Monday, January 31, 2022

End of Experiment

Last week I had a circle

This week I turned that into a square: 

And I am done. 

(The pattern I used is here.)

No, this is not the finished object I was intent on making. As I was working the final rounds, I made a mistake. My count was off. I ripped it back a couple times, but then I realized something important. I did not have to actually make this perfect. I could continue on with that mistake. 

I fudged a couple stitches so I could finish off this piece. I mean, it's for me, so it's not like anyone else will even know what mistake I made. At that point I consoled myself with saying that on the next one I could figure out what I did wrong.

Then, I realized that I didn't want to make a next one. 

I realized I could stop right there. I did not have to complete this experiment. 

I might attempt this again someday, but with a different yarn and a different pattern. (This pattern wasn't bad, but it's not really going to work for what I had intended.) I'd include the video that got me thinking and planning, but alas, I cannot find it again. Sigh. 

As for the thing I have now... I don't know. I might turn it into a pillow. All I know is I'm done with it for the moment. I'm glad I had a chance to work that idea out of my system for now. It won't continue to float around in my mind, making me wonder if it might be a worthwhile project.

Friday, January 28, 2022


The school I'm currently working at has no bells. Each class has its own schedule. The schedule in the class I'm in is fairly regular, but I don't have to worry about keeping the students on track. The students do that. 

After the first week or so, I stopped worrying about keeping track of when lunch ended or when current events time began. Antoine and Flash would tell me. 

Lunch is over at 1:30 PM. At 1:30 on the dot, the announcement starts. "It's 1:30!" That would be Antoine. Then Flash would repeat, "It's 1:30," and the rest of the class would just get up and come into the classroom. No muss, no fuss. 

Antoine or Flash would stand at the door. Once the class was inside, they'd close it. (We would sometimes have to call to the girls as Leanna and Brittany would not necessarily be listening for the call to come in.) 

They did this for the end of all breaks. They did this for the things that started at specific times. There was a time when I accidentally dismissed them for a break late, so I made sure to tell the boys that I was extending their break and it would end at 10:55 instead of 10:45. Because the one time I didn't tell them I was giving them extra time, they called the whole class in at the regular time. 

It's one less thing for me to expend thought on. 

But last week Antoine was out. And on Tuesday Flash was out. Suddenly, I had to pay attention to the time. 

The end of lunch and such has been different with the absence of Antoine. Flash does the job, but it's lost part of its echo. The announcement is different. 

But still, I don't really have to pay attention to the ends of breaks and such. (Although, I do need to pay attention. I left a little late to hit the restroom, and on my way back, I discovered the whole class had taken themselves back into class. I was late. Oops.) 

It's nice to have someone else keep us on schedule.

Thursday, January 27, 2022

Disappointing Via Email

One thing I don't think I've properly conveyed in my posts is how very child like these young adults in the program I'm covering are. They look adult-sized, but in some ways they are still very much kids.

Because of everything, we were informed that our community based instruction (CBI) has to pause for the moment. Which, while I'm disappointed, I can't really object to. One of the things we do is go into restaurants and eat. And I'm not feeling all that safe doing that at the moment.

Pizza was out all week. (Well, not Tuesday, but see yesterday's post for more about that.) On Thursday he sent me an email: 

Hi Elizabeth to let you know I didn't felt good today, I have to see you tomorrow for cbi, but i still plan on going to taco bell for cbi lunch.

Pizza had gotten his Covid booster the previous day. We had planned to go to Taco Bell on CBI on Tuesday before *waves hands* everything (see yesterday's post). Normally, we would have planned where we were going on Friday after lunch on Thursday. And while Pizza wasn't going to be there to advocate for his choice, he wanted to make sure his voice was heard. 

(Pizza likes to tell us staff members where we should go. We tell him he has to discuss with his classmates. He usually gets his way anyway.)

When I replied, I had to inform him that there would be no CBI on Friday: 

CBIs have been canceled for the foreseeable future. Hope to see you tomorrow, but plan on eating at school.

But remember, child like. Pizza's reply: 

 Oh, I hope that we will go on cbi next week.

(When I read this, I can totally hear his voice. It gives it that extra oomph that I can't really convey in text.) 

So, I attempted to explain again: 

It's not likely. It'll probably be a couple weeks before we go out on CBI again.

Of course, I'm being optimistic. We might not be allowed out before my tenure in the class is over. Such is pandemic life.  

