Wednesday, August 24, 2016

How to Distract a Sub (and SIL Update)

"Math is boring."

Okay, so I can't let that pass without comment.

Which somehow turned into a conversation about this video of two guys throwing a basketball off a dam...

(Don't ask. It was a rather meandering path our conversation took to here.)

After having gone this far afield from what he should have been doing--his math assignment--I figured it was time to end the conversation and remind him that he had work to do.

He took a look at the clock. He had managed to get me off topic for a good fifteen minutes. He considered that a win.

(Some students attempt to engage in conversation in an attempt to avoid doing work. Usually, they don't find a topic that'll keep me talking. This boy managed to do so. And didn't hide that that was his goal when the conversation finished.)

Ah well.

Now that it was clear I was on to his tricks, he turned his attention to the instructional aide (IA). He asked about her weekend. (It was a Monday.)

The IA had spent her Saturday shopping for a turquoise mid-century sofa. And a chair to go with it. The boy started searching out possibilities online for the matching chair. (The IA ordered the sofa but couldn't find a chair she liked.)

By the time the IA got wise, there were 10 minutes left in class.

Ah well. You win some. Some the students win.

* * *

There's a new update about my sister-in-law's condition. 

Previously I shared my sister-in-law's GoFundMe with you all. From that post:
Heather, my sister-in-law, was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in April 2012. She has an aggressive form of MS, and she needs help for her best treatment option... (Go here for the full post.
Three months ago there was another update. And just this week, things have gotten grim indeed...
 ***August 22nd update***
Here is the latest. Heather is currently on the road, driving with a nurse to Northwestern University near Chicago. Why is she doing this, you ask? Well, here is why. Her bone marrow is failing. Quickly.  
The clinical trial she was in at the Mayo Clinic was unsuccessful. Her trip to Panama was a major success in reversing damage but was not able to fix her bone marrow. Extensive blood and bone marrow tests came back positive for two things-- myleofibrosis and acute myeloid leukemia. The thing is, those two conditions can’t exist at the same time. The doctor who examined her blood and sent the results said that he has never seen results like this… ever. He classified the results “inconclusive.” (Go here for the full update.) 
If any of you have any Marriott rewards points, they could really use your help. Thank you.


  1. I'm really sorry! If the two conditions can't exist together, then one of them has to be a mistake. I pray she finds her answers in Chicago.

  2. I hope your sister in law can get some answers; does seem strange indeed; hopefully lab error?

    LOL with the kid, might be a good salesman down the road if he knows how to draw people out to talk about themselves to avoid doing work.


  3. So sorry that the news about your SIL has become so grim. Chronic health problems are so horrible. I love how that boy was able to distract two teachers!! And that video was fascinating!!

    1. It was an interesting video. That's why I brought it up.

  4. I hope your sister gets some answers and they can fix her bone marrow.

  5. Very interesting video! I hope something can be done or found to help your sister in law.

  6. He would really do anything to not do the work that he's supposed to.

    I'm so sorry about your sister in law. I really hope they can find a way to help her.

  7. I usually try to keep up a snappy patter to avoid a prostate exam (which I shall now nickname "math") in the hopes that the doctor will forget.
    NOTE: I realize that a man complaining to a woman about this particular procedure is ludicrous.

  8. Hi Liz - fascinating about the Magnus Effect ... I didn't know that or the machines being built/being tried using the effect.

    I am sorry about your SIL .. my thoughts to all the family - Hilary

  9. So sorry to hear this. I hope the trip is successful for your sister-in-law.

  10. Those sound like resourceful ways to get through a lesson. Hope things start to look up for your sister-in-law.

  11. This young man must be quite charming. I see some kind of a sales position in his future.
    I am sorry to hear the news of your SIL. Heartbreaking, really.

  12. I hope they figure it out with your sister in law. That's odd they didn't retest when it came back as both since they both can't happen at the same time.

    Smart, yet tricky kid lol!

    1. I think time was the issue there. And the kid... yeah, he was sneaky, kind of.

  13. That's awful about your sister-in-law. I hope they get to the bottom of it quickly.

    That boy has a career in politics.

  14. First....that's pretty cool about the basketball even though I hope they found them and didn't leave them there. This is horrible news about your sister in law and that news must have been devastating to her your brother and the family. I hope she and all around her find the strength to keep going. To find hope and keep this faith is what you need and what she needs as well as everyone around. Thank you for sharing this

    1. There's another video with the basketball thing that shows that there's a guy down in the river at the bottom in a canoe. The basketballs were retrieved.

      And thanks for your kind words about my SIL and family.

  15. I actually think it was a win for you and the student that he thought math was boring and you responded. It was a very "teachable" moment that you took there, and the youtube video was really informative. I know that he was just trying to waste time, but maybe (hopefully) by having this talk with you, it showed him how math can and is used in everyday life. He's not just learning it to pass time.

    … As for the IA? That's just ridiculous. How did she even let the kid go there? Helping her find a chair? It should be obvious that that is an after-school activity. Ridiculous.

    I'm sorry about your SIL. That's really depressing news. :( I hope Northwestern is able to help her. It was a great idea to ask for Marriott points instead of money; people can give and help without going broke themselves. :) I hope she is able to get enough points for her travels. Has your family spoken with Marriott or any other hotel chain about what's going on to see if they can help? (Lower the cost, provide points?) What about the local news station where she lives?

    1. She didn't "let" him do anything. He took it upon himself to search out things. She explained what she went through looking for the couch (which he didn't quite understand), and then he kept the conversation going.

      I think they talked to the Marriott. That's how they knew about the points.

  16. Oh how scary about your SIL. Lots of good thoughts and prayers they'll figure something out quickly. I rarely travel these days so no points. Hope they've been able to find some!


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