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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Not My Worst Tuesday…

G6

Same class, 2nd day went much better than yesterday. I had an advance look at today’s lesson plan before I left yesterday afternoon. It made it much easier to go over the upcoming assignments and re-organize the books and paper piles in the order I needed to use them.

Remember, yesterday, when I said: “…ONE kid had a bit too much ‘sassy mouth’ but I can’t really blame him for the whole day?”

Well today he had to go away for a while for RSP, ELD, ADD, ATT, or some such other acronym that hopefully meant “Attitude Adjustment in Class”. Once he was gone, the rest of the class was GREAT! When he came back, I could immediately see the difference in the entire class attitude.

This kid will be moving on to middle school in a few months. I pity then next substitute that has to deal with him

(This is why I don't do middle school...)

Monday, January 28, 2008

Not My Best Monday…

G6

I don’t think I did my best work today.

I had a four page, handwritten lesson plan, all the books in a pile and the handout work in the single folder marked “Monday”.

Everything I needed was there.

Sure the lesson plan was somewhat disorganized as it had some cross outs, arrows re-arranging the times at which I was supposed to do present material. A few, somewhat, cryptic shorthand notes about what she wanted done was cleared up at the end of the day when I reread the plan after finding some material I hadn’t used on the desk.

I collected a quiz instead of having the kids correct each others paper because I didn’t find the answer key in sub folder until after class. (It was in the folder, I just missed it).

The kids weren’t the problem. A little chatty, but not enough that I couldn’t handle them. I DID have ONE kid that had a bit too much “sassy mouth” but I can’t really blame him for the whole day.

I just wasn’t on the ball today.

At least it’s over! We survived and no one got injured, lost or hysterically sick.

I get to try again in this class – tomorrow!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Light Payday for January…

G3

Friday was the last day of the pay period for the month of January. I was fortunate to pick up two days in the same 3rd grade class this last week. I say “fortunate” because it tripled my paycheck for the month.

For the entire month, I picked up only three classes subbing. Not quite enough to cover the medical insurance payment for January.

Oh, that’s another other bit of good news for us. We finally have medical insurance again as of Jan/1!

After dumping our previous “we deny all claims” carrier, Crap Assed National, Inc., we reapplied to the big “Blue” carriers. We were subsequently “declined” by Blue Cross and ignored for a few months by Blue Shield.

We then applied and were successfully accepted by Kaiser Permanente. (…Blue Shield finally responded a month later, but by then it was too late to consider them.)

But, back to class:

Third graders are great! They still like school and want to do work. They still tattle a little but they are gradually moving out of that phase.

They are a lot of fun to be around, even if I have to confiscate the occasional improvised blow gun made from a ballpoint pen sleeve and pen cartridge.

“Blow gun” duly noted and taped to the substitute teacher “End of Day” report…

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

No Touchin' Parts...

G6

Half of January has slipped by without any calls. So I took this morning’s 06:30am call for a 6th grade assignment.

Wait, I have to take that back. I did get three calls from teachers last week but they were for classes in mid-February so I can’t count those for the January payday.

I’ve been at this school, maybe three times since I started subbing three years ago. It’s in a not so great area of town so I knew I might be in for a rough day.

There was a school “Expectations Assembly” listed for 08:45am and a two hour movie for the afternoon. There wasn’t much teachable instruction listed on the lesson plan so my job today is mainly crowd control.

08:45am: I had the troop of 30 kids walk over to the cafeteria only to be told that the upper grade assembly was at 09:15am, so back to class.

09:15am: We’re back at the cafeteria and I can see the lower grade assembly is still in progress. I’m then instructed to return to the classroom and come back at 09:30am. I also notice that we’re the only upper grade class to show up at 09:15am so I’m looking a little incompetent not knowing when and where I’m supposed to be today.

09:30am: I’m tempted to wait in the classroom until someone calls but, instead, I dutifully march them over the third time today and walk into a totally empty cafeteria.

The boys immediately start baseball sliding across the floors while I’m trying to decide if I should take them back to class, for the third time today or wait a few to see if the other classes start to show.