Pizza did not return to school on Friday. Whether it was because he still wasn't feeling well or because we weren't going out for lunch, I don't know. By the time you read this, I'll probably have a better idea.

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Covid Came for Us

*takes a deep breath* 

Last Monday was the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, so Tuesday was our first day at school for the week. Being a good and prepared sub, I had let the students pick where we'd go out for CBI on the prior Thursday. (The district gave us the Friday off as well. Woo-hoo four-day weekend!) 

We had barely gotten the day started when the principal pulled me out of class. She was cancelling our CBI. Again. 

But, I didn't have a chance to freak out about this as the principal informed me the reason the CBI was cancelled was because we had a positive Covid student in class. And now we were scrambling to get the students into quarantine that needed to be in quarantine. 

When the students arrived, we were three short. Sushi, who had been out the week prior as well. (He emailed me to say he had the flu. Or maybe Covid. I never heard back one way or the other.) Logan, who had gone home early the previous Thursday. (He had had a fever.) And Antoine, who hadn't been feeling well on Thursday, but did not go home early as he said he wasn't feeling terrible (and did not have a fever). 

Because of HIPAA, I don't get to know who was the positive Covid (unless one of them tells me, which they probably will). 

So, anyway, then began the scramble. Because, I guess, from what I understand now, anyone who is fully vaxxed is safe to remain on campus. Those who weren't, couldn't. 

As we had planned to go out, we had nothing to keep the students busy, so I put on a movie. (They picked Penguins of Madagascar. It was way better than I expected. That's not a high bar, as I didn't expect much. But funny. And cute. And perfect for that moment.) 

The first to go was Flash. They called him out of class, isolated him, and he was picked up by a parent. 

Then I got a call from the main office. They could not get a hold of Sydney's parents. Could Sydney text them to tell them to get in contact with the school? Well, she could not. (They aren't allowed phones where they work.) But eventually it was determined that she wasn't vaxxed, so off she went. 

And then there were four. 

I figured the four would stay, but then I got a call to send Pizza out of class. 

And then there were three. 

Aide 2 and I looked at each other. (Aide 1 was out already as she hadn't been feeling well over the weekend.) Could we handle three students just by ourselves? We figured we could.

But then the principal returned. Now that the students were squared away, it was time to check the staff. 

Alas, aide 2 is vaxxed but not boosted, so she was sent home.

So, then it was me and three students. 

I was asked if I needed another aide to assist. With three students? I said I was fine. 

We finished the movie. They had lunch. We did our usual afternoon activities. 

Eddy leaves early. He catches the city bus, and it leaves just before our dismissal time. So, I took him out to leave. 

And then there were two.

Then I got a call. Leanna's brother was there to pick her up. (She has a dance class on Tuesdays.) 

So, it was end of day, and I had one student left. Brittany. We cleaned up the room (which usually is done by all the students), and then she was dismissed. 

It felt like the students all trickled away throughout the day. Very strange. 

Students could return if they had a negative Covid test. The next day Flash returned. (Eddy stayed out, but returned to class Thursday.) Sydney returned Thursday and would have returned Wednesday if not for a mix up with her bus. Pizza missed Wednesday due to getting his booster (which he had told us about the week previous) and was out Thursday and Friday due to not feeling well afterward. 

And I got my very own negative Covid test as well: 

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Overtaking You

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.

Have you been watching Jeopardy? If not, they currently (as of Sunday when I wrote this) have a champion on a 30+ day streak (closing in on 40 wins). Amy Schneider is (or is almost) in second place for length of winning streak. At number one is Ken Jennings, who is currently hosting the show. 

This got me thinking...

What if someone was about to usurp your position/record which is your claim to fame? What if you were in a position of power over them while they were doing it? 

Monday, January 24, 2022

A Crochet Project Experiment

This week's yarny creation... an experiment of a sort. I saw a video on Instagram (the only time I've logged into Instagram in the last six months or so) that I just had to try. 

I bought this yarn a while ago with the intent to use it for a purse. (Well, I bought the yarn as I had a "reward" that was expiring, so I needed to buy yarn or lose the discount.) And then I got distracted by a scarf (for which I did not need to buy yarn). 

We'll see if this gets finished or even works with the idea I have in mind. I have a backup plan if this particular project doesn't work. I'll keep you posted on where this goes (or even if this goes). 

Friday, January 21, 2022

Not a Walker

After our getting started routine (where I ask them calendar questions as well as a social trivia question), we exercise. On Thursdays, the students can choose to go out and take a walk or stay in the room and dance. 

