Monday, February 28, 2022

Button Band for Masks

A few weeks back I posted pics of my little button bands that I made to hold my mask so I don't have to put the elastic over my ears. (After one day of that, I knew I needed a work around.) 

No, I haven't made any more lately. But, in case I ever want to make some more, I find it's a good idea to write down what I did so I can replicate it. I have found that posting these patterns on the blog makes it way easier for me to find later than writing it down on a piece of paper. I mean, I have knitting binders and such, but finding anything in them... 

For this pattern, you need a bit of yarn. I didn't measure how much, but it was a scrap, basically. All of the materials I already had lying around, so this is not the sort of thing you need to go out and buy for. But for completeness sake, I'll write this out.


  • Length of worsted weight yarn (cotton seems to work well, but my first attempts were acrylic)
  • Size 8 (5.0mm) needles
  • 2 shank style buttons
  • 4 inch length of 20 gauge wire (folded in half)
  • Scissors
  • Tapestry needle

The main trick to this is to knit the buttons onto the piece. While sewing the buttons on works just fine, there's the extra ends to weave in, and I wanted to save a couple steps. 

How to attach the buttons:

Knit to the spot where the button is to be attached. 

Remove the next 2 stitches from the left needle. Slip both stitches onto the wire. 

Then thread through the button shank. 

Once through, remove both stitches from the wire and place back onto the left needle. (This can be a bit fiddly, so putting both stitches back onto a smaller needle may work more easily.) 

Then knit each stitch individually.


Cast on 17 stitches.

This is worked in garter stitch (knit every row).

Knit 3 rows.

On the 4th row: Knit 2 stitches, attach button over the next 2 stitches, knit to the last 4 stitches (knit next 9 stitches), attach button over the next 2 stitches, knit 2.

Then knit 3 more rows.

Bind off.

And that's it. Wind in the ends from the cast on row and the bind off row, and it's complete. 

It took me less than an hour to make one this way. It was well worth the effort to save my ears.

Friday, February 25, 2022


Third period anatomy and physiology. Monday.

They had an assignment online. As the class was populated by eleventh and twelfth graders (sixteen and seventeen year olds), I wasn't terrible concerned about all the visible cell phones. 

My mistake.

"Just say you need to get water..."

This came from a student's phone. Apparently, she and her female friend were arranging to meet up during class time. 

The girl hissed into her cell phone, "The sub heard you." As did the rest of the class. (The room was pretty quiet. Not silent, but quiet enough.) 

No other sounds came from her phone.

And the girl never did request that hall pass. 

Thursday, February 24, 2022


Have you ever seen the TV show Glee? It's a musical about a high school choir, with full on production numbers. 

Just in case you thought that those classes don't exist, I can verify that they do. 

Thursday. Third period. High school choir.

The lesson plan stated that the student leaders and choreographers would run the class. When they arrived, I found a corner of the room to sit in (after getting the roll taken), and I watched the rehearsal. 

They cleared all the chairs and stands from the room. (This teacher also had a couple periods of band as well as a basic choir.) They spread out. And they got to dancing. 

Full on dancing. They kind of mumbled the lyrics of the song as they went over the movements. The student leaders stopped them frequently, correcting positions and movements. It got markedly better as the class wore on. 

Once they were satisfied with how much progress had been made, it was time to work on vocals. 

You would be surprised at how good a high school choir can sound. Of course, this was the class that one has to audition for, so these are the best of the school. But still, high school kids. 

This day they were going off book. This was a bit hard for the soloist, as he hadn't quite memorized his part yet. He found his sheet music and used it when it was his turn. 

They have some performances coming up. It's still early in spring semester, but they're getting close to competition season. They're good. They've been good for years. They'll be ready.

