Tuesday, October 31, 2023

A Real Day of the Dead

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 the veil between the living and dead really did thin at this time of year, and we could talk to friends/family that have passed on and they could talk to us?

Monday, October 30, 2023

Lit Up

Last week I talked about a couple patterns I found online. I managed to start playing with one of them:

I only finished one of the bulbs as I had been out and about, so I didn't want to take a lot of stuff with me (like the fiberfill). When I got home, I finished one:

It's a little lopsided. Ah well. And I'm not sure if I like this yarn for the "wire". But it's a start.

I may have found a home for the completed tree, so now I can start that. Although, with the way I've been working on projects (like, not at all), we'll see if I actually do any of it. 

I totally missed my window to do anything Halloween, but I haven't missed Christmas. Yet. We'll see if I manage to complete anything this year.

Do you have any fun plans for Halloween? (I don't.)

Friday, October 27, 2023

Worst Class Period Ever

Thursday, third period.

Technically, the class was world geography, but the subject makes no difference. It was Great California ShakeOut Day, which I knew in advance (they talked about it on the news and I think I saw a school email about it), so it didn't take me by surprise as it has in other years

When I checked in that morning, the secretary mentioned the drill, and I nodded. I knew. Then she mentioned something about an assembly that I didn't need to worry about...

Only, I did. It turned out that Mr. L's third period class is freshmen. (In previous years he taught juniors and seniors. I did not know he had switched to freshmen.) And the freshmen were to go to the assembly third period...

...after the earthquake evacuation drill...

I mean, on the bright side, that meant that technically I didn't have to teach third period. 

Small victory. Especially considering that Mr. L's classes are traditionally not a problem. (He's very, very strict. My biggest issue generally in covering his classes is what to do to stay awake while they're diligently working on whatever busy work assignment he gave them--on this day it was researching six separate holidays celebrated in other countries.) 

We had two minutes in class before it was time for the drill. They ducked and covered. With minimal pushback. Then we evacuated. (Mr. L had helpfully drawn a map on the board so the kiddos knew where we were to meet outside.)

We had heat last week, so they complained of the hot sun. I pointed out that it was only 10 in the morning, and it would be hotter later. (They must complain while we wait to be dismissed from the drill. If it wasn't the heat, they'd find something else.)

When the all-clear bell rang, we headed directly for the gym. (The gym was closer to us than the classroom, so I had told them to go there rather than back to class.) 

And then it was time for the assembly. Yay?

(I do not like assemblies.)

I mean, as far as assemblies go, this one was fine. Rather than the usual sports thing with dancing and weird games (which I got to do the very next day at a different site for their Homecoming), they had a motivational speaker. And he was cool

But the benches in the gym are hard. And I'm technically on duty, making sure the kiddos are behaving. In a situation where they are more likely to goof off. 


At least he took until the bell, so when the assembly finished, it was time to go to the next period.

And I was quite happy to sit back and watch period five do busy work in the comfort of the classroom.

Thursday, October 26, 2023

Texting the Teacher

I collect teachers' cell phone numbers. Nowadays, they'll leave the number in the lesson plan "just in case". I don't bother them during the day, though. They're out of class for a reason, so I try to resolve issues on my own so as to not bother them. 

But there are exceptions.

Wednesday. Chemistry, fourth period.

It was my first class of the day. (We're on block schedule, and the teacher had a second period conference period.) Their lessons were posted in Google Classroom. They were to watch a video and do an online practice on reading molecular formulas. 

They logged in. And my worst nightmare happened. They couldn't access the lesson.

This is clearly an exception to the don't-bother-the-teacher rule.

I texted Mr. U immediately. Then I got working on a backup plan, but Mr. U got back to me right away. 

He figured out a work around. Rather than having them log in via Google Classroom, he had them use a different portal (called Clever) where teachers can link student accounts to various educational apps. 

And... that worked! It took a bit for the students to figure out how to access the app as it wasn't posted to their accounts, but Mr. U has a page... It'll take too long to explain. It made sense, and once I knew how they could access the lesson, I was able to explain it to those who didn't catch on (and to the classes in the following periods because they were going to have the same issue). 

