Friday, December 30, 2016

Sci-Fi Spacecraft Quiz

I'm treating this as a holiday week, so it's time for another random quiz. Hooray?

Today I'm challenging you with...

From the Enterprise to Serenity: The Sci-fi Spacecraft Quiz

30 questions. The multiple choice helped me a few times. Here's how I did:

Let me know how you did in the comments. Are you a total sci-fi geek and found this easy? Or was this more of a challenge for you?

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

A Birthday Surprise

Normally about this time I'd post a bunch of pictures of all the things I made this year for Christmas gifts. Only, I didn't. Knit anything. (Well, a couple things, but they're things I've posted about before.)

I was more Scrooge than normal this year. It could be that school didn't get out until the 22nd. Or, it could be that I wasn't in the mood to think up Christmas presents. But Christmas went pretty well, regardless.

In what has become an annual tradition (apparently, two years in a row is a "tradition"), I got my birthday gift from my brother on Christmas. (For the record, my birthday is at the end of July.) And I had to share...

It's a vintage Doctor Who pattern book. From 1984. 


What fun things did you get for Christmas? (Or your birthday ;)?)

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Future Jeopardy

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 ;)

A time traveller from the future has arrived. They've come to see you. For the sake of argument, let's say that this person is legit and you believe them.

What if this time traveller told you that your best friend will do something to jeopardize the world in the future? Would you help them stop your friend? 

Friday, December 23, 2016

Let it Ring Quiz

Are those crickets I hear?

Are you all out shopping? With family?

I'll save the rest of my subbing stories for the new year. Today and next week we'll keep it light. So, how about a little movie quiz? One about that quintessential Christmas movie It's a Wonderful Life.

Let it Ring! Earn Your Wings with Our It's a Wonderful Life Quiz

It's been a while since I last saw it, so I'm pretty happy with my score.

How did you do? When was the last time you saw It's a Wonderful Life? Are you a fan?

Thursday, December 22, 2016

One Dollar

Middle school math class, special ed. But, for a change, they had a fun activity. They were to play games on the computers. Math games.

The first one was a cashiering game called Cash Out. The second was called Garage Sale Wizard. (Click on the links if you want to try. There's a whole website with these sorts of games.)

They got started. Then one boy informed me that I owed him a dollar.

Upon closer examination, I discovered that the "prize" for winning the game was a "certificate" that they could print out with money depicted. Not real money.

When I explained this, the boy wanted to print out the certificate right away. I explained that he could save the thing to his cloud and print it out at his leisure. And keep playing.

Well, he bored with the game pretty quickly. I assume because he was having trouble.

Why do I think he was having trouble? That "dollar" he "won"? Was a low end prize. Other students won ten dollars or up to fifty dollars.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

The Return

They did not like me. 9th grade English, special ed. I gave them their assignment. They talked loudly and avoided doing anything.

*deep sigh*

We read the article together. They were to annotate it. They didn't. I told them to annotate for homework. And I made sure to write in my note the way the class had gone.

The next day I was back on campus to cover a different teacher. He happened to have 2nd period prep. So, like normal, I was given an extra assignment for that period. Guess where?

Oh, they were not happy to see me the second day in a row. (And I was not happy to return.) But, I knew what they had (or rather, hadn't) gotten done the previous day.

Surprisingly, several students had done the annotation for homework. So, they were able to finish the rest of the assignment (that they were supposed to have gotten to the prior day). The others...

I ran into the teacher the next week. (The second day was not a planned absence, but one that she couldn't avoid.) She did not appreciate how her students had treated me. (This is one of the reasons I don't mind covering her classes even though a couple periods are difficult. I know she has my back upon her return.)

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Underground Dwellers

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 ;)

The lecture was on earthquakes. We were discussing a slide on the PowerPoint that showed the makeup of the Earth's interior. (This was an Earth science class, by the way. More on it later this week.) A boy raised his hand. I called on him, and he asked his question...

What if we lived on the inside of the Earth? What if when we look up, what we see is an illusion?

Monday, December 19, 2016

More Projects in Progress

Last week I showed the progress of the tablet buddy (which needs a better name, if anyone thinks of one...). I did actually finish it...

