Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Protect the Timeline?

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 ;)

Another time travel question...

What if a friend of yours was doing the time travelling, and he/she has just come back from the future (or, future him/herself is visiting you in the past)? What if he/she knew something about your untimely demise? (By "untimely", I mean you'll be killed, not die of old age or some unpreventable disease.) Would you want to know about it?

Friday, January 27, 2017

The Whole Book

The week before finals week, every teacher seemed to leave study guides for their classes to do. Understandable.

8th grade English. They had the period to work on the study guide. They were allowed to use their textbooks and their notes.

So, this was a review assignment. Review of the entire semester. The study guide should have looked familiar. Yet, many students stared at it like it was completely foreign to them.

"What page is this on?" one girl asked.

"The whole book," I replied.

What part of semester review did they not get?

Thursday, January 26, 2017

The Wanderer

My last day in Ms. D's science class, the 7th graders had a test. (Which I mentioned several times over the 7 days, yet some still acted surprised when we got started. Deep sigh.)

Some special ed students take their tests in a different room. There are fewer distractions, they can get the supports they need, and some need extra time. I had a list of who was to go.

Jamal was ready to get started. Class had barely begun, and he wanted to go to the testing room right then. Fine by me. I gathered his materials, wrote his hall pass, and sent him on his way. It was 1:45.

I sent the other two students who were supposed to go out. Then, I got the rest of the class going on their tests--passed out, room silent, instructions given, etc. I did a walk around.

The phone rang.

The teacher manning the resource room called. (I've subbed for her before.) Jamal had just arrived. It was 2:00.

It is possible to get from the classroom to the resource room in 3-4 minutes when it's raining and the campus is crowded with students getting to their next class. (It's a large campus. Lots of students. The crowds do slow one a bit.) I know this because I've done it.

It does not take 15 minutes to go that distance when it's dry and the campus is mostly empty (all the students are in class).

I said to go ahead and let him take the test. Considering Jamal's general lack of effort, I highly doubted he had gone in search of test help.

At 2:30, Ms. K called to let me know she was sending Jamal back. It should take him a minute to arrive, she said. It took him four.

And then he told me he hadn't finished his test.


Silly boy. Extra time is given to students who need it, not students who wasted time they could have used for the test wandering who knows where.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The Imposter

Diego tried again.

It was Tuesday. It was the passing period before fifth. Diego walked in. I let him.

Students come by and visit other students during passing period all the time. It is sort of their time. I don't start class until the bell, so before that time, they can meander and talk and do such things. I figured that Diego wanted to say hi to his friends in class, and I didn't have a problem with that.

He took a seat in the room. The student assigned to that seat hadn't arrived yet, so I wasn't concerned.

But, as the passing period progressed, I figured it was time for Diego to get on his way. I wasn't going to excuse his tardy to wherever he was supposed to be now, so I urged him to be on his way.

"This is my class," he explained. "I'm Ace."

Yup, he was seated in Ace's seat. But he was definitely not Ace.

This sort of thing might work if I had been in the class for one day. Even two. But this was day 12. And Ace was... memorable.

Plus, Diego is Latino. Ace is African-American. They don't look a thing alike.

So, I called him by name and told him he should get to his actual class. And he left.

It's nice when the lies are so blatantly obvious.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Man's Best Friend?

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 guess I've been reading too much shifter fiction...

What if you discovered your pet was actually a man (or woman) trapped in animal form?

Monday, January 23, 2017

Geeky Beanie

I finished it!

Eldest nephew, whose birthday was December 26th, chose what he wanted me to knit him. He chose the background color, and he asked for the pom-pom on top.

And today, I'm going to share the "recipe".

I knit the beanie from the bottom up, using a stretchy cast-on. I worked the ribbing in the round, but then split to knit flat for the designs in the main part of the hat. I did this because the colorwork was worked using intarsia. (The X-Wing was knit all in white with the detail added later using duplicate stitch.) Once the colorwork was finished, I went back to knitting in the round for the crown, using a standard decrease to get to the top. Then I seamed together the open hole using mattress stitch. 

If the above paragraph sounded like gobbledygook, this pattern is not for you. The colorwork is a bit, ahem, involved.

(and this is the inside neatened up a bit)
I had to take a couple runs at it before I got it right. (I'm no colorwork expert, but someone with less patience and/or less experience might not make it to the end.)

