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Thursday, June 29, 2006

Human Sign...

I always wondered about that guy on the corner.

What qualifications should you list on the resume' ? The pay is better than I thought it would be but I'm not sure if I have enough "enthuasium" for the job.

CraigsList part time employment ad for:

Human Sign
"...Have some fun and make some money on weekends downtown San Jose off of Julian and second street! We need dependable young men or women to direct potential buyers in to our new home development by using "enthuasium" and personality while displaying our signs. Hardworking people only need apply. " $15 per hour 11-4 on Sat/Sun.

But I might be feeling more
"enthuasium" for this one:

New Chocolate Store Hiring
"A chocolate connoisseur/lover a plus..."

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Transplant surgeons are exempt...

After, yet again, being stuck in the fast lane driving behind "rain man" on a cell phone, I thought I'd rant about cell phone usage in all the wrong places.

But, this guy pretty much covers it all:

...and yes, The Waiter and I are the only two people left in the world without a cell phone.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Graphical Blog...

Posted by Picasa

This is the graphical representation of my blog. Looks like some kind of wierd virus doesn't it?

Want to see what your website looks like? Go here and try it out...

What do the colors mean?
blue: for links (the A tag)
red: for tables (TABLE, TR and TD tags)
green: for the DIV tag
violet: for images (the IMG tag)
yellow: for forms (FORM, INPUT, TEXTAREA, SELECT and OPTION tags)
orange: for linebreaks and blockquotes (BR, P, and BLOCKQUOTE tags)
black: the HTML tag, the root node
gray: all other tags

Friday, June 23, 2006

By Executive Order...

Summer school break means a few off topic posts of interest.

Since the recent courts seemed to be on the side of developers and tax greedy local governments this is hopefully GREAT news for property owners everywhere.

"...It is the policy of the United States to protect the rights of Americans to their private property, including by limiting the taking of private property by the Federal Government to situations in which the taking is for public use, with just compensation, and for the purpose of benefiting the general public and not merely for the purpose of advancing the economic interest of private parties to be given ownership or use of the property taken..."

What this means is: "By executive order of the president of the United States, you can't take my house to build a casino to increase tax revenue."

If you haven't been following the news and court rulings lately, this was where some local and state governments were headed with the "eminent domain" issue.

Unfortunately this order only applies to the Federal government. Hopefully it will migrate down to the state and local governments as well.

(Thanks Darren for finding this one...)

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Bad Boss? Might be worth a free vacation!...

Summer vacation here. Just waiting for the end of the month to collect my last two checks from the school districts. Blogging about the classroom and school experiences will be lean for the next month or so.

For those of you still working for a living, you might want to check the following. It might be worth a free vacation. The hook is that you have to have a REAL sucky job with a real SOB boss.

P.S. Suggest you only "read" the storys unless you want to start getting spam mail from the AFL/CIO

Saturday, June 17, 2006

The Day I Discovered Electricity...

Over on Fred’s World, he posted about his "Life's Most Embarrassing Moments...".

I even contributed my account of when I had my old VW bug a long time ago. I had a flash thought: "I don't know how many turns lock to lock the steering is. Let's see!"...momentarily forgetting that I was driving 15mph down a residential street at the time.

Fortunately I survived…

This reminded me that not all the important learning occurs in the classroom. If you can survive all the extra curricular life experience learning to reach a certain age, you might be able write about it and hopefully spare others the possibility of avoiding similar “embarrassing moments”.

Now for the dumb things involving electricity. I’m pretty sure this is a “guy thing” but I could be wrong.

A few of us guys were sitting around talking about “nothing” when the topic veered toward the topic of stupid things we did involving electricity. Amazingly we all had a memory our first “shocking” discovery of electricity.

My first “real” discovery of electricity was when I was old enough to know better. I distinctly remember doing some boring homework in my bedroom while fiddling with a chain of paper clips.

Now I’m not sure what the actual thought process was so I don’t remember anything like “possible consequences” coming to mind when I stuck the ends of the paper clip chain into the wall outlet to see if it would glow like a light bulb or something equally stupid.