In case you're curious, they spent most of the period rehearsing this song (note the harmonies--yes they could do them): 

And then they had a little time to start working on their other song: 

Wednesday, February 23, 2022


If I ever finish that subbing book (which at this point the draft is about ten years out of date), there will be a whole chapter on how to find a student's name when one needs it for the note to the teacher. And it'll boil down to some very simple advice.

Wait. Pay attention.

Tuesday. Middle school choir. Things had been going relatively well all day. The kiddos weren't nearly as wild as they could be. That is not to say they were wild. They were just more "lively" than they'd be in a more academic setting. 

And then it was fifth period. And boyo started off by informing me he was already done with the day's assignment (memorizing three pages of "Mambo Italiano" and recording it). 

I was dubious. The previous day's assignment (helpfully provided on the sub lesson plans from the prior day) was to have two different pages memorized. No middle schooler works ahead like that. 

Boyo then spent the whole period poking into things.

He started with a Tech Deck tourney with a couple other boys. He banged on the drums. He "accidentally" opened the back door. There was a brief game of keep away.

And at each instance, he moved on when I pointed out to his companions that there was work to finish. 

He was going to get a starring role in my note. But because no fixed seating, I did not have his name.

After pulling him out of something again, one of the girls spoke. 

"Archie, you're going to get in trouble." 

Archie! A ha!

Three other students called out to Archie, telling him to stop or something. 

At that point, I was recounting his antics in the infamous note.

Sure, I could have just asked him his name, or I could have asked another student for it. But experience has taught me that leads to a whole other issue. 

Other students suddenly have no idea of anyone's name. And the student in question gets very defensive of why you need his name. Then, can't he possibly earn his way off of the note? And then he'll pester me for the rest of class about getting me to erase his name. 

I try to avoid those issues when I can.

But more often than not, someone will just volunteer the name by talking to the student. Or calling him out. Same difference.

And this way, I don't have the whole begging and pleading (which is way more annoying than the behaviors that got him in the note in the first place). Because at the point where I'm writing it down, the student has had all the chances to make things right, and now he's suffering a consequence. 

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Master of Things

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.

Are you familiar with the concept of a "true name"? It's an idea, generally in speculative fiction, where if someone finds out the being's "true name", that person can control the being. But I wondered...

What if objects, like computers or TVs or microwaves or ovens, had true names that gave the knower power over them? 

Monday, February 21, 2022

Hiding the Skein Change

Patterns warn us knitters to buy enough yarn to complete the project. There's a reason for this. Dye lots

Basically, when yarn is dyed, the yarn that's processed together is assigned a number. Different day, different number. Now, while the color of a yarn will look the same dye lot to dye lot, if you put them close together (like say, knitted together in a garment), there may be a discrepancy. It's the same color, but the shade might be slightly off. 

When I started niece's scarf, I used a skein I had in my stash. And then I proceeded to use up that entire skein. 

Now, I happened to have another skein of the same yarn in my stash, but I had acquired that skein at a completely different time. Different dye lot. 

As I had acquired both skeins a while ago, it was doubtful that I would find the right dye lot in a store. And this was my "free" project, using stash and not buying new yarn. 

So, I attempted a trick I had read about somewhere. Before I ran out of the first skein, I began knitting with the second. I knit for two rows, and then I switched back to the first. 

If I was using two different colors, it would have resulted in narrow stripes. With the same color, it's hoped that the dye lots would blend together, not leaving me with a definite line of color change. 

Did it work? You be the judge...

I photographed this in direct sunlight so that differences in color would show up. I don't see any. Do you? 

It should look like narrow (two row) stripes. 

But I can't see it. I mean, that's a good thing. It looks like I might have hid the change successfully. 

And considering how long the scarf is now, I don't think I'll be in need of a third skein.

I might actually finish this thing sooner rather than later. And then I'll have to figure out what to knit next.

Friday, February 18, 2022

Standards for Our Times

Seventh grade science. Friday. 

