Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Tweet, Tweet

It was the last Monday of the school year. (This is our last week, but Monday was a holiday.) And I was co-teaching a biology class. (Well, only for two periods. For the other three, I was the only teacher of a special ed science class.) 

When I saw the lesson, I knew I had to write about it, if only for Bookworm at Ramblin' with AM

They were doing a pre-lab. The lab was the next day, and they needed to be ready.

They were going to do an ornithological survey of the campus. That means birds. They were going to be looking for birds.

Mr. B gave a lot of preliminary instructions. The first of which was that the students needed to wear good walking shoes the next day as they'd be covering the whole campus for an hour.

Mr. B had given them a list of birds that he knew to be on campus. (He told me before class that one of them had a nest on campus the previous year, but they had not returned. He planned to show them where that was when they were out.) 

For each bird, they were to look up it's habitat, what it eats, where it generally lives, what it looks like, and what it's call sounds like. He directed them to the Audubon Society's guide to birds

For "what it's call sounds like", the students were to listen to the calls on the website, and then describe it in their own words.

The room filled with bird call sounds. Mr. B rather enjoyed that. (Of course, it also meant the students were on task.) Students questioned how to describe the sounds. 

"It kind of sounds like those dogs you find at the swap meet," one girl said. 

"You get dogs at the swap meet?" Mr. B asked.

"You know, those toys that you pull..."

Then we both knew what she was talking about, and I thought it an apt description. 

The students had various descriptions. And because they were freshmen, they had to run them by us to make sure they were okay. There was the one that sounded like a bird rapping. There were a lot of "squeaky toy" descriptions. One boy said the call sounded like a jackhammer. We approved all of these, as that's what the calls sounded like to them. 

It was late in the period. A student played a bird call...

Mr. B: "Who's still on Cooper's Hawk?"

That was the first bird on the list. They should have been way past it by then.

Yeah, Mr. B knew all the bird calls. He's done this a few times before. I was kind of sad that Ms. A returned the next day as I would have enjoyed tagging along on this lab. Oh well.

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Out of Communication

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 some nefarious individual managed to crash all the cell phones in the world at once? (I won't specify for how long, but assume this will take more than a day to fix if it can be fixed at all.)

Note: I have stopped responding to comments on these "What if?" posts, but I do read them all. I realized that I kept trying to either explain or defend the question, which is not the point. I toss the question out there, and you get to interpret it as you see fit. I am frequently surprised by everyone's interpretations, and I enjoy seeing what tangents you all take.

Monday, May 29, 2023

A Project for Saturday

On Saturday morning, I had a request via my Etsy shop. Could I make the customer a water bottle carrier? 

As you know, my knitting/crochet mojo has been missing of late. I haven't wanted to do much of anything. But Saturday was a day I needed a project to take with me, and this was an easy one. I went on a hunt for the requested light purple, grabbed the hook and notions I would need, and I headed out for the day.

It has been a while since I made this, though. I vaguely recalled the pattern. But I had posted it on this blog ten years ago, so I just called it up on my phone. I reacquainted myself with how to start off, and I began.

I got most of the body crocheted when I realized I had left out the "straps" along the body. So, I ripped it out and began again.

I got to the strap portion. This is the tricky part as the last time I had made this for the customer, she had requested I make a shorter strap. I consulted the dimensions of that last one (as I had helpfully written those down last time). I measured my strap. The previous one had a strap 25 inches long. My current strap was 33 inches. So, more frogging.

Of course, I ripped back too far, so I had to recrochet about an inch. And then it was done.

Yes, I did this all on Saturday.

So, now that it's finished, I get to figure out what to make next. Deep sigh.

Friday, May 26, 2023


Thursday. I was back at the alternative education center (the place where Austin was throwing chairs). 

At the start of the day, every student is checked in. They turn in their cell phones. Security waves a wand over them to check for weapons. They remove their shoes and show they're not smuggling something in. And they turn out their pockets. 

Jaron was sporting a backpack. 

The students don't really bring stuff to school. Mr. T immediately mentioned the backpack. Jaron pulled out a gallon jug of water. As there was nothing else in the backpack, Jaron shoved the empty backpack into his drawer. (The students each have a drawer where their cell phones and other items live until they leave for the day.) 

Jaron explained that he had to drink that full gallon of water that day.