I texted Mr. U back to let him know it was working (so he didn't have to find another work around), and the class got to work. 

Gone are the days when teachers just leave a worksheet for the class to complete. It's more complicated on the computers, but it also engages the students more, so they're more likely to do the work. And at least everyone having a cell phone is good for making sure technical glitches can be fixed (most of the time). 

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

It's All Arabic to Me

Eighth grade history. Tuesday.

Before school, I had borrowed one of the classroom's Chromebooks so I could take roll and such. I opened the computer, and I was greeted by a sign in screen written completely in Arabic. 

I mean, that's a new one. I'm used to the computers having the wrong keyboard enabled (so when a student attempts to type, the wrong letters pop up). It's an easy fix, which is perhaps why I haven't seen it recently. 

Before that, it was rotating the stuff on the monitor either to the side or completely upside down.

It's like the kiddos figure out how to do something, and then they leave the computer like that just to cause problems for the person that comes after. 

But it's not a huge issue. Mostly, the next kiddo to get the computer puts it away and gets another. I occasionally get a complaint, but I can fix those issues, so it takes no time to have the student up and running.

But how do you change the language on the computer? 

It was a problem I could deal with when I had some time, as I didn't right then, so I set the computer aside to deal with after I had started class. 

Once the kiddos were working on the day's assignment (they had textbook pages to read followed by workbook pages to answer questions on), I had time to focus on fixing the computer. 

There was no way to change the language on the sign in screen, so I went to sign in. The keyboard was in English, so I signed in easily.

And then the computer self-corrected, putting itself in English and giving me a dialog box with the option of switching it back to Arabic.

I did not switch it back to Arabic.

Problem solved.

And I file that away so the next time that comes up, I'm ready. Because that'll come up again. Someone is going to do that until they figure out that it isn't causing anyone any problems.

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

A Welcome Opportunity

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 you were offered an opportunity (a job, a prize, a vacation, etc.) that you wanted only to find out later you were getting it because a friend wasn't getting it? 

Monday, October 23, 2023


Ever since Twitter started dying, I've been looking for social media to scroll for those moments when I just want to scroll on my phone and I don't want to do too much thinking. 

(At some point, I really need to update my online avatar. My current picture is over five years old. But I just can't bring myself to take any selfies. I'm working on it.)

I got a Threads profile working, and I was offered a code to join Bluesky, and those work pretty well. I'm still building a list of people to follow on both (you can follow me on Threads here or Bluesky here or search my username which is @ZiziRho), so it isn't quite what it was before, but it's something.

But, with all the changes, I found myself scrolling through Pinterest again. (It's ZiziRhoDesigns on Pinterest.) And I was drawn to some Christmas pins (because I won't get anything done in time for Halloween right now). 

I haven't actually done any knitting or crochet this past week. But these ideas are tempting me:

Scrap-Buster Holiday Light Garland

The pattern is a free download off of Ravelry. Since it's scrap yarn, all I have to do is go through my stash. 

Mini Christmas Stocking

This would be cute, too. Also small, so also scrap yarns. 

Ruffle Fir Trees

And then I found this pin that I'd pinned a couple years ago. I went in search of the pattern only to find that all the links in Pinterest did not work. I found a link to a link, and that link was to the actual pattern, only to lead to a 404 Website Not Found error. Sigh.

But now I was on a mission. Somehow, I stumbled on a video on YouTube. (And now I get the gist of how this is done.) There was supposedly a link to the pattern, but that gave me another 404 error. A little more Google magic, and I found the pattern! (It's the link on the picture caption.) 

Will I do any of these? Probably not. But I have the patterns printed out, so that's more than I can say for some of my ideas.

So, light garland or trees? Which one do you think I should do? 

Friday, October 20, 2023

In the Support Position

Friday. Integrated math 2, co-taught.