I was warned about her fifth period, and they lived up to expectations. Roamers. Students who didn't do any work. A constant stream of students needing to use the restroom. Playing video games. (I allowed the games after they completed the work. But too many didn't even bother attempting the assignment.) 

These are the kinds of classes I didn't miss. 

While trying to keep the noise level down to a dull roar, I noticed a page of standards with the teacher's stuff. (Standards are what they call it when they have a student write a line over and over again a la Bart Simpson at the beginning of The Simpsons.

Line reads: "I will wear my mask properly in class." 

Did I notice this kiddo having a mask problem? Yup. I reminded him at least five times to pull up his mask. Sigh. 

Some days I have more issues with this than others.

Thursday, February 17, 2022

The Shrine

AP World History. Wednesday. They had a timed essay assignment. 

On the AP (advanced placement) test, there is a multiple choice section and there are essay sections. The essay sections have time limits. 

Because of this, AP teachers frequently assign a timed essay on sub days. It's good practice for the students. 

Their teacher treats these like a test, so the kiddos were nervous. They arrived in test mode. 

"Will you let up set up our shrine?" 

Yet another question I never expected to hear while subbing. 

They explained that they have a shrine they set up for good luck on tests. 

I'm so not going to be the cause of their bad luck. Of course I allowed it. 

It consisted of a goldish metal bowl filled with origami cranes and a few one dollar bills. Next to the bowl was a picture. 

Not how it was set up (I couldn't very well interrupt to pull out my phone in the middle of class), but these are the picture and the bowl.

On the other side of the bowl, they propped up a textbook. In front of the book was a small bottle labeled "Holy Water". And in front of this setup were three battery-powered tea lights (only one was lit). 

Hanging from the air freshener above this was a Chinese-looking fish with a red tassel.

This is where this tassel usually lives.

This whole thing was placed in front of the class on the floor under the white board, nearly in the center of class. 

Because of the timed nature of the assignment, it took a few minutes before the essay appeared in their Google Classrooms. Nervous chatter filled the air. Then it popped up on one or two computers. Time to start. 

The room went from cacophony to silence in moments. They got to work. 

Did the shrine assist in their efforts? I guess that's up to them to determine.

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Technical Issues

One of the great things to come out of these times is having the school work all on computers. One of the terrible things to come out of these times is having the school work all on computers. 

It's really nice to have them log on and find assignments formatted exactly how they're used to seeing them from their teacher. And the teacher can see what they did right away. 

But that's supposing the students have a computer. 

The schools checked out computers to all the students. But at one of the high schools they don't have any spares. 

Monday. Sixth period. Tenth grade world history. 

Sheldon informed me that his computer was broken. He had tried to replace it, but no replacements were available. 

Ms. G is one of the strict ones. I had had silent classes all day. I didn't want a disruptor, so I asked Sheldon if he had something to work on. 

He did not. 

I pointed out that Sheldon was going to get awfully bored with nothing to do. Did he have a book to read, at least? 

Oh no. Sheldon claimed he was illiterate. 

I didn't believe him, and I told him so. He argued that he had managed to hide this... I didn't hear the whole explanation, and I'd stopped following along. 

I told Sheldon that I've covered classes where the students truly couldn't read. 

Throughout this discussion, other students chimed in with, "Just ignore him," and, "He's always like this". 

Yeah, he seemed the type. 

The girl sitting behind him pulled out The Count of Monte Cristo from her backpack and handed it to him. He again (to the girl) claimed illiteracy and complained the book had no pictures. 

The girl wasn't having it, either. 

She and the rest of the class had their computers out at this point and were working. 

With no audience, Sheldon opened the book. And, presumably, read. For the whole period. I think. I mean, I saw him turn pages. I assume that means he was reading. 

When I called time to clean up, he handed the book back to the girl so fast... 

Sheldon had a working computer in class the next day. (I was in the class for three days.) 

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Hidden in Plain Sight

At the heart of much speculative fiction (and fiction in general) is a question. What if? On Tuesdays I like to throw one out there and see what you make of it. Do with it as you please. If a for-instance is not specified, feel free to interpret that instance as you wish. And if you find this becomes a novel-length answer, I'd appreciate a thank you in the acknowledgements.

A while back, I was doomscrolling in Twitter when I ran across this tweet. I laughed, and I continued scrolling. And then I thought about it. And I thought about it some more. And I realized, seriously, what if? 

Image reads: What if Bob Ross was a serial killer and his paintings are of locations where he hid bodies? 

If you've never heard of Bob Ross, search YouTube for some of his videos. Then you'll understand just how silly that question is.

Monday, February 14, 2022

A Back Up Project

The scarf I talked about last week doesn't look any different this week. I mean, I added some inches, but it's a scarf, so new pictures would look like last week's old pictures. 

So, what do I talk about for my yarny post for today? I've got nothing, really. 

I looked back, and last year at this time, I was working on the seven (and a half) year cardi. I finished that in May. 

There's really nothing to talk about other than my moebius experiment. 

I started it in October of 2019. It's been more of a take-along project. It's the thing that goes into my school bag on days when I need something to keep my mind and hands busy when I have a class that doesn't need my constant attention.

Basically, I haven't touched it in a while. When things shut down in 2020, I was able to work on my home projects. Then with virtual classes and then all the long terms, I haven't had a lot of down time in class to do anything.

At the moment, it looks like this: 

And here's a close up so you can see the stitching: 

At the rate I'm going, it's on track to be my next long-in-the-works project, although I have four years before it challenges the seven (and a half) year cardi. Although, at this rate...

Friday, February 11, 2022

Class Picture

Sixth grade. Science. 

It appears that sixth grade classes rotate in a way that hints at what the kiddos will be doing the next year in middle school. On this day I got the science class. 

After lunch and before afternoon recess, they were to go outside to take the "panorama" class picture. It's just a long image of all the students in the grade. 

All "second period" they had been asking me when it would be time to take the picture. I assured them that I was on it. And then about ten minutes before the scheduled time, the next door teacher poked her head in to say the photographer was ready early. So, we got ready and headed out.

With my limited experience in elementary school, I did not anticipate being there to witness the photographing of a bunch of 11-year-olds. They got arranged loosely by height and lined up accordingly. By the time half of them had been placed on the bleacher-like stands, the bell rang to get the youngers out of class for their recess. 

So, with an audience, the sixth graders all got put into position in direct sunlight with the sun in their eyes. They were not happy about this. The other teacher told them to just deal with it as it wouldn't be for long. 

I stood off to the side to watch. The photographer asked the principal if the kiddos had to remain masked. The principal said they did not, that they could remove their masks for the time it took to snap the pictures. When the photographer informed the kiddos they could remove their masks, maybe five of them did. 

They took several shots, and then it was all over. Alas, because we were early, they did not get dismissed to recess. They had just enough time to go back to class... and then they were dismissed to recess. Sigh. 

It's definitely a moment in time, these pictures. I wonder how they'll look back on this picture. (They could purchase their own copy.) The masks will definitely tell a story.

Thursday, February 10, 2022

Two Days in Elementary Special Ed

When my gig at the adult transition center suddenly ended, I called in for a subbing gig for the next week. Alas, all that was available was a special ed class for first through third grade. For two days. 

I figured I'd have an aide who knew the kids. I could handle it. 

How sadly mistaken I was. 

The class was without teacher. The aide had also left the district for a better paying gig elsewhere. The class had been in limbo for a while, and I was a stopgap measure until Wednesday, when presumably they were getting a longer term sub or something. I have no idea. 

It was so bad that I now have enough blog fodder for weeks to come. Or I can blow it all out in one Thursday 13. Let's go for the Thursday 13, shall we... 


I started off day one sending two students to the health office, one with a toothache, one with a stomachache. The toothache kiddo was sent home. The stomachache kiddo was given a snack. When the stomachache kiddo (Emmett) learned the toothache kiddo (Alberto) got to go home, he said he had a toothache. The note from the health office stated that Emmett felt it was unfair that Alberto got to go home and he wanted to go home because he missed his mother. 


I was informed that I had no aide by the sub aide (a "floater") who came to help me out. She usually is a one-to-one, but her student was absent on Monday. I so needed the help.


When the one-to-one went to lunch, it was math time for the class. And, of course, things were insane. I gave one group the harder work, and I worked with the group that was cutting and pasting numbers in the proper order. Aubrey was doing very well. I had convinced her that 5 goes between 4 and 6 and that 2 comes before 3 and 4. And then, somehow, a 3 ended up between 4 and 6, and I couldn't convince her to fix it, no matter what I tried. In the end, I just left it wrong, because she just wouldn't do it correctly. Even though we counted together, and she counted correctly. Sigh.


Perry's tooth was loose. He had been trying to pull it out off and on all day. He got fixated on it. I asked him if he wanted to have it for the tooth fairy. When he said he did, I explained that perhaps it would be better to pull it out when he was at home, so the tooth didn't get lost. That seemed to stop him from playing with his tooth.


I was warned that Nathan would start crying at the drop of a hat. To keep him on task, he had a chart where if he got three smiley faces, he'd earn his STEM box at the end of the day. Alas, he did not earn it on Monday as the rest of the class gleefully pointed out. So, someone else took "his" box. (The boxes are numbered. There are three with the same pieces as "Nathan's", but he wants that one box.) Nathan ran from the room and proceeded to scream and cry outside for that whole half hour, screaming and crying louder when he saw me watching. 


The aide I had to help on Monday did not return Tuesday. I was alone with all ten of them. (I got an hour here and a half hour there of "help" at various points throughout the day, but it wasn't consistent.)


Alberto returned to school, albeit late. The minute he arrived, he asked for his "bloo-ee". It was a while before I learned this was his Blue's Clues water bottle. It had gone missing. 

When I did not have the "bloo-ee" to give to him, he cried and screamed at the top of his lungs, demanding that he have his "bloo-ee". Which I did not have. Nor could I find. And so, Alberto was inconsolable, needing that particular water bottle (even though he had a water bottle with water in it). He demanded I give it to him. I explained that I could not make it appear out of thin air. He screamed some more.


Then it was PE time. Alberto spent the whole time not following directions. He took another kid's spot. He refused to play the game, wandering the field while the other kiddos ran around. (There was a PE teacher. I was just there as extra supervision.) 


We got back from PE, and someone from the office delivered Alberto's "bloo-ee". And suddenly he calmed down. 


Emmett again had various complaints that "required" a health office pass. And again, Emmett was sent back to class with a note stating that he had asked to go home. He was not going to get to go home. 

I did inform him on his second and third pass that he was not going to get to go home. But sometimes you just have to let them learn this on their own.


The assignment had them cutting out pictures and pasting them in order. Nathan enjoyed the cutting part a bit too much. Instead of cutting out pictures, he cut the paper into confetti that ended up all over the ground around his desk. 

At various points, I attempted to get him to clean it up. He picked up a couple pieces, but then got distracted by something else. I warned him that he would not get his STEM box at the end of the day if he did not clean up the mess. (He was not earning smiley faces at all.) Still, nothing. 


I went to pick them up from lunch, and Perry was slowly making his way from the playground. That's when I saw his left foot. It was bent back and to the side at a very odd angle. 

Someone said someone pushed Perry on the playground. I just... And for some reason Perry wasn't screaming or crying or complaining of pain. I looked around for someone to help as he shouldn't have been walking on that thing. Eventually, another student helped him to the health office. 

Another adult came over to me questioning what was up with Perry. I mean, his foot? It wasn't obvious? But apparently he wasn't talking. 

