Friday, December 29, 2023

2023 in Review Quizzes

It's Friday, and it's winter break, so that means it's time for a "random" quiz. Although, not so random, as today I've compiled five different year end review quizzes. 

Try one. Try all five. (Or don't do any, if you're not feeling quizzy.) However you do, you can probably beat my scores.

First, it's CNN's Year in Review. It's multiple choice, but it's also US-centric. 20 questions (so not too long). I got 15 correct. 

Then, to get a bit less US-centric, is The Guardian's Big 2023 Quiz of the Year. 30 questions. Multiple choice. And I did awful, something like 15 correct. Unfortunately, as I was compiling this post, the page reset, and my score disappeared. Sigh. I do know it was between 14 and 17, so we'll leave it at that.

Next is JetPack's 2023 Year in Review. 32 questions. On this one you have to type in the answers. A bit more British, kind of like The Guardian's quiz. I got 17 correct.

Continuing on, here's The New York Times 2023 quiz for students. 45 questions. (Yup, this is a long one.) Multiple choice. I got 40 correct, but to be fair, some of these questions I only got right because I got them wrong in the first two quizzes. 

And finally, it's BuzzFeed's 2023 Pop Culture Year End Quiz. 10 questions. And I seriously was not paying attention, as I only got 5 correct. 

So, have I tempted you to try one? How well do you remember this past year?

Thursday, December 28, 2023

2023 in 13 Posts

As has become my routine over the last couple years, today's Thursday 13 is a review of the year in blog posts. A not-quite best-of, if you will. (How was your 2023?)

1. January 26th: Catching Up

It's the old game of students using classmates' names. They are terrible at this, but they still make the attempt anyway.

2. February 9th: Consequences

A challenging class doesn't get the reward they were promised. They complain. Loudly.

3. March 30th: Flooded

We got a lot of rain last year. (Well, a lot of rain for our area.) The schools aren't built for that kind of rain.

4. April 27th: Wasps Nest

A student spots a wasps nest on campus, and it turns out that I'm the one who gets to figure out who to contact about it. Just in time for W day in the A to Z Challenge.

5. May 25th: This Again

It used to be a major part of a sub's job: insert video, press play. Now, with streaming and computers and big screens, it isn't so easy. I had quite a few issues playing videos for classes this year.

6. June 7th: That's All, Folks

I'd been going along quite nicely, working daily, until suddenly I wasn't working. But I got to visit some colleagues while out shopping.

7. July 10th: Leaving the Mistake

I started knitting this body pillow cover in January. I officially, completely (kind of) finished it in November. By July, blog topics were scarce, so here's one of the many posts I wrote about it.

8. August 16th: Newbies

The school district hired a bunch of new subs. Good news for the sub shortage. Bad news for subs. (Work's been harder to get this school year.)

9. August 25th: Hurriquake

Southern California got hit by a tropical storm. This is not usual for us. In fact, I can't recall a time we ever before got one. While hunkered down for that storm, in the midst of the rain, we had an earthquake. If that's not the most California response to a tropical storm, I don't know what is.

10.  September 1st: Not Quite Lunchtime

I started the school year in a 9th grade English class that did not have a teacher assigned. They hired a new teacher quickly, so I only covered the class for 3 1/2 weeks. During the first week, I got hit with the school's new block schedule (which I really should have known, but we'll blame the beginning of the school year). 

11. October 5th: Cursed 5th

With the district hiring a bunch of new subs, work has been more tricky to secure. And then there was this day where I kept attempting to book it, but the jobs kept getting cancelled. (Luckily, the 4th gig I booked stuck.)

12. November 9th: Forgeries

A group of 7th graders tried to make me think their hall passes excused their tardies. Luckily, they are really bad at faking me out.

13. December 1st: Trapped

This was the day the school went on lockdown due to a student hopping the fence and a passing motorist alerting authorities. Better safe than sorry.

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

The Gilded Age

I'm on winter break, so any subbing stories from before the break will be saved until after. Until then, it's "summer schedule" time, so I'm going to talk about a TV show I've been watching.

I'm not sure if I should call this "streaming" as it's been airing on HBO. (I just have the streaming service, but if you subscribe to HBO, you could have been watching this as it was broadcast. It had its season finale last week.) Everything for me nowadays is streaming, though. (The pros and cons of this belong to their own post.) 

I often will seek out a TV show if I am familiar with the team behind it. A decade ago, I kept up with Downton Abbey. I enjoyed it. And so when I heard Julian Fellowes, the executive producer, had created a new show, I was in. Like Downton Abbey, it's a period piece. Unlike Downton Abbey, it takes place in America.

The Gilded Age takes place in (gasp), the Gilded Age, which sets the era as the 1880s. New York. 

The show centers on two families, one who is "old money" and one who is "new". Or, as they call them, "the new people". They live across the street from one another. At the beginning of season one, the Russells are just moving into the new mansion they built as Bertha Russell has made it her mission to join the high society of the "old money" establishment. 

The thing that's great about this show is that I can't really explain all the various plots in the space of a blog post. The wealthy and their servants each have story arcs, and these arcs intersect at various points, but sometimes they are quite separate. The complexity is a good thing as that keeps the plots from falling into melodrama.

Well, not the usual melodrama. 

I have embedded the trailers for seasons one and two. That's the best way to see who's in it, as you will recognize several actors, I am sure.

Season one trailer:

Season two trailer:

Has anyone seen this show? (I'm sure many of you don't get or stream HBO, so no worries.) If you have seen it, what do you think of it? Do you have any good shows to recommend for me?

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

Official Birthday

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 we found out when Jesus' birthday actually was? (Because it very likely wasn't December 25th.) What if that day was in April or June or September?

Monday, December 25, 2023

Merry Christmas

Nothing new to show off today. I managed to send off the dragon afghan, and it arrived at its destination on Thursday. And I found myself once again between projects. I have some ideas, but before I could get anything started, I got a sore throat and the sniffles. So, I'm resting up with the hopes that I'm not repeating last year

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday.

Friday, December 22, 2023

Last Day

It was the last day of the regular semester. (The following week was finals week.) And I caught an extra period in the classroom three doors down--the "opportunity" class. 

(It's no longer called opportunity. It's now called BEST or something. Basically, it's a self-contained class of kiddos who were behavior problems on the general middle school campus, and now they've been isolated into one class. It's a step or two before the alternative education center.)

As it turned out, it was also the last day for the student teacher, and festivities were planned. 

The class had an instructional aide and another adult (whose duties were unclear) as well as the teacher. So, I sat back and followed their lead.

First, the class did a thing where they listed what they were grateful for. But they focused on what they were grateful for about the student teacher. This was a surprise for him as well as a tribute. 

Then it was game time while the IA attempted to make s'mores in the classroom's air fryer. The s'mores actually turned out pretty well. An air fryer gives the marshmallows just the right light brown color, although the IA had to play with the timing a bit before she got it right.

The game was Avocado Smash. It was new to me. The IA said they had never finished it before, but this day they did. They actually got a winner.

And that took us to the end of the period. The next period (with a different sub) they were going to watch a movie. (I was able to set up the movie for them. I know what a nightmare it can be to get that working, so I was quite happy to make sure it would work.) 

Not what I was expecting for my extra period assignment, but it was a pleasant surprise. Usually I have kiddos bouncing off walls. (It's been a long time since I covered an opportunity class.) 

Thursday, December 21, 2023

Final Grades

A couple weeks ago, Mr. B left a message for his students in the Google Classroom. The last day to turn in late work was the Friday before finals week. And so, every day I reminded them of this deadline.

Then Ms. P (the instructional aide) called out sick, which meant I was doing the grading. I told the students this was good for them as I tend to grade easy, and I wasn't sure how many points to deduct for late work (so I wasn't going to deduct any).  

(I didn't expect them to take advantage of this. So, when I wasn't getting loads of late work being turned in, I wasn't surprised.)

It was the last week before finals. And I reminded them that any late work they turned in was only going to benefit them. They turned in their last assignment for the semester, and still many had empty spots where points for assignments should be. I pointed out that any late work was only going to boost their grades.

Still, nothing.

And then I really looked at their grades. A few of them had dropped from a C to an F. 

The problem: I hadn't given the C students progress reports. 

There is a rule. A teacher cannot fail a student at the semester if they did not send out a progress report with the note "in danger of failing". 

I did the progress reports. I sent progress reports out for every D and F student. The students who had Cs, however, I figured would still have Cs at the semester.

But, sub. I don't know why, but students slack off with long term subs. There is a grade dip. I just didn't think the grades would dip that much.

There were five students who now had Fs who had not gotten progress reports. Sigh.

Two of them were just missing the last assignment due to being absent. They turned in the assignment, and their grades popped back up. 

Two of them were up to date on assignments, but those assignments had not been completed thoroughly. I gently suggested to one that if she completed some questions that she hadn't done, she could pull up her grade. 