I can pretty much tell you who will dance and who will go for the walk. Sydney, Eddy, Brittany, and Logan walk. Sushi, Pizza, Antoine, Flash, and Leanna like to dance. (I would think Flash, who loves to walk fast, would walk, but he consistently remains behind to dance.) 

As we were getting ready for exercise, one of the aides asked if they would mind going to Dollar Tree while on their walk. It's maybe a mile away from the school and easily reachable during a walk (although they'd be gone closer to an hour rather than the usual forty-five minutes). The students didn't mind.

So, they divided up for exercise, and Leanna joined the walkers. What? 

Leanna is a pretty good dancer. She clearly enjoys it. But, if she wanted to walk, I wasn't going to keep her back. 

Upon their return, I learned why Leanna chose the walk. 

Leanna was going to buy herself a snack at Dollar Tree. 

But, Leanna's mom is very particular about her diet. It's a thing, and I won't go into all of it here. Suffice it to say that we have to make sure Leanna doesn't sneak in food that she shouldn't have. 

The other aide informed Leanna that she couldn't get a snack at Dollar Tree. Suddenly, Leanna wasn't happy about being on the walk. 

At least Leanna's mother will be happy to know that Leanna got a walk that day. 

(I dislike being the food police. And I'm not with the other students. But Leanna's mother has concerns, and she's the parent, so we try to make sure her wishes are followed.)

Thursday, January 20, 2022

Regarding Attendance

Last Monday I had this email exchange with the school secretary who is also the attendance clerk. (It's a small school. All the clerking-type stuff is done by one person.) 

Secretary: hi Elizabeth, did you the attendance today in AERIES? or was everyone present???

Me: I did input attendance, or at least I thought I did. [Logan] and [Sushi] were absent.

S: Ok, thanks. [Logan] was put in, but not [Sushi]. I just put him for absent today.

Me: Weird. I must have run the cursor over [Sushi's] absence and it blanked it out. Oh well. Thanks for fixing it.

S: I know what happened. [Flash's] mom called and said that she got a phone call that he was absent and he wasn't

So I think instead of [Sushi] you hit [Flash]

I'm taking his absence out of [Flash]. If that is not correct let me know, but since you said that you only had 2 absences I think this is correct. Please check your attendance if it is correct.

Me: Yes, that must have been what happened. [Flash] was present. Only [Sushi] and [Logan] were absent. (This won't be the first time I miskeyed an absence. I can see how I could have done that.)

So, yeah, um, I totally marked the wrong student absent. I've done this sort of thing before. I'll hit the absent key for a student above or below the student I meant to mark absent. But in this case, Flash is near the top of the list while Sushi is closer to the end. There's like four students between the two of them.

How I made that mistake, I have no idea. 

(And I know it was me because I had written it on my paper copy of the attendance that way as well.)

Sushi was out of school all week. He sent me an email saying he had the flu. And he was requesting a Covid test. We got official Covid contact notification that Monday, but later I found out it was a different student, and that student (who is not in my class) didn't necessarily have it, but was a close contact of someone who did.

Ah, the joys of pandemic attendance.

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Birthday Celebration

Brittany's birthday was last Wednesday. She turned 21. 

On their birthday, they get to pick an activity (we either go out or they get to see a movie that they choose). Brittany chose a movie. 

As I looked through the schedule for the day, I ran into a conundrum. Usually, we'd do the movie after lunch. But Wednesday was Brittany's work day. She goes to the elementary school next door to help. 

So, I decided that we'd do the movie before lunch. Instead of the actual schoolwork-type stuff we do in that time. 

I mean, why not? It's mid-January. Last week felt long even though we had Friday off. Even though we just got off winter break two weeks ago. 

It's not like anyone was actually going to call me out for it. 

Before we started the movie, the principal dropped in. She was bringing the cupcakes Brittany's parents brought in for her birthday. And she said Brittany's father had said she could skip work that day so she could have her movie.

But... I already planned the movie for early. 

I put on the movie. Brittany went to work as normal in the afternoon.

After lunch is our "recreation and leisure" time, so basically the students had a free day. Well, except for Brittany. I sent her to work. (Which she gets paid for. And she wants to work with kids when she leaves the school, so this is helping her achieve that goal.) 