This is not impossible. If you have colorwork (specifically intarsia) experience, and the italicized paragraph sounds reasonable, then you should have no problem completing this beanie.

Finished Measurements;
The circumference is about 18 inches. It's about 8 inches from brim to top.

Caron Simply Soft yarn in black, gray, white, red, and blue
(a full skein won't be needed for any of these colors, but most yarn will be needed in the background color)
Size 7 circular (or double pointed) needles
Notions: Bobbins, Stitch Markers, Tapestry Needle

22 stitches=4 inches in stockinette stitch

Cast on 100 stitches using the Old Norwegian Cast On
(Note: it may be useful to use a size 8 needle just to cast on, just to make sure the ribbing edge of the beanie stretches fully.) Then join to work in the round, being careful not to twist stitches.

Work in k2, p2 ribbing for 2-2 1/2 inches. (I went just a touch over 2 inches.)

Then knit one round. After, divide to work flat (which is more about needle arrangement than anything else at this point.)

Set up row: make 1 stitch, k1, place marker, k30, place marker, k4, place marker, k30, place marker, k3, place marker, k30, place marker, k2, make 1 stitch
(Note: the make 1 stitches are for selvedge for seaming up this bit of the beanie later. The markers are placed to set where the colorwork charts will be worked.)

Working in stockinette stitch flat, work the charts of your choice in each of the 30 stitch panels. These charts are not mine. I found them online:
Note: the X-Wing fighter was worked as plain white:

And then the detail was added using duplicate stitch after the beanie was finished:

This beanie can be knit with any 30 stitch chart, so any 3 charts on those two pages (or any other chart) can be substituted to make the hat exactly what you want. 

After completing the colorwork, rejoin to work in the round, binding off the selvedge stitches. The beanie should be about 6 1/2 to 7 inches long at this point. If it's not quite long enough, knit even until it is. (This can be fudged a bit. Once the decreases start, the hat should measure from the top of the head to the ears.)

Round 1: *k2tog, k8*, repeat all around (90 sts)
Round 2 (and all even rounds until specified): knit even
Round 3: *k2 tog, k7*, repeat all around (80 sts)
Round 5: *k2tog, k6*, repeat all around (70 sts)
Round 7: *k2tog, k5*, repeat all around (60 sts)
Round 9: *k2tog, k4*, repeat all around (50 sts)
Round 11: *k2tog, k3*, repeat all around (40 sts)
Round 13: *k2tog, k2*, repeat all around (30 sts)
Round 15: *k2tog, k1*, repeat all around (20 sts)
Round 17: k2tog, repeat all around (10 sts)
Round 18: k2tog, repeat all around (5 sts)

Break yarn. Thread through remaining stitches. Tighten. 

Wind in all ends. (To keep yourself sane, you might want to start the winding in of ends as soon as you can, like while working the beanie.) Duplicate stitch any details that may have been missed earlier. Make a pom-pom and attach to the top.

And that's it. As the colorwork charts are not mine, permission to make this for resale must be cleared by the copyright holder for those charts. 

If you do make this, I'd love to see how yours turns out. Either comment here or tag me on Instagram, Twitter, or Ravelry (I'm @ZiziRho).

Friday, January 20, 2017

Defeating the Vandal

Friday. (The 13th, as it was...) They had a test.

I was having a good day. The classes were cooperating. Things were going smoothly enough that I was able to get caught up with some of the grading.

(Yes, I was actually grading student work. It doesn't happen often. But with longer teacher absences, it's better to keep the students' grades up to date. It lets them know that what they do while I'm there counts, and more of them stay on task that way.)

So, I was in a good mood.

It was towards the end of 4th period. Students were finishing up their tests, and some were even doing the after-test assignment (which was starting the semester final review sheet).

I happened to look over at one student's desk, and I noticed him drawing. On. The. Desk.

(Students draw all the time. There's a great art department at that school. Sketchbooks frequently come out. This I don't mind.)

Um, seriously? The afternoon classes frequently complained of defaced desks. Early on, I found the cleaners so they could clean off their desks. I just hadn't caught any of the morning classes in the act before.

I growled at the student. (Not literally. But I did make my displeasure known.) I told him to stop. He dutifully got out a book. (But didn't do any work.)