My next conscious thought, while looking at the blackened plastic outlet cover and my black stained thumbnails holding paper clip shrapnel shards, was not “Wasn’t very smart, was it?” it was more “My parents are gonna KILL me if they find out!”

Fortunately I survived…

But the best story of the group, though, had us choking with laughter. It involved one of those lantern sized batteries for starting model airplanes, some wired alligator clips and his newly installed dental braces. I can still picture his description of “dancing” while trying to disconnect the dangling 2lb battery from his mouth.

Fortunately he survived…

So if I was asked to offer anyone some sage advice, it might be this:
“Consider the possible consequences before acting and you just might survive”

Want to tell your “discovery of electricity” story?
The comments section is open.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Final Tally: 2005-2006.

The 2005-06 school year is complete as of noon today. As expected there were no substitute assignment calls these last three days.

The final tally working for two school districts this year is…

EG – 52 full days, 9 half days
OG – 20 full days, 5 half days

Making for a total of….less see….add the 2 and 0…carry…multiply by πrr (because I can't figure out how to get blogger to do "squared") …calculate the mean value…add in the depreciation discount…AND

We have a grand total of 79 full days in the classroom this year.

Here's how some other subs did this year:

Time for recess!

Friday, June 09, 2006

Three Biggest Lies...


Today didn’t start well.

The recorded voice assignment from the teacher listed it as:
3rd grade class at ABC Elementary school for 08:35am to 03:35pm

The recorded information assignment from the district listed it as:
2nd grade class at XYZ Elementary school for 08:15am to 03:15pm

I listened to the recording three times before accepting it. This is the last week before the summer vacation and it might be the last subbing day until August. I just had to figure out where, what and when to do it.

Since I hadn’t subbed at ABC school before, I checked the district map for the location of ABC and discovered that ABC school has been closed since 2003.

Arriving at XYZ elementary at 08:15am, I picked up the attendance sheet, everything else in the teachers box and got the room key for my 2nd grade class.

(District info batting 1.000, teacher info batting 0.000)

The long walk out to the classroom proved fruitless because the office gave me the wrong room key.

After a round trip back to the office and with the right key, I finally gained access to the room and found today’s lesson plan.

The first thing I notice is that there are no books, videos, worksheets to accompany said lesson plan on the desk. A quick look doesn’t reveal any obvious, alternate hiding place of materials I’m supposed to use today.

Item 1: Get the attendance and lunch tickets from my box. (Didn’t notice any “lunch tickets”)
Item 2: Check the math homework. The kids know which one.
Item 3: Give the spelling test. The kids have the list.
Item 4: Math - Do Excel-127. The kids know where it is.

Blessed is the teacher who has a complete lesson plan AND all books, materials to use for the day in plain sight with pages marked.

I trudge back to the office (my 2nd trip in less than 10 minutes) to search for the missing “lunch tickets”. Tickets are found in another teacher’s box just ABOVE hers.

As I’m returning to the classroom, for the second time, I’m reminded of the "The Three Biggest Lies" as it applies it to teacher lesson plans.

1. This is a great class, you just have to be firm
2. The kids know where it is.
-- and --
3. The kids know what to do.

What I usually find is:
1. If it was a “great class”, I wouldn’t have to be “firm”.
2. The kids may know where it usually is, but today it isn’t going to be there.
3. No, they don’t know what to do. If they did, they wouldn’t keep asking me “What do we do we do now?”

As a result, today we discover that:

1. There is confusion about which math homework they were supposed to do. It seems some of the kids had to do makeup work as well as the regular homework.
2. The kids had three different lists of spelling words.
-- and –
3. The kids have to search for the math Excel-127 sheets because they don’t seem to be in the right box.

To top off the day, the teachers lounge soda machine took my money only to deliver a sliced, punctured and foaming Diet Pepsi to the retrieval tray.


Thursday, June 08, 2006

Summer School...


