Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Wrong Luck


I had the same class all last week. Seventh grade world history. Advanced. Their teacher was on the annual field trip to Washington, D.C.

I believe I've mentioned that subs have been in short supply this year. More often than not, I'm covering a different class on the teacher's prep period.

Mr. F's prep period was fifth. Around third or fourth period, I'd get a call from the secretary telling me what class I was going to cover for that fifth period. Monday it was an English class I'd covered before. Easy group. Tuesday it was a very small special ed. class.

On Wednesday, she called to tell me I'd be covering a math class. And I groaned.

The teacher's morning was co-taught. The teacher's sixth period was pretty good, actually. But her period five...

I wrote about them. Well, kind of. They're the ones that somehow managed to make a room smell of marijuana.

As it turned out, the teacher was there to start off the class. (She had an IEP meeting that period.) She told me that fifth was her bad class. Yup, I remembered.

And, actually, I had a student that I had had earlier in the day. (This happens sometimes. When they point it out, I cackle and tell them they can't escape me 😛) Let's just say I wasn't surprised at his inclusion in this class.

The period went about as well as I expected. The teacher told them that they had corrections to make on prior assignments. These would help raise their grades. And yet, half the class told me that their grades were good and they had no corrections to make.

(Ms. T told me this would be true of two students. At least a dozen made the claim.)

Ah well. On the prep period lottery, you win some and you lose some. Four good preps out of five isn't too shabby.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Hunted


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 "they" came for your best friend?

Monday, May 20, 2019

The Bed Saga

No, not literally. Although, the concussion screams intent.

It all started about three weeks ago, on April 30th. I sat on my bed to put on my shoes, something I do every morning.

Thunk.

The bed fell under me. In that moment, I wanted to figure out what had happened, but I didn't have time, not if I wanted to get to work on time. So, I finished putting on my shoes, and I was out the door. I didn't think too much about it, other than some generalized worry, until I got home. That's when I went about ascertaining what broke.

The bed is what they call a Hollywood frame. It's just a simple rail. I've had this bed for about five years without a lick of trouble.

It turned out that the wheel had snapped off. I was able to glue it back together and place it back on that leg.


But that was a temporary fix.

I searched online for a replacement wheel. No local retailers carried it, but it was available online. (From wheel break to ordering replacement wheel took two days. I had to go to work and such.)

Alas, the temp fix was very temporary. The wheel continued to fall off at least once a day. Anything would jar it loose. I was very careful with my movements, but still it would pop off with a "thunk" when I least expected it. Or when I did expect it. It was a pretty constant thing.

Tracking showed the replacement showing up the following Tuesday, May 7th. But on Saturday, when I had time, I needed to deal with another bed problem. The rail was creeping out. An easy fix...

I stripped the bed. Then, by myself, I flipped up the mattress and box spring to lean against the wall. Then the rails. I tightened them. I put the bed back to rights. Since I had stripped the bed, I figured that was a good time to wash the sheets and such. Once they were clean, I remade the bed, and all was good, except for that wheel. I was good for a couple days, until the wheel arrived.

Only, guess what came in the mail just after I had finished putting my bed to rights?

So, this next bit is just sheer laziness. I didn't fix the wheel that day. I figured I could wait another week. What's another week, right?

Then, Tuesday night, as I was nearly asleep (and not moving at all), the wheel fell off again, and I was DONE.

After work Wednesday, May 8th, I stripped the bed, flipped up the mattress and box spring, flipped up the rail, and went about removing the wheel. You'd think this would be easy, but the wheel was attached via a long connector that didn't remove easily. Pliers worked.

The replacement wheel fit perfectly.


Before returning the bed to rights, I went to tighten the rails again. Only, one of the brackets would not. It popped off the bed.

Upon further examination, I found that the bracket had bent, just a little. But that little was enough so that it would no longer fit on the bed. And the rail needed that to support weight.

The bracket on the left is the working one. The bracket on the left has been stretched out ever so slightly, just enough to no longer fit on the rail.
Over the course of an hour, I tried everything I could think of, including hammering the bracket to bend it back. It was enough. I was able to reassemble the bed.

