Friday, June 30, 2023

Your Expertise

Last week I spent the whole week working on two videos. Which leads me to this week's question:

If you could start a podcast or YouTube channel, what would your topic be?

If I wasn't already doing a yarn-y thing, I think I'd probably want to do a podcast on substitute teaching. I'd love to get other subs together so we could compare horror stories. I don't know if anyone would want to listen in, though...

Thursday, June 29, 2023

Yuck 13

As I write this, I'm in a particularly cranky mood. I've been trying to figure out what sort of Thursday 13 list I want to make, and the only thing I can think of is foods I dislike. So, let's go with that.

The following is a list of foods that I pretty much hate. But, these are foods that are generally enjoyed by the majority, so whenever I turn my nose up at some of these, people are surprised. (There are many foods I'm ambivalent on. I won't go out of my way for them, but I won't seek them out. These are not those.)

  1. Mayonnaise: I like eggs. I like oil. Mix them together in an emulsion, and absolutely not. So, that also means no potato salad and anything else this gets slathered on.
  2. Mustard: The only time I ever got seasick was when I was making sandwiches (for others, not for me) with mustard on them. The smell...
  3. Avocado: No guacamole. I'm not sure why I don't like this, but I absolutely do not.
  4. Coffee: A hot drink filled with caffeine? *shudders* (Caffeine is a no-go for me.)
  5. Ham: I don't know what it is about ham, but no. Nope. Nuh-uh.
  6. Cole slaw: I'm not sure if it's the cabbage or the consistency. Maybe both.
  7. Pickles: I don't see the appeal. I know there is one, but I can't imagine what it is.
  8. Strawberries: Yeah, I know, this one is really weird. But nope. I like strawberry flavoring, but the actual fruit just doesn't work for me.
  9. Sour cream: My brother calls this "battery acid". I concur. 
  10. Shrimp: I don't mind most seafood, but shrimp I just can't.
  11. Buffalo wings: I don't do spicy. And by spicy, I mean anything as spicy as table black pepper. (Seriously, I have the blandest white taste buds imaginable. What most people consider "a nice kick" I consider way too blazing hot.) 
  12. Olives: Olive oil is cool, but the actual fruit? Nope.
  13. Sauerkraut: My mother had this at least once a season while I was growing up. Me? Nope, wouldn't touch it.
This is not a complete list, of course, but it's a good start. What foods do you hate?

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

The Wheel of Time

So, summer. And nothing is on TV. Sigh.

My original plan for Wednesdays was a show that I happened upon that you might not have heard of. But I've got nothing. I scroll around for a while until I find something, and last week that something was The Wheel of Time

Season one came out in 2021. Season two is going to premiere in September. It's on Amazon Prime.

It's based on a series of books by Robert Jordan about a magical world with a reincarnated person known as the Dragon Reborn. There's a Dark One who threatens the land, etc. 

There were eight episodes in season one, and I quite enjoyed the show. I do like this sort of high fantasy most of the time. 

Here's a trailer:

Have you seen The Wheel of Time? Do you subscribe to Amazon Prime's streaming service? Does anyone have any shows they can recommend? (Seriously, I need something to watch.) 

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Not Me

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 πŸ˜‰

What if someone blamed you for something you did not do? What if that person was able to make trouble for you, and they would not be convinced that you were not to blame? 

(Once upon a time, I had a coworker who was convinced I had "ratted her out" to the store's management. I had not. But she decided that she was going to get me back for this thing I did not do.) 

Monday, June 26, 2023


Last week I shot a couple videos.

A couple years back, I started a YouTube channel. I had this idea to work out my various patterns on video. I started with my lip balm holders and then I followed up with my egg-shaped lip balm holder. My intent was to continue making those videos, but I got a little busy with work.

Last year, I made that MΓΆbius scarf, and I realized that would be the perfect sort of thing to record. Only, I had to figure out the best way to work the scarf so that the video would make sense. 

I played with the pattern a bit more always with the intent that it would become a video. And then last week my week opened up. I had a string of days where I would have time to just sit down and shoot the thing.

Of course, a couple weeks ago, I got that custom request for the water bottle carrier. And while I was planning a scarf video, I figured a water bottle carrier video would work nicely as well. 

So, I shot both last week. 

I pulled out several yarns for the scarf, but I ended up using a simple blue: 

I really like how this turned out. I'm almost tempted to make myself one for winter use, but in a color I wear.

(What am I going to do with this piece? I have no idea.)