I'm okay with that decision. Sure, we didn't get to the usual stuff we work on to help them become more independent, but sometimes it's nice to have a kind of nothing day. That's a valid use of time. Anyway, that's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

What Price Justice?

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 knew that someone did something illegal, but to bring them to justice, something illegal you did would come to light?

Monday, January 17, 2022

A Back Up

After a week of wear, my button band looks like this: 

So, I decided to make a back up, just in case.

It's a touch wider and longer. The buttons are bigger. And the colors do not go well together, but it's going under my hair, so no one will notice.

I made a slight modification to the assembly. I used a shank button. And I realized that rather than sewing the button on the band, I could slip it on while I was knitting, kind of like if I was attaching beads

Although, I didn't use a crochet hook. I used a bent piece of wire. Otherwise, I strung the button as if I was stringing a bead. It's nice because I don't have to then wind in ends from the yarn used to attach the button. Hopefully it'll be a bit more secure.

Friday, January 14, 2022


"I am not cranky!" 

Flash snarled this at me as he informed me he did not want to have his picture taken next to the metal dinosaur we spied while out on one of our off campus jaunts. 

Flash is usually pretty mellow. But on this day he was adamant about not wanting to go into stores. He doesn't like to look at things. He likes to walk fast. 

I had not accused Flash of being cranky or grumpy or irritated. I hadn't said much to Flash at all. But he defended himself as if being cranky was the worst thing he could be.

I figure that Flash was probably due an off day. I told him he was totally allowed to be cranky, just so long as he didn't take it out on anyone else.

He didn't. 

He stayed outside while we went into a couple shops. (We have to go somewhere on our outings. It does not take three hours to eat lunch, and we have at least three hours to kill.) He ate lunch. And he stayed away from the rest of the class.

I wonder what upset him. It could have been our outing. Or something else. I'll wait to ask him though. There's no reason to poke the cranky bear.

Thursday, January 13, 2022

Special Delivery

On Wednesday, Eddy informed me that he wasn't going to be at school the next day. 

So, on Thursday I was not surprised that he was absent. 

The school's secretary emailed me to ask if I knew why he was out. She's been working from home as she travelled over the winter break. One of her duties is to determine whether absences are excused or not. 

So, I told her what Eddy told me. His mother was expecting a package to be delivered, and he needed to be home to sign for it.

Now, I totally understand the why of this. Sometimes it's just easier to stay home rather than figuring out who can be around to get a package, especially if it's something expensive. (No, I don't know what package it was. Eddy didn't tell me, and I didn't ask.) 

But, that's not an "excused" absence. 

The secretary accepted my explanation and coded the absence. It's technically unexcused, but she called it "other". 

If these students missed a lot of school, I'd be more concerned. But most of the time they're all present. Sometimes you just need to take the day off.

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Unsuccessful Ditch

Last Tuesday was our first day back after the winter break. And Tuesday is one of our off-campus days. The class decided we'd go to the mall (as that's where the Burger King is), and we got ready to head out. 

Before we leave campus, we have to sign out. While one of the students does this, the rest of us wait around by the gate. 

On this day, we were heading out while the alternative education center was on their morning break. 

The adult transition center and alternative education center are separated by a locked gate, but they share a main office. So, while we were waiting, we were on the same campus as the alternative students. That is, the students who were expelled from the other schools in the district, usually for behavior. 

This is not unusual. Pizza will talk to them sometimes.

On this day, however, Yorik was hovering around the gate. 

And I just knew... 

All signed out, we headed out. One of the aides unlocked the gate, and our students walked off campus.

Surprisingly, Yorik was nowhere near us. I thought perhaps I was borrowing trouble.

I was the last one out. I locked the gate behind me. 

Yorik came up to the gate. He waved for attention. I gave him mine. He asked for the attention of one of the aides. She turned around.

"I need to go for a walk," he told her.

She explained that we were going to the mall. He was fine with that. He wanted to go along.

Nope. He just wanted someone to let him out. And the aide wasn't even tempted to unlock the gate for him.

I was expecting him to be way sneakier than he was. I thought he was going to be in the group as we left. While there are only nine students in my class, he would be far more likely to be successful if he had tried that.

But I'm not about to volunteer that information.

Kiddos are not smart. Such deviousness really does not occur to them most of the time. So, as the adult in the situation, I just have to not let slip all of the ways I know they could exploit the situation. 

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Getting Away With It

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've been reading some very strange books lately: 

What if you found out a close friend or family member (could be your significant other) killed someone and got away with it? What if they did it to protect you?