It was so nice to sleep in the bed without having random thunks in the middle of the night.

However, as I walked by the bed the next morning...

Thunk.

The bottom half of the bed had collapsed. The bracket failed.

Again, I went online to order a replacement part. (I did go out to see if I could find it locally. I could not.) But what size did I need? What did I need to measure? That took a while to figure out.

While I was waiting, though, the frame would not hold. There was nothing else to do but remove the frame entirely and put the box spring on the floor, like a teenager. Sigh. (Plus, I store stuff under there. All of it had to be moved out and stored somewhere for the wait.)

The replacement bracket arrived on the following Monday, May 13th. I worked up the energy to put things back together on Tuesday. I stripped the bed, flipped up the mattress and box spring, and brought the rails out.

I propped the two parts of the frame up against the box spring as it leaned against the wall. I started by attaching a bracket to the bottom half...

I'm sure you can see what's coming. If I had been thinking...

Yeah, so one side fell over as I was doing this, landing on my head. Hard. No, I didn't pass out, but it hurt.

And... The bracket didn't fit. It turns out that I had ordered the wrong size.

The gold-tone is the proper size. The silver-tone is just a bit too big.
(I spent an hour trying to figure out which size I needed. I measured. I even tried it on the rails before flipping up the bed, and it seemed to work. But when it came time to actually put things together, big fat fail.)

So, everything had to go back to how it had been. Back to the internet to order the correct size. Hopefully.

This time I ordered the part right away, although I spent a lot of time looking at the smaller size. Was this correct? Was I going to screw up again?

Tracking showed that the package would arrive on Saturday. I was out, so I wasn't thinking about the package delivery. I pulled my phone out of my purse to check the time or weather or something to find a text from the delivery driver.

He couldn't find my place. And I had five minutes to respond. The text had been sent a half hour prior.

(I know, you all have your phones set so you can hear them when you're out, right? I don't. My ringer is set for a good volume to wake me for early morning subbing calls. Soft enough so that it doesn't jar me awake. As I get very few actual calls or texts, I don't think about raising the volume the rest of the time.)

Then I got an email saying the delivery had failed.

Grrr. Was I going to have to wait another week for another day off to finally fix my bed? Was I even going to get the delivery?

But then, I get home to find the package. I guess the delivery driver found my place after all. Whew.

These brackets were smaller than the ones I had already on my bed, but they actually fit. Hooray!


And on Sunday, my bed went back together. Finally.


So, fingers crossed. Because if this bed breaks again...

tl;dr: My bed broke. It took three weeks to fix.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Finishing Up


Sometimes, I really feel how long I've been subbing.

Friday. I was covering the ASB class. They spent the period painting posters for an upcoming rally.

Sarah walked in. She wasn't in fourth period, but she had gotten permission from her fourth period teacher to go to her ASB class.

I recognized the teacher's name. She teaches AP statistics. The AP statistics test has already happened, so that class is done for the year, hence the reason why Sarah could leave class without missing anything.

As the kiddos painted (and they got a lot done that period), they talked. Sarah is graduating, and she's going to attend ASU in the fall. Her twin brother is going somewhere back east. (He's the ASB president for the school and was also in this class.)

I remembered where and when I had first encountered Sarah. It made the blog. It was summer school. Health class for students who hadn't taken health during the school year. She made that silly PowerPoint. (You remember the one. "Sixteen and Pregnant".)

I have encountered her and her brother from time to time since that health class. They're of the academic sort that rarely make the blog as they generally do their work and don't give me any trouble.

The reason they made the blog today is because Sarah was also talking about her birthday. It's tomorrow. She and her brother are turning 18.

Man, I feel so old...

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Too Happy


They were way too happy to see me. And that really makes me nervous.

Friday. Sixth period. US history. This was the class that I had before spring break

One of the students was saying how she had wished for a sub, and not just any sub but me in particular. But, she knew that Mr. B was on campus. And I was elsewhere. 

But, the teacher I was covering had sixth period prep. And, as I may have mentioned before, this year it's been more likely than not that I pick up an extra period (and an extra period's pay) rather than getting the time off. 

I have no idea why, but Mr. B had to leave early. So, guess who was asked to cover it?