Mr. T understood. "Drug test?"

Jaron confirmed. 

I had Jaron in third period. He had the water with him, The jug was about half empty. 

(They can bring in outside drinks/water so long as they're still factory sealed. Same with food.)

Unsurprisingly, Jaron needed to use the restroom during class. 

Later, security poked his head in the door. He motioned to Jaron. It was time for his drug test. 

I guess the test is quick, as when Jaron returned, he was relieved. He had passed the drug test. 

I wonder. Was it the water that did it? Or, knowing that he had a drug test coming up, did Jaron lay off with enough time to pee clean? I didn't ask. 

Thursday, May 25, 2023

This Again

Wednesday. Special ed health class. 

It's the end of the semester, so it's time for the STI unit. And on Wednesday, that meant HIV/AIDS

The lesson was pretty simple. We did a short reading/worksheet on the basics. Then they were to watch The Announcement on ESPN Plus. (It's a doc about Magic Johnson when he revealed to the world that he was HIV positive.) 

If you've been following my blog lately, you won't be surprised by what happened next. (Back in April. Last week.)

I gave the kiddos a bit of background as life with HIV is vastly different today than it was in 1991. Then I hit play.

Ms. T had helpfully set up computer with the video already cued up. I didn't have to turn anything on, log into anything, or set anything up. Foolproof, right? 

The video began. The buffer wheel popped on for a moment. Then the video played for a bit. Then the buffer wheel. It went back and forth a couple times until the buffer wheel came on, and the movie wouldn't continue.

Later I learned (via Mr. P) that that classroom is a bit of a black hole when it comes to the school WiFi. Ms. T constantly has issues. 

We got maybe 25 minutes into the doc when things went awry. For the next half hour, I tried every trick I know to get the thing working again. Well, almost every trick. I even called Mr. P for help. He couldn't get it working either.

In the midst of this, I had one last idea. I could plug the teacher's computer into the school's ethernet. I hesitated, though. The only cord I knew of was the one that connected the classroom phone. Did I want to not have a phone? 

(If the office needs to contact me, they call. I had already received a couple calls that day.)

By the time I had the idea, class was over. But what about for the next class? 

As I was debating, I glanced towards the floor, and I spied another ethernet cable. This one wasn't connected to anything. 

Once upon a time, classrooms had a couple desktop computers connected via wire to the internet. They've been removing these computers from the classrooms slowly over the last couple years. The computers were "ancient" (at least ten if not fifteen years old), so it's no big loss. But the outlets and some of the cables have remained.

I wondered if the cable was still connected to the internet. I plugged it in...

And I had no more problems with the movie for the rest of the day. 

Before, I couldn't even get ESPN Plus to load a search for the movie. After, the movie popped right up, started, and I got no buffer wheel.

I left the cable plugged in to Ms. T's computer. And Mr. P saw my solution. Maybe that'll help with her WiFi black hole issues. Too bad we figured this out at the end of the school year. Sigh.

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Mistaken Identity?

Tuesday, fifth period. Chemistry.

In the normal chaos of getting things going at the start of the period, one of the security staff walked into the room. She pulled me aside.

Apparently, there have been some gang issues on campus, and she warned me about a couple students. She came in to ask me to keep the classroom door closed and that a couple students had been poking their heads outside when they shouldn't be.

I took note of the students she pointed out, and she left.

They were working on their final project for the year. They're doing presentations on natural or man-made disasters.

As expected, one of the students security had pointed out asked to use the restroom. As instructed, I acted as if he was on the floaters list (the list of students who have to be escorted by security to the restroom)

He was not happy about that. "Are you profiling me?" 

How do I explain? I mean, normally I wouldn't have questioned him at all. I've had him in class before, and he hasn't been an issue. He was not actually on the floaters list. 

So, I decided I'd tell him part of the truth. (I didn't say security had identified him as gang-affiliated, only that security had asked me not to let him out of the room without an escort.) He still wasn't happy about it. He decided he didn't need to use the restroom after all. 

Did security point out the wrong student? Did I identify the wrong student? (She pointed him out as the boy with the red shoes. He was the only student at that table with red shoes.) Who knows? 

In times like these at this time of year (the students get a little crazy once they can smell summer vacation), it's best to err on the side of caution. 

