Friday, July 31, 2015

The End of July

In honor of my birthday (yep, today), I found a birthday-themed quiz:

Word Ladder: Happy Birthday

I got 100%, but with 8 seconds to spare. The trick to this one is each word is only one letter off from the last one. That's how I finally figured out the one that I couldn't figure out. (Hint: you can do them in any order. Just type in the word in the top box and the word will appear in the box where it's the correct answer.)

And since it's the end of July (when asked when my birthday is, I generally answer with "the end of July"), what better time to remember all those birthdays we forgot:

Born on This Day: July

I only got 64%. But I do know who I share my birthday with. (Hint: she wrote a popular series of seven novels that were made into eight movies.)

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Know-It-All Teens

Today we go into the wayback files for #ThrowbackThursday. This one is from September 16, 2008.

I have subbed for this particular teacher many times before, so I know that the newspapers in the office are hers. I grab them without really thinking about it anymore. I got to the classroom, put the papers down, and then I read the lesson plan. "Current events presentation preparation." I had everything they needed.

It wasn't even ten minutes into the period when a student accused me of failing to get today's newspapers. Um, they're right over there. Then I looked. All the papers had been taken. The student said that there had to be more in the office.

Arguing with a teenager is a pointless exercise. No matter what I say, the teen has an argument for it. We could spend a half hour debating the color of the desks, and I would not be able to convince the teen to even agree to disagree. So, I avoid these "discussions" whenever possible.

I told the student that I had picked up all the papers. She wanted to check the office. I knew that she'd need the proof of her own eyes, so I let her go "retrieve" the "rest" of the papers.

The student returned with no papers. She told me that the office ladies had said that I had already picked them up. (See, I was right!) She was still doubtful, but she had no other recourse, so she took her seat and stopped complaining.

They think I lie to them. They think I don't know anything. Such is what a sub gets to deal with every day.

I don't get this so much at the continuation high school anymore, but occasionally I'll run into a student who doesn't know me.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Psycho Next Door

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 ;)

One day I was perusing the onscreen guide on TV, and the blurb for this movie stood out:
Three teens blackmail a serial killer into helping them deal with a violent bully.
(The movie: Acolytes.)

I didn't turn on the movie. It's not my sort of thing. But it's a fascinating premise...

What if you suspected your neighbor was a serial killer, but you had no way to prove it? How would you make sure you weren't his next victim?

Monday, July 27, 2015

How Much?

I've been going back and forth over this in my head, and I need some outside opinions.

How much would you be willing to pay for something like this...

They're handknit using 100% cotton yarn. The dimensions are...

And they're in several colors...

I've been adjusting my prices on things and figuring if making some of these items is worth it. Yes, I sell them in pairs. Thank you for your help. 

Friday, July 24, 2015


This quiz was difficult. You have to pay attention to everything, and then they ask a question you did not expect. At least, they asked questions I did not expect. So, I guessed on a couple. I remembered a couple. And then I did very well.

I guess I guessed well. That, or their scoring system is broken. (I rather think the scoring system is broken.)

Anyway, this one is a good challenge:

How Perceptive Are You?

Good luck!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Broken Record

Today's #ThrowbackThursday isn't all that old--it's just from October 1, 2014. There was a comment on last week's repost that made me think of this one. Because when the kiddos are super annoying, I know I have something to blog about. 

Eduardo caught my attention early. By the third time he left his seat in the back far corner of the room to throw away another sheet of paper, I knew he was one I was going to have to keep an eye on. But when he asked to use the restroom, I had no problem in letting him go.

I have a pretty liberal restroom pass policy (so long as the teacher has not put the kibosh on passes by stating "no passes" in the lesson plan). I let anyone go. One at a time. Once per period. (And I write down their names.) Most students are okay with this.

Eduardo returned in good time. He went back to his seat.

Not long after this, Eduardo returned to the front seeking hand sanitizer. I looked. The teacher didn't have any.

Eduardo then asked for another restroom pass. To wash his hands. Because he had gotten pencil dust on them? Something like that. His hands looked fine to me. I offered him a tissue. But that wasn't what he wanted.

I explained that he had used his one pass for the class. It wasn't that long until the end of the period. And his hands weren't filthy. He'd be fine.

He didn't see it that way.

He proceeded to ask me to use the restroom. I said no. Then he asked again. And again. And again. It was as annoying as you'd imagine.

In the midst of this, another student approached and asked to use the restroom. I let her go.

He was incensed. How could I let her go? Well, she hadn't gone once before this.

And now I had a second reason he couldn't go. Someone else was out of the room.

Finally, he relented. He'd give me five minutes to "reconsider". Then he'd return.

Five minutes passed, and he did indeed return. This time with his "lawyer". This other student didn't say anything. I think he kind of enjoyed the show. I know the students sitting nearby were getting a kick out of it.

