Wednesday, November 30, 2022

The Cold in There

As last week was a holiday week, I pushed posting about the classes I covered before the break until after. 

Seventh grade science. 

One of the first things I do when I walk in the room is to check the thermostat. It read 60° (16°C). So, I turned on the heat. 

For the first class of the day, I was covering for the teacher two doors down. Once I had gotten the lesson plans for the science class, I headed out. 

Math class, same issue. 54° (12°C). Heat on. 

By the end of the period, the room had warmed to the 70s (20s C). I headed back to the science class. 

I walked into a refrigerator. 

The air blowing was cold. The thermostat read 50° (10°C). 


I immediately turned off the "heat" and opened the door. (It had warmed from our overnight temps and was nearing 70° [21°C] outside.) 

But I knew what was coming.

Oh, they whined. It was cold. (Yup, I was aware.) The chairs were cold. The computers were cold. They were freezing, and they were not happy about this.

But it's cooled off around here. We're getting colder temps at night. They were in sweatshirts and jackets. It was only supposed to get to about 70°/72° (21°/22°C) for a high, so no one should have been dressed for summer. (But naturally a couple boys were in shorts.) 

While I was sympathetic, there was nothing I could do. I knew it would warm up just with their body heat, so I explained the situation, and I had them get to work. 

At least they had a test to distract them. Otherwise, I'm sure they would have spent the whole period complaining.

By the end of the period, it had gotten to a comfortable 68° (20°C) in the room. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2022


What if? It's the basis of many stories. We ask. We ponder. We wonder.

On Tuesdays I throw one out there. What if? It may be speculative. It may stem from something I see. It may be something I pull from the news.

Make of it what you will. If a for instance is not specified, interpret that instance as you wish. And if the idea turns into a story, I'd appreciate a thank you in the acknowledgements 😉 

I think I've done this one before. I've probably done this one before. But it's full-fledged flu season (plus other nasty viruses), so I'm going to do it again...

What if viruses are Earth's way of trying to rid itself of us?

Monday, November 28, 2022

A Finished Möbius Cowl

It's finished.

Although, I think Buttercup wears it better.

I was going to do an edging, but I ran out of yarn. It's wide enough, I think.

It went much faster than I expected, which is probably a good thing.

Now, what to do with it? 

I made it because I had the yarn on hand and I wanted to make something. But I'll never wear it (I don't really do pink), and there's no one in my gifting group that wants it. I might just have to sell it.

But I do think I will make that video tutorial on how to make it. Of course, now that I've stated that, it'll be at least six months before I get around to it (and that's being generous). 

And now I get to figure out what I'm going to knit/crochet next.

The story of this scarf/cowl:

Friday, November 25, 2022


As it's the day after Thanksgiving here in the US, I thought I'd post a little animation: 

This was done by my uncle. He does these kinds of things from time to time. His YouTube channel is here, and he posts the new videos to his blog here

If you've got some time, stop by. I'm sure he'd appreciate a comment or two.

Thursday, November 24, 2022

A Random 13 for Thanksgiving

As it's a vacation week for the schools, I'm pushing my subbing stories to next week and doing a Thursday 13 today. I won't be around today (I do schedule my posts), but I'll catch up with you all tomorrow. 


Here is your friendly periodic reminder to check your spam comments folder. Of late, I keep finding perfectly valid comments in mine. The funny thing is, most of these comments are my own that I made as responses. (Not all, but a high number.) And many have been from, like 2014. It's just bizarre. 


Did you know you can cook scrambled eggs in the microwave? 

I learned how via this thread on Twitter (on October 29th). 

I find that the microwaved eggs are a bit denser than those cooked on a stove, but they're way faster. I use a little more time (35 seconds first and then 37 seconds after the stir), but I don't like eggs that are even a little runny. (They say that eggs need to be a little undercooked in the pan, er, microwave for them to be right on the plate, but I've found that that's a little undercooked for my taste.) If you're going to try this, use the times from the thread and increase or decrease as suits your taste.