Monday, January 10, 2022


Because of everything (and if I try to explain it more than that, I'm going to get off track way too quickly), we are no longer allowed to wear cloth masks to work. (Well, we can so long as we wear a surgical mask under it.) 

From what I've been hearing on the news and such, we really should just have schools go virtual at this point. But no. Let's allow everyone to catch this virus by keeping everything open and pretending that we have adequate mitigation measures in place. Which we don't. 

Like I said, this'll turn into a diatribe if I start, so let me get back to what I was going to talk about...

The thing that was great about my cloth masks was that I had knitted the ear straps, so they didn't irritate my ears. Alas, the kn95s I have have elastic ear straps. And after one day wearing them all day, I realized that was not going to work. 

But, if you recall from the early days of the pandemic, a solution was found for the irritating ear issue. Button bands. 

So, I made one: 

I wore it the next day. And... it was a bit too long. 

This was eight inches long, long enough to almost reach to my ears along the back of my neck. But, it didn't pull the elastic taut enough for the mask to fit snuggly on my face. All day it felt like my mask was slipping off my face.

Well, not all day. I gave it up as too loose and put the elastic straps back on my ears.

Then that evening, I made another one: 

It was half the length at four inches: 

And that seemed to do the trick. 

It pulls the mask elastic taut enough so that it stays on the face (although it still pulls it down so that I feel like I have to adjust the mask frequently throughout the day). 

But, before with the straps on the ears, I felt like the mask was pulling up into my eyes all the time. 

It's a small price to pay. I'd rather wear a mask and avoid the 'Rona as much as I can.

It's a simple knit. (You could also use fabric cut to the right length and just attach buttons. But I knit, so it had to be knit.) I used stuff I had in my stash. Those are "vintage" buttons. The yarn was Caron Simply Soft. It's on the lighter end of worsted weight.

I cast on 15 stitches (using size 8 needles), and I worked something like 8 rows (I didn't count; I just knit until it was wide enough) in garter stitch (I knit every row). The buttons were sewn on about two stitches in from the side. 

That's more for me. I find when I do something simple like this, I don't write down what I did, and later, when I want to replicate it, I have to start from scratch. By writing it in the blog, I can refer back to it later.

What tricks are you using to wear your mask comfortably? Please tell me you are wearing a mask when you're out in public. 

Friday, January 7, 2022

Can't Go Out

This week's posts are from the week before the break. You may have heard about the TikTok threats on December 17th. While we're not a high school (the students all aged out of high school), we are connected to a sort of high school, and better safe and all. Precautions were taken.

Why would anyone make threats on the last day before winter break? I mean, seriously. It's a good excuse to take the day off, but many students already were. Attendance on this particular Friday is traditionally very low. Very few teachers had anything curricular planned. 

Once I knew I was going to be in the class on the minimum day before winter break, I decided we'd have a party. It wasn't like we could really do work. I mean, we could, but why? 

Because Covid, we couldn't do a potluck with food, so we decided to go out to breakfast (like we usually go out to lunch), and then we'd come back and do a White Elephant gift exchange. On Thursday we decided where we wanted to go, and I emailed the administrator to tell her where we'd be. She replied.

Then I arrived on campus on Friday and was told, "No one can leave campus". Oh no! 

District decided that the best way to keep the students safe from the threat was to keep them on campus. 

The students were not pleased. This was the second time I had to cancel an outing on them. And as we were planning to have breakfast, we were already hungry.

But then a neighboring teacher had a brilliant idea. Someone could pick up food. (Food rules are weird. We can't bring in homemade stuff, but we can bring in bought food.) 

I have discovered that certain fast food establishments have online ordering. You can order your meal, pay online, and then just go and pick it up. So, that's what we did. Each student made their choices, and I input it into the computer. 

As all the students had brought money anticipating eating out, they were all able to chip in their share. (How much does it cost for breakfast for nine students, two aides, and me? About $104.) An aide went to the drive thru and brought it back. 

Of course, the time I was planning on having us out and about was not needed, so we had more time for our party. Yay?

(The day was just weird all around. But we got through it.) 

Thursday, January 6, 2022

The Chooser

I call him Pizza because he likes to say "pizza" randomly throughout the day. He wears a mask with pizzas on it. He is very much a fan. But when it comes time to select where we're going to eat on our eating out days, Pizza usually chooses something else. 