He returned to class to gather his stuff as he was being sent home. Another student said he'll probably get a wheelchair. I said it was more likely he'd be in a cast. They did not know what a cast was.


For about the last hour, the school psychologist and a trainee came by to help. And they were a great help. I pointed out the mess around Nathan, and one of them stood over him and prompted him to get every piece of paper he had cut. 

I snuck the STEM box away so another student wouldn't claim it. Because they were eager to. And once Nathan had cleaned up his area, I gave him "his" box. It was so much nicer not having him screaming and crying.


And that was two of the longest subbing days I've ever had. (Okay, I'm exaggerating. But this was the hardest I've had it in a long time.) This is why I dread doing elementary. Hopefully, things won't be this bad continuing on.

Wednesday, February 9, 2022

Can't Do Math

Sadly with *gestures wildly* everything going on, I have been "persuaded" to attempt elementary school subbing. I mean, I could stay home and wait for a high school gig to open up, but I've decided that I'd rather work right now. 

Last Thursday, I caught a fifth grade class. 

The teacher had everything set up in Google Classroom, with slides explaining the day and everything. Alas, I did not have access to a computer that connected to the in class projector, so while I could log in and see what the slides and everything said, I could not project it to the class. 

This meant a lot of hand waving and "make sure you're on slide number five" or whatever all day. All the slides were available to them, so I could read what it said and hope that they were also looking at the slide I was referring to. 

Most of their assignments were in the computer, so it wasn't a big deal. Until math time. 

They had a math test the next day. The assignment was to review the concepts that would be tested. 

Well, math needs to be demonstrated. I did have a white board. So, I pulled up the problem on the slide via my computer, wrote it on the board, and had them walk me through it. 

We got through adding fractions. Then we got to subtracting fractions. I put the problem on the board. 

First we had to find a common denominator, which is taught somewhat differently now. Once I dug down, it was the usual thing, but the getting to it was different. Simpler, kind of. 

Anyway, we got the common denominator, and then it was time to put the fractions together. And the answer I got was nowhere near the choices for the multiple choice. 


And that's when they pointed out that I had added rather than subtracted. Oops. 

As one of the concepts to be tested was estimating and finding the "reasonableness" of an answer, I pointed out that clearly I had gone wrong when it was clear I was nowhere near the answers given. 

I'm so glad I don't get embarrassed by getting something wrong in front of a class. I figure it's a good way to let them know that mistakes aren't something to be ashamed of. They happen. We catch them and learn from them. 

They asked me if I "knew" math. I don't know if they believed me when I informed them that I have, in fact, passed four semesters of calculus. 

They should have done well on that test.

Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Vacation Denied

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 your employer suddenly canceled your vacation? (A couple specifics: you put in for this vacation a while ago, you have plans that can't be changed, and you won't get your deposits back.) 

Monday, February 7, 2022

Free Knit

After giving up on my mystery project last week, I went back to the scarf that I've been quietly working on in the background since late December/early January: 

Progress. (Link to the post where I explained where this project came from.) 

It's the Three Ponds Scarf from O-Wool

It's an easy knit, one I don't have to focus on too much while I'm working on it. I've just about finished off a skein, but luckily, I have a second already in my stash. 

That's the great thing about this project. There was no outlay of cash to do it. The pattern is free online, and the yarn was already in my stash. It's a total free knit for me. 

Have a great week.

Friday, February 4, 2022

Last Day

Right when we got back from winter break, Eddy let me know that he would be leaving our program at the end of January. He had gotten into an art program which is in line with what he wants to do

As the month wore away, we contemplated how we were going to send Eddy off. By consensus, we staff members decided that we had to throw Eddy a party. We debated whether to make it a surprise or not. Then something told me that a surprise might not be a good idea. 

Eddy had been missing several days for meetings and such. And we were unclear on when his actual last day would be. I could just see us planning a party for a day and Eddy not being in school. 