Speaking of eggs, I'm now also microwaving them to get hardboiled eggs. I happened upon this contraption, and I thought "why not?" 

Believe it or not, it works great. I've been using it for maybe a month longer than I've been microwaving my scrambled eggs. 


And I'm still laughing. I don't know why I find this picture so funny. I just do.


Now that Twitter is being mismanaged, what other social media apps should I try? I'm on Facebook and Instagram, but I just don't check them. I like scrolling on Twitter, finding random things (see above). I'd like something similar as I like to read things, and I find photos and videos not something that catch my interest. 


It's supposed to be warm today, but I'm really hoping for rain. There is no rain in the ten-day forecast which is not really surprising. 


The time before the last time it rained, I noticed a distinct squeak coming from my windshield wiper blades. There wasn't much rain then, so I didn't think too much of it.


The last time it rained was November 8th. We were warned a big storm was coming, so the day before (a Monday), I decided to be all clever and get the windshield wiper blades replaced. I do this myself as it's not hard at all.

Only, I got home with the wrong blades. The size was right, but the connector was not. Too tired to go back that night, I didn't get a chance to get the right ones until after school that Tuesday. 

Once I had the right ones, replacing them took less than a minute. 


Have we had any rain since I replaced the blades? No, of course not. It would be really nice to get some rain so I can get some use out of these before I have to replace them again.


That rain day was a mess. The power went out as I was getting ready for work. Then I couldn't get the garage door to remain open so I could get my car out. (Automatic door.) Then when I got home, the thing we did to get me out broke the garage door, so it wouldn't open again. (The power was on by the time I got home, but I was told it had been off and on all day, at least a dozen times.) 


How's everyone's Christmas shopping going? (I should say, for those that celebrate Christmas.) I have decided I'm not knitting anything this year, so I'm just about done. It's a gift card year. Lazy, but some years lazy works.


This post is getting image light, so let me find something from my camera roll to share... Oh, I found a good one. This is from the classroom I was in the day before the break. Check back next Friday for a post about how that day went. (It's a doozy.) 


And here's another image, this one is from September:

Happy Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Midnight at the Pera Palace

As it is a holiday week, I am pushing my subbing stories from last week to next week, and this week I am on my "summer schedule", which means today I recommend a TV show that I stumbled across that you probably haven't heard of.

It was September, and I was out of things to watch. I headed over to Netflix, and this title popped up. I skimmed the description. It sounded interesting. But it was Turkish, and I wanted something I could knit/crochet to. (I listen more than I watch.) 

Upon further examination, I saw that it was dubbed into English. Good enough. It was worth trying out...

And I was hooked. I think I watched all eight episodes in about three days. (For me, that's quick.)

The story is about a reporter in Istanbul who is given the job of writing a story on a local hotel, the Pera Palace. The hotel manager gives her a tour, and he also gives her a room for the night when the research takes her all day. Then somehow she manages to slip through time and ends up in the past. 1919, to be exact. 

So, obviously, she screws something up that she then needs to set right before she can go back to our present time. As I am not at all familiar with Turkish history, the event she screws up was unknown to me.

The trailer doesn't give much away, but you do get a feel for it: 

I highly recommend this show. (We need enough viewers so we get a second season. Season one, alas, does end on a cliffhanger.) Has anyone seen it? I really need someone who has seen it so I have someone to talk about it with. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

All Fed

What if? It's the basis of many stories. We ask. We ponder. We wonder.

On Tuesdays I throw one out there. What if? It may be speculative. It may stem from something I see. It may be something I pull from the news.

Make of it what you will. If a for instance is not specified, interpret that instance as you wish. And if the idea turns into a story, I'd appreciate a thank you in the acknowledgements 😉 

In honor of Thanksgiving week, a holiday that is all about the feast...

What if everyone was automatically provided with all the food they needed to survive?

Monday, November 21, 2022

Some Progress

I made a little progress on the Möbius scarf I started last week...