(I was surprised to hear of the gang issues. I mean, in that part of town, it happens. I did know about a couple gun issues and there have been way more fights than normal lately. It's been an odd year.)

Tuesday, May 23, 2023


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 😉 

Last week, Bathwater at Felo De Se had an idea about recreating the deceased using AI. I thought it would make an excellent "what if?"

What if you could recreate a deceased relative (mother, father, grandparent, etc.) using AI?

Note: I have stopped responding to comments on these "What if?" posts, but I do read them all. I realized that I kept trying to either explain or defend the question, which is not the point. I toss the question out there, and you get to interpret it as you see fit. I am frequently surprised by everyone's interpretations, and I enjoy seeing what tangents you all take.

Monday, May 22, 2023


I think I know what I want to make. But it's a bad idea.

I want to take this design:

...and knit it with this type of yarn:

I'll use a solid color for the dragon. It won't be quite big enough for an afghan, but then I'll edge the thing either in crochet or knit to make it afghan-sized. 

But I'm trying to talk myself out of it.

Why? Well, first, we're going into summer, and knitting a warm yarn during summer hasn't worked out all that well for me in the past. Then, that would require me to buy yarn, which is something I don't want to do, especially a big, bulky yarn. (I used this yarn up specifically because it was taking up so much space.) 

And finally, the finished thing will have no home. I don't need an afghan. I suppose I could sell it...

On the pro side, it's something I want to make, which is not something that's happened for a bit. Also, starting something, anything, might get me in a starting mood, which would be a good thing. (I would like to have four or five projects going so I can switch off to the thing I'm in the mood to do.) 

It's a bad idea. But I'm probably going to do it. Maybe???

(I knit that dragon almost two years ago now. It was a pattern I just had to have when I saw it. I haven't attempted to knit it since then. The pattern link is for Ravelry. Here's another link off Ravelry.)

Friday, May 19, 2023

Video Victory

Friday. Second period. 

I think the note I left for the teacher really encapsulates how this went: 

Oh my. That did not go well.

Not them. The class was fine. I mean the video…

We had some, ahem, technical difficulties. 

AP World History. Their AP test had been the previous day, so it's movie time.

Back in the day, that meant popping a tape into the VCR and hitting play. Then, later, things got a little more complicated with DVDs (but only a little more complicated). 

Nowadays, videos are streaming. The classrooms have projectors (not a tiny TV screen) and speakers built into the ceiling (not TV speakers), so the rooms are set up for a great movie experience. But getting the videos to play...

I had a similar experience last month when I covered a U.S. history class. (As a matter of fact, that classroom was next door to this classroom.) But then I had time to prepare. 

Ms. G had put a link to the video she wanted to screen into the students' Google Classroom. I was to have a student log in and then use that link to project the video for everyone. 

In theory, this should work out fine. In practice...

The link that Ms. G provided ended up being blocked by the school's internet provider. It wasn't a website I'm familiar with, and a bunch of warnings popped up when we tried to access the site. 

However, another student was able to get the video to play on her computer, so we swapped computers connected to the projector, and all was well... for about five minutes. That's when the same block appeared. 

I had one more trick to play. I figured that perhaps a teacher's account (mine) might not get the block, so I logged in, and under my Google profile, I added in another (student's) account, accessed his Google Classroom, and tried the link.

It worked!

I crossed my fingers. It played. It played for a while. And then the buffer wheel came up...

But I never did get the block again. Phew. I was able to bypass the buffer wheel and keep the video going until the end of the period.

We got to see 35 minutes. In a period that lasts an hour and six minutes. 

Still, I consider that a victory. 

There has got to be a better way to show a video on a sub day. But when the thing a teacher wants to show is behind a paywall, it's hard. If someone can figure this one out, they'd make a mint.

Thursday, May 18, 2023

A Surprising Reputation

Thursday. Second period. I was back at the continuation high school for the first time since March. 

It was a pretty typical class for this teacher. He teaches social studies, so the class is a mix of world geography, world history, U.S. history, and government. I have covered this class many, many times. 

There was one group near the back who were having some random conversations, but mostly the class was working (or appearing to work). They all have different online assignments, but some get so sucked into their phones. 

Towards the end of the period, one of the students asked me if I had subbed at one of the other high schools in the district. The continuation high school is where the students from all the district's high schools end up if they are deficient in credits and in danger of not graduating. When they first get to the school, they all recognize me from when I subbed their "home" school. 