And I'm told it arrived at its destination. Whew.

Now on to the next order...
School gets out this Thursday, so it's blogging as usual for me this week. Show of hands: how many of you are already on vacation? How many of you are working this week like me?

Friday, December 16, 2016

Impromptu Party

Friday. It was a cold, dreary day at the middle school. 4th period I had "leadership", i.e. the student government.

Leadership (or ASB at the high school) is a weird sort of class. On sub days, they generally don't have anything to do. So, I sit back and watch. Normally, I abhor "free days", but in this case, these kiddos tend to be responsible (hence, them being in student government), and my presence is mostly "ceremonial".

Earlier in the day, I had gotten this text from the teacher (I had texted him on another matter for a different period first):
Pizza is being delivered for [student] during 4th. It's a surprise. 
So, when the classroom phone rang and the office told me that they needed a student to come to the office, I knew who and I knew why. So, I sent her.

She returned with a wagon full of In-n-Out. Apparently, it wasn't as much of a surprise as I had been led to believe. She explained to the class that it was her birthday and her father had treated the whole class. (He told her he was bringing pizza, but this got swapped out at the last minute.)

The class was thrilled. So thrilled, in fact, that someone said they should make a video expressing thanks and send it to the girl's father. (They did.) They sang "Happy Birthday" to her. And they enjoyed their treat.

After, several students complained that they were stuffed. (Most had started eating their lunch in class before she returned with the wagon.)

Sometimes I get to be there for the party. It's rare.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Me, Too

Freshman English. On the agenda for the day was vocabulary, some time to finish their work from the prior day, and some time to write a story.

Unsurprisingly, they came in a boisterous crowd. I conserved my ire and waited for them to become compliant. (It usually happens some time after the bell. A few "let's get started"s tend to help things along.) Eventually, they took down the day's vocabulary words into their notebooks.

A few seemed befuddled by the word "debut". So, I made sure to pronounce each word before we checked their sentences for correctness.

Next, I reminded them of assignments due the next day. For one, their teacher wanted to make sure their final copy was word processed in MLA format. I related a tip I heard from another student. For clarity, use Google Images for the MLA format search. There are actual pictures of what the final paper should look like.

Finally, for the last half hour of class, they were to write a story using their vocabulary words. One student wrote that his character came down with a blight. I tried to explain that that was not quite how that word should be used. Another student wrote that the devil had a gory smile. Well, maybe...

As I walked the room, listening to amiable conversations only tangentially related to the assignment, I attempted to redirect them back to their stories. I was largely unsuccessful. So, I was unsurprised when many scrambled as I called for their finished work. Many stories were unfinished.

Typical freshmen.

I think I had more fun with their assignment than they did. I couldn't resist. Here were the words they were to use. I think I shoehorned them in rather well:
  1. agenda
  2. amiable
  3. befuddle
  4. blight
  5. boisterous
  6. clarity
  7. compliant
  8. conserve
  9. debut
  10. gory
Feel free to try it. It's kind of fun. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

How to Humiliate the Sub

9th grade world geography. They had a test review to work on.

I had been warned that period 4 needed a "firm hand". They demonstrated this when they came in and milled about the room rather than finding their seats, even after having been warned the bell was about to ring. But I insisted, and they sat down.

I went after the boys who were tossing around a tennis ball (which then miraculously disappeared, never to return). I insisted they sit (and remain) in assigned seats. And then we got underway.

They were seated. They stayed seated. They had work in front of them. Success! Well...

The phone rang. The teacher next door was checking in. She was concerned. She could hear us through the shared wall.

So, yeah, they were loud.

Well, at least they weren't trashing the room. Much. (And I will have you know they did remain seated. Some days I don't even get that.)

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

A Long Vacation

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 kind of did a similar question last week. I haven't had any jolts of inspiration this week, so I went back to my file of ideas, and I found this question, which isn't quite but is almost like last week's:

What if our world was a tourist destination for travelers from another dimension? And, what if that "trip" was a lifetime (our lifetime) commitment (that is, the traveler has to be born here and can't leave until that body dies)?