I have plenty of worsted weight yarn, so I grabbed something light for the water bottle carrier.

I didn't measure, but I think the strap ended up being about the same length as the one I made for the Etsy customer.

And again, I made something I have no use for. Perhaps I should do a giveaway?

I'm going to hold onto these for a bit, though. I may need them to photograph or something while the videos are edited together. This may take a bit of time. 

I'll post the completed videos to my YouTube channel when they're finished. Then I need to get going with posting more. I can't let the channel totally stagnate. I'm pondering doing my pillow pyramids next, but we'll see how things go.

Did you do anything interesting last week?

Friday, June 23, 2023


I was just doing my weekly grocery shopping, and I got to thinking. I have a basic meal that is kind of my go-to, a meal that I'll throw together on a busy weeknight that seems to work for me. It's easy, and I'm not bored of it.

So, that's my question for you today: Do you have a meal that you regularly eat (like weekly) that's easy to prepare and you never seem to tire of it?

For me, it's chicken breast (precooked, so I just have to reheat it in the microwave) with a simple side of rice (a packaged side dish) and green beans. I make this so often I have it down to routine.

Thursday, June 22, 2023

13 Surprising Food Corporation Tidbits

While working on my dragon blanket, I needed a TV show for background that was interesting enough that I would want to see it while at the same time being something I didn't have to follow too closely. I found that in The Food that Built America on the History Channel

For today's Thursday 13, I'm listing (in no particular order) some of the most surprising (to me) things I learned from the episodes I've seen. 

1. Taco Bell was named for its founder, Glen Bell.

2. Dave Thomas, the founder of Wendy's, was quite the fast food innovator. (The fast food drive thru was his idea.) He originally worked for Kentucky Fried Chicken, but when the owners of the company screwed him over, he went out and founded his own fast food empire. (The owners of KFC at that time were idiots.) 

3. Oreo cookies were the copycat. Hydrox came first. 

4. The McDonald brothers showed their innovative fast food kitchen assembly line to anyone who wanted to see it. Several future companies used this to help them with their restaurants (like Glen Bell). (I'm not sure which episode this was in, so no link.) 

5. Pepperidge Farm was founded by a woman. She needed to bake a more nutritious bread for her sickly son.

6. Why are the major beer companies from Milwaukee? Because of the Great Chicago Fire.

7. Pizza was not a thing until two brothers from Kansas made it a thing (founding Pizza Hut)

8. Cheetos exist because the company got surplus powdered cheese from the War Department after WWII. (I don't remember which episode this was in, sadly, so no link.)

9. Pepsi became a thing because a businessman who owned soda shops had a snit fit when Coca-Cola wouldn't give him a discount. (Did he deserve the discount? Probably. But his reaction was a bit much.) 

10. Frito-Lay became one company because the founders of both got together and decided to merge. (Most of the episodes are about how two companies fight for market supremacy. These two just decided... not to.)

11. Campbell's was a preserves company first. The whole condensed soup thing was a weird tangent the company went on.

12. Popsicle got its name because the guy's kids called it "Pop's sicle". He actually wanted to name it after himself.

13. The initial investors in Famous Amos... Yikes. That's a list. (Alas, without rewatching the episode, I can't recall names off the top of my head. I was just impressed while watching the show.) 

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Pronouns Unclear

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 πŸ˜‰

You probably saw the story of a man who accused a 9-year-old girl of being trans at a track and field event a week ago. Which just got me thinking...

What if some random stranger called you out and accused you of not being the gender you have always been (or accused you of being trans if you are cis)? 

Monday, June 19, 2023

Rawr, Finished (For Now)

Almost a month ago now, I posted about a project idea for a dragon afghan. My main objections had to do with buying yarn and the weather.

But as I thought more about it, I realized that now was probably the best time (except for the depths of winter) to do the warm thing. And I'd best get on it before the weather warmed up.

(Our usual weather for the beginning of June is overcast and gloomy. June gloom. Lately, that's started to impact May more and more as well. And thus far, we haven't seen a lot of sun, although, it's supposed to warm up this week.) 

It took longer than I had expected (because I got sidetracked by a custom request), but now it's done. Well, not done-done, but the bit I had in mind is complete:

It turned out larger than I expected. I expected it to be large, but not quite this big. But that's a good thing.

The idea was for an afghan, and the rest of the afghan doesn't need to be nearly as much as I initially figured. 

I doubt I'm going to get much further on this in the foreseeable future. But I can think and plan.