I went to the closet, pulled out the desk cleaner, went back over to him, stood over him, squirted the "artwork", and proceeded to make it disappear.

Ah. That felt good!

The boy? He quietly (tests were still out) complained to his neighbors. I had ruined all his work.

Yeah, um, okay. If he really wanted to preserve it, wouldn't he have done it on something he could take with him? And this made me the bad guy? (I could have made him clean it up, so he really got a gift from me.)

Thursday, January 19, 2017


It was a clever assignment. One I hadn't seen before.

7th grade life science. They were learning about photosynthesis. And how it related to cellular respiration. The project was relating the two by making a "poster".

The "poster" had two halves. One half showed photosynthesis. The other, cellular respiration.

The class was broken up into partners. Each partner did one half (either photosynthesis or cellular respiration), and then they put the halves together to make a whole.

Cordelia came over to me. She wanted to do the photosynthesis part of the poster. Um, okay. But not my call. This was between her and her partner, Jessica.

But, Jessica wanted to do photosynthesis, too.

Nope, I was not making that decision. I informed the girls that they needed to work it out themselves. I suggested flipping a coin or rock-paper-scissors. They went back to their seats. For a time.

Jessica returned. She told me that they had done rock-paper-scissors, best two out of three (and she even told me what they'd thrown), and Jessica had won. Okay, great. Jessica would to photosynthesis.

But then Cordelia came back. She claimed she had won rock-paper-scissors, best two out of three...

I am terrible at spotting liars. Students lie to me with straight faces all the time, and I can't be sure if they're lying or not. But this time...

Jessica was a very sweet, very quiet girl. I get the impression that if she lost the tiebreaker, she would have accepted the outcome. Reluctantly, but she would have. Cordelia, on the other hand, was the type of girl who was going to get her way no matter what. A louder personality. She was going to bludgeon her way into doing photosynthesis.

(I set up the partners, so these two would not have chosen to work together.)

Cordelia had already titled her paper "Photosynthesis", and she insisted that that was what she was going to do.

I think she expected me to make Jessica do cellular respiration. But I'm not built that way. I felt the need to stick up for Jessica. I'd give Cordelia a new paper. Cordelia was going to do cellular respiration.

Yeah, well, Cordelia wasn't built that way...

After a day (they had two and a half days to work on the project) of Cordelia running to me to complain, I had had enough. Fine. They could both do photosynthesis. They were no longer partners.

(The assignment was set up so each half of the assignment could be graded separately. So, unfortunately, that wouldn't penalize Cordelia. But, luckily, it wouldn't penalize Jessica, either.)

7th graders...

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Getting Back Up to Speed

Winter break was over. I got an early morning wake up call. Guess who would be out another week?

I was not shocked by this. The teacher I covered before the break had been out due to shoulder surgery. I half expected her to need more time to recover. So, back to it, the same group I had before the winter break.

Deep sigh.

The teacher was prepared. She left lesson plans for the entire month of January, just in case. So, I knew we were covered. The first day back, they had an assignment in their packets.

All the classes received packets for the unit. The first pages were fill-in-the-blank notes. Then there were pages of various assignments that they would need to complete. These packets were passed out the first couple days I was in the class. They all had them.

After the initial explanation that their teacher would be out another week, I told them to get out their packets...

"What packet?"

"I lost it."

"I left it at home."

I was not shocked. I wasn't even surprised. Since they came to school with their binders and folders and backpacks and such, I figured the packets would have to be in their stuff somewhere. Presumably, it would be with the other school stuff they hadn't looked at in two weeks. (They didn't have homework over the break, so they shouldn't have even needed to take it out of their backpacks.)

Most managed to find their work, and we got underway. Well, except for one notable exception. Blaine.

"You never gave me the packet."

Um yes, yes I did. And you know how I know? He had scores recorded for assignments that were in the packet. Which he couldn't have done if he didn't have the packet.

But he protested he'd never received it. This went back and forth for a bit. Until he realized, "Oh, that packet."

Yeah. That packet.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

A Different Biological Clock

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 our bodies were made to have healthier babies later in life? 

(I know this isn't the way things actually work, so the idea is to flip what is. What if the younger you are, the less healthy your offspring would be?)

Monday, January 16, 2017

A 2000th Post

Back in August, I noted my 1900th post. And I said, "I'd wait and say something when it hits #2000, but knowing me, I won't even notice until that occasion has passed and I'm on post #2003 or something". Turns out I was wrong.

Well, to be fair, I've been paying attention since then.

Yup, this is post #2000.


And to honor the occasion (since the Star Wars beanie isn't quite done), I thought I'd post my blogging "tips". Not so much tips as the things that I do in blogging that work for me.

People post these sorts of things from time to time. I like to peruse them as sometimes they have something that'll work for me. Or, it can be modified to work for me. It is in this spirit that I offer this list. 

So, in no particular order:
  1. I write this blog for myself. While I appreciate those who take time out of their busy days to stop in and read my words (and I especially appreciate those who take the time to comment), when I sit down in front of my computer, I'm writing for me. If I didn't do this because I wanted to, I wouldn't still be doing it.
  2. I have a schedule. But it's not too terribly rigid. It's a guideline of what to post when, so when I don't know what to write (school's not in session or the classes are too well behaved), I have a place to start. (I do have the schedule posted if you're interested.
  3. Even though I have a plan for each day of the week, I don't feel the need to post each day of the week. Some weeks I'd rather only do three posts. And some weeks I have enough stories for five. It just depends. 
  4. My plan changes as my life changes. At the moment, I'm still trying to figure out a good theme for Wednesdays. (Which is why if I'm skipping a day, that day is usually Wednesday.) At one point my "what if?" questions were on Thursdays. And I had three or four themes for Fridays until I happened upon the quiz thing. 
  5. I write my posts for the following week in one or two sittings. By Thursday I like to have an idea of what each day's post will be. (Although I tend to save the Friday post for what transpires in school on Friday. For some reason, some crazy stuff tends to happen on Fridays.) I usually sit down and write out the posts over the weekend. (If I'm lucky, I might have time to rough out a post or four during the week.) 
  6. As for my subbing stories, I let those happen. Some things jump out in the moment as "blog fodder". Others only occur to me after I'm contemplating the days I had. 
  7. I tend to work most school days. I only tell subbing stories three days a week. I leave out a lot. I edit out the boring stuff--i.e. the stuff where the kiddos do what they're supposed to do, the classes that work silently without too much effort on my part, and the days when I barely feel like I'm working. There are a lot of these instances. 
And as with anything, this is a work in progress. What works for me today may change over time. My blog must adapt to this. Otherwise, I'd have stopped doing this ages ago. 

What about you? How do you blog? What works for you?

Friday, January 13, 2017

Excellent Timing

The last day before winter break was a minimum day. And as with most minimum days, they scheduled a fire drill.

Insert eye roll here.

I do not like fire drills. They are disruptive. I never know which students are mine, so I hope that they're showing up where they're supposed to be. And then when we get back to class, they're all wound up.

I understand the importance of fire drills. I do. Emergencies happen. We've had to evacuate due to earthquakes and actual fire incidents (that were minor). But that doesn't mean I have to like participating in them.

But, it was a lovely, wet day in SoCal. It had rained much of the night before. And we were expecting more rain later that day. So, they'd surely cancel the drill, right?

Nope. Drill as scheduled.

*grumble, grumble, grumble*

I did luck out in that the drill fell on my prep period. When the alarm sounded, I was to report to an assistant principal to "assist". (Read: stand around.) We got out to the athletic fields, and then we were promptly sent back to class...

Back in class, I got back to the setting up for the day stuff I needed to do. I heard all the kiddos arrive back in class, and when things settled down, I figured it was a good time to hit the restroom before I had a class the next period.

I walked outside... And it was pouring down rain.

We missed getting rained on by minutes. Now, that was some good timing.

Thursday, January 12, 2017


Ms. D had warned me about her class before I filled in. But I didn't realize how many familiar faces there would be. Blaine was there...

He wasn't as bad as he was last year, but he was still a handful. If I had a dollar for every time I had to ask him to sit down... And he was out of class once every day to use the restroom. Which might not sound like an issue, but one has to wonder why he can't remain in class for a full period.

The last day I was in class they were to watch a video. Blaine approached asking if he and a girl could go and take care of something having to do with the school's annual canned food drive. Turns out he and the girl were in student government.

As it was the last day before break and I knew he wasn't going to sit still for the video, I allowed it.

A short time later, I got a call from the office. Blaine was needed in the front office because his probation officer was there.


It was then that I realized I didn't have a clear idea of where Blaine said he was going to be. There was something about a class getting extra cans that they got credit for and... It was vague. (And I don't usually let students out of class without knowing exactly where they're going to be.)

After some hemming and hawing, I realized he must be in the ASB room. I called over there. Only, he wasn't there. The office also called there and called me back. I was to send Blaine up as soon as I saw him.

(This is a headdesk moment. I should have known where he was. I had to remind myself that usually when the office calls, I send the student right away. This was an anomaly.)

Blaine did return a short time later. So, I sent him on his way again. This time, I knew exactly where he went.

That's what I get for being a little lax before a holiday.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Inappropriate Mirth

For the last seven days before the winter break, I covered a science class. I had been warned the classes were difficult. Luckily, the teacher gave me a few tools to try and keep things moving along.

One of the days (and at a certain point, the days started running together), the afternoon classes were to answer 20-odd questions on photosynthesis. They were true/false. They got ten minutes to do the paper, and then we were to correct them together.

Many of them were playing around rather than doing the work, so I wanted to get them thinking at least while we were going over the questions. So, I pulled out the name cards. (I was so glad to have name cards. Not every teacher leaves those for us subs.)

I announced what number we were on, pulled a card, and had the student read the question and their answer. (I got volunteers, but I insisted on the cards. That way they all had to pay attention. Besides, they had a 50/50 shot at getting it right.)

Since many had not done the work, some of them made wild guesses when called on. (This is better than when they have to fill in answers. Then if they haven't done it, they'll freeze up or refuse to answer.) And there were a couple times when they gave a wrong answer that should have been obvious.

So, the class as a whole would laugh at them.

Which was not cool. Nope. Not at all. It's hard enough to be called on.

So, I made a blanket rule. If someone wanted to laugh at a student for giving a wrong answer, they could very well answer the next question.

That stopped the laughing right quick. (I only had to follow through on that threat once.)

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Only Heaven Above?

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 ;)

Over the break (which just ended last week for us) I got caught up on some TV shows. One of which gave me the idea for this week's question. (If you watch the show in question, you know where this came from. And I beg, no spoilers as I'm still a bit behind...)

First, we must suppose that hell as a place/realm exists in some way, shape, or form...

What if you had the chance to eliminate hell? Would you do it? (Consider the type that ends up there. Would you want them running free? Or what would happen to them if you could eliminate hell?)

Monday, January 9, 2017

A Star Wars Request

On Christmas Eve, I asked my nephew what he wanted me to make him for his birthday. Or if he wanted me to make something for him. Or if he'd rather I bought him something.

Figuring out what a soon-to-be 11-year-old boy wants... Yeah, I've no clue. And rather than knit something he'd hate, it's just easier to let him pick.

Or so I thought.

Because he had just the thing. "An X-Wing Fighter on a beanie."

Um, okay. Time to do some internet research.

Luckily, Ravelry had just the thing. (I won't post the picture here due to copyright concerns, but I encourage you to follow the link to see the picture.)

From the link on that project page, I was able to find the colorwork chart. I could do this. Probably.

On Christmas day, I showed the picture to see if the X-Wing met with his approval. It did. As did the whole beanie. Could I replicate that?

Um, sure. I guess so.

Time to look for the other charts... Which took a while. I found a Rebel Insignia (again, copyright concerns; the chart is the third from the bottom of the page) and a set of crossed lightsabers (3rd chart down). Bonus, the second link also had another X-Wing Fighter that I liked a bit better (6 charts below the crossed lightsabers).

New Year's Day (6 days after his birthday) I cast on. Soon, I had the typical rats' nest of various strands of different color yarns that typifies colorwork...

Which devolved rather quickly...

And a couple things became clear. My plan wasn't going to work. And the colorwork wasn't quite working. So, after three days of work, it was time to cut my losses...

And start over...

(No, I didn't rip that all out. Yet. Too fiddly for the moment. I may toss it, or I may try to recover the yarn when I have a day to just sit and untangle.)

On the bright side, my next attempt is going to be simpler than the first. But the colorwork (and the rats' nest on the back side) will likely be worse.