Integrated math is the newer sequence of math they now teach. (Newer as they've been doing it this way for a few years now. Instead of algebra, then geometry, then algebra 2, it goes integrated math 1, then 2, then 3. So, freshmen take IM1, sophomores IM2, and juniors IM3 (if they're on track). But this can vary a bit.

So, before, this would have been a geometry class. But because topics are mixed, the day's lesson was graphing quadratic functions. (They do quadratics in IM2 instead of freshman year, which considering the complexity of the topic makes more sense to do when they're a bit older.) 

Because the class was co-taught, I got to sit back while the general ed teacher did the lesson. 

They teach math differently than they did when I was a student. There's more hands on work. Mr. J went over some notes that they copied into the packets that contained the problems he was going over (so they didn't have to write everything out). Then he had them try a problem or two. 

When they were trying it on their own, that's when I got to help out. Some students were diligently attempting the work. Some of those needed a bit of help when they got stuck. And, as I know the math, I could help them out.

But what I spent most of my time doing was growling at them to put away their phones.

They were texting. They were scrolling TikTok. I saw games. I didn't mind music, as some of them find that helps them work, but they were only doing a problem before Mr. J went over what they had done and set up the next bit they were to try on their own.

Cell phones are a problem. I see them in every class. They've tried to ban them, but parents complained to the district, and the district caved. 

The phones were only a problem with the students who refused to work, though. The ones who were focused on the lesson didn't bother theirs. 

Mr. J got through the lesson, and then he had them do the work on IXL. (IXL is a math program where they can practice the math online. It gives them immediate feedback as to whether the answers are right or wrong. The students finish each assignment when they reach a target score, so those that get it don't have to work as many problems as those that don't. And their problems are harder than those who are still struggling to understand.) 

Again. those who were working had questions. Those who weren't were on their phones.

And Mr. J later told me that everyone I growled at were students that had their phones out regularly. 

I'm not surprised. I just wish there was a way to get through to them that they're only hurting themselves in the long run. I doubt they'd believe me, though.

Thursday, October 19, 2023

The Photo Drama, Part 2

Wednesday. Photography, period 5.

Yeah, this was the same class I talked about yesterday. There's a part 2.

For students being out of class to take pictures, I had a very long warning about Calum. I didn't really get it until I realized I had met Calum before. 

A year ago, I was doing a long-term in Success Seminar. (Remember?) Calum was in that class. He had a tendency to wander. He would disappear from class for an hour sometimes. He always had an excuse. I got included in the email from his counselor about how she was to be looped in on his wanderings as it was something they were working on.

Calum had rules for going out and photographing. He had to have a buddy go along. (She was a specific student, and this was a normal thing.) 

Calum asked to go out in the second group. He got his buddy without my having to ask, and I checked him out per normal.

When the rest of the second group had returned, I took a look at the time. Calum wasn't due back. But I kept an eye on the time, and once it had been a half hour, Calum had still not returned.

Deep sigh.

Before I could call security, Kate popped in again. (This was when she was asking about Jerry's health office wanderings. See yesterday's post.) So, I informed her that Calum was due back. She had seen him, so she went and retrieved him.

Upon his return, Calum explained that he needed ten more minutes to get the rest of the photos he needed. (Somehow, everyone else managed to get their pictures in the time frame. I think this might be a Calum problem.) I told him he'd have to do that upon the teacher's return.

I was in this class for three days. (The teacher was at an Adobe conference. Photography has gone fully digital, so the conference was professional development.) I wrote two blog posts about the same period. 

Every teacher has that one class. This was hers. (The other classes went fairly uneventfully. Even Kate said this was the one class.)

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

The Photo Drama

Wednesday. Photography, period 5. 

In the lesson plans, I had been warned that the students had 25-30 minutes outside of class to take pictures. I only had four cameras to check out, so only a few could go at a time. (With the length of the periods, that translates to roughly three groups every period.) But the previous classes had been fine with the time limit.

However, I had some specific instructions for period 5. I really should have known I'd be in for it.

The first group of students left to go take pictures. Three of them returned well within the time frame. Jerry, however, had not returned.