So, of course I had subbed at this student's "home" school. 

The boy remembered me. He then told me that the students were scared of me. 

The boy explained that when he had me in class, one of the other students had told him that I was a strict sub and that I would kick misbehaving students out of class. 

I had no idea. 

I mean, I don't often send students out. I don't have to. 

Most days I feel like a pushover. I feel like I'm letting them get away with so much. But then again, most days they're doing what they need to do and aren't being a problem, so there's no need for me to get on their cases. 

So, to hear that students fear me? I'm dubious. 

But still, it was a nice thing for him to say. 

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Corporate Espionage

With Ms. A's return from maternity leave, I am now back to day-to-day subbing.

Tuesday. Biology. The end of the semester is less than a month away, so the biology classes were assigned their end of the year project. 

In groups of up to three, they were to "create" an eco-friendly product/company. They will present this product to the class à la Shark Tank for their final.

They were given videos to watch. They were given a template to use as a "business plan". They were to come up with a company name and slogan. 

(One girl didn't know what a slogan was. I asked her to name a fast food restaurant. She chose In-N-Out. I said, "That's what a hamburger's all about," and she understood.) 

But, freshmen. And freshmen do what freshmen do.

Sixth period. Two groups of boys were seated almost next to each other. And they were suspicious of one another.

See, some of the kiddos were asking various groups what product they'd come up with. They were looking for ideas. (I threw a few out there to help.) But boy group one thought boy group two was stealing their idea.

Some assignments the kiddos can copy. I've got to be careful during tests for that reason. But a project like this? Even if the two groups came up with the same product, their presentations would be completely different. They'd have to be. 

Still, boy group one was sure boy group two was after their idea. And then boy group two claimed that boy group one was going to steal their idea. 

(One of the boys in group one compared it to McDonalds and Burger King. I pointed out that those are totally different companies. He seemed to think that Burger King copied McDonalds, and I had to try to explain that that's not how that works. Sigh.)

What was this big idea that each claimed the other was stealing? Um, well, I didn't hear it. I'm pretty sure they didn't actually come up with any idea at all.

They've got two and a half weeks to come up with something. Let's hope they don't get so wrapped up in worrying about having their idea stolen that they don't come up with any idea at all.

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

The Threat?

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 your new next door neighbors (they just moved in) nonverbally threatened you?

Note: I have stopped responding to comments on these "What if?" posts, but I do read them all. I realized that I kept trying to either explain or defend the question, which is not the point. I toss the question out there, and you get to interpret it as you see fit. I am frequently surprised by everyone's interpretations, and I enjoy seeing what tangents you all take.

Monday, May 15, 2023


Right now, I wish I had some project on the needles or hook. A long project that I've been plugging away on for ages. Then I'd have something to work on.

And something to write about. 

But no. I have the pillow thing that I haven't touched since my last blog post about it. I've got the scarf I take with me to school (and don't touch). And... that's it. I've got nothing else. 

It's time to start things. I could start a bunch of projects. When I have several things going, I can switch off to something else when the thing I'm working on gets boring or is too much/too little for the energy I have at the moment. 

But what should I start? I'm low on ideas. I have yarn. I have the whole of the internet to find various patterns to try. I could even try my hand and designing something new. 

I just have no idea what. That's why I'm stuck.

The above pic? I went into my picture archives on the blog just to have something to post. I still have this vest thingy. I don't think I've ever actually worn it, though. It was fun to make. But it's too warm for the warm days, and it's sleeveless, so it doesn't really work for the cool days. 

What should I make next? Anyone have any ideas? I truly have got nothing.

Friday, May 12, 2023


Some days...

Thursday. First period was my conference period, but I got an email from the secretary asking if I could cover an extra period.

Just a bit before the warning bell, I headed out to the classroom. I climbed the flight of stairs up to the second story and got to the classroom. 

The teacher was there, but she didn't have any students. She was confused as to why I was there. I realized I must have made a mistake, so I checked my phone. (I had access to the spreadsheet with the extra period assignments.)

Then I realized what I had done. 

By this time the warning bell had rung, and so while I made my way down the stairs, students were making their way up the stairs. I hustled to the back of campus. 