Eduardo started the, "Can I go?" again. After two nos, I stopped answering. He wasn't listening anyway.

Just when I thought I'd spend the rest of the period hearing the question (and Eduardo doesn't know me very well if he thought he'd actually wear me down with this), another student returned to class.

This other student had been called out of class at the beginning of the period. When Eduardo saw him, he said, "Never mind," and instantly went back to his desk.

"Oh good. You made dumb and dumber leave."

This came from a girl seated nearby. The comment was so perfect. I burst into laughter. Which startled the girl.

She asked me about how annoying the boy had been. He annoyed her and several of her seatmates. I explained that such things are just fodder for the blog, and I kind of enjoy them in the moment because of this.

I swear, some days this blog writes itself.

The student who returned to class, ending my torment, is actually a student I encountered quite a lot last year. Great kid. Not sure why he stopped Eduardo. I should give him a pseudonym and write about him, but he hasn't done anything blog-worthy. Maybe he will next year--he'll be a senior.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Blowing in the Wind

I've got another farmers' market story, and it doesn't include a sunburn. Hooray!

Last Sunday I was back at the farmers' market. It had rained on Saturday. (Hooray! We can really use the rain.) It rained Sunday evening. (Hooray! After the market was over.)

Sunday was nice and sunny. And warm. And humid.

After I unpacked my car, I discovered what I had forgotten. My chair. Yep, I packed everything (even remembering my forgotten bags) except for the thing to sit on all day. (They were kind enough to lend me a chair for the day.)

About the time I discovered this, I realized the other thing I had forgotten. A towel. (Ford Prefect would be so disappointed.) Because it didn't take long before I was drenched in sweat.

But I got set up, and everything went fine. Until the wind started blowing.

The last time I had done the market, I didn't have that much trouble with the blowing wind. But this time my display started inching forward.

I'd get up and move it back. Then it would inch forward again. I fought with this all day (well, half the day as the wind didn't pick up until later).

Then, about the last half hour of the market, I realized something. I had bungee cords...

That held the display perfectly. *smacks head*

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The After

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 ;)

Is anyone else watching Proof? I'm not terribly thrilled with much summer programming this year. I'm not sure if I like this one or not. But it got me thinking...

What if what happens to you after you die is what you believe is going to happen to you?

Monday, July 20, 2015

Fair Burn

This past Friday the Orange County Fair opened. If you arrived that first hour, you could get in free. But because everyone does this, we had to arrive early and wait in line.

In the sun. I'm sure you know where this is going...

Yes, I did wear sunscreen. I just didn't rub it in all the way up my arm. So, I only got burned where I missed, and that is about half of what it was 12 hours prior. (I have some great after sun gel that helps quite a bit.)

I saw where they had all the crazy food...
Because there are crazy people who want a caviar-covered Twinkie. Or a three-patty hamburger with a Krispie Kreme bun...

Not my sort of thing. I like to go and look at the knit and crochet entries. My favorite was a box of crocheted donuts (that I didn't take a picture of and I can't find a picture of on social media. Sorry).

I did not expect my Monday posts to turn into the how-I-got-sunburned-this-week posts. Hopefully next week I'll have no new sunburn stories.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Not Actually Identifying Age

It's Friday, so it's time for another random quiz. This week it's all about opinions.

Can We Identify Your Age Based on Your Political Opinions?

By the way, the answer to that question is generally "NO". Every quiz I've taken that purports to guess my age always guesses wrong. And by a lot.

By the way, I also link to quizzes daily at my shop's Facebook page

And this Sunday, I'll be at the Green Acres Marketplace. If you're in the Long Beach, CA area, please stop by and say hi. It's open from 8:30 AM until 2:30 PM. And there's lots of great food vendors.

In case you were interested, the age they quiz came up with for me is 26. They missed it by a couple decades.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Brandishing a Meter Stick

Today for #ThrowbackThursday I went looking in my "8th graders are evil" tag. (Don't believe me? Then you've never been in a room with 35 of them.) Re-reading this post had me giggling, so I'm offering it today. I originally posted it on May 14, 2008

Today I covered 8th grade science. They had group projects. They were making two models: one showed the relative distances of the planets from the sun, and the other showed the relative sizes of the planets and the sun. It was an interesting assignment, but...

Eighth graders. Group project.

This is a nightmare for a sub. They're already on sub behavior, and then multiply that by a factor of group project behavior. My head is still throbbing.

This assignment required the use of a meter stick (the distance from the sun to Pluto on their model was over 100 cm). Meter stick. Eighth graders.

"Stop brandishing that meter stick."

They used the meter sticks as swords for sword fighting. They swung the thing like a baseball bat. They spun it like a baton. They used two as an alligator mouth (or a Pac-Man). One boy even played with it like it was a Tech Deck.