When students are that happy to see me, I wonder what it was that I let them get away with. Because why would students like a sub? There's something wrong with this picture.

However, this was the good class. They were generally silent. Of the whole day, they were the best behaved group. So, again, whatever did I let them get away with?

I gave them the assignment. And then I held my breath. Were they going to take a "free" day?

Nope, they worked silently again. For the whole period. (And we were on block schedule for state testing, so the period was two hours long.)

I guess it will remain a mystery, as I didn't see them doing anything they shouldn't've. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Not My Name


Middle schoolers, in general, are terrible liars. (There are some masters of deception, but mostly they just can't manage it.)

Seventh grade math. Second period. I was taking roll via a seating chart. But because seating charts (especially in middle school classes where teachers are constantly moving kiddos) aren't always 100% accurate, I was calling out the names of those I was marking absent.

"Jake is not here..."

"He's here. He's sitting over there," a student let me know.

But when I looked over at Jake, he claimed he was Steven. He was sitting in Steven's seat.

"So, it's okay for me to mark Jake absent," I said.

Usually that's enough to make the student give up the game. Not Jake. Nope, he was willing to be absent to be Steven.

(Turns out that Steven was suspended, so he was marked absent anyway. And no, I didn't mark Jake absent. It seemed silly to do when I knew he was there.)

Needless to say, Jake was a difficult student.

But what was remarkable was how the rest of the class would not play along. Occasionally one of the kiddos would ask Jake something. They'd call out "Jake". He would say, "I'm Steven". And they would roll their eyes, finish whatever it was they wanted to ask, and then go back to what they were doing (which was mostly the assignment).

Because the rest of the class was behaving, Jake was not able to cause enough of a commotion for me to need to kick him out. But he got a starring role in my note to his teacher.

I was three doors down from that class the next day. I ran into Jake's regular teacher. Jake's antics got him suspended from class. And not for the first time. (Jake has been an issue in that class all year.)

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Parent Tested


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 adults needed to pass a class/test before they could be allowed to parent children?

Monday, May 13, 2019

Cotton in the Straw

I have one of these...


...and it generally lives on my side table. I drink water from it constantly. It has a lovely little straw that sticks out of the top...


Naturally, from time to time I need to clean my mug. That's easy enough. But cleaning the straw is more of a challenge. How does one clean a straw like this? (Seriously, I'm asking. What do you all do that I'm missing?)

Last week I had an idea.

I took some 18-gauge wire I had on hand (for various other projects). I cut it longer than the straw length. And I coiled both ends...


(Apologies. This was the best picture I could get of the ends. And, my wire technique needs practice--a lot of practice.)

Then, I took some cotton yarn (kitchen cotton they call it, the kind that's perfect for washcloths), and I crocheted a row...


...that was a bit longer than the straw. (I did one row of chain, and then alternated single and double crochets until the end where I did about an inch's worth of single crochets.) A strand of yarn at the end easily slid over the coil...


...and I had the perfect little thing to wipe out the inside of the straw...



And here's a much better photo of the coil...


These are the sorts of things I think about when I have an odd moment here or there. I don't generally get them complete this quickly, but I had all the materials on hand, and it didn't take very long at all.

Now, if only I could get one of my other projects to completion...

Friday, May 10, 2019

No Negotiators


According to my counter, this is my 2600th post. I was going to celebrate my 2500th, but didn't notice until after the fact. (That post went live on December 25th.)

Video and TV production class. They produce a school-wide TV program that gets shown every couple months. They were working on segments for the next episode.

There were three groups of four in the class. Before he left, their teacher warned them to get their segments done. Deadline was looming.

Group one claimed the side room to film in. I found group two in an editing room doing nothing. Um...

Group two explained they needed the side room to film in. There was a second spot (shown above) they could use, I pointed out. They explained they had already started filming in the side room, and for continuity they needed to continue there.

This was very reasonable. (There were different props in the room as opposed to the spot pictured above.) I suggested they talk to group one and figure out a way to share it. This was something group two could not do. "No one talks to them," they explained.

Seriously? It's May. They've been in this class all year. And they don't talk to a group in the same class? Sigh. Teenagers...