Monday, December 12, 2016

A Tablet Buddy in Progress

A project in progress via tweets. Because it's been that kind of a week.

The colors for each are a little off because I used various Instagram filters on them (whichever one struck my fancy the moment I was posting the picture). In the first picture, you can see the snack I had while working on that bit. And my TV remote is in the third. Things are kind of a mess while I sit and knit.

It's not finished because on Sunday...

A photo posted by Liz A. (@zizirho) on

A photo posted by Liz A. (@zizirho) on

But it's a new week. I'll post my progress on Twitter. And Instagram.

What's on your agenda for this week? Accomplish anything last week?

Friday, December 9, 2016

Online Help

I finally made it back to the continuation high school. It's been a while.

English class. Their assignment was online. (This is becoming more and more common. I think it's a good thing. And since I can fix the majority of the issues that crop up, I'm good with it.)

The assignment had them reading an article and an excerpt of the U.S. Constitution (yes, really), and then they had questions to go along with their reading. It looked to be a pretty straightforward assignment.

So, I was surprised to find the students Googling things. No, they weren't looking at random sites. (Well, they did do that, too.) No, they were Googling the questions to the assignment.

Um, why? The answers to the questions were in the reading. And the reading was part of their assignment.

"But I couldn't find it," they complained. Funny, I found the answers while looking over their shoulders and skimming...

Well, there's a reason they're at the continuation high school...

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Bad at Math

I was in Ms. J's math class again. This time they had a test.

8th graders. This is the first class in the high school math sequence. It's the class that most 9th graders take.

I did my usual test day intro, and during those remarks I mentioned that the test was open note. This turned out to be a surprise.

Oops? Was there a typo in the lesson plans? The other classes that day knew their test was open note. It was possible that the teacher could have made an error while copying and pasting for this group's test.

But I was going to go with what was written. I was sticking to the open note instruction.

(Then they asked if they could talk. Deep sigh. I gave my standard response: "The test is open note, not open neighbor.")

Tests passed out, they got to work. As I meandered about, one student confessed to me that he understood why the test was open note. "We're bad at math."

Um, no. If they were "bad at math", they wouldn't be in a math class one year ahead of their grade level. "Bad at math" kiddos take math 8 and have an extra period of math called "support" where they spend more time practicing math skills.

The boy amended his statement. "We're bad at this unit."

OK. I can understand that. (The unit covered functions: linear and exponential.)

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Missing the Answers

Algebra 2. The students had a test the next day, so the assignment for this day was for them to review. They had a study guide, and the teacher had given them the answers to the problems on the study guide. They were good to go.

Not so fast. Not everyone was present when the study guide had been passed out. Uh oh. (This was the Monday after Thanksgiving. They got the study guide just before the break.)

Normally, a teacher will leave extra papers when the assignment is something like this. But I got the feeling that this teacher hadn't planned to be out. (The phone call that morning was my first indication.)

It was a simple oversight. It happens.

I had a student show me what the worksheet looked like, and I went hunting. I found it pretty quickly. I thought all was good until a student told me that the teacher has passed out a sheet with the answers on it (instead of giving them the answers in a lecture as I had assumed).

Again, I went in search of worksheets, but I was coming up short. Two girls asked if they could go see if another teacher had them. I wrote them a pass.

They hadn't been gone two minutes when I happened upon the worksheets. Naturally.

It took a while for the girls to return. When they did, they had the answer worksheets. The teacher they had gone to see made a bunch of copies. That we didn't need.

Ah well. All's well that ends well. (I hope they all did amazingly well on the test.)

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

In Hiding

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 the Earth is a witness protection location for aliens?

Monday, December 5, 2016

Mini Wreath Pin

The other day I went rifling through my jewelry drawer for something or other, and I stumbled across a small crocheted wreath pin. Well, three of them. And it got me thinking.

Crocheted Mini Wreath Pin

At that point I didn't remember making them, but I knew they were my handiwork. I went in search of the pattern. I had to have it somewhere, right?

Well, no, I don't. Slowly, the memories returned. I do remember the initial idea behind them. (I found an old pin my great-grandmother made, and I wanted to do something similar.) I bought a couple skeins of yarn (which I still have--these pins don't take much). And I knew I still had the box of safety pins I bought for that initial batch.