I got there just before the bell rang.

Luckily, the teacher was there. She got class started while I tried to get my nerves under control. 

What had I done? The teacher I initially went to had been out the previous day. For some reason, I got the two days mixed up. What's worse is that I didn't cover that class the previous day. I only eyed the assignment and was happy when another teacher picked it up. 

At least the class I ended up in was a math class. They were doing problems that I knew how to do, so I felt less like an idiot being able to help them.

And that was only the start of idiot things I did that day. At least the English classes were just reading The Great Gatsby. I couldn't screw that up too much.

Thursday, May 11, 2023


One of the things I get to do while doing a "long term" assignment is the grading. (I'm only in this class for three weeks, but Ms. A has been out since January. I'm actually doing lessons and everything.) 

The eleventh graders are reading The Great Gatsby. As the English classes have been teaching this novel yearly for a while, they have certain set assignments that go with it. One is an assignment where the students describe the characters using quotes from the novel. Another is where the students explain the significance of certain passages.

These are tricky assignments, but at this point in their schooling, they should be able to find quotes and argue their perspectives. (Since I've covered every year of English, I see how these skills are built up from the seventh grade. Each school year they add on another layer of complexity.)

I introduced the assignments. I explained. I went through examples. 

When they said one class period wasn't long enough to finish, I gave them another. (Ms. A had built in two class periods for the assignment into her lesson plans, but we were behind so I was trying to play catch up.) 

Because the assignments are online, I was able to peek at what they'd been doing, and I read through and offered suggestions as to how they could make their arguments stronger. (It didn't take as long as it might have as half the students hadn't even begun.)

Then the assignments were due.

During the conference period, I graded. So many of the assignments were not done well. Some hadn't identified the correct speaker for the quotes. And their analyses were weak. Sigh.

I "returned" their assignments and then entered them into the online gradebook.

I stepped out of the room to hit the restroom. Upon my return, a student was knocking on the classroom door. (It was still my conference period.)

He wanted to know why he hadn't gotten full credit. 

His was one of the better assignments. I just had a couple quibbles, things he said he would fix. 

Then I got an email from another student. And during passing period, a third student stopped by asking what she had done wrong.

Oh my. Some of them do care about their grades.

Still, a third of them hadn't bothered to do the assignments. (That third have very strong Fs at the moment, and as we have less than a month left of school, they're likely not pulling that grade up in time.) 

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Repeat Performance

I just went looking through my blog archives for a post I thought I had written. Apparently, I did not. 

When I started covering Ms. A's English classes, I saw a few familiar faces. (Well more than a few as the eleventh graders I've had in many classes over the years.) Namely: Austin. (This is the Austin who takes forever whenever he's given a restroom pass.) 

Since the fall semester, the school has instituted a "floaters list". (This is not what they call it, but the continuation high school has a similar list, and that's what they've dubbed it, so that's what I call it.) Any student who's on the list doesn't just get to use the restroom. If they want to use the restroom, they need an "escort" (read: security). 

Students on the list have demonstrated that they spend too much time outside of class when granted restroom passes. So, they no longer get to go unmonitored. When they request a pass, I call for security. The security person goes with them and returns them to class.

I was not surprised to find Austin's name on the list. I covered his chemistry class the first time I learned of the list. And, of course Austin had to go at some point during class. (He made a fuss. I thought I had blogged about this. I guess something else more interesting happened that week.) 

The first day I covered this English class, Austin had to use the restroom. And as I was very familiar with the length of time he spends out of class, I knew immediately I had to call security. 

Austin claimed that his name was no longer on the list. I didn't even dignify that with a snort. 

What's truly funny is the security person who arrives greets Austin and Austin greets him. They are very familiar with one another, like as if Austin sees him a couple times a day. 

So, last week Austin requested a restroom pass. Of course. And, even though we had the same conversation the previous week, he claimed that he was no longer on the list. 

(Since it had been a while since I'd seen him, I did request a copy of the list. Austin's still on it. It was still the same list I had seen before. No changes had been made.)

Deep sigh. I don't know why Austin plays this game. I suppose he's bored. I guess that as I haven't seen him turn in one assignment in the three weeks I've been covering his English class. (I peeked at his grades. I was unsurprised to find that he's getting an F.) 

Tuesday, May 9, 2023

Fits You Like a Glove

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 shoes were fitted like gloves?