So, I went to talk to group one.

When I asked them how they were doing, they informed me that they were planning what they were going to do. Planning?

Well, that made sharing the room easy. I booted group one. Group two got to work. And group one...

Group one decided to go back to their original plan, which meant they were filming outside.

(The teacher, upon his return from his meeting, explained that group one had a plan that he'd approved, but they kept trying to change it. Or something. Anyway, their dilly-dallying was well-known to him.)

Thursday, May 9, 2019

The Wrong Site


Considering how long I've been subbing, I'm surprised I haven't had this issue before.

I had called ahead a couple weeks prior for this assignment. "Mrs. Jones" at "school A". I've covered Cindy Jones' class several times, so I knew what I was in for. (Cindy Jones' room is pictured above.)

It was a pretty good morning, and I managed to get there fairly early. I went to check in.

"You're at [school B] today for [Rebecca Jones]."

Erm.

I was told "school A".

A couple things were working in my favor. I was running early. And "school B" starts a half hour later than "school A".

I got to "school B" easily and checked in. It was a bit of mentally changing gears. Cindy Jones teaches English. Rebecca Jones teaches intro to health careers.

I blame the sub caller. She's new. As in, she's had the job for about a month. Mistakes happen.

(I did actually get a chance to chide her for this. She called me for a gig for the next day. I mean, I wasn't going to call her just to give her a hard time about the mixing up of the schools.)

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

The Swarm


Continuation high school. Science. Seventh period. Most of the students were playing Krunker, although as late in the period as it was, a couple of those students had completed the day's assignment and turned it in already.

The principal came over the loudspeaker.

"Students, when you're dismissed, please leave by the back gate. There is a swarm of bees at the front of the school..."

He then rang the bell early (by about five minutes), dismissing everyone for the day.

A swarm of bees?!?

And how was I going to get to my car?

I went to check out. The office was in crisis mode. They needed someone to deal with the bees. They needed to figure out how to direct students as several after school classes would be arriving shortly. (There are a few career-type classes that are held there via a county program, what used to be called ROP.)

I was told the swarm was fairly contained to the walkway, so I'd be able to walk around it. I was a bit nervous, but I was also curious. What would this swarm of bees look like?

I got outside, and, well, no swarm. They said that before there had been something like a thousand bees in one place, that the area was black with them. All that was left were a dozen or so, flying around the bush that was there.

I was a bit disappointed. I had wanted to get a picture of this swarm. But I was also relieved.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Impossible Intelligence


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 creating a true artificial intelligence is impossible?

Monday, May 6, 2019

Completing the Challenge


You may have noticed I once again did the A to Z Challenge last month. At this point, it's more a habit. And a game. Can I write blog posts as normal, but make it fit the letter of the day?

I won't bore you with how this works. I've written about it before. The only difference this year was that I did not make a back up plan. I didn't need it before, so why bother this year?

(Previous reflections posts: 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018.)

In case you missed some (or all) of my April posts, here are some highlights:

My "hopping" was kind of hit or miss. I went through the master list starting after where I was (#61) and I got to #221. The goal was to comment on five new blogs a day. Alas, this did not happen every day. It was more like 4-5 days per week, fewer (like two) during spring break. (You'd think I'd've had more time on vacation. Nope.)

Here are a few new to me blogs that I found via the challenge:

Plus, of course, I kept up with my usual blogs. There were some interesting themes: 

If I didn't note your blog, post a link in the comments. Lots of really great themes. It's hard to remember what all of them were.

And now April is officially over. Whew. See you next year...


Friday, May 3, 2019

Under Bidding


Math support and enrichment. It's an extra period of math for students who are struggling with math. They were studying transformations.

They had a couple worksheets to complete. It was just a little simple graphing...

Well, maybe it was not so simple for them (considering what class it was). But they had plenty of time, and I could help.

If you've followed my blog for any length of time, you know that kiddos try to take the easy way out more often than not.

"I'll give you three dollars to do the assignment for me."

My first though was that I'd gotten a raise. It used to be that they offered a dollar for that sort of thing.