I mean, it looks thicker than last week:

I'm in the middle of the second pattern repeat now, and I think that's as big as I'm going to make it. So, it should be done sooner rather than later. 

I have an idea in the back of my head of doing a video how-to of this project. Maybe. It might be more work than it's worth. But then again, my YouTube channel has not had a new video uploaded in over a year. (I did the two, and I haven't touched it since.) So, it would be new content at least. 

So many plans, so little energy with which to complete them.

Friday, November 18, 2022

An Unlikely Story

I was at the continuation high school most of last week. Tuesday I covered the social studies class. Wednesday I covered the math class. And Thursday I covered the computer aided drafting class. (Monday I was elsewhere and Friday was a holiday.) 

On Tuesday during the passing period before sixth period, I had two students approach me. Regina said she needed Harper's help with her assignment in computer aided drafting as the teacher was out and Harper knew how to do it.

Two parts of that story sounded completely true. 

I hadn't been aware that Mr. G was out that day, but I later found out he was. 

As I have subbed that class many times, I knew what the lesson plan always was. The students were to complete their assignments in Solidworks. They have a video they can access to help them complete the project, but sometimes there's a bit that they don't know how to do. It helps them if another student who has done it can help them get past that bit.

I gave Harper permission to be out of class. 

Thursday, sixth period. Regina and Harper both walk in, Harper holding a pink classroom exchange pass. (That's her permission to be out of her class.) 

And now, I got to see how much help Harper was on Regina's project. 

I was not at all shocked to find that Harper was of no help. Regina never even logged into her computer. Deep sigh. 

No one got much work done that day. It was the last day of the grading period, so they were truly only hurting themselves. 

But, now I have new knowledge. The next time that Regina insists that Harper has to help her on her assignment, I can reference being the sub in the class and that they did no work. Harper won't be getting any more classroom exchange passes from me. 

See, they were only hurting themselves.

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Avoiding Deadnames

Tuesday. I was covering the social studies classes at the continuation high school.

Fifth period. I was walking the room, asking students their names...

(I don't call roll if I can help it. I hate "calling" the roll with a fiery passion. Instead, I take a class roster, walk the room, and ask each student their name.)

Student: "MK. It's at the top." The student's friend said the last name, and then: "Different first name. We don't want to use his deadname." 

Actually, both the student's preferred name and the student's deadname were on the roster. (I printed the screen of the online attendance.) The deadname was the name listed, MK was in parentheses. I marked him present.

I continued asking names around the table.

Student gave his last name, and his last name only.

As I was searching for it on the roster, the girl sitting next to him asked, "What's his first name?"

The student shook his head. 

I located the student's name.

The girl: "It's Charles, isn't it?" 

The boy had two names listed. One of them was Charles. The other was Mason. Charles was in parentheses. I marked him present.

Me: "I'm not getting in the middle of this." Although, I tilted the roster towards the boy so he could see how he was listed. 

As all the students at the table had been accounted for, I walked on to the next table.

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

So Close

My counter of blog posts tells me that this is my 3,500th post. A milestone of sorts...

The prior Thursday when I covered the ceramics class, Lou complained that I needed to cover his math class. He was not fond of his math teacher who he felt really needed to take a day off. 

I did not have anything scheduled for Monday. Sunday evening, I got an alert from the sub scheduling system. New gig. I pulled up the app and looked. And guess who was taking Monday off?

I laughed. And I took the gig. 

The math class was co-taught. The special ed co-teacher was present. Actually, she was Lou's case carrier. 

(Every special ed student has a case carrier. This teacher is the one who keeps track of the student and generally they're the one that knows them the best.) 

The ceramics class and the math class are within sight of each other. I just happened to step out when Lou stepped out of the ceramics class. He saw me. He waved. He asked where I was that day. And when he saw that I was covering the math class, he was quite happy. 

Then it was time for Lou's period. I got a different co-teacher. As the co-teachers swapped, one said to the other, "Did someone tell Lou he's no longer in this class?" 

Turns out that one of the reasons Lou really hated his math class was because it was too hard for him. He really needed to be in the special day class math that's fully special ed. 