Friday, May 5, 2023


Friday. I got the dreaded email: could I cover an extra period? Deep sigh...

I ended up in the band class. Luckily, it wasn't too far from the English classroom where I've been, and while the class was huge, this is the sort of elective that kiddos choose, so they tend not to fight me on things.

As is my habit, before I left "my" classroom, I called the office to ask them to send someone to unlock the other classroom's door. (Someone means security.) Then I made the trek over.

I found a huge group of students. Waiting patiently. The bell rang...

We were still waiting. 

I was debating going to the choir room next door to call again when I spied the school's principal walking towards us. I knew he had a key.

Mr. L looked out over the group of students. "Mr. V couldn't make it in today? After the jazz band concert last night? Yet many of you were there and you made it in today. How many of you were at the concert last night?"

Several students raised their hands. 

"You all made it in today..."

Mr. L's tone was light, but he was definitely not happy. 

I'm glad I'm not the one in trouble. 

(Now, all sorts of things could have happened. There could be a true emergency. People fall ill all the time. I have no idea why the band teacher was out, but he called out when two other teachers were also not covered, so the absence was noticed.)

Thursday, May 4, 2023

Jinxed It

"I think I'm all caught up..."

I didn't say it out loud, but the universe obviously heard me. And laughed.

Tuesday. Fourth period.

It was the leadership class. The student body president (who's been running the class) was talking about something to the other students, and the topic of progress reports came up.

And suddenly, I knew. Progress reports were due. And I was going to have to do them.

Because I'm the sub, no one bothered to send me the usual emails that the teachers get reminding them of such things. So, I scrambled to figure out when the things were due. 

They were due Thursday. So, I had two days. I hadn't missed the window. 

The previous sub was caught up with grading. It was the main thing he worked on during our transition day. (I checked out a computer and figured out what I needed to teach the next day.) So, it was just a matter of uploading those grades. And then comments. But I've done comments before. Doable.

Just when I thought I could relax... Yeah, never tell the universe you're caught up. Not while teaching. No one's ever caught up while teaching.

Wednesday, May 3, 2023

Playing Cards

Monday Mr. P and I switched jobs. I took over his special ed co-teaching assignment while he returned to the English classes he'd been in since January to finish up the state testing the students needed to do.

So, what was the eighth grade English class that I was co-teaching doing? State testing. Naturally. 

When I arrived, Ms. R (who I subbed for when she was on maternity leave back during hybrid learning in 2021) greeted me with, "Welcome to watching paint dry."

Ms. R was done. She was not in the mood for any of their shenanigans. Only a few of the students were still testing, so the rest were to have brought something silent to do. 

As she was explaining the rules (which they knew, but with eighth graders, you have to repeat and repeat and repeat, and they still will not have heard), I noticed one girl nodding along as if answering yes to the question of having brought something silent to do.

The girl had a coloring book, a jigsaw puzzle. And a deck of Uno cards.


They got started. Ms. R was busy at her computer, making sure the students were "let in" to the testing session. I took over monitoring the kiddos. 

The kiddos needed things. One wanted to move out of his seat and sit on the couch. There was already a kiddo on the couch. (Yes, this teacher has a couch. It's a reward for the students.) Another student asked for something that Ms. R had told him to wait for.

Once the excitement of getting started had settled, we just had the usual fidgeting to deal with. But things were quiet, so all was well.

And then Ms. R saw the girl with the Uno cards. Well, she saw two girls with Uno cards. The game had started...

I mean, how can anyone think playing a game is going to go silently? And Uno? Seriously? Part of the point is yelling out "Uno!" when you have that last card.

Ms. R just gave them a look. She motioned for them to put the cards away. They did. But the look on their faces was something. They thought they could play quietly? Really?

Eighth graders are different creatures. From now on, Ms. R will for sure be telling classes not to bring games for silent days. And students will wonder why she would make such a warning. 

Tuesday, May 2, 2023

A Familiar Face

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 😉 

First, let's presume that you're watching archival footage of some historical event. I'm not going to specify from when this happened, only that it's in the past. You were not at the event. The film/video is real. You may be watching raw footage or footage edited together for some documentary. 

What if, while watching the film/video, you see yourself up on the screen? And, what if the you on screen appeared older than you are now?