There are certain sentences that I never imagined I'd utter. The brandishing one? I should have seen that one coming.

I have used the "brandishing" remark in one other instance. "Stop brandishing that music stand." Didn't help that one student was chasing another at the time.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015


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 came home and discovered a dead body in your house? And the person looked exactly like you?

I know, there's one obvious answer: call the police. But then what? Let's assume that you don't know who this person is, how they got there, or if they (or you) was the target.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Burned Again

Last week I mentioned that I was going to be at the Green Acres Marketplace on Thursday.

It was a lovely day. Blue skies...

Well, blue skies after the marine layer burned off. And now that I have a canopy, I can hang water bottle carriers from it...

It wasn't too warm, with a nice breeze gusting through. (Next time I'll be more careful about making sure everything is weighed down.) And I made sure to wear sunscreen.

On my arms.  

In my defense, my legs rarely get much sun. I stayed under the canopy. I followed the shadows. 

But I got a nasty surprise on my return home. A red, warm surprise on the bottom half of the outside of my right leg. (My left leg, not so bad. And I had been wearing capris, so everything above my knee was protected with fabric.)  

Really, you'd think I'd know better. Apparently not.

(I'll be back at the farmer's market this coming Sunday. If you're in the area, feel free to stop by and remind me to apply sunscreen to my legs.)

Friday, July 10, 2015

The Impossible Quiz

The Impossible Quiz

No, it's not. Really, it's not. 

Hint: read all the questions before you begin.  

Go ahead, click on the link. You know you want to.

Did you get 100% too?

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Public Conversation

It is again #ThrowbackThursday. This one is from November 28, 2011. I know I chime in on student conversations all the time. But they don't always want me to... 

School is back in session after the Thanksgiving break. Today I covered a middle school art class.

Third period. Two girls were having a conversation about Thanksgiving and what they ate. Then one of the girls mentioned that her excesses gave her constipation.

A boy chimed in with, "Ewww!"

The girls turned on him: "Why are you listening to our conversation?"

It might be because you're talking across the room. Maybe?

One girl was seated at the front of the room. The other girl sat in the back. At one point they attempted to sit next to one another, but I put the kibosh on that. (I find that if I enforce the seating chart, I have fewer problems.) So, they had their conversation anyway.

I pointed out the obvious. They changed topics.

Did this stop the conversation? No, of course not. (At least they got their assignment done.)

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

French Knot Fail

The French Knot. One of the easiest embroidery stitches. Or so I thought.

Last year, I stumbled across a crochet pattern to make a lightsaber hilt to go over those freezer pop thingies that come in the long plastic tube. I thought the idea genius. I had to try it out even though the last time I ate one of them, my age was still in single digits.

Well, that's why I have a niece and nephews.

How it came out the last time I made it.

Just recently I wanted to make some more. But somehow I had blanked out on the hardest part of the project.

After the body has been crocheted, the pattern calls for two buttons to be sewn on. The buttons look like on/off switches or toggle buttons. But I don't like buttons. And finding ones small enough seemed to be a waste of time.

Then the idea hit--why not embroider a couple buttons on? Easy enough, right?

I had seen the French Knot done. I had read the procedure. The instructions:

  1. Pull yarn to front of project.
  2. Wrap the yarn that's between the fabric and the needle around the needle a couple times.
  3. With your other hand, push the needle through to the back of the project very close to where the yarn emerged.

So, I...

But I'm sure you can see the problem with this...

I could see this was going to happen. Yet, if I follow the instructions...

I can't tell you how many times I tried. Every time I got the above. Every time. I looked at pictures, but I could not figure out what I was doing wrong.

After failing for days a half hour, I finally found the picture that cleared everything up for me. Turns out, I was winding the yarn the wrong way. There's a part when the yarn should cross over thereby making the knot. (I knew the yarn had to cross over in some way, but the pictures were not clear on where that was.)

It's obvious when you know what you're doing, but when you're just looking at pictures and reading the instructions, it isn't. Anyway, I finally got a knot...

There's a reason YouTube how to videos are popular. Some of this stuff isn't obvious even though to someone who's been doing it a long time it is.

What's the last "easy" thing that had you flummoxed?

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

The Antagonist

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 ;)

I think I've done this one before. But if I have, I can't find it. So, therefore, it's been a while and it's probably safe to do it again.

What if you're the story's villain?

Monday, July 6, 2015

Catch All and Five Facts

Somehow Monday has become my catch all day. Works for me.

If you're in the area, I'll be at the Green Acres Marketplace on Thursday from 11:30 AM-5:30 PM. Address and info on the Facebook page from the link.

Heather's GoFundMe is almost up to $9000. Thanks to everyone who's helped her get this far. 

Last week MsHatch awarded me the Creative Blogger Award. Thanks, Marcy.

The rules:

  1. Thank and post the link of the person who nominated you.
  2. Share 5 facts about yourself to your readers.
  3. Nominate 10-20 blogs and notify them.
  4. Pass on the rules.
So, #1...check. #2...

It's been a while since I did one of these, so I guess I'm due. 5 facts, huh...
  1. At the moment, I'm addicted to Word Crack. I just learned that instead of tapping each letter, I can swipe the word. This has made it that much faster for me to form words, and it enhanced my enjoyment of the game that much more.
  2. I just acquired a stylus for my phone. Kind of like a pen, but it works on touchscreens. I like it so much better than using my finger. It even has a laser pointer and flashlight built in to it. Best part: I found it at the dollar store.
  3. I also play Candy Crush and Pyramid Solitaire Saga. As of my writing of this on Sunday, I'm on level 707 for Candy Crush and level 478 for Pyramid Solitaire Saga. Which may be good or pathetic. I'm not sure which.
  4. I went out walking on the 4th of July and stupidly didn't wear any sunscreen. It's only a mild sunburn, mostly gone now. Me and the sun--not friends.
  5. I just made a bunch of lip balm holders for the farmer's market this week...

I shouldn't really call these five facts. They're more like random thoughts about me. 

As for #3, I don't nominate blogs. If you're commenting and would like to do it, feel free to add it to your blog, or give me one random fact about you in the comments.

Happy Monday.

Friday, July 3, 2015

America's Birthday Quiz

In honor of tomorrow's holiday, I thought I'd link to a 4th of July quiz. This one is from AARP, and it's a history one.

Let me know how you do. I only got 70%. Some historical things I know, others not so much.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Talking to Myself, I Guess

It's #ThrowbackThursday, and from the way-back files I find this entry from April 11, 2011. It amazes me how often things like this happen.

It was a math class. 6th period (naturally). 8th graders.

The assignment was a worksheet. They were to plot points. When the points were connected, a robot appeared on the graph paper. The worksheet was due at the end of the period.

The teacher had written the assignment on the board: "Agenda: worksheet. Due at the end."

I told the class the assignment was due at the end of the period. I passed out the worksheet. I gave directions. Then I repeated that I would be collecting the worksheet at the end of the period.

Most of the class got to work. This surprised me as previous classes had done more playing around than working. I walked around the room, and most of them seemed to be doing what they were supposed to be doing. (A working 6th period? Amazing!)

Then I came up on two girls. They were talking. One girl had nothing written on her worksheet except for her name. I told her she should get to work. She explained that her father helped her with her homework, so she was waiting to take the worksheet home to have him help her with it.

I again explained that the worksheet was due at the end of the period.

She was surprised.

What's the expression? Facepalm. Headdesk. Yeah, all of those.

I really don't know what else to do. Some of them just don't listen.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

School Year End Review

A few years ago I started posting my end of year numbers. I got the idea from another subbing blogger who posted his, and I've been doing it ever since. (Previous years: 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010)

Of the 180 school days, I worked 145. This is up from last year's 131. In fact, it's my highest number of days worked. This number does not include the 7 days I worked for the continuation high school in July and August, nor does it include the Friday Surprise.

Of those 145 days, 14 of them I covered teachers who did not have a conference period, and 51 of them I covered an extra class on the teacher's prep period. Yet, for some reason it felt like I never got a prep period. (Clearly that was not the case.)

I did not work the first day of school, but I did work the last. I actually worked three days of the last week of school, which I would say is unusual, except that's similar to what I worked last year.

I spent 23 days at the continuation high school, 72 days covering high school classes, and 45 days covering middle school classes.

Some highlights:

  • English: 41 days
    • This year's grade winner is 11th grade as I spent 12 days covering those (as well as 4 individual periods).
    • 2nd place goes to 10th grade English with 10 days (and 2 individual periods).
  • Science: 20 days
    • No chemistry or physics days (sigh), but 9 days in biology and 6 days covering 8th grade science.
  • Social Studies: 36 days
  • Math: 26 days
    • This year's winner is algebra 1 with 11 days and 2 individual periods. 
    • I did not cover a full day of geometry, but I did cover 6 individual periods. Only one day of calculus, but 3 days of algebra 2.
  • Special Ed: 23 days plus 13 extra periods
  • Misc: 21 days
    • 4 days of "roving" (including testing days and days where I covered several different teachers)
    • 1 day of ASB
    • 5 days in art
    • 1 day in choir (which was a miserable day as I was coming down with an evil cold)
    • 2 days of Spanish & 1 day of French
    • 6 days in computer classes
    • 1 period of P.E.
    • 4 individual periods in shop classes (including 2 in auto shop--I did not know they still had auto shop)
So, a busy year. That's a good thing.