She did a sloppy job, earned eight points, but that was enough to take her to just above 60%. A D. Whew.

Another boy turned in a missing packet, and that was enough to bounce him into D territory. Whew. 

There's still one, though. I will have to tell Mr. B I messed up and didn't give him a progress report. I imagine he'll end up getting a D at the semester as well.

I did what I could. But I can't do the work for them. And next time (and there will be a next time), I may just have to give progress reports to students with Cs. Because, seriously. They do let things slide when there's a sub. 

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

Not Very Surprised

It was bound to happen eventually...

This year, the school district has contracted with some agency or other to bring around drug sniffing dogs. I saw the notification of this at the beginning of the school year. I've seen them on the various campuses. They were even going to search one of my classrooms, but they came around on a prep period (no students), so they skipped me. 

Last Thursday was the day.

It was towards the end of first period. US history. Juniors. The class was, as usual, pretty mellow. The door opened, and it was an administrator with a couple other people, one of whom had a big dog on a leash. 

Oh, okay then. 

We all stepped outside. (The class contains seven students. All were present.) We waited. (It was a sunny day, so it was nice to stand in the sun.) Then the door opened, and Alvin was pulled inside.

Uh oh...

It was a few more minutes. Joey talked about how he no longer did "that sort of thing". He also informed me that he had a couple friends (who still did "that sort of thing") who knew when the dog was coming and would warn people. 

Then they let us come back inside. Alvin's backpack was packed up, and Alvin was escorted from the room.

And... I wasn't shocked. 

Currently, Alvin has a 21% in the class. He'd been promising that he was making up the work he was missing. He would bring it "next time". But each following class, no work. He was also consistently late by at least a half hour a day. 

And... Yeah. He seemed like the type. 

(If you had asked me about drug use before this incident, I wouldn't have singled him out. I wouldn't have pinpointed him as someone who was high. Of course, I wouldn't have singled anyone out as I wasn't particularly looking for that issue. But when you call my attention to it, yeah, it didn't surprise me.) 

The teacher next door had noticed us standing outside. When I informed him of who was whisked away (we share students, so he knows Alvin), he wondered if Gerardo would know more, as the two are buddies. (I have Gerardo in eighth period.) Later, Mr. B reported back that Gerardo said that Alvin had alcohol on him. Or, at least that's what he thought.

Will I find out for sure? Maybe. If I learn anything interesting, I'll report back.

Tuesday, December 19, 2023

Lost Money

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 found out an investment you made was actually a scam? 

Monday, December 18, 2023

Time Crunch

Last week I had such plans for the dragon afghan. I was going to do this cute chain border to finish it off.

And then I just didn't.

(I've been either just tired or fighting off a cold, I'm not sure which. So, rather than push myself, I spent most of my evenings last week sitting in front of the TV and not crocheting. Not a big deal... unless you're on a deadline.) 

If I had more time, I would spend the time figuring out the chain border. But I don't. So, I just finished it off simply.

And I'm calling it done.

(Although, it's curling around the edges. I know how to fix that. I'm going to do that after finishing this post, and then I'm going to get it into the mail immediately, so there won't be another picture of it after this.)

If SIL lived nearby, I might take the time. But, it's got to be mailed, and if I even hope to get it to her before Christmas, it's got to be mailed today. So, it is finished.

(And now I'm thinking of warm sweaters made out of this yarn. Maybe.) 

Friday, December 15, 2023

Not So Sneaky

Tuesday. US history. It was the end of eighth period, and as per normal, the kiddos had lined up at the door, waiting. (I do try to discourage this behavior, but they ignore me.)

At the front of the line were Percy and Gerardo. I've been having issues with the both of them. They both have F's in the class, and instead of doing any work, they get sucked into their phones or their computers. (Percy and I had a long debate about this. He doesn't care that he has an F and is looking forward to summer school.)

We had a few minutes left of class. Percy and Gerardo stepped onto the outside ramp. And once I could no longer see them, I went to check. 

Percy was still standing there. I shooed him back inside.

But Gerardo was halfway to the front entrance, too far for me to call back.

*grumble, grumble*

I do not appreciate students leaving class early. And I wasn't having it.

On Thursday, when Gerardo got to class, I informed him we needed to have a conversation. He had his earbuds in, so I'm not sure if he really didn't hear me or if he pretended not to. But I followed up. And I explained the situation.

Gerardo did not have a reason for leaving early. I rather think that he didn't think. He didn't know why he left early (at least that's what he told me), but I believe that it was a matter of no impulse control. He saw the opportunity and took it.

Well, Gerardo needed a consequence for this. (Everyone saw that he left early, so I didn't want to tempt them into thinking that they could get away with it, too.) So, I told him that he owed me three minutes after school. (When I noted the time when he left, it was about three minutes early.) 

He didn't argue with me about it. He didn't complain. And at the end of the period, he remained in his seat while everyone else left. 

Well, okay then. 

I kept note of the time and released Gerardo after his three minutes. 

I was expecting more push back. I'm quite happy that I didn't get it, though. 

I'll have to see if they attempt such things again. I'll be keeping a closer eye on them, too.

Thursday, December 14, 2023


Wednesday. Third period. Government.

Of all the classes, third period is the one I'm concerned about the least. While a couple of them have had their grades drop (due to missing the last assignment), there are no F's in the class. And I anticipate each one of them passing the class at the semester.

It was a weird day with Ms. P, the instructional aide, out sick. They came in a little bit more wound up than usual. (We had our weather warm up, so the bright, sunny day might have been part of it.) And Sabrina asked if she could not work that day.


The assignments need to be completed at some point. And I don't want to encourage slacking off when semester grades are so close. 

But, Sabrina's grade was fine. Wasn't it? I went to check the gradebook, just to make sure.

Sabrina was missing an assignment. It wasn't one of the big packets that are worth major points. It was one of the "quizzes". 

Mr. B gives them the book's quizzes at the end of each section, but he counts them like an ordinary assignment. Because they aren't weighted as a test, they don't hurt their grades too badly. (Most don't do very well on them, and that's even with the quizzes being open book. This is one of the differences in a special ed class.) 

So, instead of telling Sabrina she could take the period off, I told her she should complete the missing quiz. 

All the assignments are filed in a filing cabinet, clearly marked. I went and found the folder for quiz 2.1 and gave it to her. 

A while later, she returned it. When I went to grade it, I discovered that it said 2.2 on it. I double checked the gradebook. I had a grade for quiz 2.2. 

What had I done?

Upon further examination, I found that the folder for quiz 2.1 contained the quizzes for 2.2. And the person who had been putting things away was me...

(Although, now that I'm writing this, I do recall Ms. P had filed something in the government drawer, so I might not be to blame...)

While I was pulling the quiz, I should have double checked the page. So, my mistake. 

But, it was the wrong quiz. I apologized to Sabrina, but she would have to do the correct quiz. (There were 10 questions. True/false. Multiple choice.) While she did, I graded 2.2. If she got an extra point... She did not. She missed one more than before. I did not change her score.

Sabrina finished. 8 out of 10. I added her score to the gradebook.

And that bumped up her grade from a C to a B.

Sabrina then proceeded to work on the day's assignments. So, I guess getting her to work on something got the momentum going. 

(And now I'll be extra careful when giving them makeup work.)

Wednesday, December 13, 2023

The Absence

The special ed social studies class I've been covering has an instructional assistant, Ms. P. She does all the grading, and she assists various students with their assignments. (Some need more help than others.) She also is the person the students are used to, so it wasn't so weird having a sub when they still Ms. P.

On Monday, Ms. P wiped down all the surfaces in the classroom. She sprayed Lysol on everything. Occasionally she'd do that, but she hadn't in about a week. 

Tuesday morning, I awoke to a text from Ms. P. She had the flu. 

(And suddenly the cleaning of the classroom made sense.)

While I would miss her presence, I was now familiar with the rhythms of the classes, so I knew I could run everything with her gone. 

On Wednesday, they sent me a sub.

There are substitute aides. When I was at the ATC, they were vital whenever one of the aides was out. For this class...? Ms. P asked if I wanted her to get a sub, and I said no. Because I knew.

But, this aide is a one-to-one, and his student was absent that day. (I encountered this frequently at the ATC. Those one-to-one aides would fill in someplace when their student was out.) 

As I had his student for two periods, Mr. C was familiar with the routines of the class. I told him to assist students who needed assistance. He took Ms. P's desk.

What I expected to happen happened. Not one student asked for help.

There are certain students who always work with Ms. P. I specifically offered them assistance. I specifically pointed out that there was an aide who could sit and work with them all period. They declined the help.

(It might be the whole stranger thing. It might be that Ms. P insists that they work with her. But I can understand why these students might not wish for help while Ms. P is out.)

At least Mr. C had brought a book. (His student tends to not need him for long stretches of time, so Mr. C is used to dead time.)

When they didn't send me a sub on Thursday or Friday, I wasn't terribly concerned. While Ms. P is necessary to the running of the classroom, her absence didn't cause a disruption. (Well, I mean, me grading their work isn't ideal, but I can manage if I have to.)

Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Unintended Consequences

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 was standing by the open classroom door, greeting students before 3rd period, when a basketball went whizzing by my head, barely missing me. No one got hurt, but it gave me an idea for this week's question.

What if you inadvertently hurt someone else? I'm not going to specify more than that.

Monday, December 11, 2023

Rawr, Continued

On June 19th, I showed off my "finished" piece:

And I explained that I had some plans, although what those plans were I wasn't quite sure. In the back of my head, I intended this to be a Christmas present, so a couple weeks ago, it was time to pull this back out and actually finish the thing.

I have not, as of yet, finished. But it's grown...

In process right now is that border. It's going to be about three more inches all the way around. But I'm not sure what I want to do. 

Should I continue on as it is? I'm doing double crochet around the whole thing. The first three inches were to be plain, just to build it out. But then I found a different idea for the final border.

Crochet Chain Border via KnitterKnotter

And that might be cute, too. (Imagine it in the black/white variegated yarn I'm using for the non-dragon portion.)

I'm debating. 

I'd better decide soon, though, because Christmas isn't too far off. And I kinda want this to be done on time. 

Friday, December 8, 2023

The Quiet

Last week was kind of a quiet week at school. As I predicted, the fairly well-behaved classes don't give me very many interesting stories to blog about. My major issues have to do with students not turning in work (and earning F's). 

One day Jasper came to my desk to ask for a restroom pass. Although, "ask" is too strong a word. He pointed outside and kind of motioned.

And that's when I realized, had I actually heard Jasper talk? 

Yeah, I had. But quietly. He whispers. Barely talks.

But suddenly, he's not talking at all.

The students have book work. They read the chapters. They write outlines. They answer key idea questions. (It's the way Mr. B has the class set up.) Occasionally I'll read with them. 

The room tends to remain pretty quiet.

And Jasper has gotten quieter. It's not like he was loud before. But now...

I was tempted to make him ask me in words what he wanted. I think I did. But then I realized, if he doesn't want to talk, why should he? 

We're getting into the end of the year. It's getting darker earlier. I think we're all tired.

Maybe it's time to let some of us go quiet. Just for a bit.

Thursday, December 7, 2023


It was the Tuesday after Thanksgiving break, and I was rolling into school per normal. (See yesterday's post.) I had taken a few steps onto campus when Onyx again fell into step alongside me.

After Monday's encounter, I was less concerned about Onyx's motives. She again followed me into the classroom, but this time, she put a can of soda in the teacher's fridge (as opposed to removing one). Then she left.

She removed the can after her class period. I did not hear of any mishaps, so I assume she got to drink the whole thing.

So, Wednesday morning, I looked for Onyx. I expected her to appear. She did not.

But, I did see Mr. B, my teacher neighbor. (He's in the classroom next door. He teaches special ed English.) He had gotten to school just before me, and was ahead of me on the trek to the classrooms. 

Onyx had fallen into step alongside him.

Well, okay then.

On Thursday, I saw Mr. B but not Onyx. On Friday, I again spied Onyx in step alongside Mr. B. 

I guess I just need to get to school a bit later. Or something.

Wednesday, December 6, 2023


It was the Monday after Thanksgiving break, and I had just arrived at school. One of the nice things about being on a long-term assignment is that I was able to check out keys. So, rather than having to head to the front office, I could let myself in the gate from the parking lot and head directly to the classroom. 

It was about a half hour before the beginning of the school day. I wasn't quite ready for people yet. I had walked a few steps past the school gym when Onyx fell into step beside me.

It took me a minute to get back into teacher mode. Onyx began a story about some party she'd gone to that she didn't want to be at because she wanted to go to bed. It was "too late" at 11 PM or something. And then there was other drama having to do with another party over the break.

Onyx followed me up to the classroom door.

I didn't want Onyx in the room to stay. She wasn't in the first class of the day. (I had conference period immediately, so I wasn't going to have students for a bit.) But I didn't want to be rude.

I opened the classroom door, and Onyx walked in ahead of me. She went to the teacher's fridge, and she pulled out a can of soda.

Onyx had brought the soda in before the break during her class period. She had headed out "to the restroom" and returned with the soda. I don't know where she got it. But I do remember that she hadn't retrieved it before I closed the room before the break.

Once Onyx had her soda, she left.

Ah. That's okay, then.

I did have Onyx in the next class. She told me that soon after opening her soda, she managed to spill it all over. (I believe she was outside.) 


Tuesday, December 5, 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 😉

The other day on Bluesky, there was a discussion about how private equity firms have been buying up companies, and in an effort to boost profits, they've necessitated that these companies make inferior products that break easily so consumers need to repurchase more durable goods more frequently. It started as a "why don't things last anymore?" kind of thing.

(If you're on Bluesky, you can follow me--I'm If you'd like to be on Bluesky, I have a couple invite codes. Just message me at mllelizka [at] gmail [dot] com and I'll hook you up.)

As these things do, the discussion got me thinking...

What if there was some sort of limit on massive profits? It would likely have to be a massive tax over a certain margin or something. If you can figure out what it needs to be, perhaps you should run for Congress 😈

Monday, December 4, 2023

That Was Easy

The tree is done.


Once I got started, it went pretty quickly.


I took it to school with me. While the kiddos were working on their assignments, I had time to crochet.


I photographed them after each day. (Well, every other day. I took a picture of what was on the cone, then added what I finished that day and took a second picture.)


Then, I realized I was again running out of yarn. But, I had just gotten it, so I went back to the yarn store, and I bought a second skein.


And I continued on. I mean, I started class off with announcements. I answered questions. I graded some papers (the instructional aide graded the majority of the work). I entered scores into the gradebook. It wasn't like I wasn't working.


As I worked my way up, each little band got smaller and smaller. So, the longer I worked, the quicker it went.


And then it was done. And I absolutely love it. Isn't it cute?

Tree posts:

Friday, December 1, 2023


It was the last twenty or so minutes of first period on the Friday before Thanksgiving break. (I saved all my subbing stories for when school was back in session.) My class of six was working quietly. (We had spent the first half hour of class or so reading the current section in the textbook.)

An announcement was made to the whole school. "Teachers, lock your doors..."

Lovely. We were on lockdown.

I removed the blocker from the door as it was already closed. As no students were out using the restroom, it was just a matter of waiting. 

Because I am a sub, I don't get school-wide emails. I asked Ms. P (the instructional assistant who does get the emails) if something had come through. As she told me nothing had, a student informed us that she had learned (via her sister) that someone had hopped the fence onto campus. (The description was a male Hispanic not wearing a shirt.) 

We heard a helicopter overhead. From the classroom, I could see the front of the school. Deputy sheriffs arrived through the front gate. Ms. P got a photo from her daughter showing the outside of the school with police cars lining the curb. Another student got a message with the description of the incident posted somewhere. 

We waited. 

At about the point in class when the students usually clean up, a couple of them got up. 

"We're on lockdown. We're not going anywhere. Get comfortable."

They still put their stuff away, but the teacher had some games in his cabinet, so two girls got out an Uno deck. 

Then, at about two minutes before the bell would have rung, Alvin (who had clearly been not aware of anything) put on his backpack and headed for the door. I repeated my explanation that no one was going anywhere until the situation had been resolved. (Although I couched it as good news. I let them know that we were losing time in third period as they always give us the full break when something like this happens.)

Suddenly, Alvin was not happy. (He had been oblivious before. He also had had a restroom pass shortly before the lockdown was called.) He wanted to leave. Although, his complaints were mild, and they only lasted a short time.

The sound of the helicopter stopped. 

There was a knock on the classroom door. Because the room has windows, I saw a couple sheriff deputies outside. Before I could get to the door, security opened it from the outside. (That security person actually used to be a cop. He told me this on the day my car battery was stolen.) 

They were checking the room for anyone who wasn't supposed to be there. As no one had come in or out, I gave the all clear.

A couple minutes later, the principal made an announcement over the PA system.

A passing motorist had seen someone hopping the fence and called authorities. The individual was a student. A female student wearing a tan shirt. 

(Oh, you should have heard the howls during the following snack break. They were not pleased.)

The end of the period was called. They got a snack break (which is the usual after first period) and then they were on to third period (we have a block schedule). 

Students hopping the fence is a problem, but I am unclear as to why a student would hop the fence to get onto campus. (They usually are leaving.) Sure, they have to go through the office, but it's not like we don't know they're late anyway.

Ah well. We had to have some drama on the Friday before the break. It isn't a proper day before the break otherwise.