Spotted on the bulletin board:
Summer School Substitutes needed! Pay rate: $95/day! Teachers apply in the office.

Translation: “Regular subs need not apply...”

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Resignation Letter...

No! Not mine but this teacher has a few words to say on her way out about---

"...I know that you are aware that he is tracking his female students menstrual cycles on a sheet of paper at his podium because I have told you this."

"...he also laughed along side some male students as they stood behind a female teacher making comments like "This is the best view around!" and "Booty, booty, booty, booty, rockin' everywhere!"

" are now planning to write him a "shining recommendation" though you aren't allowing him back here"

Soft Touch vice-principal:
"...gets wasted, and tries to sleep with the coaches"

"...She doesn't believe that our kids are capable of much, including the ability to not hit and scream at teachers"

Read the whole letter at First Year Teacher ->

Friday, June 02, 2006

Tag Team Tattle Tales...


I usually like the 3rd to 5th grade levels. The kids are usually excited to be in school and usually seem to like to learn new stuff.

Maybe not so much at the end of the year.

Today’s 4th grade lesson plan:

  • Play the DVD video “Holes” or “The Incredibles”
  • Lunch
  • Math: Let them select and do any number of the fun “work sheets”.
  • Silent Reading
  • Make Father’s Day Certificates for Monday
  • PE: Free play (45 minutes)
  • Dismiss:

Whether it is the end of the school year or there is nothing more they have to cover or a teacher’s fear that the substitute teacher will “teach it wrong” or the lack of time to plan an actual academic lesson for the day, these kids had nothing substantial to learn or accomplish today.

There was no reason for these kids to be in school today except maybe the lack of daycare while the parents work.

My job today was to show up as the legally required adult while the kids were in a school building.

In essence, I’m the baby sitter.

Seventy-seven cents an hour per kid. That’s what I earned today for babysitting.

Highlights of my day:

1. Continually separating two pairs of tag teaming tattle tale girls who were determined to convince me that the “other” pair of girls should be punished for “passing notes”, “saying things”, “bothering us”, etc.

2. Trying to keep three earring-studded gangsta wannabe boys off the table tops and who were egging on the tag team tattlers to increasing levels of mischief.

That was it.

Nothing to see here. Nothing of substance learned today.

The only exciting moment (for them) was when the word “jackass” was uttered during the movie. They all turned to look to see what my reaction to the “bad word” would be. I couldn’t tell if they were disappointed or not with my “no reaction”.

The kids would probably have had more education today simply staying home watching the National Geographic channel.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Running Out of Time...


I was tempted not to take any assignments today.

I’ve worked 11 of the last 12 school days and I’m tired. But with only nine working days left, I took today’s half day assignment. I’ll be in and out of the class by noon and I should still have most of my sanity.

The lesson plan folder for today was more than complete. In addition to actual lessons, it included several “busy work” dittos, weekly reader magazines and even a video “in case you run out of stuff to do”. I had a seating chart, student notes, and classroom procedures…the works!

The teacher told me she used to be a sub and knows how it is to do the subbing job.

The only glitch I could see on the plan for today was: “Grammar – Pronouns in Prepositional Phrases with Compound Objects (If you have time…)”

My past luck dealing with English grammar assignments has been spotty at best. (…if I have time)

After taking attendance, half the class LEFT for some other class. I have only 18 students until lunch time. Surely, I can’t do the grammar assignment with only half a class. (…if I have time)

It’s a HALF day. It’s the LAST days of this school year. Is this lesson really necessary to do this morning? (…if I have time)

It COULD wait till this afternoon, right? (…if I have time)

They have a reading assignment, a writing assignment and a math assignment in addition to the grammar assignment. (…if I have time)

All I have to do is rearrange the assignment order, stretch the assignment times a tad, throw in a weekly reader and maybe the grammar assignment will slop over till after lunch when the “real teacher” will take back control.

It’s 11:45am when the teacher returns to the classroom. It appears that the grammar assignment didn’t get started this morning.

I ran out of time