Fortunately, another class showed up a few minutes later followed by the rest of the 4th, 5th and 6th graders.

The principal’s “Expectations Assembly” is basically all the rules listed in the student handbook they all get at the beginning of the year.

It’s the same “Expectations Assembly” the principal does twice each year, every year.

Some of the highlights:

1) How to use the bathroom:

  • Pee and crap in the toilet, not on the seat or floor.
  • Flush.
  • Wash your hands.

2) Attendance

  • Show up every day
  • Show up on time.
  • Make sure your parents pick you up on time.
  • No cuttin’ school.

3) Behavior

  • No touchin’ each other's private parts.
  • No teachers touchin’ your private parts (report immediately)
  • No fightin’
  • No promotin’ fightin’
  • No sex, gay or swearin’talk.
  • No guns, knives or weapons (simulated or real)
  • No taggin’ (graffiti)
  • No running, no tag or chase games
  • No sharing food.

3) Dress Code

  • No hoodies (both - hats)
  • No saggin’ (boys - pants)
  • No wheelies (both – shoes w/wheels)
  • No hooker wear (girls – clothing tops, bottoms or high heels)

Then in a bizarre switch of topics to end the assembly, the principal has volunteers from each of the classes come up and tell the group which college they will be attending once they graduate H.S.

I heard Stanford, Santa Clara University, San Diego, San Jose State, Harvard and Yale (or maybe it was "jail") all mentioned.


Friday, January 11, 2008

Hopeful Alzheimer’s Treatment...

This comes several years too late for my Mom but if it's legit, this is BIG news...

Reversal Of Alzheimer's Symptoms Within Minutes In Human Study

“It is unprecedented that we can see cognitive and behavioral improvement in a patient with established dementia within minutes of therapeutic intervention,” said Griffin.

“It is imperative that the medical and scientific communities immediately undertake to further investigate and characterize the physiologic mechanisms involved. This gives all of us in Alzheimer’s research a tremendous new clue about new avenues of research, which is so exciting and so needed in the field of Alzheimer’s. Even though this report predominantly discusses a single patient, it is of significant scientific interest because of the potential insight it may give into the processes involved in the brain dysfunction of Alzheimer’s.”

While the article discusses one patient, many other patients with mild to severe Alzheimer’s received the treatment and all have shown sustained and marked improvement.

From: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0109091102.htm

Understanding Math Is More Important Than the Correct Answer...

Thomas Andrew (Tom) Lehrer (born April 9, 1928) is an American singer-songwriter, satirist, pianist, and mathematician. The guy lip syncing this bit isn't but adds visual comedic value.

FYI: Math base "8" was (is?) used in computer programming in the old days (1980's) when computers were programmed in binary, octal and hexadecimal assembly language.

If you get the following joke, then you know what I'm talking about:

"There are 10 kinds of people in the world. Those who understand binary and those who don't..."



Thursday, January 10, 2008

John Paul For President?

I'm so confused. The choices don't seem clear. Are they sincere or just the mud slinging pond scum they appear to be? Does my vote even count since I don't live in Iowa, Wyoming or New Hampshire? (I live in California...)

So, like all lackadaisical, lazy members of the Great Online Society, I turned to the WorldWideWackyNet to tell me who I should vote for in the next election.

Surprise! It's a tie between John McCain and Ron Paul?
I guess I'll just split the difference do a write in vote for Mr. John Paul for President...

Go ahead. Give it a go and try it out here -> Select a Candidate: President

If you care to share, use the comment section post your "choice" and your state/country of residence.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Highlite of the CES-2008 Show...

As as you might have noticed, I haven't been too active with the blogging lately.

Even though Christmas break has ended, the calls haven't started yet. So, I'm at home enjoying time with the granddaughter (2 1/2) while my son and DIL are off to Las Vegas to attend the CES-2008 show.

I'm not sure they got to attend the Bill Gates final keynote address, but in case they missed it, here is a Bill Gates tribute video!

Almost as funny as some of those PC/Apple commercials...


Video: Bill Gates Last Day CES Clip