But I replied with my second thought: "Considering my expertise, my services are worth at least twenty dollars."

Naturally, he balked. Which was exactly the reaction I was going for. Sort of.

Then someone mentioned gas money (as in $20 is gas money), and the conversation shifted to what kind of car I drive. (They asked. My answer was non-specific.) And the price of gasoline.

Topic shifted, I went back to doing my job and they went back to avoiding the work.

Because, seriously? I was probably undercharging.

If they want to hire the work out, they really should consider the skill set of the person they're hiring. I got an A in freshman math. And sophomore math. And I even managed to get through calculus. If they want to cheap out, they need to hire someone with far fewer math skills than me.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

The Conversation


It was one of the severe special ed classes. Lunch time.

While the kiddos were at lunch, their instructional aides were out supervising. But the aides get a lunch, too, so there's a bit of a juggle. They have to find time for their lunch (usually during class time) while making sure the class is manned.

As the teacher, my lunch is when the kiddos go to lunch.

However, there was Jason. Jason was non verbal and confined to a wheelchair. He was fed through a tube by his one-on-one aide a couple times that day. He could not be left alone.

Jason's one-on-one took her lunch before the actual lunch so she could be back while the other aides were out supervising lunch. But, because of time constraints, there was a small gap of about five minutes (normally, but this was a block schedule day, so the gap was more like ten) where Jason didn't have supervision. On a normal day, the teacher took over for that time.

If it was normally the teacher's job, then on this day it was mine.

I was warned to watch out for seizures and told who to go to if something went terribly wrong. As the one-on-one would be back shortly, we didn't think I'd have to worry about that. And then it was just Jason and me.

It was technically my lunch, so I pulled out my phone. But Jason was there. He wasn't furniture.

What does one say to a non verbal kiddo, though? I'm not great at small talk, and my general conversations wouldn't be of interest to the boy. I'm more of the listen-while-someone-else-talks kind of girl.

So, I did what I usually do when I have a bit of time during the school day. I looked through my Instagram. As I did so, I tried to find some things that maybe Jason would find interesting. I didn't think he'd find the knitting and crochet projects (the majority of my feed) all that fascinating, so I apologized for not having much to show him.

It wasn't the most scintillating talk. I made some random comments about the day and such. Because, I couldn't not talk to him. That just felt wrong, somehow.

The one-on-one was surprised to find me and Jason alone. Apparently subs don't watch Jason. I don't see why not. But, I guess I just assume I'm going to be doing that sort of thing when I cover these classes.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Blocker


Today's post is NSFW. Apologies. I try to keep things PG around here, but I really want to tell you about this... 

"That's not what that means."

It was a rather weird Monday where I ended up covering four different classes. Fourth period it was a US history class. They were supposed to be perusing a chapter on the Cold War.

(It was next door to the class I covered the week before spring break.)

But if they were on task, this wouldn't be a very interesting post.

One girl explained to another the definition of the term "cockblocker". Or, at least, she thought it was the definition.

It was a rather literal interpretation, involving smacking/slapping a certain part of the male anatomy.

That's where I chimed in. I jump into student conversations when misinformation is being perpetuated.

"That's what it says on Urban Dictionary. I took a screenshot. Want to see?" she replied.

I did not. "Well, then Urban Dictionary is wrong." 

I trust Urban Dictionary, so I was surprised. I thought the term was fairly well-known.

Normally I would just shut this whole thing down, and I did, but I first provided the actual definition. Because they are 16 or 17 years old, and they really shouldn't get any older thinking what she said was true. (If this had been a middle school class, this whole thing would have gone very, very differently.)

Discussion finished, I pulled out my calendar to update. (I keep track of what classes I cover.)

"Are you writing this down?"

The girl then put on a brave face. She informed me that Mr. T wouldn't be surprised, and he wouldn't even need her name as he would know it originated from her.

(I hadn't planned on mentioning it, but since she asked, I realized Mr. T might enjoy the humor of the situation, so I did then make a point of including it in the note. Later.)

After school, I checked Urban Dictionary. I could not find the definition she cited. I did find several iterations of the correct definition. Check it out.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Zilch


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 lost the memory of one year of your life (but not the last year, like you suddenly forgot 1998)?

Today's A to Z Challenge post brought to you by the letter...

Monday, April 29, 2019

Yarn Boxes

This week, in my continuing Projects that Fell by the Wayside theme from this month, I had planned to show off a second finished walking purse. (I don't know what I was going to title this to make it fit for Y, but I figured something would come to me.)

And then I had to start the purse over. 

I'll eventually write a post all about it, so I'll save the frog and restart details for then. For today, I'm going to answer a question from last week's yarn-y post
How do you store the projects that you aren't working on? In some type of bag so they don't pick up dust or lint or whatever?
I keep them in boxes.

For example, here's that walking purse that I'm currently working on...


I keep the yarn, needles, pattern, and all the other miscellaneous stuff that a project in progress tends to collect. It's a mess and a bit bulky, but it works for me.

I have both of the scarves together...


The projects are linked. And I have a tendency to create one box for all my current projects, so sometimes it takes a while for them to get a whole box to themselves.

Things that I pick up occasionally, like the jellyfish or the unicorn...


...are more likely to have a dedicated box. (The jellyfish box is buried, so all I have a picture of for today is the unicorn gift card holder box.)

And here's a little project that I started in late 2018 and have barely touched since...


I'll explain it when I have enough done for a post about it to make sense.

(Since I finished up all my Tuesday What If? posts back in March, I am officially done with my A to Z posts. Woo-hoo!)

How do you store your projects in progress? If you're doing A to Z, did you finish all your posts early, or did you write them as we went? Can you believe how fast April went?

Today's A to Z Challenge post brought to you by the letter...

Saturday, April 27, 2019

X: Wanted

Just a little something from the math class of Key Battle... 


Did your math teacher(s) have a weird sense of humor? What did you use for your X post?

Today's A to Z Challenge post brought to you by the letter...

Friday, April 26, 2019

Wiped


It was the Friday before spring break (two weeks ago). And it was a minimum day.

Weirdly, the best class of the day was sixth period. Usually, I have to fight with sixth period. They're done with the day, and they can't be bothered to work. But not this group.

I had had them for a week. It was one of those days (multiplied by five) where my biggest issue was finding a way to stay awake. Because there's something pretty boring about watching classes do their assignments.

By sixth period, I had finished reading blogs, reading a magazine, writing blog posts, and taking care of all my usual keep-Liz-awake activities I bring along just in case I have an easy day like this.

I was wiped.

When they arrived on Friday, I held up the handout. I asked each row if they needed it. No one did.

This did not surprise me, however. Earlier in the week, the students had come up to get the next assignment and the next. I informed them that they were getting ahead. But I have no issue with them getting ahead, especially if the teacher has left those assignments for them.

But by Friday, I let them know how far their teacher had expected them to be. And most of them were well beyond it.

So, there was a whole lot of not-work going on that day. I was fine with this.

First, they did this nothing quietly. Second, they had been working all week. And third, it was the last hour before they were technically on spring break.

I bet they were a bit wiped, too.

If you had a computer (or your smartphone) and less than an hour to kill, what would you find yourself doing? Did you do anything fun for spring break this year? 

Today's A to Z Challenge post brought to you by the letter...

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Vocabulary Day


Spanish 1 for Spanish speakers. Period one. Monday.

It was an extra period for me, so we got in the room late, and I scrambled to get up to speed.

The lesson plan said they should get their notebooks and take down the week's vocabulary. It said they do it every week, so they knew what to do.

Easy enough. I told them to get their notebooks and get started.

No one moved.

Some classes can be belligerent. They could be talking over me and not hear my instructions. They could be oblivious. But no. This class was silent. Attentive. But not moving.

"We're not allowed in her filing cabinet."

Their notebooks were stored in her filing cabinet. Apparently she passed them out every day. But the lesson plan didn't say for me to pass out the notebooks. It said for them to go and get them.

However, they were not going to touch her filing cabinet no matter how much I said it was okay to do it with the sub.

Okay, fine. I figured out where the notebooks were, got them passed out (and somehow figured out her filing system so I could put them away correctly), but they still weren't working. What now?