(The goal is to mainstream the special ed students as much as possible, hence the co-taught classes. But there are also "slower" classes for special ed students who can't quite keep up with the general ed classes. The pacing is slower. There are more helps so the students can learn the material.)

So, Lou showed up, said hi, and then he was taken to his new class. He was a bit disappointed. 

Ah well. I'm sure I'll see him in a different class eventually. His English teacher should need to take a day off sooner or later.

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

We Make Great Pets?

What if? It's the basis of many stories. We ask. We ponder. We wonder.

On Tuesdays I throw one out there. What if? It may be speculative. It may stem from something I see. It may be something I pull from the news.

Make of it what you will. If a for instance is not specified, interpret that instance as you wish. And if the idea turns into a story, I'd appreciate a thank you in the acknowledgements 😉 

I am once again stealing an idea off Twitter, but as Twitter is getting iffy these days, here's a screenshot of the tweet: 

@NomeDaBarbarian  Concept: A sci-fi series where humans get to space, and find out wer'e adorable. There's a common domestic pseudo-primate species, beloved the galaxy over but rare and hard to keep, and we look like its pups. We can't go anywhere without people treating us like puppies.

What if we get out to space and meet the aliens (to us), but it turns out the others out there see us as adorable?

Monday, November 14, 2022

Möbius, Take 2

I finally started something! 

I had some time last week to go through some ideas I had for various projects and "organize" them. I took the instructions for the Astro Cluster Stitch Pattern and I sketched it out. Then I was ready to cast on. (What's the proper term for this in crochet? Cast on feels so knit.) 

I had to rip out my first try as I couldn't get the stitch pattern to mirror over the first round. I did some more sketching, and I figured out what I needed to do to get it to work. And it did.

So a win, for now. 

We'll see. I mean, I've already begun something with this yarn and ripped it out

It's still got a couple rounds to go before I can be sure if it's going to look good. 

But right now I don't hate it. And it's easy enough that I don't have to think too much while watching TV. So, it's good for now.

Friday, November 11, 2022

Five More Minutes

For my extra period assignment last Thursday, I ended up going back to the ceramics class

(We are far enough into the school year now that the sub shortage is being felt. Every day there are at least two teachers who aren't covered by their very own sub, so these classes are covered by other teachers who have conference periods. And by subs on the conference period of the teacher we're covering.)

Mr. P had an IEP meeting, so he hadn't quite left during the passing period. Lou walked in, saw that he was leaving, and protested. "We have a sub?!?"

Me: "Lou. It's me."

And suddenly it was okay. Lou came over and gave me a huge hug. Mr. P was amused by all of this.

I only once briefly mentioned Lou before, so allow me to explain. I met Lou that week in the ceramics class. Then Lou was in the success seminar. I did not realize his pronouns were he/him, so I misgendered him when I mentioned him previously (giving him the blog moniker of Louise). 

Some students actually like me. When they give me a chance, they realize I'm there to help them, and I only give battle when they fight me. 

Mr. P went to his meeting. Class started. As it was ceramics, the students had things to work on. Lou had a chance to question me.

I hadn't seen him since I left the success seminar class, but I had seen some of his classmates. He asked where I had been. I told him I'd been around.

People are surprised to learn that I work every day. They may not see me for days or weeks, and they don't get that I'm just elsewhere in the district. 

Mr. P's meeting didn't go the whole period. He was back in a little over a half hour. So I packed up to go...

"No. Ms. A. You can't leave yet. You have to stay."

Technically, I was contracted for the full period, so I could stay. But teachers don't really need a sub hanging out. 

"Mr. P, can't she stay for five more minutes..."

Mr. P said I could. I agreed.

And Lou timed me. Did he talk to me for five minutes? No. He was working on the day's project (they were practicing making coils). But when I thought he wasn't paying attention and made a move to go, he told me time wasn't up yet. 

I stayed until he said I could go.

Will I see Lou again? So far, I don't have any other of his classes booked, but I'm only booked up through November. I do get around.

Thursday, November 10, 2022

About Time

Eighth period graphic arts. They were doing what students usually do with a sub: as little as possible. But it was nearly the end of the period, the end of the day. 

This school has the new clocks. They're nifty. They're digital. They show the day of the week as well as the date. And, of course, the time. They're all synced, so at the exact minute that's the end of the period, the bell rings. 

Alas, the time on the clocks is not the same as the time on their phones...

"My phone shows it's time to leave." 

Me: "But we're on school time. School time is the time on the clock." 

And then I got into a discussion on time.

"What is the 'right' time, anyway? How do we define what the exact minute is? There was a time when each individual town had its own time. It was only with the coming of the railroads that any sort of shared time was established. Before that..."

I darted to the door.

A boy decided it was close enough to time to leave, so he left. 

Yeah, not on my watch.

I got to the door before he got too far. I called him back. We argued. He said it was time according to his phone. It was close enough to the end of the day. I informed him that the bell designated the end of the period, and it hadn't rung yet.

Reluctantly, he returned to class. And I stood over him, making sure he didn't leave. 

(At least I got him back. The next day I had a student that absolutely refused to return to class, but that's a whole 'nother story.)

Finally, the bell rang, on the exact minute it was supposed to, at least according to the clock.

The group I had started talking about standardized time to weren't actually interested, but I finished my thought anyway. As they were walking out of class. 

I mean, I have to do my job, but I do like to spout random facts when the opportunity arises. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Unexpected Knowledge

Have you heard of Nellie Bly?

Eighth grade English. The students were reading chapter 4 from her book Ten Days in the Madhouse. They have a textbook that contains various readings, and the current unit is on suspense. 

Because eighth graders, I decided it would be a good idea to give them a little context. Each reading has an introduction, so we read that, and then I went about explaining (just a bit) about who she was.

Only, it turned out that was unnecessary. 

Often, I'm surprised at what they don't know. This time, I was surprised by what they did.

Upon further questioning, I gleaned that last school year they had had a project where they researched a historical figure. Some of them chose Nellie Bly. They had to do a presentation. Some of them remembered seeing a classmate's presentation on her. 

It was only two or three students each class who remembered. But that was two or three more students than I expected. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2022

A Day Off to Vote

What if? It's the basis of many stories. We ask. We ponder. We wonder.

On Tuesdays I throw one out there. What if? It may be speculative. It may stem from something I see. It may be something I pull from the news.

Make of it what you will. If a for instance is not specified, interpret that instance as you wish. And if the idea turns into a story, I'd appreciate a thank you in the acknowledgements 😉 

It's election day here in the U.S. (We do mail in ballots in California now, so some of us have already voted.) I know this idea has come up a few times (and I'm short of ideas)...

What if election day was a national holiday? 

Monday, November 7, 2022

More Meh

So, still, I'm not doing much by way of knitting. I have one small project going, although to call it a "project" is to overstate things greatly. And it's nothing much to write about.

I am occasionally working on the Calash scarf. Very occasionally. The last time I wrote about it (October 10th), it looked like

Today, it's:


But at this rate, I'd better find something new to do, and quickly, or else I'm going to soon have no projects to work on.

(Yes, at this point I should be busily working away on Christmas. But I'm not. Everyone's probably getting gift cards this year.)

Friday, November 4, 2022

Heart Break

Third period government. I was in a classroom two doors down from the success seminar classroom

The class was... meh. These are seniors, so presumably they're more mature. But too many of them were on their phones rather than doing the assignment (which was on money and elections). They weren't too terrible, mostly mellow once they settled down, so I had nothing to complain about.

Janine had a finished project from ceramics. It was a small mug with no handle. It was a cute little thing, and several of the students stopped to admire her handiwork. 

We had ten minutes left in class. Tyson slipped into the seat in front of her. His arm swung along her desk area, his elbow making contact with the mug. 


The mug fell to the floor and shattered. 