So, I told Eddy that we would have a party. And he told us what he wanted. A movie and pizza. (Oh, Pizza was in heaven over this idea.) And so, that's what we made happen. 

(And it was so good that I looped everyone in, as when I went to clear things with the principal, she informed me that I had Eddy's last day wrong. So, we were able to adjust.) 

Aide 1 had time to make Eddy a photo album of his time in class. (She takes pictures and prints them to put on the wall. She took the week and made him quite the keepsake.) 

The class next door wanted to join in. Upon discussing if we wanted to do cupcakes as well, I realized that I could just ask Eddy. Turns out, he wanted chocolate chip cookies. Those went over very well. 

It was a lovely little send off. It was so nice to be able to do that for him.

And, it turned out to be my last day as well. They never did hire someone to replace the retired teacher. Instead, the school is going to condense down the classes, distributing the students into two other classes on campus. Which means my services are no longer needed. (I only found out on Wednesday.) 

So, this concludes my adventures at the adult transition center. Back to day-to-day subbing.

Thursday, February 3, 2022

Say Uno!

After lunch, we spend a half hour playing board games. 

I can see why this is a thing for this population. They have to take turns. There are clear rules to follow. And everyone can get a chance to win. 

There's a group that likes to play Uno. If you're unfamiliar, it's a card game that uses a specific Uno deck, and the object is to play all the cards in your hand. One lays down a card that matches the color or the number of the card played before them. There are cards that will reverse play, skip a player, or prompt a player to draw more cards. 

It's a fun game, one I played before encountering this class. 

One of the big rules in Uno is when a player has one card remaining in their hand, they must announce, "Uno!" to the group. 

It was game time, and I joined a game played by Pizza, Sushi, and Antoine. 

We had played for a bit when Pizza noticed that Sushi had one card in his hand. He had forgotten to announce "Uno!". Oops. 

The forgetting happens sometimes. There's a penalty for not announcing "Uno!", but our classroom deck had long ago lost its instructions, and as we were in the middle of playing, I wasn't going to stop and look it up on the internet. 

I mean, it was a one-off, right? 

But then Pizza noted Sushi again "forgetting" to announce "Uno!" And again. After the fourth or fifth time, I wondered if Sushi was forgetful or just playing us. 

Now, if no one noticed, that would have been one thing. But Pizza noticed it every single time. So, as soon as we finished our game time, I hit the internet and looked it up. 

It turns out the penalty is the person with one card must draw four cards from the deck, thereby eliminating his Uno. 

I announced this to the class as a whole. Somehow that rule hadn't been needed until now. 

The next day, I was playing with a different group, but Pizza, Sushi, and Antoine were again playing Uno. (I think aide 2 joined them on this day.) And I heard a couple of times Pizza getting Sushi to draw the four cards. It's becoming a habit with him.

Sigh. Sushi *shakes head* I can't say this truly surprises me about him.

Wednesday, February 2, 2022

Art Lesson

Since our CBIs were eliminated due to Covid numbers, I had some time to fill in class. Aide 1 suggested an art lesson using a YouTube video. I did not know there were videos out there going step by step in drawing things. 

Apparently, they had done this sort of thing before. And I thought it was a grand idea. Aide 1 sent me a link to one of the YouTubers, and I went through and selected a project I thought would be fun. 

The other classes at this school do more art than this class does. I guess because we're more focused on work skills and independence skills. But it's not a bad idea to have them do projects like this. 

As they demonstrated each step in the video, I'd pause and give the students a chance to replicate it. In the end we got some interesting finished emojis. (I had planned to take pictures to share, but things happened where I was unable to do this.) Pizza's finished emoji was purple and black and had some wild hair. 

It's nice to break out of the routine sometimes. 

Tuesday, February 1, 2022

Walking the Dog

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 there was an electronic-style leash that kept the dog connected to you but wasn't tethered to you (so the dog could go around a tree without taking you with him)?