Which means I won't be replicating the beanie he saw. (I'd have to use a much finer yarn for more stitches per inch.) But I think that'll be okay. I hope. I'll let you know how it all turns out.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Trying to Return

It was 5th period on my second or third day in Ms. D's class. I called out the names of those I was marking absent. The class informed me that Diego was no longer a member of the class. I checked the online roll sheet and verified that he was no longer listed. (I was taking roll via the seating chart.)

I talked to Ms. D a few days into her absence. I had a couple questions about other things. I mentioned in passing that Diego was no longer in period 5. She was quite happy about that. She explained that he was the most difficult student in that period. I was just happy that he had been pulled before I began covering.

Then on Tuesday, my fifth day in the class, I had separated a couple students who had been verbally sparring, taking advantage of the open seat Diego had left. Only, there was Diego, claiming his seat.

He informed me this was his class. I said I thought he had been dropped. But, students are removed and returned to class without me being notified all the time. (I'm a sub. I don't get the official emails.) So, I said I'd double check to see if he was back on the roll.

I logged into the system. (The online computer attendance is always up to date.) No Diego enrolled in period 5. I turned back around... And Diego was no longer in the room.

Ah. I see. He was trying to "visit". That is, he was going to play like he belonged in class. I know that game.

I don't want to imagine what ruckus he would have caused. Period 5 was difficult enough without him riling things up more.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Not Expecting That Grade

There were quite a few familiar faces in Ms. D's classes. Vaughn was one of them. I have uttered his name many a time. Many of those times, the tone was sharp.

He was seated in one of the "attention" seats. Every teacher has a spot (or two) that I can just tell is the spot where the difficult students sit. It can be kind of isolated. It's generally in a spot that the teacher can easily keep an eye on.

I was not surprised at Vaughn's behavior. I was used to it.

But I did get a big shock when I was recording the class' tests.

I don't really look at names when I'm grading papers. And, these tests were Scantron, so they were graded by machine. I don't know if I noted the name or the score first, but when I put the two together...

Vaughn got a 95% on the test. He missed two questions.

After I picked my jaw up off the floor, I recorded his score. (And no, he didn't cheat. While I can't be certain, I did not witness anything that would make me question the validity of his score.) Then I looked at his grade. He has a B. Another shock.

It looks like he's one of those lucky souls who remembers things easily. I talked to the teacher, and she said he does well when he does his work. He just doesn't always do his work.

Deep sigh. I just hope he matures out of his difficult ways. Because imagine what he could do if he really tried.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Check Your Key

The last seven days before the winter break I covered a science class. On day one (which was a Wednesday) all the classes had a test.

Because I was going to be there for over a week, it fell to me to get the makeups for this test taken care of.

The tests were on Scantrons, so that made the grading easier. I waited a couple days before braving the Scantron machine. (I had never used one before, so I thought figuring it out would be a challenge. It wasn't.) A few test stragglers had made their tests up by then. But not all.

After grading and recording the first batch of tests, a couple other students got their tests taken. I retrieved the keys from the "keys" book. (The teacher left me a binder with keys for all the assigned work during her absence.) I ran the tests. And I went home for the day.

While recording the test scores, I noticed something about the key I used for one of the tests. It said "earthquakes". But the Earth science test had been on "resources". Oh crap! Had I used the wrong key for all the tests?

The next day I learned the answer. No, I hadn't. I had just grabbed one wrong key for one test.

Whew. Because having to run all the tests again... (And there were A and B tests, so putting everything back into the right order...)

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Live Every Day

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 ;)

Ah, the holidays. When all the TV shows go on hiatus, and we're stuck with specials, reruns, and random stuff that no one wants to watch.

I got a little behind in my TV watching, though. I recorded a couple shows on my DVR that I never got around to watching. Until now. One of those shows is called No Tomorrow. This week's question is basically the premise of the show.

What if you knew that an asteroid was going to hit the Earth (and destroy all life as we know it) in 8 months? What would you do with your remaining time?

Monday, January 2, 2017

Knitting (and Crocheting) Through the New Year

If you follow me on Instagram or my shop on Facebook, you've seen some of my projects in progress.

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

The finished products:

Blue Jellyfish in repose

Blue Jellyfish hanging

Gift Card Holders with monograms
Did you finish up any projects over the last week or so?