It happened so fast. Janine was understandably upset, but I didn't hear Tyson offer an apology. He gave excuses. "It broke really easy. That's cheap clay." 

I told him he owed her big time. He wanted to figure out how much that meant in dollars. 

I don't know about people sometimes. 

There wasn't much to do. I left a comment in the note, but this is not really the sort of thing that needs to be punished. Janine wouldn't have gotten to take the piece home if it hadn't been graded, so she's only out the finished object, not the grade.

Still, I'm sad. It was a nice little mug. It would have been nice if Janine had gotten to use it.

Thursday, November 3, 2022

Strange Timing

Last week was Red Ribbon Week. Red Ribbon Week is an awareness campaign about the dangers of drug use. The middle schools were doing a "spirit week" where they got dress up days. They had the red ribbons tied on everything. It's a thing

Wednesday, I was at the continuation high school. Math. 

Fifth period. I got a call from the office. Who had just returned from the restroom? 

It was a curious question as I had a student out in the restroom, but the only student who had just gotten to class had just arrived with a tardy pass. 

When the student who had been in the restroom returned to class, I got another call from the office. At this point things got clarified. Who had been out of the room? I gave the clerk those names. 

About ten minutes later, the school counselor arrived. She told the two students who I had named to get their stuff and come with her. And she was not happy.

(The counselor is usually all smiles and pleasantries. The students like her. To get her stern voice was a change I was not expecting.)

A few minutes later, the boy who had actually had a restroom pass from me returned. The other boy did not.

Luckily, the next period I had a conference, so I went up to the office to ask. (Well, I went up to the office to use the restroom, but while I was there, I figured I'd find out what was up.) 

The answer was succinct: "Drug deal."

The custodian happened to be walking by the restroom and looked in. He saw one boy surreptitiously hand another boy something. The clerk watched where the boys returned to and then called us teachers to get names. 

Where I got confused was with the boy with the tardy pass. Apparently he had come to school late, and then instead of coming straight to class, he made a pit stop in the restroom. 

And when he got to class, well, let's just say that him buying drugs in the school restroom does not surprise me. In fact, considering how he looked and acted, it made that make a whole lot more sense. 

(The boy who actually had permission to use the restroom was probably just wrong place, wrong time.)

It's Red Ribbon Week. Why'd they have to do this in the specific week that's all about living drug free? 

*shakes head*

Wednesday, November 2, 2022

A Tale of Two Classes

Having been released from the success seminar, I fell right back in to day-to-day subbing. Monday, I had an eighth grade history class. 

Sadly, we've gone back to the days of having a travelling teacher. These are teachers who do not have classrooms of their own. They go to rooms where the regular teacher has a conference period, and they use the rooms for single periods. 

It makes for a chaotic day for me. 

And, things did not go well. I had wild students. We had a video to watch. They did not watch it. I was glad to see the end of this day. 

Tuesday I had an eighth grade math class. 

And, the day was completely different. The kiddos worked in near silence for the period. I had some of the usual behaviors, but nothing too terrible. It was kind of a boring day for me. 

Why am I linking these two classes? Because they both had the same students. 

Well, not exactly. But so many of the students walked into the math class and said, "Hey, you were my sub yesterday." 

It happens.

It's amazing to me how two classes at the same school with students in common can be so vastly different.

This is why when people ask me which school in the district I prefer, I can't answer. It's because it depends. I can have a bad day followed by a good day, even with the same kiddos. 

Subbing is such a varied job. I think that's why I keep doing it.

Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Never Too Late?

What if? It's the basis of many stories. We ask. We ponder. We wonder.

On Tuesdays I throw one out there. What if? It may be speculative. It may stem from something I see. It may be something I pull from the news.

Make of it what you will. If a for instance is not specified, interpret that instance as you wish. And if the idea turns into a story, I'd appreciate a thank you in the acknowledgements 😉 

What if it's too late to stop it? 

(Yes, I'm being very general here. I can think of at least three things that I could make this mean, but I'm not going to limit it that way. So, take it as you will. The first thing that pops into your head is the "it".)