I remember I gave them to everyone that particular December. How long ago? A good decade, probably. Maybe longer. (After 2001. Before 2007. I can't narrow it down any further.)

Time to reverse engineer the things. Turns out there wasn't much to them. Not surprising. I didn't write it down, so it had to be something easy enough.

And so, for me, so I have a record, I am going to put the pattern here. Because I know what I did now. And I don't want to have to figure it all out again.

Crochet Wreath Pin

Worsted Weight Yarn (I used Lily's Sugar 'n Cream Christmas Sparkle)
Size G Hook
Safety Pin
0.23 in/6mm Bells (although a larger sized bell could work)
Sewing Thread
Tapestry Needle
Sewing Needle

Gauge is not critical (it'll just be a bigger or smaller wreath), but my finished piece has a 2 inch diameter.

Ch 5. Join with sl st to form a ring.
Round 1: Ch 3. Work 15 dc into the ring (or the number to fill out the ring--a couple dc more or less won't be a big deal). Sl st into the top of the ch st.
At the same time: Attach the safety pin by holding the non-opening side to the back of the work. Work 2-3 dc over it (while working them into the ch 5 ring). It doesn't matter where in the round this gets done, but I generally do it near the beginning.

Attach safety pin to back of work by crocheting over it

Safety pin with two double crochets worked over it

Round 2: Ch 1. Work one reverse sc into each dc around. Then cut yarn and fasten off.
Wind in ends.

Back View

Once the base is made, cut a short piece of red yarn and tie it into a bow.

Attach the bow and the bell to the wreath using sewing thread.

Crocheted Mini Wreath Pin (with quarter)

Friday, December 2, 2016

Not Testing

Yesterday I talked about the final story they read. (11th grade English class.) On Friday (before Thanksgiving week) they had the quiz.

Well, naturally not all students were ready to take it. One girl asked to be excused because she had been absent all week (and had missed reading the stories). Then a boy in the same class had the same reason. (I had access to the attendance records. Both had been absent all week.)

This happens from time to time. I figure they can work out makeup times with their teacher. All I ask is they sit quietly and not disturb the testers.

The girl asked to sit over in the corner so she could work on another assignment. The boy, however, chose to remain at his table. And communicate with his pal who sat next to him.

Okay, seriously? During a test?

You know, that didn't get a complimentary write up in the note.

(Even the boy who decided not to take the quiz because he was leaving for the continuation high school behaved better.)

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Knitting in Class

11th grade English. 6th period. I'd been warned that they might be difficult...

(6th periods are strange classes. They're either the worst period of the day or they're odd. There's something about having been in school all day that makes them a bit punchy. And, all the athletes have their sport's class then. So, for some reason, that's when most of them let their freak flag fly.)

The assignment was to finish reading "Everyday Use" by Alice Walker. (The link goes to the actual story online. Worth a read if you haven't read it before.

Now, I say they were to finish reading it, but when I questioned them on what happened the prior day (with a different sub), no one could tell me what had happened. And since the next day they had a quiz over this story (and several others), I figured we'd better go back and understand the thing.

But, 6th period. Having them read aloud (which presumably they did do already)...

I made the executive decision to read the part of the story to them that they were supposed to have already read.

They were actually happy with this idea. And let me read without talking over me. Score!

I noticed out of the corner of my eye that one girl pulled out her knitting. As someone who knits while watching TV, I had no issue with this. I figured she could pay attention just as well.

I finished the page or so they should have read. Then we went on, and I called on readers. (I had index cards, so I could randomly select.)

A couple students heckled the girl. Knitting in class? She wasn't paying attention...

So, naturally, hers was the second card I picked. And you know what? She found her place and read better than some who were supposedly following along. (Well, there were several heads down on desks, so not really following along.)

Her turn over, she went back to her knitting. (She ended up ripping it all out. She didn't like the feel of the yarn.)

I need more knitters in class. Although, most of the time they have actual work to do, so they can't really knit...

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Not Dead

It was the third time in two weeks that I'd covered Ms. J's class. (The math department has a ridiculous number of inservice days. There is a reason for this that I won't go into. It's good for me as it means there are plenty of working days.)

One kiddo walked in, saw the sub, and declared that Ms. J was dead. Again.

That's been his go-to. That's why she's been out, he says.

Since I had seen the teacher about five minutes before the boy entered the classroom, I could with certainty tell him that Ms. J was alive and well. And on campus.

Then, I explained to the class exactly how the school handles the announcement of the death of a teacher. Because, um, yeah, I've been on campus when they had to do that. It includes an announcement to the whole school, a letter each teacher reads to their classes, and counselors on hand, especially for the class of the recently deceased teacher.

(Luckily, I was not called in to cover the class of the recently passed teacher. I don't know how I would handle that. It was bad enough that some in the class I was covering had her as a teacher.)

Oh, the eyes of the students as I explained this. I don't think it had occurred to them (especially not the boy) that this sort of thing has ever happened. (It's been a few years, so it happened before their time in high school.)

And bonus, Ms. J popped into class a few times during the day. So, verification.

I prefer days when the kiddos postulate that their teacher went to Vegas. Or skiing. I prefer the fun lies (although, many times those aren't lies).

Tuesday, November 29, 2016


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 all of our doorways were shorter? That is, what if every entrance to every room was low enough so that we all had to duck to enter?

Monday, November 28, 2016

Cyber Monday Knits

I had such plans for Thanksgiving week. I did manage to get a few of my ornaments listed...

Archery Target Ornament

Orange Beaded Ornament

Light Blue Beaded Ornament

And I did update the pattern for my cell phone mini purse things to include the larger size...

Knit Cell Phone Purse Pattern

But I didn't get the other two patterns I wanted to publish done. Nor did I get all the ornaments listed. Ah well.

So, I'm going to leave you all with a coupon code for my Etsy shop. It's LOGcybermonday16. It's good for 20% off any purchases over $20 for now through Christmas. Just in case you were looking but hadn't quite gotten the urge to go and purchase something.

Now, back to jellyfish. And writing up the pattern to the archery target hat...

Archery Target Beanie
 (Anyone have a good name for this? Archery Target Beanie doesn't have the right "ring" to it.)

Also, I'm over at Unicorn Bell this week. Come on by and challenge your wits with the quiz!

Friday, November 25, 2016

Badly Described

In the US, it's the day after Thanksgiving. And most of you are probably braving the stores and the Black Friday sales.

Not me. (And if you're like me and do most of your shopping online, make sure to check out my shop. Or, hit me up for a custom order. /end shamless plug)

Anyway, I'm taking the weekend off from blogging. So, I thought I'd give anyone still online a fun little movie quiz...

Match the Movie to Its Poor Description

This one is hard. So, make use of those "PREV" and "NEXT" buttons! 

I managed to get 30/30, but it took me the whole 8 minutes (and lots of skipping!). But there were some laughs to be had when I finally recognized what they were going for. (I won't spoil it for you.)

And, as a bonus...

Last year I posted this Christmas quiz on Christmas. When no one would see it. Now you have a whole month to try to figure this one out. (It's a hard one. I only got half of them my first try. I needed cheats to get them all.)

Merry Quizmas

I'd love to know how you did in the comments. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

A Few Gift Ideas

Christmas is coming.

While I do the occasional plug for my Etsy shop, I don't generally make this blog all about what I have for sale. Except for today. (Well, I'm sure I'll do this again in the future, but it won't be a weekly feature or anything.)

Some of you may be starting your Christmas shopping, so I wanted to let you know what you can get that's been handmade by me.

I finally got a few of the ornaments listed. You can find them here. I have about a dozen of them, so it'll take me some time to get them all listed. (If there's a color you'd like, I do custom orders.)

Zizi Rho Designs knitted ornament
Light Blue Beaded Handknitted Christmas Tree Ornament

If you're just planning on gifting gift cards, you can get a little holder to put it in. And I'll even monogram it with any initial you'd like. (Check out my A to Z posts from April to see what each letter looks like. They're at the bottom of each post. )

Handknit Monogrammed Gift Card Holder

If there's a coffee lover in your life, why not get them something to put that takeout coffee cup in? (Of course, mine is covering a smoothie, but I'm weird and a coffee avoider.)

Reusable To Go Cup Cozy

I know a few of you are also knitters and crocheters. If you are planning on making some gifts, I have some patterns available. (The links here go to my shop on Etsy, but these patterns are also available on Ravelry.)

The above crocheted cozy is explained in about 24 pages of photos. And the pattern also shows how to make the longer version with a strap that can be worn cross-body.

A Sip on the Wild Side Cozy Pattern

I'm in the process of updating my knitted phone cozy pattern. (I hope to get that done this week.) There's also a version for eReaders or mini tablets. The one in this picture is still in use, covering my Nook. I love this thing.

eReader Cozy

And then, of course is the knitted tablet holder which has instructions for all three sizes: small/smartphone, medium/eReader, and large/tablet.

Tablet Buddy (and Smartphones) Knitting Pattern

The great thing about these patterns is that they don't take all that long to make. The eReader cozy probably takes the longest, unless you make the large tablet buddy.

(If you're not a knitter or crocheter and are interested in any of the patterns' items, I can make those up for you as well.)

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Crazy Talk

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 ;)

This week's question is brought to you by The CW's Frequency.

(I highly recommend this show. It's based on the 2000 movie of the same name with a couple tweaks to make it work weekly. If you like sci fi and timey-wimey stuff, you'll enjoy this. Hopefully. Before it's gone. The ratings aren't all that great...)

So, the setup: You're talking to a guy. About stuff. (I'm being deliberately vague here. Put in the most outlandish situation or the most mundane. Whatever you can think up.) This stuff is perfectly reasonable considering the situation. And it's stuff you want to believe...

But, what if the guy really is crazy? Does that negate the situation?

Monday, November 21, 2016

Jellyfish Assembly Line

Just when I thought I was done with the jellyfish...

You remember the jellyfish, right?

I finished this guy in June. (The design is by a very talented crocheter who blogs at One Dog Woof. Via her Instagram feed, I see she's come up with a humpback whale pattern. The pattern for this jellyfish is here.) I made a couple others...

And last week I mentioned that I was making some more (custom order). I finally got them finished (and delivered!):

Although, I had a bit of an issue photographing them. They need to hang to be appreciated, and it's kind of hard to hold something up and take a picture of it. (And no, I'm not selfie-ing them.) As you can see from the pic above, I used a hanger and some clothespins.

I attempted to photograph them inside, but lighting...

Then, finally, I just laid them down on my favorite photographing rock...

I guess these pictures turned out OK. I get to try again later. I got an order for three more...

(And I'm continuing to take orders, so if you want one, let me know.)

Friday, November 18, 2016


I was asked to cover an extra period. (Which is not at all unusual. Last week I only had one day where I didn't work that prep period.) The secretary gave me the room number, but it didn't ring any bells. But, eventually, I figured out that I had covered that class before. For a week. 

And I remembered 4th period. Not fondly.

I got there, and the kiddos went straight for the rats. I attempted to explain what the assignment was, but half the class was out of their seats and roaming around. Eventually, we got through the intro stuff, and they got to work.

Well, some of them. Most of them. A few did little to nothing.

Well, not nothing. There was the mock fight. One boy superglued a chair, so another boy had a wardrobe issue. Then there was the flipped backpack. You get the idea.

I was so glad to see the end of that class. I went back to my nice, peaceful class for the rest of the day.

6th period arrived. And I recognized two of the worst from the other class. (I guess they recognized me first.)


But Mr. H is a much stricter teacher than Ms. S. So, the two boys actually sat down, settled, and got quiet. Oh, they tried to sit next to one another (even though their assigned seats have them across the room from one another), but when I insisted, they sat where they should.

They were difficult, but it was a much more manageable difficult. I wrote down their names anyway.

While they hadn't done anything terrible in the ELD class, I was still reeling from forensics. And I stated that next to their names in the note.

Unfair? Probably. But I just couldn't help myself.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Can't Follow Directions

Freshman English. It was an honors class (read: advanced). The teacher left them an article to read and annotate. There were questions to go along with it. Standard fare, really.

In the lesson plan, though, the teacher made an interesting note. She said that the kiddos were having trouble following directions, thereby making more work for her. So, she had typed out the instructions for the class, copied it, and I was to distribute these copies to each student.

Okay, easy enough.

Fifth period. I passed out the articles. I explained what they had to do. I passed out the instructions. And still...

"Wait, are we allowed to write on these?"

"Why do I have extra paper?"

"When is this due?"

They did eventually get to work. No behavior issues. They worked quietly. And then at the end of the period, I called for their work.

The instructions clearly stated that they were to staple their questions on top of their articles. Yet, half the papers turned in had them stapled the other way around.

*shakes head*

Lest you think I'm being nit-picky, just keep in mind that that was not the only thing they missed in the instructions. That were printed out for them. And that I went over. (And they were listening. The room was quiet while I explained things.)

Please don't tell me the now-freshmen are going to be like this their entire high school careers. (Don't tell me, but I have a feeling this might be a quirk of their class.) 

Wednesday, November 16, 2016


Special ed, sophomore math. (They recently revamped the math sequence in the district, so this was an algebra/geometry hybrid that is aimed at the 10th graders.) They were finishing a test they had started the previous day. (Friday. This happened on a Monday.)

The teacher's lesson plans had a whole page devoted to the class' cell phone rules.

Certain populations have bigger cell phone addiction issues than others. Special ed classes and the continuation high school tend to be where I see the most issues when it comes to students not being able to put their cell phones down.

This teacher had created a "parking lot" where the students could stow their phones for the class period. If they chose not to "park" their phones, any instance of them using the phone was grounds for immediate confiscation.

I passed out their tests, and they got right to work. About halfway through the period, I noticed one girl had earbuds in her ears.

Now, normally if they're working on something quietly, I let the listening to music thing pass. But not during a test. And, the teacher had specifically said phones were to be put away. So, there was no reason for the girl to be listening to anything. 

I pointed this out to the aide. She went to confiscate.

"I thought it was okay. I'll put it away..."

Okay? After I had informed the class to "park" their phones? And during a test? Um, no.

The girl claimed she had not heard my announcement. But this was SOP for the class, so the aide had no sympathy. She held out her hand...

The girl held her phone back. The aide informed her if she wasn't going to give up the phone, security was going to be called. The girl began packing up her stuff.

I went to call security. But the phone listing in the class was out of date, so I didn't have the correct phone number...

The girl put her test in her backpack and walked out of the room. (Tests do not leave the room.)

I kind of want to know what happened to her the next day. Her test was null and void. And then there was defiance thing. All over a cell phone that she knew she should put away.

Deep sigh.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Your Very Own Theorem

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 saw this interesting article on Facebook. "10 Rules, Laws, and Theorems You Should Know" via Mental Floss. These are not your math-type theorems...
If you're tempted to leave a comment to correct someone’s grammar or spelling, beware of Skitt’s Law, which states, “Any post correcting an error in another post will contain at least one error itself.” While such an occurrence appears to be karma, a different wording shows a more generous view of the poster’s intentions: “The likelihood of an error in a post is directly proportional to the embarrassment it will cause the poster.” Skitt wasn't the first to propose this law. It appears under other names as far back as 1990, when Bell’s First Law of Usenet was proposed. The easiest-remembered name for this law is Muphry’s Law, which is a typo of Murphy’s Law, first proposed in 1992.
Some of them are better than others. The article is worth a look. Anyway, that leads us to today's question...

What if you had such a "law" named after you? What would it be?

Monday, November 14, 2016

Odds and Ends

I've been working on some jellyfish. Slowly.

These have been in process since August. It's not that they take that much time. It's just I've been distracted by other projects. And other things.

I told you about the larger version of my cell phone cozy I made for a customer.

And I just knew I had to make one for myself. In orange (naturally).

But just before I did this, I got a request to make something just a tad larger in black.

(I got a little artsy with the photo. Have you tried Prisma?)

Right. So back to the jellyfish. (I now have a deadline to complete them by, so that'll get them finished.)