Going off campus and purchasing food is curricular. These students have developmental disabilities, and this is one way we train them to be independent. We take the city bus. They have to bring enough money to pay for what they want. And we go over how much they spent after we return. 

And as a group, they choose where they're going to go. Pizza usually gets his way. (We've been trying to get the other students to speak up when Pizza pushes them to go where he wants, but they generally go along. If you've ever tried to figure out where to eat with a group, you know how often no one has an opinion. Pizza always has an opinion.) 

This time, Pizza wanted Burger King. And the rest of the class agreed. 

It was Tuesday. (This was the week before winter break. I saved these stories for when we're back in school.) Rain had been forecast, and sure enough, it was raining. 

I really, really, really didn't want to go out in it. We were taking the bus. The bus stops aren't sheltered. It was windy and cold. 

I told the class we wouldn't go out. They were not happy about it. See, they usually go out in whatever weather it happens to be. And I get it, they should be able to navigate the weather. That's what independence is about. 

So, I gave in. We went out in it.

Luckily, it wasn't too bad while we were outside. We barely got rained on. 

We got to the mall. We ate at Burger King. 

Pizza, however, did not. Pizza did not come to school that day. The weather. It sounded like his mother did not want him going out in the rain. 

Upon his return, Pizza informed me that he really wanted to go to Burger King. 

He'll just have to convince the rest of the class to go along with him. Again. 

As he usually gets his way, I don't think it'll be a hard sell. Although, they just went, and the class doesn't like to repeat right away. We'll see.

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Rearranging the Room, Again

When I began this long term assignment in the special ed class for adults aged 18-22, I planned to make no major changes to anything. I'm just an interim person, a sub for the class until they hire a teacher. 

But Covid. 

I got an email from the secretary asking us to make sure the students were all seated six feet apart (along with submitting a seating chart for contact tracing). Alas, when school opened to students, the recommendation was three feet, and the classroom was set up like this: 

Sorry for the crude sketches, but it's the quickest way to explain. Each table is 2 ft by 4 ft. An X marks where each student sat. 

To get the students six feet apart, the tables had to be pulled away from each other. Which made the classroom largely unwalkable. Tables were in the way. 

So, reluctantly, I rearranged the room.

It was much easier to space the students six feet apart like this, but this configuration took over the whole room. Plus, we had twelve tables, so I had three extra tables with no spot. This was beyond awkward. We all hated it.

So, I broke out the measuring tape and measured everything. I used graph paper to make a scale drawing of the room, cut out little tables, and spent the next week moving things about. 

Then, late on a Wednesday, I had it. 

I drew the tables smaller here, but they're still 2 ft by 4 ft. Putting the extra tables in the middle gets the students on either side six feet apart. And by angling the tables, each student is six feet away from the students at the other tables as well. Success!

And the students seem to like the newest configuration. Hopefully. (I previously mentioned that 2/3rds of the class is autistic, and they all really hate change.) 

Now I have to submit a new seating chart to the office. Sigh. 

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Secret Helper

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 discovered your "enemy" had been secretly helping you? 

I'm not going to specify what sort of enemy nor if the help helped them at all. So many options...

Monday, January 3, 2022

Something to Work On

Halloween. I texted niece and eldest nephew the question of what they wanted for Christmas. 

Eldest nephew (who is now 16) texted back a day later. He would very much appreciate a penguin. So, I crocheted him a penguin. 

Niece responded eleven days later with: "hey! i totally meant to respond earlier. i'm sorry. i'll let ya know :) thank you"

I had not heard from her when I was ready to mail out the gifts. I got her a gift card and included it in the package. The package arrived a couple days later.

Then, about two weeks later (December 19th), I got a text from niece. She'd very much like a scarf. 


Niece is 20. My reply of "gift already sent" was accepted, and I don't think she minded the gift card. 

But, as you know, I've been a bit stalled in the having-something-to-knit department. On a lark, I looked up the scarf pattern she found. It's totally within my wheelhouse. She asked for a color which I have in my stash. 

I mean, it's not like I have anything else to work on right now.

So, I dug out the yarn, cast on, and got started. I had to rip back two pattern repeats as I had printed out the pattern in black & white, so I missed exactly where the stitch repeat was. (I jumped right in without doing too much in the preliminary department)

It's just the sort of thing my brain can handle right now. I can still think and plan and design, but when it's TV time in the evening, I now have something to keep my hands busy.

And that's why I knit. I need to keep my hands busy while I watch TV.

And the scarf thus far: