I'm moving this summer. As soon as I find a new place.
Nah. Not going to do it. I think all of you deserve this, so I hereby award this to everyone who stumbles across this post. Your welcome.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Restraining Order

One more day to enter the cell phone stand giveaway. Seriously, there's like practically no entries. That means you've probably won this thing. If you enter.

Of course it's Tuesday and summer, so here's another one from the wayback machine. This originally appeared May 11, 2011.

It was second period. I was taking roll via my preferred method--using a seating chart. It was a science class (7th graders), so they were grouped into tables of four.

There were too many students at one of the corner tables. According to the seating chart there should have been three students sitting there. That group had an extra boy. So, I asked the boys their names to determine who was not where he was supposed to be.

The first boy I questioned was in the right seat. The second boy informed me that he was new. Earlier, I saw a name added to the roll sheet and the seating chart. Sure enough, this new boy did have an assigned seat--on the other side of the room.

I pointed out where he needed to go. He balked.

The boy explained that he couldn't sit at that table. The girl with the glasses was at that table. He had problems with her. He had taken out a restraining order, and she wasn't allowed within...and here's where he stalled. I guess it's a good thing that 7th graders aren't good at estimating distance.

The girl in question was minding her own business. She looked confused too.

Restraining order. I haven't heard that one before.

The boy moved to his assigned seat. The rest of the period I kept an eye on him. There was an issue with a tennis ball. Anyway, I'm glad I noticed the boy, because the boy he sat next to at first also had issues. I'm glad they were as far apart as they could possibly be in that room.

I'm back with this group for two more days. At least I don't have period two tomorrow.

And here's where I'm scratching my head. I didn't have them the next day? Huh? But it was early May, so it was probably testing time. We must have been on some weird schedule. (Note to self: spell these things out in the posts.)

Monday, July 14, 2014

Two More Days!

I'm still giving away one of these...

The deadline to enter is Wednesday. So, you'd best get on it!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Playing God?

It's Thursday, so it's time for my my weekly random question...

I can't quite figure out how to explain my thought process behind this one, so let me just jump into the question...

What if you had the ability to change one thing about our world/culture/society? What would you change? How would that change impact the rest of the world/culture/society? Would the overall effect be positive or negative?

My contest is still open. Make sure to enter here...

Tuesday, July 8, 2014


It's summer, so that means I have no new subbing stories. Lucky for you, I also had no followers early on in this blog, so I can repost some of my old posts for a new audience.

This post originally appeared March 3, 2008.

Did I mention that I had a bad day on Thursday? Today I subbed for the math teacher in this group.

There is a group of 8th grade teachers at this middle school. Each of these teachers has the same students as the others--so if a student has Ms. A for English, then he has Mr. B for history, Ms. C for math, and Ms. D for science. And since all the teachers share the same students, the teachers can coordinate with each other about these students.

It's great for the teachers. It's great for the students. It's bad for the sub who had a hard time with this group on Thursday.

At least I was prepared. I knew what I was getting into. And I made sure I had a stack of referral forms ready.

They were taking a test. I wanted silence. They decided to test me.

"My name is on my paper."

A boy announced this to the class after the class had gotten silent. It was as if he wanted to break the silence. As if? Nah. That was his intention.

Then the boy behind him announced, "Mine too."

I hope they enjoyed their stay in in-house-suspension. Clearly they wanted to be there.

Reminder: My contest is still on. Make sure to enter here...

Monday, July 7, 2014


It's gotten a little too warm to knit lately. So, I've been crocheting. Mostly for my shop.

Blue Water Bottle Mesh Carrier
...other colors available
A while back I said I was going to make a creature water bottle carrier, and I still intend to do it, but my designing brain has been hibernating. For the summer. So far.

I had wanted to make something like these EOS lip balm holders for a while. My niece gave me the perfect opportunity (plus the nudge to do it) when I made them for the guests for her birthday party a few weeks ago. I like the way they turned out...

EOS Lip Balm Clip
And, of course, the pillows...

Gray Pillow Prop
...other colors available
The contest is still going (deadline to enter is July 16th). Make sure to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Standard Time Travel Question

It's Thursday, so it's time for my my weekly random question...

Today I'm going with a time travel question. Let's say that you were preparing for a trip back in time. You can bring one piece of technology with you. But keep in mind that your cell phone probably won't work where you're going (you won't have access to the network, and the battery is going to die eventually).

What piece of technology (besides the time travel device) do you take with you? Would it be more helpful or harmful during your trip?

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Win a Pillow Prop

I've been knitting...

I finally got around to making some of these for my shop...

Well, the cell phone sized ones, anyway. Finally. (I mentioned that I was thinking about doing this a while ago...)

And I just wanted to tell you all that if you want one, you can buy one here. (I don't have them made in the larger sizes, but if you want one, I can make a custom one for you.)

But what fun is it just posting that you can buy one? Why not give one away?

So... I've created a Rafflecopter giveaway. One lucky winner will receive a cell phone sized pillow prop in the color of his or her choice (yarn availability permitting). The contest will close on July 16th at midnight EDT.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Playboy Bond

It's summer! And rather than bore you with... Well, I'm not going to go into it right now. So, here's an oldie from December 3, 2008

A boy in fourth period came up with that today. One boy introduced himself as, "Bond, James Bond". Another boy asked to pass by me by saying, "Please let the playboy pass". Then the "playboy" combined both. I would have said something about that being a good porno name, but that would have been way too friendly to a class that was behaving not at all how they should have behaved.

Today I covered a special ed class with a teacher who is the polar opposite of a leslacker (his lesson plans were so detailed, they were a thing of beauty). The day had gone pretty well. But fourth period would not work. I asked them to work. I told them to get to work. Four of them were working on a quiz. Only one (the one who had been absent yesterday) made any progress on it.

Then the boy who was seated at the back of the room ("James Bond") came up front to rifle through the teacher's overhead marker collection. I got him to put the markers back, but shortly thereafter I noticed that my pen was missing.

It's a cheap pen. I've learned not to use fancy pens at school. But it's a point of honor with me--I never lose pens. And this one is just about out of ink. I kind of want to get to the end of the ink with this thing. But it was gone.

I looked about for it. Many times it'll fall to the ground. But I knew that "James Bond" had swiped it when he was rifling through things earlier. I couldn't accuse him, though. Then I never would have gotten it back.

To the class I said that my pen had gone "missing" and I hoped that someone would "find" it. As usually happens, it found its way to the floor. An innocent student found it. She, of course, was then accused of the crime, but I knew that she couldn't have possibly done it even if she would have been so inclined. So, I got my pen back, and the students spent the rest of the period accusing everybody of swiping it.

If only they would put that kind of effort into their work.