I'm not sure if I want to crochet the rest or knit it. I'm not sure if I want a variegated yarn for the outside of the dragon portion or not. I figure I'm going to do some sort of texture, but what texture? 

I used a temporary cast on, and I've left the bind off loose, so I can rip out those stitches and continue when I'm ready. I deliberately did a simple selvedge edge on the sides, so I can knit or crochet into those stitches when I know what I want to do.

And, I have no idea what I'm going to do with it when it is complete. 

But now that I've played with this idea, I can let it sit for a bit. My curiosity is sated.

(The pattern is Tahesha the Dragon(ess). Here's a non-Ravelry link.)

Friday, June 16, 2023


Last Friday, I started a new summer weekly post with my random question. And no one seems to have a DVR anymore. How quickly things change...

So, last week was my first official week of summer vacation, and I had my usual problem. I can't seem to get to bed at a decent hour. I find my actual getting into bed getting closer and closer to midnight. And then I'll read until 2 AM. At least.

That's my question for you this week: When not impacted by work or other outside forces, what time do you find yourself getting to bed?

Thursday, June 15, 2023

Randomly, on a Thursday 13

Last week was my first official week of summer vacation. (I had the prior week off, but school was in session, so I could have worked.) And it was a bit of an off week, all things considered. Perfect, though, for a Thursday 13.

1. We were notified that our water would be off Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday from 8 AM until 5 PM. There are several plumbing issues in the community, and they schedule these things for when people will be at work. And normally I'd be at work. But summer vacation...

2. So, knowing the water would be shut off, I got up early each morning. And then...

3. They never shut the water off. At least, they didn't shut off the water to my building. So, early mornings, for nothing.

4. Since I have time, I've been getting out and doing some walking. It's been a while. It's nice to get some exercise, though.

5. It's evening. I'm sitting in my room, watching TV. And my lamp turns on. From across the room. Without anyone or anything touching it. Then it did the same thing two days later. I guess my room is haunted. By a ghost that likes to turn on the lamp? (More likely it was some electrical surge, but haunted sounds spookier.) 

Haunted lamp

6. I'm trying to think up projects that I want to complete this summer. There are so many things I've let slide for a while, and it's time to get to them. 

7. I had something that fell behind a drawer, so the drawer wouldn't shut. I had to take the whole thing apart (because there was no other way to get behind the drawer) to remove it. It wasn't something that took that long, really. But it was the mental energy required to get it done that I finally have again.

The item that was stuck behind my drawer

8. So, I have this pair of earrings that I love. One broke. But it's something superglue can fix. Easily. Only... Anyway, the earrings are still broken, but I did manage to get my glued together fingers separated. (I was careful. Truly. But not careful enough.)

Still broken

9,. The plug in my bathroom sink broke. Well, not the plug itself, but the mechanism that lowers or raises it. I got down to look and see if I could fix it. I could not. But in the process, I managed to twist my right arm in such a way that my right shoulder was in agony for a couple days.

10. In the trying to fix the stopper thing, I was on the floor of my bathroom. I attempted to get up, lost my balance, and fell on my left knee. At least this time I wasn't fully standing, so the impact wasn't as bad as the last time, but it still hurts. (I'm not limping though, so that's improvement.) 

11. I should probably stick to knitting. My current project is coming along. Slowly. I've been using a dry erase marker to keep track of where I'm at in each row, that that seems to help. 

12. My go-to show for the knitting project is The Food that Built America. Fascinating. And just boring enough that I don't have to pay close attention so I can focus on the hard knitting project. 

13. Next week, we're due to have the electricity shut off for more routine repairs. I'm not sure if I'm hoping for the power to be off or not. Again, it's during the work day, but again, I'll probably be home. But I can probably knit though it...

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

The Way Home

School is out, so to fill blog space, on Wednesdays I tell you about a TV show I stumbled across that you probably have not heard of but you may enjoy.

When I say, "The Hallmark Channel," you get a certain idea in your head. Cheesy Christmas movies. Yeah?

They have some original series, too. Family-centered fare. Wholesome. Stuff I enjoy, but not usually stuff I recommend. 

But, earlier this year, they started a new show, and it was not quite like what they usually show. I was going to talk about it in April, but it absolutely would not fit on J-day, and W-day was on the wrong day of the week.

It's called The Way Home. It's about a teen girl who falls into a pond in our time and reemerges in 1999. Her family is going through some serious drama, then and now. Divorce. Missing kid. And more.