I really hate calling security. I always feel like a bit of an idiot. "I lost a student." But Jerry (wasn't sure if the student was a girl or boy as the name was on the list of who left) was over time, and it was time. Just as I was psyching myself up to do it, security walked in.

Kate was not happy to see a sub. But I was happy to see her. She asked if there was a time limit on students being out of class. I explained that I had just been about to call security for a student being over time.

We were talking about the same student.

Kate explained. Apparently, Jerry (a girl) is having issues with an ex (unclear if the ex is male or female), and while she was out of class, she was dealing with that drama rather than taking the pictures she was supposed to be taking. 


When I informed Kate that Jerry was done being out of class, Kate retrieved Jerry and they had a discussion. Jerry returned to class. 

Time passed. Then Jerry asked for a pass to the health office. I was dubious, but she could have actually been feeling ill. So I gave her the pass.

Kate returned a short time later. She had spotted Jerry out of class. I explained where she went. Kate checked. Sure enough, Jerry had checked in with the health office.

Did she meet up with the ex on the way? Considering that Kate came to ask me about her because she was not headed in the right direction? Likely. 

(Jerry returned to class a short time later and did not ask to leave class again.)

Apparently, there's a bit of drama with students in this photography class. They're taking advantage of the permission to be outside. It's too bad. Photo is a great class. We shouldn't have to worry that they're not doing what they're supposed to be doing during class time.

Tuesday, October 17, 2023

Avoiding the Drama

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 😉

Since I've been having trouble coming up with "what if?" questions lately, I thought I'd pull one from some subbing drama going on around me. A fellow sub is currently seeking a full time gig, and one has popped up in the district. However, I know from another sub that sub #1 has alienated the teaching staff at that school. (A good portion of the teachers in the department hate them.)

I have not told the sub this. I don't think it would be helpful. But I've listened as they ranted about missing out on various opportunities (and how "loyalty" to the district is not being rewarded).

So, that's where this question came from:

What if you knew why your friend was having trouble in a specific situation, but you also knew that telling them would only make matters worse (or at least wouldn't help them)?

Monday, October 16, 2023


So, it turns out I didn't totally jinx myself last week. Progress was made.

I attached the fabric part to the knitted part. (Slip stitch crochet was used.) I measured it against the pillow, and I need a bit more width, so I'll need to do another row or two of double crochet.

The fabric will all be on the back side, so it won't show. I think I'll end up stitching up most of the sides so the pillow can be put in the cover long ways, and then I'll put buttons to close the long end. Which means I'm going to need to go shopping for buttons. Not this week, though.

It's supposed to get hot again this week, so I might not want to be under this huge heavy thing to finish that last row of crochet. We'll see. I've got a couple other projects I can pull out if I really want to work on something.

What are your plans for the week?

The pillow's progress in blog posts:

Friday, October 13, 2023

Useful Information

Friday. Freshman English, honors. 

It was day two of a two day assignment. (The school is on a block schedule, so I had two different sets of classes for each day.) They were reading The House on Mango Street.

It was the same lesson plan as the previous day, but things went much more smoothly with the honors kiddos than they did with the general ed kiddos. We were to read the first five chapters, and then they had questions.

They were supposed to have brought their books with them. (They had checked out copies from the library earlier in the week.) Most had. But a few had not.

But, they knew how to find copies of the book online.

One boy was explaining how to do it to his tablemates. Curious, I stopped and had him explain it to me. He did.

It's a simple Google search. Type in the name of the book you're looking for. Then add "doctype.pdf" to the end of it. And copies of the book will pop up. 

Try it. It works. (Although, the book has to exist as a doctype.pdf online for it to work, so I assume mostly books that are read in schools will be there.)

When I pay attention, I can learn all sorts of interesting things from them. Some of those things are more useful than others.

Thursday, October 12, 2023

Perp Walk

On Tuesday of last week, I was back in Ms. R's moderate to severe special ed class. (I was last there two weeks ago.) 

The last time I was there, Zena had a meltdown that had her tearing one of the bulletin boards off the wall, and she battled her one-to-one aide about doing work (until it was almost lunchtime, when she was suddenly very cooperative so she could go eat outside). 