Her lesson plan said to pass out the page with their vocabulary on it, but there wasn't a stack labelled "Period 1". But, there were two stacks labelled "Periods 2 & 3". It turned out that one of them was just mislabelled.

Sigh.

I swear, it took me half the period to get them set up. At least they were a cooperative group. They were silent even as I was scrambling. And then working when they had what they needed.

I think I was more stressed out than if I had been fighting them to get to work. It's funny what you get used to.

Do you have your files organized just so? Had you ever heard of a Spanish class organized for those who already speak it?

Today's A to Z Challenge post brought to you by the letter...

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Underachievers


First period Earth science. They had a review to work on. Their test was the next day.

"Did you go to promotion last year?"

"No. Did you?"

"No. They 'requested' that I not attend the last three weeks of school."

Me: "Were you suspended?" (He was.)

Earth science is the science class they put all the ninth graders who got Ds or Fs in eighth grade science in. So, hearing several did not "promote" was unsurprising.

Promotion is "eighth grade graduation". But due to social promotion and parental pressure, these eighth graders start ninth grade the next year with their peers. They'll get their act together in high school, or they'll end up at the continuation high school.

So, knowing all this, I was expecting a crazy class. Actually, they were pretty calm. I'm sure the fact this was first thing in the morning may have been a contributing factor.

A group of them were clearly not working, so when at the end of the period one boy passed another a paper, I went to investigate. (I was worried one was going to copy.)

The paper was blank. False alarm.

But they knew what I was looking for.

A girl explained that she always used to give her homework to some boy not in that class. And, she said, he never gave it back. I suppose that did not help her grade.

This got one of the boys to thinking.

"I should date a nerd." He knew just how he'd play it, "'Babe, can you do my homework?'"

I hope the girls on this campus have better taste. Sadly, I can't be sure they do.

Did you ever do someone else's homework for them? Did you attend your eighth grade (or comparable level) promotion?

Today's A to Z Challenge post brought to you by the letter...

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Time Travel Assassin


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. 😉

You've just narrowly survived an attack. This random person came out of nowhere with some sort of weapon. It seemed as if they wanted to kill you. But why? You've done nothing to them. There's no reason why someone would want you dead.

What if you found out that this would-be assassin traveled from the future with the intent to kill you?

Today's question was inspired by a tweet...
If you enjoy sci fi and fantasy, you might consider following. Some of those stories are quite good.

Today's A to Z Challenge post brought to you by the letter...

Monday, April 22, 2019

Scarves Update

This month's knitting "theme" has been Projects that Fell by the Wayside. But I don't know if that really applies to this week's photos. I'll let you decide.

The thing that makes a big difference in how long a project takes is the weight of the yarn used. My niece's Gray Behemoth only took about a week because the yarn was huge/heavy. For these scarves, I've been using fingering weight, which is a very fine yarn. So, something scarf sized is going to take a whole lot of stitches and way more time.

I put these projects aside with all the others when I started my Christmas knitting. But they were the first ones I picked up. And they're not nearly done.

I started the turquoise one on June 4th (according to its Ravelry page). I've made quite a lot of progress on it, but it still has a ways to go...


I got the color to come out almost correctly (it's a bit darker than this). It's an infinity scarf, so I'm working it the long way around. The width is almost there. I'm using a stitch pattern called Broken Chevron...


...which is hard to see here. I'll have to block it well once it's finished.

The purple passion one I started on November 11th (it has a Ravelry page, too). It took me a while to wind the yarn and pick the stitch pattern, and then I had to rip it out and start over due to a miscalculation. But it's coming along...


It's a much more fun stitch pattern, so I find myself working on it more frequently than the other.


But since the turquoise had a five month head start, it'll probably be finished first.

I'll keep plugging away on them. And I'll post pictures once they're completely completed. Which is taking a good long while. But that's because of the fine yarn, which means they'll be lovely lightweight scarves when finished.

I mean, I'm bound to finish them eventually, right? Right?!?

Oh, I hope so...

Have you ever worked on a project that seemed to take forever? Did you finish it? Do you like infinity style scarves?

Today's A to Z Challenge post brought to you by the letter...