Unfortunately, you can only stream it now if you subscribe to Hallmark or Peacock. But, there's going to be a season two, and I bet they'll do a "catch up" of season one before season two airs.

The trailer:

Did anyone else see this earlier this year? Have you ever watched a Hallmark Channel TV show?

Tuesday, June 13, 2023

Calendar Tinkering

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 πŸ˜‰

What if our calendar was more static, that is, what if every calendar day fell on the exact same day of the week year to year?

(It would just be a matter of taking one day and not assigning it a day of the week, like the 1st of January or the 31st of December in non-leap years. Of course, this would mean your birthday would fall on the same day of the week every year, which is cool for me as I was born on a Saturday.)

Monday, June 12, 2023

The New Request

A couple weeks ago I posted pics of a finished water bottle carrier for a customer of my Etsy shop

Alas, it wasn't actually "finished". 

The customer said that the strap was too short. After some back and forth, I got a length that she wanted the strap to be. And then she asked if I could add on a pocket for her cell phone. 

Hmmm... That was not a thing I had considered.

I said yes. I mean, I wasn't sure how I was going to do it, but I thought I could figure something out. 

(I like it when customers ask me such things. A cell phone pocket is a great idea. I would never have thought to add one without the request.) 

So, here is the carrier, with modifications:

I put a pair of sunglasses in the pocket as I took the picture with my cell phone.

I kind of made this up as I went along, so I'm going to have to consider if there's a better way to do it. I just made a flat panel that's modeled on half of the water bottle carrier, and I crocheted it to the front (or back) of the piece.

I mean, it works. But there might be a simpler way. 

(I took a pic with the whole length measured, and I didn't get the tape measure out of the frame for the following shot.) 

Is it finished? I don't know. I have to wait for the customer's approval. She's the one who's going to be using the thing, so it has to be right for her.

Friday, June 9, 2023

DVR Resident

Since I am officially on summer vacation, it's time for the "summer schedule". That means today should be a random quiz. 

But, I've found that finding a random quiz is much more work than I want to do right now. So, out of sheer laziness, I'm introducing a new blog "feature". The random question.

At the beginning of this year, I switched my TV provider. (This is a long story which I won't bore you with.) With the switch, I lost everything on my old DVR. The only thing I wanted to replace right away was one particular movie.

Luckily, it was on some channel pretty soon after the switch, so I was able to add it to the new DVR right away.

I don't know why I like this movie so much. I suppose I should buy a copy, but it's not the same as having it on my DVR. I can just pull it up and watch a bit of it when I have an odd moment, and then it'll be waiting for me later when I want to watch it again.

So, my random question for you today: 

Is there any TV show or movie you have on your DVR that you just keep there? Do you rewatch it frequently? 

Thursday, June 8, 2023

That End of School Year Stats Post

It's that time of year again--the end of the school year. And this is where I list all the various classes I covered this past school year. 

(I do this post for me. I understand if you don't want to wade through all the numbers.)

I did something different this year. I kept my tally on a Google Sheet as opposed to the paper method I've been using since 2012. (If anyone wants details, I can do a separate post next week.) 

There are 180 days in the school year. I worked 174 of them. This is less than my all time high of 177 for last year (but last year was very unusual). Five of those non-worked days occurred in the last two weeks of school (three from the last week and two from the week previous). The other day was a day I took off in September for no good reason.

That total does not include the 19 days (2 professional development and 17 days of class) I did for the summer academy last June, nor does it include the 3 days I worked at the continuation high school the first two weeks of August (one in social studies and two in the computer aided drafting class) before the school year officially began.

I worked 115 days in high school classes, 35 days in middle school classes, 16 days at the continuation high school, 4 1/2 days at the alternative education center, and 3 1/2 days at the adult transition center. (Half days? Yeah, that was an unusual day.) 

On 57 of those days, I covered a different class on my prep period. (That's way up from the last couple years, but it's lower than what was normal in the before times.) Only four of those days I covered for teachers that did not have a prep period.

I did work the first day of school but I did not work the last.

More specifically, the list of classes I covered...

I reworked my definitions a bit this year. "Extra period" is specific to me covering a teacher's class for only one class. A "partial day" is when I covered the teacher for the whole day, but they didn't teach that class for the whole day. (So, "partial day" can be one period or more than one period.) I do way more "partial days" as most teachers don't teach the same thing all day.

So, the numbers listed are: covered full day/covered partial day/covered for an extra period only.

  • As expected, my big "winner" for the year is English (it's almost always English) with 33 whole days, 18 partial days, and 12 extra periods.
    • I covered 10th grade the most at 16 partial days and one extra period. 
    • Then 11th grade comes in 2nd place with 8 whole days, 6 partial days, and 2 extra periods. 
    • Next is ELD (or English language development--classes for students who are learning English) at 3 whole days, 5 partial days, and 2 extra periods.
    • As for the rest of the grades:
      • 7th: 4/3/2
      • 8th: 2/5/2
      • 9th: 2/4/7
      • 12th: 0/6/1
      • Yearbook: one partial day. (That teacher's rest of day was 10th grade English, which is why I'm including the stat here.)
  • The next most covered subject is science. That's not surprising as I did a three-week assignment in chemistry in August/September. I did 31 whole days, 6 partial days, and 6 extra periods.
    • The winner in this subject, naturally, is chemistry with 20 whole days, 2 partial days, and one extra period.
    • Next is biology with one full day, five partial days, and two extra periods.
    • The rest of the science classes:
  • Then comes the social studies classes with 24 whole days, 1 partial day, and 3 extra periods.
    • I've got a thee-way tie for first place here, so I'll just list everything:
  • And math rounds out the required courses with 13 whole days, 5 partial days, and 13 extra periods. 
    • The most covered class here is unsurprising as it's the class all high schoolers must take. Integrated math 1. (It's a combo of algebra and geometry. The harder components of algebra and geometry are a part of integrated math 2.) I had 6 whole days, 7 partial days, and 10 extra periods.
    • As for the rest:
      • 7th grade math: 0/2/0
      • 8th grade math: 1/3/1
      • IM2: 2/0/1
      • IM3: 0/2/1
  • Next I'm listing special ed, but some of these days overlap with the above. The RSP special ed teachers co-teach, so if I covered one of them, I tallied special ed plus the subject co-taught. I had 18 whole days, 1 partial day, and 23 extra periods. 
    • Of those, I co-taught 5 whole days, 3 partial days, and 11 extra periods. (They tend to period sub co-teachers when possible as the other teacher can handle things and we subs are just in for crowd control.)
    • Special day classes (where I was the only teacher and the classes were small) accounted for 5 whole days, 2 partial days, and 3 extra periods.
    • The "severe" classes (these would be days at the adult transition center, but there are also some middle and high school classes) accounted for 4 full days and 7 extra periods. (Teachers who teach the "severe" special ed classes have the same group all day, so partial days don't really happen.) 
    • This is rounded out with "learning center". The learning center is the one period a day when the special ed teacher covers a resource room where the special ed kiddos can go to take a test or work in a different room when needed. This is never a full day, but I covered 7 partial days (meaning on 7 special ed days, one of the classes I covered was this), and 3 extra periods
  • Before I get into the electives as a whole, I must note the success seminar class. I covered about a month of it while the teacher was out on "baby bonding" with her 3-month old. That was 19 whole days. I also caught 3 extra periods of this throughout the rest of the school year.
  • And finally, the electives. 
    • Top elective: computer classes with 10 whole days, 5 partial days, and 3 extra periods. What are computer classes?
    • Then comes the art classes with 10 full days, one partial day, and one extra period. Included in this tally is:
    • My third place in electives would be leadership with 9 partial days. Leadership classes are generally a one period commitment for the teacher, and most of those days were for the middle school leadership class I covered while doing those three weeks in April/May for the English teacher finishing up her maternity leave. Then:
    • As for the rest of the electives:
      • Woodshop: 0/3/1
      • Spanish: 6/0/2
      • Drama: 0/0/2
      • Athletics: 0/1/0
      • Music: 1/0/2
      • TV/Video production: 0/1/0
      • Credit recovery: 0/1/0
      • Roving: 1/0/0

Sometimes people ask me what I teach. When I say, "I sub," they don't get it. I haven't figured out how to explain that list to people in few words. So, I tell them, "pretty much everything," when pressed. I think that's fairly accurate, don't you? 

So, now I have a bit of time off until it starts all over again. I wonder what next year will bring.

Previous years' stats:

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

That's All, Folks

Summer vacation descended upon me like:

I was going along, working daily, and then there was nothing. Smash. Bam. Done.

The full time teachers filled all the summer school teaching positions, so there will be no summer school class for me. (Although, those teachers might need a sub to fill in for a day here or there, so summer school is not completely out of the question.) 

And I spent last week suddenly without anything to do.

(The last day of school was June 1st. My last working day was the prior Friday. My end of year stats post will go live tomorrow.) 

Whatever am I going to do with my time? I'm going to do my best to enjoy it.

Last Wednesday, I decided I needed to make a Target run. I mean, I didn't really need anything, truly. Although, I picked up a few things that would make a couple projects I was working on work better. 

As I was driving into the parking lot, I noted a restaurant nearby. Pizza enjoys this place quite a lot, and he was in Mr. G's class this past year. And Mr. G's class went to that restaurant on Wednesdays as their usual CBI. 


While in Target, I hear my name called. I turned. And sure enough, it was three of the instructional assistants from the adult transition center with a couple students in wheelchairs. 

They told me some of the other students were in the Target. (I did not run into them.) We talked for a bit, and then they were on their way. And I was on mine.

I think I would have been more shocked if I hadn't realized it was Wednesday and knew that that class would likely be there. It was nice to see them. I'm sure I'll get back to that school next school year. 

Now I get to find other things to occupy my time for a couple months. The blog now goes on summer schedule for however long I'm not working. 

(Summer school starts this week, and I'm on the subbing list, so I could work. That ends the week of the 4th of July. Right after that, the alternative education center opens for the month of July. The continuation high school starts the last two weeks of July. And the first day of school is August 10th.)

Tuesday, June 6, 2023

A Thinking Universe?

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 πŸ˜‰

The other day, I was watching NOVA. The episode was "Your Brain: Perception Deception". And in it, there was a moment when they compared the number of synapses in the brain to the number of stars in our galaxy. 

(I looked for a clip of just that scene, but I couldn't find one. The link goes to the whole episode. It's fascinating if you have the time, but it is an hour long episode.)

And I thought, what if...?

What if the universe is actually a brain?

Friday, June 2, 2023

Shadow Boxing

Friday. It was an eighth grade English class, but most of the class was missing as they were on an end of the year field trip. (They went to a local movie theater to see The Little Mermaid.) 

Not every student gets to go on these excursions, so I had a few students in every class. Their teacher left a video for them to watch. (Surprisingly, it did not go badly. I had one minor glitch. Maybe my luck has turned.) 

I turned off the video before the end of the period. The kiddos had enough time to engage in the newest fad.

The first time I saw this was maybe two weeks ago. (Not longer than a month ago.) And within days, it became a thing I saw daily. 

Two boys (it's always boys, at least so far) stand three-ish feet apart. One moves his hand. The other moves his head. It's rather innocuous, and it rarely lasts very long, so I'm not concerned. Just curious. But I never got a chance to ask the question.

Until that day.

"What are you doing?" 

Apparently, it's called shadow boxing. (Not the shadow boxing I knew of.) Or the finger pointing game. 

Now that I had a name, I could do a search online. And yep, it's a thing. I found a site with the rules. And there are videos.

I guess it's probably huge on TikTok right now. If you're into that sort of thing.

Anyway, I just wanted to let you all know about the newest fad floating around the middle and high schools. (I would not be surprised to find it happening at elementary schools as well.) We'll see how long this game lasts.

Thursday, June 1, 2023

A Recurring Theme

A new week, a new showing video disaster story. 

(It's the time of year. More teachers leave videos as we finish up the year, and inserting tape and pushing play is not how it works anymore.) 

It was still the last Monday of the school year; same teacher's class I talked about yesterday. Ms. A had two periods as the co-teacher of a biology class and three periods teaching her own self-contained special ed science class. 

For Ms. A's two biology classes, we were finishing up a movie. The lesson plan stated that Ms. A's aide would set things up.

Cool. No problem.

Only, while in Mr. B's class, he got a text from Ms. A. The aide was also out sick...

Sure, I could set up the video. What could go wrong?

Well, Ms. A wasn't logged in. The video she had rented from Amazon Prime had expired. And I didn't have her password.

Luckily, Mr. B's prep period was the first period I had to show the video, so he came by to set things up. And everything worked great.

The following period, I just had to do it again. I left everything set up. But, unfortunately, between those two classes was lunch, and during lunch, Ms. A's computer went into sleep mode. 

(I really should have known better. I always go into the power settings and change the time out from the standard ten minutes to five hours, so it won't sleep on me in the middle of teaching. But Mr. B logged into her computer and started the video, so I never did that one little fix.) 

Well, it was lunch. I called Mr. B again... (I'm sure he was sick of hearing from me.) 

Once he logged in again, I immediately went into the power settings and fixed the time out. 

I guess I'm learning all things that can go wrong with showing videos to classes. Next year I'll be an expert.