Friday, December 15, 2017

Library Famous

I was back in Ms. B's special ed class. It was Friday, but the lesson plans were from Tuesday. And she had taken her laptop computer with her.

(Later I learned that she was supposed to be out for a one-day training, but she had subsequently come down with the flu. The word "hospitalized" was bandied about.)

From my previous sojourns in her class, I pretty much knew what the drill was. We'd be fine. But I pondered the lack of computer.

What did I need the computer for? To take roll. That's no biggie, as I could just as easily input the roll via my phone. But then there was 5th period and their routine of watching CNN 10. Which we couldn't do via my phone.

I hemmed and hawed. Looked at the clock. I had time.

At the beginning of the school year, I learned that subs can check out Chromebooks from the school library. Some classrooms have no computer. Since we subs need to take roll via the online system, we actually need computer access during the day. This is the solution.

How many classrooms have no computer? Since the beginning of the school year, I've needed to check out a Chromebook three times, including this day. So, it's not a huge issue.

(Every teacher is issued a laptop by the school. Understandably, they don't always leave it in the classroom when they are not there.)

I headed into the library.

I should mention I was wearing a pair of my bauble earrings. (This is so common that normally it wouldn't merit a mention.) Mr. E, the school's librarian, took one look at me, declared me "festive", and insisted that a picture of me must be posted on their Christmas display. (They had a "fireplace" and "tree" built out of math textbooks.)

I blame the early morning. I allowed this.

At the end of the day when I returned the Chromebook, Mr. E informed me that my photo was on the display. I did not look. I took his word for it.

So, I guess students who venture into the library... Nah. No one pays attention to things like that. Do they?

(Having the Chromebook proved very useful several times during the day, not only to watch CNN 10. I'm glad I made the trip.)

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Instead of Working

On Tuesday (and Wednesday and Thursday) I was back at the continuation high school. English class. They had several assignments online.

(The entire English department in the district has switched over to this textbook/online system. Imagine an interactive textbook. That's kind of what it's like.)

They were supposed to be working on prelim stuff for "Song of Myself". And many of them were on task. The room was fairly quiet.

But then I noticed that several of them were focused on one student's computer. And they were laughing. So, clearly they weren't on task. They were watching something.

I didn't want to investigate. What were they watching now? Popular time killers include soccer games, fights, video games, and just random stupidness.

I meandered over to stand where I could see what they were all reacting to. (I can also make it clear I'm Going Over to Investigate, and in that case they stop whatever it is pretty quickly and pretend they were on task all along. Depending on what outcome I want--whether I want to know what they were watching or whether I just want them to get on task--determines how I approach.)

I was not expecting what I found...

I'm not sure if I'm annoyed or impressed. I mean, obviously I would have rather found them watching the introductory video for "Song of Myself" (the assignment). But as far as what could have been entertaining them, this is not bad.

I think they really liked the egg crate device holder.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

The Snitch

Monday I was back at the continuation high school. Math class.

They do all their work on computers, so my main job is to monitor them and make sure they're on task. (I also occasionally am called on to assist with problems that they're having difficulty with.) There is a computer program to help with this, and on this day I found that more of them were off task than on.

Not surprising. Annoying. So, I kept a list of those who were off task.

For some reason, they think they're sneaky by keeping their video tab small. Nope. I totally see that and note it.

In one class, a student decided to apply for a job online. While I applaud his determination, job applications are best filled out when one is not in math class (when one should be doing math). I told him something of the sort.

"But I need a job. I don't need math."

I should mention that he was applying to work in a retail environment.

I pointed out that math has some bearing on selling things. He argued that he didn't really need algebra.

Perhaps. Perhaps not. We did the usual argument. He refused to get back to work. I walked away (because belaboring the argument doesn't help). And, of course, I noted the exchange in my note to the teacher.

The next day I was back at the continuation high school but in a different class. Naturally, the job seeker was my classes this day, too.

He had a bone to pick with me. Apparently, his math teacher wasn't pleased that he was applying for work instead of doing his math.

"I thought we were chill. Why'd you have to snitch on me?"

I'm not sure what part of our conversation led him to believe that I was okay with him not being on task. Or why he'd think I wouldn't report what did and did not get done in class.

Deep sigh. Just another day dealing with teenagers.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

A Whole New World

At the heart of much speculative fiction (and fiction in general) is a question. What if? On Tuesdays I like to throw one out there and see what you make of it. Do with it as you please. If a for-instance is not specified, feel free to interpret that instance as you wish. And if you find this becomes a novel-length answer, I'd appreciate a thank you in the acknowledgements. 😉

If you've been watching Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency (the second season has been airing on BBC America for the past nine weeks), you'll know exactly where this question came from.

What if your dreams created a whole new world/realm? Would you want to live there?

Monday, December 11, 2017

Mini Santa Hat Headband

As of "press time" I had not completed the project with the wire covered in knitting (crochet?). I got sidetracked...

It's a mini Santa hat on a headband!

I saw a kiddo wearing one a year (two years?) ago, and it's been sitting on my "knitting to-do list" since then. I noticed it the other day, and I realized I had all the pieces I needed. I repurposed the white headband I'd already made (the kitty ears came off easily), and I found a mini Santa hat pattern on Pinterest.

Et voila!

In case any knitters want to take a stab at this, I'm including all the links you'll need:

The headband pattern I posted this past February.

The mini Santa hat pattern is here. I used Caron's Simply Soft yarn (I had this on hand already) on size 6 double pointed needles. (I ended up with a gauge of 6 sts per inch.) My hat ended up bigger than the pattern intended, but it was about the size I wanted.

I can't find the link for the "poof" on the tip of the top. I used Lion Brand Fun Fur and made a knitted bead. (If I can track down the pattern I used, I'll edit this post and include the link.) However, the hat pattern has a "pom pom" part, or you can improvise something different.


Once the headband and hat were complete, I put a little fiberfill into the hat (just enough to fill the bottom half lightly), and I grafted the hat to the headband using white yarn. (It was the same yarn I used for both the brim of the hat and the cover of the headband.)

Then I folded the hat so it had that jaunty angle, and I tacked the top to the middle.

This thing is too much fun. If you make one, would you please tag me if you post it to Instagram, Twitter, or Ravelry? I'm @ZiziRho. I would love to see other people's interpretations of these.

Friday, December 8, 2017

The Easy Way

"Look at this. We have to write all this down. It's too much work. I'm going to drop out."

10th grade world history. The assignment the boy was referring to was something about PowerPoint notes. It was two full pages long (or front and back of one page). In the grand scheme of things, it wasn't huge.

However, it was more than the boy wanted to do.

His friend, sitting next to him, concurred.

"You know [I forget who he named] dropped out, and look at him now."

I responded much as you'd expect. The gist was "stay in school". When I pointed out that most dropouts don't end up famous (or even comfortable), the boys responded with, "You don't think I can make it?"

Deep sigh.


They explained their plans. They want to be YouTube famous. (I did point out that they could be in school and make YouTube videos on the side. I did point out that becoming YouTube famous wasn't a sure thing and/or all that easy. You can imagine how they responded to that.)

Ah well. It's better than planning on becoming a drug dealer.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Gross Anatomy

Anatomy and Physiology. They were working on a review for their Integumentary System unit. (Yeah, I have no idea what that means, either.)

They had laptops "for reference" as well as their textbooks. And as I do, I walked the room and specifically looked at computer screens to make sure they were not watching a soccer match, a fight, or playing that pool game that they all seem to be on about these days.

I didn't see much of that. However, what I did see was kind of disturbing. And gross. And completely on task.

Part of their assignment was to look up various skin ailments. And illustrate them.

Some were drawing. Others had printed pictures and were cutting and gluing them down to their papers. And the images...

I'm squeamish. I found it best if I didn't look too closely.

At least they were on task. And it was pretty easy to spot those that weren't. I could actually look at what they were doing.