On this day, Zena refused to do any work. And to entertain herself, she kept reaching for her one-to-one aide's hair so she could pull it.

(I got pictures of her in action so the one-to-one aide could update Zena's mom on her behavior for the day.) 

Having a sub in the room (even though all the instructional assistants are there and things run pretty normally) throws the students off. The behaviors increase. Sometimes.

Zena was due to leave school early that day as she had a doctor's appointment. But getting Zena to leave can be an issue. (They told me about one day where Zena refused to budge for something like eight hours. They could not get her into her mother's car to go home.)

But one of the IAs had tried a trick with Zena that seemed to work. So they were going to try it again.

They "arrested" Zena.

They told her to stand, put her hands behind her back, and they held her like she was being handcuffed. Zena actually seemed to enjoy this. Then they perp walked her out of the room (getting someone to grab her backpack). 

Zena loves attention. Negative or positive, it doesn't matter. I guess this gave her the attention she craved.

She was taken from class and delivered to her mother. I presume she made it to her doctor's appointment without incident.

It was a strange technique. But, whatever works, right? I wonder how long that'll work, though. These sorts of tricks only work for a short time.

Wednesday, October 11, 2023

Not a Group Assignment

Monday. Middle school English. (Ms. A had something like four seventh grade classes and two eighth grade classes.)

Ms. A had this sign on her desk:

And I was kind of feeling it with them.

Third period. The first thing the students were to do was to put their backpacks in the back of the room. About a third of them didn't. (There was a huge space for their backpacks. Hooks. Shelves. Clearly this was a daily expectation. That they didn't tells me they were on sub behavior.) 

Then I went to take roll, and a couple girls were not in their assigned seats. 

Delani and Nellie had chosen seats next to each other. When it was clear what I was doing, Nellie quietly removed herself back to her assigned seat. Delani on the other hand was not budging even though I asked her repeatedly to move. She was going to "in just a minute". Sigh.

It was a "work day", meaning they had the period to make up any work they needed to complete. The end of the quarter was on Friday, so this was the last chance they'd have to pull up their grades before report cards went home.

Most of them were "completely caught up". As I had no way to check, I trusted them. I let them play games on their computers. 

Delani came up to me. (This was after she finally was back in her assigned seat.) She said she had a history assignment to complete. That was fine with me.

But, Nellie had the same history teacher as her, and Delani "had to" work with Nellie on the assignment. (She did not say they had the same class. She said they had the same teacher.)

Um, what? 

Delani didn't say it was a group assignment. She didn't say she needed help (which I was willing to provide). It didn't even sound like anything more complex than a regular homework assignment.

I told Delani she could work on the assignment on her own.

"What the f***?" she said.

Seriously, she said that.

Having prevented the seat change (which is what she wanted), the class remained relatively calm. Delani? Did no work. 

"I thought you had a history assignment," I said.

The concept of her doing it on her own escaped her. She wouldn't even consider it.

I... I just don't understand. Why couldn't she do it on her own? 

I imagine they would have just copied each other. Or talked about something non-school related. So, really, I was doing them a favor. Of course, they didn't see it that way.

I wrote a whole paragraph about Delani in my note to the teacher. I wonder if she's like this all the time. (One of these days, I'm sure I'll find out.)

Tuesday, October 10, 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 😉

What if the very helpful person assisting you turns out to be working for "the enemy"? (I'm not going to specify what type of enemy, so go as simple or complex as you wish.)

Monday, October 9, 2023

The Pillow Cover Making's Progress

I pulled out the pillow backing again. And I think it's about where I want it to be.

Since the last time you've seen it, I added a round of double crochet to the outside.

Well, mostly. On the ends, I did single crochet.

I think this will work. Finally. It feels like I've been plodding along on this forever, but I only started it in January. (I went through and found all my blog posts about it. They're below.)

I'll stitch this all together and see where it is. Then I'll make decisions based on that. So long as I don't get hit with any unexpected this coming week, there should be progress to show off next week. 

(I shouldn't say that out loud. You know what happens when I say stuff like that out loud.)

Perhaps I can start digging out of this mound of stuff that has somehow found its way on top of me.

The pillow's progress in blog posts:

Friday, October 6, 2023


I finally got into the new building!

At one of the schools I work at, they just opened a new STEAM building. They started talking about this building at least a decade ago. They finally broke ground on it in 2018 or 2019. They tore down a couple wings of classrooms. It seemed like it took forever for them to tear down the old buildings. Then prepping the area took what seemed like a year. 

Anyway, they've been working on this thing for many years. I've watched the progress through the fencing that they put up. It was supposed to be done two years ago, then last year. 

It's finally open. It's been open since the beginning of this school year. And I was scheduled to cover a math class in the building on Thursday and Friday.

(This was my second time in the building. Last week I got to cover an art class, but there were other more interesting stories last week, so I didn't get a chance to write about it.)

Friday. Sixth period. Integrated math 2. (This is the sophomore-level math class that used to be geometry in the previous sequence. But now algebra and geometry are all mixed together in the integrated math sequence. Example: the day's topic was factoring quadradic equations, something that used to be in freshman algebra 1.)

They had a worksheet. As I know this topic is challenging when they first learn it, I was proactive in hovering over them, offering my assistance. And many students took me up on my offer. 

But not all of the students were in the mood to do work.

Aiden had taken a computer from the Chromecart and was attempting to set up the movie Avatar. (I don't know if it was the original or the sequel.) 

Mr. N had said they could listen to music while they were working. (If it's up to me, I let them listen to music while they're doing independent work, too. It helps some of them focus. More often than not, the students that have music on will be lost in their own little world, and they won't be stirring up trouble.) Is a movie like music? Can it be background? (I mean, it is for me. I love to have TV shows and movies playing while I knit.)

I was willing to give Aiden the benefit of the doubt. I warned him, though. He needed to be working, too.

But it turned out that the site Aiden went to for the movie was blocked by the school's internet. 

Aiden was determined to get that movie. He spent a good 20 minutes fighting with it until he found a site that would work.

Meanwhile, I was helping several students with the actual assignment.

Movie accomplished. I strolled back by Aiden's seat. Was he doing any work? (I think you already know that answer.)

I glanced meaningfully at his paper. I helped his neighbors who had questions. I made another circuit around the room.

Aiden was engrossed in the movie. (He told me that since it had taken him so much effort to get it, he was going to watch it.) 

He claimed he was working. Every time I happened by, he would mark something on his page. Too bad that I remembered where he was when I was there last, and nothing had been added while I was gone.

Well, I had warned him. I told him that if he didn't get the work done, his name went in the note to the teacher. (His eyes widened when I said that.) 

I didn't warn him again.

Why anyone would waste time in class and then be stuck with homework over the weekend escapes me. Teenage logic, I guess.

Thursday, October 5, 2023

Cursed 5th

It was the strangest thing.

With the new (to us) sub scheduling app, it's become kind of a game to catch assignments as they pop up. A couple weeks ago, I managed to grab a three-day middle school history class. 

Then a week later, the gig vanished.

Assignments get cancelled. I don't know why. They don't tell us. I've heard sometimes that certain trainings get cancelled. Or a teacher changes their mind. It's not a big deal. Something else usually pops up.

And sure enough, another history assignment popped up. It was only for one day of the three, but that was fine. I took it.

The next day, the assignment was cancelled. 

Weird, but not unheard of. 

The next day, another assignment popped up for that Thursday. Another history class. 

Two hours later, it also vanished.

What the...? 

I was beginning to wonder if it was me. 

I asked the secretary at one school. She didn't know. I emailed the secretary at another school. It turned out that their Homecoming was that week. The teachers probably didn't want to miss that.

Okay, that made it feel less like it was me. (I doubt it was me, but there's that little paranoid voice that can get loud when I have no other explanation.) 

A couple days ago, another assignment popped up for that day. And for the following Friday. 

Fingers crossed...

So far (as of the writing of this post), the assignment is still booked. But considering my luck with the day, I'm not counting that as happening until the day.

What day? Today. (The day this post goes live.) 

I'll let you know in the comments if that gig remained (my fourth attempt at booking the day) or if something else happened.

Wednesday, October 4, 2023

A Friendly Game

Last Monday I was back at the Alternative Education Center (aka, the school where Austin was throwing chairs). So, I was prepared for the worst. 

And... nothing terrible happened. It was a pretty chill day. So, win.

Fourth period. Health. I had one student. 

Security, who had been hanging out in the room on and off all day, returned and started getting things set up...

The student, Jocelyn, was ready to start the sex ed unit, but a parent conference had to happen first, so until then, they had been passing the time playing Sequence

(I was given the option of doing something else, but I'm all for keeping things as they've been going. Besides, I enjoy a good game.) 

I've seen the game on store shelves, but I've never tried it. As he set up, security explained the gist. We play in teams, so he and I were on one team, and Jocelyn and the school counselor, Ms. R, were on the other. Apparently, Jocelyn and Ms. R are formidable opponents. Security was itching to beat them.

The basic premise is to get a row of five checkers, but you can only put checkers down if you have the right card. 

Jocelyn started. By the time it was my turn, I had an idea of what to do. Jocelyn's team got one row, but to win you need two. I focused on blocking, but I built up our rows when I could.

We won game 1. 

Game 2 we lost. 

I wasn't too disappointed. We tried. And now we were even. But we had about twenty minutes left of class, so we had time for game 3. 

Neither team was making much headway. We'd get three in a row, and then the other team would block. 

It was getting close to lunch. Then it was lunch. But we were close. Each team had one row, but we needed a second.

And then I had the opportunity to play my wild card. I had been dealt a wild card at the beginning, but I held it until I could use it. I saw the win, and I took it. 

Yup, I play to win.

I suppose I should have let the student win. Right? Maybe?

I don't know. I mean, she did win one. Of three...

Ah well. They'll know not to let me play next time if they don't want me to really try.

Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Fixing the Past

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've been watching Star Trek: Strange New Worlds. If you've seen the show, you'll know which episode this question references.

What if someone came to you asking you to help "fix" something in the past, but that something would erase your timeline? (I will specify that the "fix" would help the you in that new timeline, but that's the only thing I'll specify.)

Monday, October 2, 2023

All Tangled

No, I did not do anything yarny this week. But as this is a Monday post, here's a pic of some of my stash:

Yup, it's a tangle. And somehow I'm going to have to move it.

A week ago, I found out that I have to be out of my current home in a month. So, last week I was a bit focused on that. 

I've got a lot of stuff, so I'm not looking forward to packing. But first I need to find a place. I've been looking at various situations, and that's all in motion right now. 

I have a mental list of what I need to get done. It's doable. But I really, really hate the process. I may be a bit cranky, so feel free to ignore that. I'll feel a whole lot better when I'm on the other side of all of this.

So, I've been stressed and freaked out, and that has taken a toll.

On Friday, my (soon to be ex-) roommates and I went out to dinner. I ordered something I had never tried. It was chicken and a kind of macaroni and cheese with bacon thing. I did not finish it, so I got a box to take home the leftovers...

And as I was boxing up the leftovers, I knew. I just knew.

It took a while to settle the bill. (Divvying up a check three ways takes time.) But we were done, and then on our way.

A couple miles from the restaurant, and I realized I had forgotten my leftovers on the table. I mean, I knew I was going to do that. I generally remember things pretty well, but in my current mental state, plus it was a Friday (I am an idiot Friday nights), I was bound to miss something. Like the take home container right in front of me. Sigh.

We did turn around to retrieve it. But I felt like such an idiot. 

If I seem a bit off to all of you, now you know why. I hope I'll get things settled sooner rather than later. But it's going to be a busy month.

After I finished this post, my landlady informed me that she changed her mind about moving. Suddenly, the stress of last week evaporated. But this is a temporary reprieve. I'll have to move sooner or later (probably sooner).