Friday, June 28, 2024

Questioning the Questioner

At the moment, I'm drawing a bit of a blank as to what question to ask. So, let me turn it around...

What's a question you'd like to ask me? 

I might even answer it in the comments. (If it's a really good question, I might steal it for a future Friday question.)

Thursday, June 27, 2024

A Falling 13

In April/May as I contemplated the upcoming summer, I got a couple ideas for Thursday 13 that I could use. So, today I'm going to list all the times that I've fallen. Let's see what I can remember...

1. I was a freshman in high school. It was passing period between 2nd and 3rd periods, and I was running late. (Likely band had let us out late.) I was walking quickly towards my typing class. I slipped in my ballet flats, and bam. I landed on my butt. Who would be nearby to witness my humiliation? My third grade bully. He laughed. Somehow, I managed to make it to 3rd period on time, and only my pride was hurt. (Ah, to fall without major pain. Those were the days.)

2. My second major fall happened when I was in college. Freshman year. Like all of them, I was just walking along and I tripped over my own feet. It happened right in front of a group, I think they were called Campus Crusade for Christ. (No comment.) They were very nice and helped me to the campus clinic. There, the doctor said it was a moderate sprain, wrapped it, and sent me on my way. I managed to get to the rest of my classes that day. It was painful, the sprain, but I healed up after about six weeks.

3. So, that day I called my job (the now defunct evil toy store) to call out. But it was Season. They promised to find a box I could sit on while working the cash register so I could come in to work. This they did not do, and they gave me no help while insisting I continue to work on a sprained ankle. Yeah, reason number three (of about a thousand) why it's the evil toy store.

4. I walked out of my 2nd floor apartment, went down a couple steps, slipped. and landed on my butt. These were outside stairs, covered in those rocks you sometimes see on buildings. And I went down hard. It felt like I had bruised my tailbone, so I couldn't sit comfortably for a couple weeks. (I don't recall the exact year this happened, but considering where it occurred, I would have been between 26 and 28.)

I didn't dare call in sick to the evil toy store (now defunct) as the boss was an absolute a** who yelled at you for calling in sick. (I even went to work feeling like death warmed over one day as I didn't dare call in sick to him.) The injury was minor other than the tailbone. (I almost forgot about this one. I had finished this post before I recalled it. Well, posts are easy to edit.)

5. My niece (who is now 23) was young--three or four-ish. We were out in front of the condo, waiting for something. Or maybe just hanging out--the memory is fuzzy. Niece was running and laughing. I would step out to chase her. 

The condo was on a hill. It was the third or fourth time I went to chase niece, but this time I was chasing her downhill. After two steps, I realized I was gaining momentum and I couldn't stop. I angled myself towards the grass (off the sidewalk), and let gravity have me. I landed on my knees, face first. Getting around was painful for a few weeks after that.

6. Now we've reached the falls that happened while I was blogging. First up: Not About the Highlighter. I was just walking to check out for the day. Although, to be fair, the area where this happened was not very even, so it was kind of easy to fall.

7. For a couple years after that, occasionally a student would ask if I was "the sub that fell". Apparently more of them saw it than I realized, or the story got around.

8. The area where I took that fall, though? It no longer exists. That was the area that became the new STEAM building at that school. The whole area was razed and they completely replaced the pavement around it. Of course, with how many times I've fallen now, that doesn't make me feel any better.

9. This one was recent enough that I still have vivid memories of it: A Fall Day. I even used a cane for a couple days right after this happened.

10. And just when I was healed from that, bookending the fall: Another Fall Day. #7 happened on the first day of autumn while this happened on the last. At least it was fairly minor compared to the others.

11. Oh wow, this one happened just about a year ago. I won't make you dig through that Thursday 13 to get to the fall story. I was in the bathroom because the plug in the sink wouldn't budge, and I had leaned down to open it from under the sink. I lost my balance and fell, but because small bathroom, the wall helped keep me from hitting the floor as hard as I could have. 

12. And my latest fall: Locked In, Part 2. I'm really, really, really, really hoping this is the end of the fall saga. At least, I hope it's going to be another five years before I have another good blog-worthy fall story. Although, better if I don't.

13. As for the injury, it's mostly healed. It took about a month before I could fully bend the knee again. It was a little less than that before the scab fell off. But there's still a purple bruise on my right knee where it hit the asphalt. It's small and it doesn't hurt, but the discoloration is still there. I hope it vanishes eventually. It definitely looks way better than it looked when it happened.

Wednesday, June 26, 2024

Renegade Nell

In last week's "what if?", I mentioned Renegade Nell. Since it's summer, Wednesday is the day I talk about whatever weird show I managed to stumble across.

It turns out that if you subscribe to Hulu, you also subscribe to Disney Plus, no extra fee required. (This was news to me when I found out. Of course, I couldn't take advantage of this right away due to how I was subscribed to Hulu, but things changed and I sorted it out.) Once I was newly receiving Disney Plus, the first thing that popped up was this show, and it looked kinda interesting, so I checked it out.

The description via iMDB

A quick-witted and courageous young woman framed for murder unexpectedly becomes the most notorious outlaw in 18th-century England. When a magical spirit called Billy appears, Nell realizes her destiny is bigger than she ever imagined.

Nell (don't call her Nelly) goes through some stuff. Newly widowed, she returned to her father's home (tavern) only to have him killed by the local toff. When Nell tried to get justice from the magistrate (who was that toff's father), the toff killed him (yes, his father), and framed Nell for the deed.

Now, Nell had her two younger sisters to take care of, no home (as the magistrate gave it to someone else), and no recourse. So she turned to highway robbery. As one does...

And I'm not even mentioning her pixie helper or the sister of the toff who found her way into dabbling in dark magic. It's quite a show.

It's funny how I've wanted Disney Plus for so long to watch shows I've heard of, and then when I get it, I end up watching a show that it seems no one has heard of. Or have you?

Anyway, it's best to see it, so here's the trailer:

If you have Disney Plus, have you seen this show? Interested? Any good shows I should check out?

Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Unable, Perhaps Unwilling

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 pondering blackmail (as one does...) and I wondered something. (There was a blackmail subplot in a show I was watching, although I wouldn't be against using such a thing in something I was writing. If I was writing something.) 

What if you were being blackmailed, and while you did not want this information getting out, you had absolutely no way to meet the blackmailer's demands? (It could be that there was no way to get the kind of money they were asking. Or perhaps they were asking for you to do something that you absolutely could not do--hurting someone else comes to mind.) 

Monday, June 24, 2024

Almost There

One day this past week, Thursday, I think, I pulled out the eyes and contemplated working on the sweater. And that's as far as it got.

I am feeling better, more like myself. But I'm still a bit stuffy. And it's been rather warm. 

On Saturday, I was out. I brought my take-along project with me. The string lights...

Well, at least I did something.

Here's a picture of what I've got complete as of now:

On Saturday I completed one green, two teal, and I got that yellow one started. I'm going to finish that yellow one, do another yellow one, and then I'm calling it (for this strand, at least). 

Hopefully I'll have something from the eye sweater to show next week. But I'm not holding my breath.

The string lights thus far:

Friday, June 21, 2024

Smart Planet

Since the random quizzes I found online were hit or miss (more miss), I have found an alternative for Fridays in the summer. The random question.

I like to play Words with Friends 2 on my phone. One of the mini games on the app is a "challenge" where you play against increasing in difficulty computer personas. Each week is a theme. 

Some weeks the characters make sense. That is, I can see how one persona would be more of a challenge than another. (Like, when the "easy" ones are children and the "hard" ones are people who were known for their intellect.) 

But some weeks... And that's where my question comes from. Because the week I'm referencing was a planetary week. That is, we played against the planets. And I rather disagreed with which planets they positioned as more intelligent than others. (They used people avatars for the planets.)

Given our solar system, and assuming the planets have personalities, which planet do you think is the most intelligent? Which planet do you think is the least intelligent?

Thursday, June 20, 2024

Technical Difficulties 13

Last week, the first week of summer vacation, I was sick. Well, I caught this cold (or whatever it is) the weekend of Memorial Day, and it's been lingering on ever since. I probably would have gotten better sooner if I had taken some time off work. But the last two weeks of school? Yeah, no. I pushed through.

What does that have to do with a Thursday 13? Consider it background for what's been going on.

1. Landlady decided she wanted to switch out the Wi-Fi. She was looking for a cheaper option. And we haven't had a moment of peace since. (We left Frontier Fios and went to Spectrum.)

2. The install went okay. (I got to do it.) But after, getting devices (like my computer) to connect to the Wi-Fi is hit or miss. Mainly miss. Basically, most days after logging onto my computer, I have to unplug the router and let it come back. Then I can connect to the internet.

3. Although, sometimes I have to do this twice...

4. I live in a condo complex. We have a mail room. I went to retrieve the mail one day to find a note on the box. Broken. Must get mail from post office. Deep sigh.

5. Roommate when to post office to get mail. They told her it would be a week until they could get someone out to fix it.

6. A couple days later, I managed to run into the postal carrier. She was very nice, and she explained that it was actually going to take two weeks as when they condensed our area to be part of the greater Los Angeles area, they no longer had the staff nearby to do the job (and likely fewer of them anyway). What was wrong with our mailbox? The key the mail carrier uses to open it to feed in all of our mail got broken off in the lock. (No one is sure who did this.)

7. It did, in fact, take about two weeks. In that time, I went down to the post office twice to retrieve mail (as I didn't want it stacking up). 

8. Landlady switched out our router three (or four?) times to try to fix the connection issue. She also had a couple technicians come out to fix things. (This included getting the streaming TV to work, too.) It turned out that the person who signed her up signed her up for more than she really needed. So, certain things were taken out of the package. This shouldn't have influenced the Wi-Fi, though.

9. Although, the Wi-Fi seems to be strictly a computer issue. The TVs work. My phone works. But getting the computers connecting... Although, landlady has had issues getting her phone to connect to the Wi-Fi.

10. And the Alexa Echo device. Landlady likes to play music. Her Alexa wouldn't connect to the internet, even though it worked just fine before. We tried uninstalling and reinstalling. We tried factory reset. She went to visit family out of state, and somehow her grandson got it working, although that didn't translate to the home Wi-Fi. 

11. She finally got it working after finding that her phone still had it set to the grandson's home. But why didn't it work before? That's still a mystery. (Especially as there are two other Alexa devices on the Wi-Fi that continued to work just fine.) 

12. I went to turn on my TV, and it wouldn't turn on. Just... nothing... I unplugged and replugged it in. Then, in desperation, I pulled out my old remote. (I bought a new rechargeable remote a couple years back.) It turned the TV on. I had to reinstall the "new" remote, and it apparently had 5% of charge remaining (which was very weird as I had just recharged it not a week ago). Deep sigh.

13. So, with all the internet issues, landlady has decided Spectrum isn't worth it. Now it's just a matter of switching the internet again... *ducks head*

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

My School Year in Review

School is out for the summer. So, now it's time for my annual look back at my school year by the numbers. That is, what classes did I cover this year? 

Before I get into the minutiae, I'll start with the overview...

There are 180 days in the school year. I worked for 166 of them. This is down from last year's 174 and the prior year's all time high of 177. Most of those days were just days where nothing was available. (Somehow my sick days coincided with vacations and weekends.) This is good as that means there are enough subs to go around. But that means that catching gigs has been a bit more tricky. Still, that's a good all around total for the year.

This total does not include the two days I covered at the continuation high school before the school year began. As I did not catch any summer school gigs, those were the only two "summer" gigs I got. After the past couple years where I did work a lot in the summer, it was kind of nice to get more of a break.

I worked 117 days in high school classes, 41 days in middle school classes, only 3 days at the continuation high school, and 5 days at the alternative education center. (3 days at the continuation high school? Yikes. I was barely there at all.) 

16 of those days I covered a different class on my prep period, and 3 of those days the teacher didn't have a prep. That is so way down from previous years, it's crazy. But there's a reason for that. The schools went on a block schedule. There are fewer periods in a school day. Also, they've established a spreadsheet for teachers to sign up for extra periods, which they do (as they get paid extra for it). So, less need for that coverage. It's good as I often get to leave campus early. But, there are fewer opportunities to make an extra hour's pay on a school day.

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

Next are the specifics. I tallied the days by subject. A "full day" means I only covered that subject that day. A "partial day" means I covered more than one subject. So, if I covered two periods of math and one period of computer science, I tallied partial days of both math and computer science. If I covered two periods of math 7 and one period of math 8, I covered a full day of math, but only partial days of math 7 and math 8.

Each subject will be listed with three numbers: 3/6/1. The first number is for a "full day". The second for a "partial day". And the third is for an "extra period". Those are classes where I went to a different room and covered a class for a different teacher than the one I was contracted to cover for the rest of the day.

  • My big winner for the year: social studies. 47/3/0 Why? I did that long term assignment in November/December.
    • Government: 0/33/0. Mr. B had government on both of his block days, but he didn't only teach government.
    • U.S. history: 0/27/0. This had a similar distribution for Mr. B's classes. 
    • Economics: 0/14/0. Mr. B taught one period of this, so that's why I have half the classes.
    • 8th grade U.S. history: 4/7/0
    • 7th grade world history: 5/2/0
    • World history: 1/3/1
    • Geography: 1/2/0
  • In second place, math. Again, that total is mostly due to my long term from March/April (and some of May). As it was math and computer science, all of these days were "partial". 16/45/1
    • Integrated math 2 (10th grade math--formerly geometry): 1/44/1. Mr. J only had IM2 classes, so this tracks.
    • 7th grade: 6/3/0. Some of this is from those two weeks in Ms. M's class at the end of February.
    • 8th grade: 5/2/0. Same as 7th grade.
    • Integrated math 3 (11th grade math--formerly algebra 2): 0/1/0
    • Trigonometry, Calculus, and Statistics: each 0/1/0. Likely this was the same teacher. The "higher" math tends to be taught by one teacher, one period of each. 
    • Surprisingly, I did not once cover integrated math 1 (9th grade math, formerly algebra 1). That is very, very odd. 
  • In third place is English, which usually takes the top spot, but with my long terms, it got knocked down here. 31/6/0
    • 9th grade: 8/14/0. These are mostly from the beginning of the school year when I took over that vacant English class
    • ELD (English language development): 0/13/0. Ditto. That vacant English class had one period of ELD, so these are those days.
    • 7th grade: 1/7/0
    • 8th grade: 0/6/1
    • 12th grade: 0/4/0
    • 11th grade: 0/2/1
    • 10th grade: 0/1/0
  • And rounding out the required courses is science at 2/4/5. Considering my long terms, it makes sense that I didn't get to many science classes.
    • 7th grade: 0/2/0
    • 8th grade: 1/1/1
    • Health: 0/1/0
    • Biology: 0/1/1
    • Chemistry: 0/1/1
    • Physics: 0/1/1
    • Anatomy/Physiology: 0/1/0
    • Environmental Science: 0/1/0
    • Intro to Health Careers: 0/0/1
  • Next I'm listing special ed, as these tend to overlap with the above. 43/0/4
    • Special day class: 30/1/1. These were mostly Mr. B's classes. That is, these are special ed classes that are just special ed students. Although, not all, as there were a couple science days and one English/math day that I recall covering.
    • Learning center: 0/6/0. Most special ed teachers have to man the learning center for one period in their schedule. This is just a room where kiddos can come and take tests or get extra help. It's a very easy sub gig.
    • Co-teach: 3/5/0. While all of Mr. J's math classes were co-taught, I only counted this when I was covering the special ed teacher. 
    • Moderate to severe: 5/0/2. These are those days, with the very low kiddos. (I think this is best demonstrated by example.) 
    • BEST: 1/0/1. I'm not sure if this is technically special ed, as it's basically one step above the alternative education center, but I listed it here in my spreadsheet as it needed a location, and this seems to fit it best. 
  • My top elective, is obviously computers. 2/42/1. This was the other half of Mr. J's classes, so...
    • Computer science: 0/42/0
    • CAD (computer aided drafting): 1/0/0
    • BioAnimaker: 0/0/1
    • The numbers don't add up? Yeah, the computer literacy class at the continuation high school is that missing number. I should probably add it as a class under computers. I probably will next year. I added in classes as I encountered them for the first time (see BioAnimaker above). 
  • Art: 5/2/1. I list "art" as the traditional drawing class, but also under this umbrella are
  • Success seminar: 0/1/1
  • AVID: 0/1/0
  • Credit recovery: 0/4/0
  • Spanish: 2/0/0
  • French: 0/0/1
  • Drama: 0/1/0
  • Athletics: 0/1/0
  • Band: 1/0/0
  • ASB: 0/0/1

It's really odd to see so few electives for me. But that's because of those long term assignments. I spent so much time there that I didn't get a chance to hit many of the other classes I usually get to see. That's the trade off. 

That's it for another year of subbing. Who knows what next year will bring?

Previous years' stats:

Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Presumed Guilty

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 falsely accused of a crime, but there was nothing you could do to clear your name? (People who know you believe you did it. Every piece of evidence you can find points to you. Anyone who could help you either won't or is out of your reach.) 

Today's "what if?" brought to you by Renegade Nell

Monday, June 17, 2024

Glaring and Sniffling

My first full week of summer vacation saw me doing not much of anything save resting. This cold (or whatever it is) that I've had since Memorial Day weekend decided now was the time to go big, and I've been dripping and stuffy and just generally miserable all week.

I did not do any yarn-y projects.

The only thing I did manage was to mark out where the corners on this thing will be:

The teal markers are for the corners. (The ones on the bottom ended up under the piece when I took the picture.) The peach markers are for the middles of sides. (This is important as the corners get treble crochets while the middles get single crochets or slip stitches.) 

And as I now have niece's measurements, I can get going in earnest. Once this cold blows over. Any day now...

Eye sweater previous posts:

Friday, June 14, 2024

Last One Out

When I left school on the penultimate day, I assumed I was done for the year. I went to bed that night thinking about how I was going to begin my summer break. But then, at about 10:30 PM, I got an alert.

The assignment was for the alternative education center. The one school that did not have a minimum day. And all the behavior problems from the students. Did I really want to work the last day of school?

I really did want to work the last day of school.

For a while that morning, we wondered if we'd have any students. School started at 8:30 AM. The first student showed up closer to 8:35. And then others trickled in. In all, five students showed up. (Total enrollment is something like seven or eight, so that was pretty good turnout for them.) 

Both of my students for first period were absent, so when second period started, I went in search of my class. Mr. O, the math and science teacher, had all five, and he was showing a movie. So, I joined Mr. T and Mr. O and we watched the end of the movie. (The students were more interested in their phones, which they're normally not allowed to have, but last day and all.)

I should mention that Mr. B hadn't left me any lesson plans, and Mr. T said the teachers had all turned in their grades the previous day. So, the kiddos truly had no work. (One of Mr. B's children was promoting, so of course he wanted to attend the ceremony.) 

I had two students for third period. Jensen and Jensen. Yup, two boys have the same name. Jensen C. I've mentioned many times before. Jensen T. hasn't made the blog before as he's not an issue. Jensen C. objected to me and tried everything he could to not be in my class (because, apparently, I'm "boring"). So, Jensen C. called his mom to come pick him up early. She refused. He called his dad. Apparently he agreed, as Jensen left shortly thereafter.

I had two students in fourth period. I was informed that Ronny would continue to sleep in Mr. O's class. (Ronny is not a nice kid. He uses words as a weapon, and I find it easier to not antagonize him. Just asking him nicely to do something can be met with a cutting remark.) 

The second student needed to ask another teacher a "quick question". After five minutes I went to retrieve him only to find him playing a game (Mysterium) with Mr. T, security, and the other three students. 

Mr. T: "You told me you asked her."

I don't know why he didn't ask me. I would have said yes. 

After lunch, I was supposed to have the majority of the students in class. I went to retrieve them. I learned that Ronny had gone home, so we were down to three students. Two of them were "playing with" the chickens.

(They did a thing where they got fertilized eggs and left them in a warmer. Since their hatching, the students have been "caring for" these chickens.)

As Mr. C (security) was cleaning up the game, Mr. T said that they were going to play Sequence. Did I want to join?

Of course I wanted to join.

Mr. C and Jensen T. were one team. Mr. T and I were the other. Jensen was good. They beat us the first two games. Mr. T and I pulled out the second two. They won the fifth. We won the sixth. 

And that was the end of the day.

At some point during the game, the principal had the other boys help her gather the chickens (there were five) and take them to her car. She was taking them to their new home. Before this, all the instructional aides had left for the day. The school's secretary left for the day. (They left about lunch time.) 

So, at the end of the day, there were three students and three adults left on campus. Mr. C noted that there were three cars in the parking lot.

And we were the only school still in session.

Yup, I was definitely the last sub standing. 

It's officially summer vacation. Next week I'll do my annual stats post. And then it's summer schedule on the blog. Happy summer.

Thursday, June 13, 2024

Letter to Myself

It was the penultimate day of school. (Yes, this is the same day as I wrote about yesterday.) I was covering a special ed teacher who co-teaches. 

For second and fourth periods, I was co-teaching a seventh grade English class. 

It was finals day, but Ms. Q was not giving a final. (One girl was disappointed that she didn't get to present her presentation. No one else in the class was upset at not having to do a presentation in front of the class.) She had a different activity for them.

The students were to write a letter to their future selves. 

Upon completion, we sealed up the letter in front of them (without reading it), and Ms. Q set it aside to return to them as they graduate high school in five years (that would be 2029). 

"But I don't want to write a letter to myself."

"I won't be here as a senior."

"I won't care what I have to say."

"How will you get this to me?"

We insisted, and they relented. Some ended up writing quite a lot. And some... Well, seventh graders.

It was such an interesting assignment. I've done something similar with a group at the beginning of the school year where they'd get the letter at the end. I don't think I've seen one where the teacher planned to hold onto the letters and then give them to the students' senior English teachers in five years. 

I'd be curious to be a fly on the wall when the students get these letters later. They whined about it now, but I bet many of them will love this when those letters find them again. 

They really don't realize how the time will fly. Or how much they will have forgotten. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that they completely forget about these letters. 

Wouldn't you love to find a letter from your seventh grade self? (Or not. It may have been a difficult year, depending.)

Wednesday, June 12, 2024

An Eighth Grade Playlist

It was the penultimate day of school, and I had caught a gig covering a special ed co-teacher. Her sixth period class was eighth grade English.

The eighth graders were officially done. All that was left were the end of year activities. On this day it was a trip to a water park. (The general ed teacher was out too; she was chaperoning the water park trip.) So, any eighth graders left behind...

Well, they had excuses for not going. It was too expensive. (Likely true.) They had a season pass to a water park, so why go with the school? (Also likely true.) They had a doctor appointment that day. (The student was wearing a knee brace, so likely true.) 

Also likely true: they did not qualify to go. To qualify, they had to be "promoting" (passing GPA, etc), no recent behavioral infractions, and no excessive absences. 

Because of this, the students in class were few. And they were a bit wound up. They had no assignments (they're done for the year), so they had free time. Once the initial flurry of activity subsided, most of them were on their phones and they settled to pretty mellow.

One girl went to the class TV and changed the music that was playing. It was some rap something that didn't sound very school-appropriate, but I didn't have a chance to chide her on it. She changed the music, and then she left to go hang out in a different class. (This was okay per the teacher.) 

So, I looked at the remaining students and asked if that was the music they wanted on. It was not, so they changed it...

And I was floored by their choice. They left this artist on for the rest of the period. 

Seriously, take a listen. I commented that the music sounded like it was out of the '40s. What decade does it sound like to you? (And if you're intrigued, check her out on YouTube. She's got dozens of songs all in a similar vein.)

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

No (Legal) Cure

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 down with a cold for the past couple weeks...

What if you got sick, but the only treatment for it was illegal?

(I kind of cribbed this one from Star Trek: Picard. While it wasn't a major plot point, it was an important detail in season 1. Then again, it was kind of critical.) 

Monday, June 10, 2024

Envisioning the Next Step

Niece's birthday is this Thursday. Her sweater will not be done in time. (Even if I did manage to finish it, I then have to mail it, so...)

But progress has been made.

After consulting the example photo: 

(I have to keep reminding myself that my version is not going to look like this as I'm doing a lot of guessing. But it's frustrating all the same.) 

I figure now is the time to square the circle. And hopefully she'll get me her measurements soon, as I think it's about as wide as it'll need to be. I've made progress, anyway.

And until I have measurements, I can catch the back up to the front.

Eye sweater previous posts:

Friday, June 7, 2024

Not a Freshman, Not a Senior

I've had Marcellus in various classes over the years. He was in Mr. J's fourth period computer science class.

I had been in the class a couple days (so, this was back in March) when something about freshmen came up. There were a couple freshmen in this class, and for some reason I thought Marcellus was one of them. (Which makes no sense as I had had him in "various classes over the years".) Although, to be fair, he is short, so...

When I said something along those lines, Marcellus corrected me, informing me that he was a senior. I apologized for my mistake, and I verified his grade level in the attendance software. 

Marcellus was lying. He was a junior. 

I did not call him on this, however. It was unimportant. It wouldn't even make the blog, except...

Thursday. Legacy day.

The seniors had "checked out". Officially. Their grades were finalized, and they were beginning their senior activities. The first one was them going back to visit their elementary schools wearing their caps and gowns, letting the kiddos there know that one day they too would be in the seniors' shoes. 

For the freshmen, sophomores, and juniors, class was as normal. As fourth period had eleven seniors, those students were absent (for school business) while the rest of the students were there.

As I started taking roll, I mentioned that there were a lot of absences. The students remarked that the seniors were gone. (I knew this. There were more students missing than would be accounted for by the missing seniors. It turned out that several students were just late to class.) 

This was when the other students "noticed" Marcellus. 

"Wait. Aren't you a senior? You're supposed to be gone..."

At which point Marcellus sputtered and flailed for some excuse. 

They were joking, of course. They had to know Marcellus wasn't a senior. But apparently it's been an ongoing bit that Marcellus claimed to be a senior, so him still being at school had to put an end to the game. 

At least next year Marcellus won't by lying. And hopefully I'll remember that even though he's short, he's not a freshman.

Thursday, June 6, 2024

Working the Study Guide

Thursday. Second period math.

Mr. J wasn't giving a cumulative final. Their final test was to be the last chapter test of the school year. And to prepare for that test, Mr. J had left a study guide. 

(Ms. L, the co-teacher of the other math classes, showed me a copy of their test. The study guide was a problem for problem duplicate, the only difference being the numbers used in the problems.) 

I gave them the study guide. And I prefaced the period with, "You know how you get the test, you look at it, and you go blank? And then you tell me you don't know what to do? And I tell you I can't help you? Today, I can help you."

Many of the students took advantage of this help. 

They also were able to utilize their notes. They had a formula sheet that they could use on the test, and they were making notes on that. So, they were making good use of their time.

As was Ava

Ava was on it. She was working through those problems. Asking questions. All of it.

At the end of the period, Ava asked if she could come back during lunch for help with the last bit of the study guide. 

Part of me snarled. This girl... She could be little miss attitude so much of the time. But when she wanted something, she was as sweet as could be. 

I kept the snarl inside, though. Because I'm the adult. 

Ava did return at lunch. I did help her with the final three problems. And she did seem to understand what she was doing.

I really do hope she does well on the test. Her grade is still hovering between D and F. She could (barely) pass the class. That's on her. I won't deliberately tank her chances.

(When I'm grading things, I don't notice the names on the papers. Seriously. And if I do notice, I won't mark something off for students I don't get along with. If they give me the right answer, or even if they get in the ballpark, I will give them the score they earned.)

Wednesday, June 5, 2024

The Mad Scramble

It was Tuesday of the penultimate week of school, and I was back in Mr. J's class.

This was not a surprise. When I took the long term assignment, I was booked for the initial two months, and then these last four days of May. Before leaving the class, on the transition day, I asked Mr. J about it. He confirmed he was taking this week off. (Something about his wife going back to work. He didn't give much detail, and I didn't ask for specifics.)

In anticipation of this reprise, I didn't return the classroom key nor did I return the tablet I checked out for use in the class. I left it on campus, in a cabinet in Mr. J's classroom. (Technically I could have taken it home as it was checked out to me, but I felt more comfortable leaving school tech at school.) 

Before the weekend, Mr. J had emailed me the lesson plans. I went through and printed out the pages I'd need. I perused the lesson just so I was ready. 

On Tuesday, I made sure to leave a bit early so I could retrieve my borrowed tech and set up for the day. (While on the long-term, I tended to leave things ready for the next day as I tend not to be all that alert first thing in the morning.) 

Everything went according to plan. I got checked in, got into the classroom, set up my tablet, and got things ready to go. 

Only, there was a small problem.

The pages I had printed were not the pages containing the notes the students needed. 

Mr. J had sent me a copy of the students' notes. But the copy he gave them and the copy he gave me were not the same. 

(In my copy, pages 15 & 16 were notes on finding the area of regular shapes. In the students' copy, pages 15 & 16 were notes on finding the volume of prisms.) 


I knew there was going to be some hiccup. I'm fortunate that it wasn't a bigger deal.

As luck would have it, I had previewed their online assignment and found the pages that contained those notes. I printed those as well. And it turned out those were the notes I did need. 

Once I figured out where the glitch was, things went smoothly. I got through their notes, and they got a chance to work on their last new assignment for the school year. 

The next class period they would get the study guide for their final test. (The teacher isn't giving a final. The last chapter test is the last test for the class.) 

The school year is almost done. Well, actually, by the time you read this, it will be done. Today, June 5th, is the last day of school (although I'm always a week behind on the blog, so this week I'll continue to have subbing stories). 

Tuesday, June 4, 2024


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 insurance companies weren't run for profit? (That is, what if what was paid in that wasn't used to meet claims or pay personnel was set aside for other years or paid back to the customers as dividends?)

Monday, June 3, 2024

Second Sight

I did not make much progress on the eye sweater this week. I came down with a cold. Plus, I had a migraine for a couple days, too. Resting was more of a priority.

I did manage a little something, though. A second eye.

Why? The sweater has a front and a back...

Considering all the trouble I had with the first eye, and knowing that I'd have to do it a second time, I decided it would make sense to do both at roughly the same time. Since I'm changing colors throughout, I didn't have to have a second skein of any of the yarn. 

And, actually, I can do both front and back roughly concurrently, so they should both look similar. I don't know if that'll make things go faster, but it'll feel like it went faster. (Some knitters will knit two socks or two mittens as the same time for similar reasons.) 

Hopefully I'll make more progress this week. Ideally this cold will be gone. And it's the last week of school. I only have one day scheduled, so I might not have all that much work to do, which means more time for crochet. 

But saying such things has a way of making them not happen, so we'll see how things go.

Eye sweater previous posts: