Sunday, November 13, 2011
"Okay," I say "ask me what?"
Malcom starts, "mrs W if your husband was dead and you had no family and was broke, would you hook?"
Glance down at middle age, overweight body dramatically, "Malcolm, who'd pay?"
Thursday, November 10, 2011
Saturday, October 29, 2011
I know part is you need a truck, and then to pay to go to landfill, but at least move it. My mother would be having a fit.
Sunday, October 9, 2011
Of course there was applause all around.
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
We've been working on SI for the past week. Assignments, practice labs, quizzes etc.
The objective reads "test Measuring SI units"
The questions read such things as "What unit in SI is used to measure mass?"
The top of the test reads "Test Metric system"
When reading the instructions to "got to lab station 3 and measure the line on the card?" do not come to me and ask "do you want the measure in inches or centimeters?"
Saturday, August 27, 2011
A student asked me what the square root symbol on an assignment was.
"that's the square root."...blank stare..."to get a square root ...its the opposite of squaring." couple studentw perk up, "look at problem 7, it asks you to graph the square root of 6, whats the square root."
"three." says one student
Pause. "no, 2 times 3 is 6,"
"I want a calculator."
"sorry we don't have the batteries yet."
"think it this way, you are not trying to find the answer, you just want an about, 1 * 1 is 1, 2 *2 is 4, 3 *3 is 9, so you know the square root of 6 is somewhere between 2 and 3."
"we don't have to know exactly?"
"can you graph decimals exactly?"
Student pauses and asks the real question, "so if we graph an about and we are close, you won't count it wrong."
Thursday, August 25, 2011
But an Iphone. So I can do this....
"This is johnny's teacher. Johnny can't reply to your text, I have confiscated his phone this period."
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
2. fall of the Berlin Wall
3. Moon landing
4. Oklahoma city bombing
5. Challenger explosion
6. Jonestown suicide/massacre
7.Assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.
8. Assassination attempt on Ronald Reagan
9. Resignation of Richard Nixon
10. Release of "Star Wars"
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
1. The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy, by J.R.R. Tolkien (one goal this year is to read it again)
2. The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, by Douglas Adams
3. Ender's Game, by Orson Scott Card The original one, after that couldn't he write about something else?
4. The Dune Chronicles, by Frank Herbert did not really understand them until I became an adult, hubby has read the other series, couldn't Kevin J. Anderson write about other characters?
5. A Song Of Ice And Fire Series, by George R. R. Martin
6. 1984, by George Orwell
7. Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury
8. The Foundation Trilogy, by Isaac Asimov (you know, I guess I need to read it again, because I suspect it really wasn't all that good and I need to see)
9. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
10. American Gods, by Neil Gaiman
11. The Princess Bride, by William Goldman
12. The Wheel Of Time Series, by Robert Jordan (Dear lord, no.)
13. Animal Farm, by George Orwell
14. Neuromancer, by William Gibson
15. Watchmen, by Alan Moore (Neeeaaaa, I really believe in heroes)
16. I, Robot, by Isaac Asimov
17. Stranger In A Strange Land, by Robert Heinlein
18. The Kingkiller Chronicles, by Patrick Rothfuss
19. Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut (I really should)
20. Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley
21. Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?, by Philip K. Dick
22. The Handmaid's Tale, by Margaret Atwood (uhm, if I want to read about men mistreating women I just need to get a history book)
23. The Dark Tower Series, by Stephen King (Stephen, step away from the word processor)
24. 2001: A Space Odyssey, by Arthur C. Clarke
25. The Stand, by Stephen King
26. Snow Crash, by Neal Stephenson
27. The Martian Chronicles, by Ray Bradbury
28. Cat's Cradle, by Kurt Vonnegut
29. The Sandman Series, by Neil Gaiman
30. A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess
31. Starship Troopers, by Robert Heinlein
32. Watership Down, by Richard Adams (I tried, I didn't get it)
33. Dragonflight, by Anne McCaffrey
34. The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, by Robert Heinlein
35. A Canticle For Leibowitz, by Walter M. Miller
36. The Time Machine, by H.G. Wells
37. 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, by Jules Verne
38. Flowers For Algernon, by Daniel Keys
39. The War Of The Worlds, by H.G. Wells
40. The Chronicles Of Amber, by Roger Zelazny
41. The Belgariad, by David Eddings
42. The Mists Of Avalon, by Marion Zimmer Bradley
43. The Mistborn Series, by Brandon Sanderson
44. Ringworld, by Larry Niven
45. The Left Hand Of Darkness, by Ursula K. LeGuin
46. The Silmarillion, by J.R.R. Tolkien
47. The Once And Future King, by T.H. White
48. Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman (no, because it really was made for TV)
49. Childhood's End, by Arthur C. Clarke
50. Contact, by Carl Sagan
51. The Hyperion Cantos, by Dan Simmons
52. Stardust, by Neil Gaiman
53. Cryptonomicon, by Neal Stephenson
54. World War Z, by Max Brooks
55. The Last Unicorn, by Peter S. Beagle
56. The Forever War, by Joe Haldeman
57. Small Gods, by Terry Pratchett
58. The Chronicles Of Thomas Covenant, The Unbeliever, by Stephen R. Donaldson (
59. The Vorkosigan Saga, by Lois McMaster Bujold
60. Going Postal, by Terry Pratchett
61. The Mote In God's Eye, by Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle
62. The Sword Of Truth, by Terry Goodkind
63. The Road, by Cormac McCarthy
64. Jonathan Strange, Mr Norrell, by Susanna Clarke (tried couldn't get past the first 5 chapters)
65. I Am Legend, by Richard Matheson
66. The Riftwar Saga, by Raymond E. Feist
67. The Shannara Trilogy, by Terry Brooks
68. The Conan The Barbarian Series, by R.E. Howard (and after watching the new movie, I will probably re read them)
69. The Farseer Trilogy, by Robin Hobb
70. The Time Traveler's Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger
71. The Way Of Kings, by Brandon Sanderson
72. A Journey To The Center Of The Earth, by Jules Verne
73. The Legend Of Drizzt Series, by R.A. Salvatore
74. Old Man's War, by John Scalzi
75. The Diamond Age, by Neil Stephenson
76. Rendezvous With Rama, by Arthur C. Clarke
77. The Kushiel's Legacy Series, by Jacqueline Carey
78. The Dispossessed, by Ursula K. LeGuin
79. Something Wicked This Way Comes, by Ray Bradbury
80. Wicked, by Gregory Maguire
81. The Malazan Book Of The Fallen Series, by Steven Erikson
82. The Eyre Affair, by Jasper Fforde
83. The Culture Series, by Iain M. Banks
84. The Crystal Cave, by Mary Stewart
85. Anathem, by Neal Stephenson
86. The Codex Alera Series, by Jim Butcher
87. The Book Of The New Sun, by Gene Wolfe
88. The Thrawn Trilogy, by Timothy Zahn (Would've been nice if he'd've bothered to see the movies first.)
89. The Outlander Series, by Diana Gabaldan
90. The Elric Saga, by Michael Moorcock (Blood and souls for my -- Oh, just whatever.)
91. The Illustrated Man, by Ray Bradbury
92. Sunshine, by Robin McKinley
93. A Fire Upon The Deep, by Vernor Vinge
94. The Caves Of Steel, by Isaac Asimov
95. The Mars Trilogy, by Kim Stanley Robinson
96. Lucifer's Hammer, by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle
97. Doomsday Book, by Connie Willis
98. Perdido Street Station, by China Mieville
99. The Xanth Series, by Piers Anthony
100. The Space Trilogy, by C.S. Lewis
Thursday, August 18, 2011
Thursday, August 11, 2011
First thing they did in office. We changed our math schedule, more students are taking Algebra II. I am math certified so I get one class of Alg II.
Normally I have 30 plus students for chemistry. Now I have 66. There will be some attrition, but that is still a lot of students.
Still have an open class in my schedule. I'm perfectly willing to have an extra conference period. Or make it another chemistry class. I already went to the principal once and complained about the load in on chemistry class. I'm already overloading the chem lab stations which means double up off/on, half the class does the lab, half seat work; next day we switch. But one class was too many for me to even do that.
Then I look at the list of students...Jessica?...she has some kind of family issue and a teacher relative comes and sticks her nose into things. Then the kid lies to her mother about what teachers do to her.
Mary? this kid has severe aspergers. She's slapped kids! Granted the little darlings deserved it. She will go on rampages. I'll talk to her mother, maybe she'll sit out of labs and do them with just me during my conference.
Mark? oh heck he's in ALE, who decided he should be in chemistry?
But I still have an open slot. First idea was "any classes you can teach?" Not any out of the approved state list, and either we teach them or they just don't fit into out school. "how about a 'high school skills' class?" "you mean a 'how to be a real human' class?...sure life skills, how to do interviews?" This would work, we even had a job training class that was cut that did the very same thing. I could talk to that teacher and get the stuff.
Now its "your going to teach a Biology lab." "you mean like last year I did math tutoring, now you want me to do Biology? You do know I'm not Biology certified?"
"sure but you don't have to be, just teach them test taking skills for the Biology EOC." Oh Great Bog if I hear test taking skills once more, howabout we teach them the stuff they are supposed to know, like reading, writing and how to talk to a person without a "you know" every other sentence.
Thursday, August 4, 2011
After the horrible Columbine shootings, I told my children "I do not want to hear that you died hiding. Get with your buddies and charge him, he might take you out, but if you all act he can't take you all out."
Another question from my students when once during a practice lock down. "what would we do if it were a real shooting.?"
"Guys I have an entire chem lab at my disposal." (and yes I have given thought to McGyvering a few handy items, acids on flesh are nasty things.)
Monday, June 27, 2011
If this was not so funny I would be beating the clerk's head against the wall. Our science department was able to get some money. We got together and made a "fun" order. We had our wish lists, compared prices of companies, made suggestions, then wrote out our orders. Here you take this company and make the list I'll order this one. One thing I wanted to do was buy books. Students need more literacy and I want more books for them to read.
I waited a month. No response. Emailed politely the clerk and asked if she knew when the books were due, since I had to read them before the students. I was told the request they were sent back to the principal for "review."
Found the principal. He looked at my order and it had a note from said clerk such as "this was what we talked about". Principal asks "what's this one here, Demon Haunted Word, Sagan."
"guffaw" Oh my lord, the office thinks I'm teaching the kids how to be Devil Worshippers. "Sagan...that's the author, Carl Sagan, scientist."
Remember as much as you like the principal, he's a former football coach. "so its not about demons..." he says.
"no, its about pseudo science...fake science,...astrology, psychics and why we spend so much time on them."
We settle that and I point out the books are not supposed to be taxed.
If I find out that woman was censoring my books, there will be a talk with her, me and the super about job descriptions and duties.
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
I spent 3 days cleaning out and organizing the lab supplies. I am getting new things, and I am tired of standing in the supply closet thinking "I know I have *blank*, I saw it where is it?" Boxes are labeled and the shelves where said boxes go.
But I found this. It is made out of marble. I think it might have something to do with a clock since it has arrows and numbers up to 24.
Sunday, May 29, 2011
Three years ago I went to Gettysburg. I am a proud daughter of the South. I completely lost it several times. The first was in the building display hearing the Gettysburg address after seeing a bill of sale of human beings.
That and looking at where Pickett's charge happenned.
Saturday, May 28, 2011
This week was the anniversary of the release of Star Wars a New Hope. The movie changed the culture of the world. Its helped develop special effects that changed how we do movies. It made George Lucas rich. It saved Fox Studios from bankruptcy. And it did not even have a premire night.
Heir to Empire takes place after Return of the Jedi and was the first authorized sequel to the Star Wars story. (lets ignore Splinter in Mind's Eye) There had been some stories before about Han and Lando that took place before the events in the movies.
This one, Luke is trying to rebuild the Jedi order, Leia is married to Han and pregnant with twins, an Imperial Admiral by name of Thrawn is trying to rebuild the empire, and the introduction of Mara Jade. Mara was the Emperor's Hand, and she is trying to survive but also driven by the last command of Palpatine, "kill Luke Skywalker".
I have students who drive cars better than mine. Heck one girl got a new car because she didn't make the cheerleading squad. I know I have rough kids. I know of kids we teach who teachers have bought coats and jackets for. I know of pools of money collected so a student can go to prom. I hope this girl and father get a few breaks.
Many of my students know I play computer games. Especially Dragon Age. Even once on a slow day showed them a video of my playing it, and used it to explain job opportunites. The company is looking to hire over 100 people, and here look at how many different types of jobs they need, writers, artists, programmers, oh and of course test players...
Dragon Age the Stolen Throne takes place before Dragon Age Origins. One student asked why this and I explain that good authors write a lot of background material to explain why things happen.
Then on my drives NPR has a series on the test used to test prisoners. Prisoners who rate high on the psychopath scale have little hope for parole. The parole boards will simply not release them.
Following up on the article I look at the test they give. Some of the conditions stand out. These describe many of our problem children. Especially the "failure to accept responsibility". A problems student always describes his punishment as "he's trying to suspend me", no darling, the dean of students can't "try" either you are suspended or you are not.
Item 4 Pathological lying
Item 5 Cunning/manipulative
Item 10 Poor behavioural controls
Item 11 Promiscuous sexual behaviour
Item 12 Early behaviour problems
Item 14 Impulsivity
Item 16 Failure to accept responsibility for own actions
Item 18 Juvenile delinquency
According to the article psychopaths are a small part of the population. There is another quote we use "5% of your student population makes up 95% of your discipline problems." Or in my words when I'm reading off announcements of who has lunch detention or ISS/OSS..."the usual suspects". Its the same kids.
Can we identify them where they are young? Before the programimng of a human being is done? We look at the young students and by 3rd grade we can tell you if they are going to jail or not.
Thursday, April 28, 2011
Sunday, April 24, 2011
We are out setting out stuff and landscaping. Hubby is watering the plants in the light box. He tells me "you know the things in here look spindly".
"yea they just try to grow up to the light."
"I read that you are supposed to stroke them 20 times every day."
"whaaaat?....okay I get it, they are protected in the box..."
We agreed in the box there is no wind, no rain, nothing that would gently break some of the growth, so in the box they are taller and less leafy. But still...
He says, "I'm just going to take them out of the box and put them outside now, its windy so if they are out here when we work, that should do it."
Thursday, April 21, 2011
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
One overweight math coach opinioned, "I could be a track coach, ''run...run faster.'"
Saturday, April 16, 2011
Finally the student gets the message, I tell her "in the book Chapter 14, section 1", her lab buddy looks it up.
"I swear Ms. W. you are the most difficult teacher I have."
Thursday, April 14, 2011
"I can't remember you ever wearing them....I do not even remember you wearing pants."
(well actually I wore a pair of duluth pants tuesday since the air conditioning in my class makes it I can hang meat in my class)
"you will never see me in jeans...jeans are work clothes, its what I garden and paint and work in."
I wear skirts, button up shirts, and vests almost everyday....shoes are keen or sketchers since I am on my feet all day.
Monday, April 11, 2011
Friday, April 8, 2011
Three of which were girl fights. Now two of the fights are actually projections of family feuds.
The first of these fights I ended up trying to help break up, Five girls were in the fight and one of them was one of my students. I'm protective of my students. Also my brother charged in to break it up. I manage to grab mine by the arms and push her back so she is out of the fight, until she wiggles and the next thing is I'm holding a coat.
The video camera is silly, I'm stalking her keeping me between her and the girl she wants to hit.
Though students give us kudos for charging into the fray.
Thursday, March 31, 2011
My brother now teaches math at my school, I helped open the door for him and he's reasonably happy here.
During an assembly some kids were clowning, he went over and talked to them. They stood up and were quiet. His comment was "I didn't give up three years of my life for them to do this."
My brother, husband, father and I are veterans. My youngest was at that time in Army basic training.
Friday, March 25, 2011
Saturday, March 12, 2011
The Art of the Fellowship of the Ring A book just like it sounds. The creative process for the first of the Lord of the Rings movie. Beautiful sketches, drawings and models from the geniuses at WETA.
Many of my students who are creative, especially one who is Eowyn in another life, looked at it.
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Part of the joy for me, is the teacher can adjust the setting from calm to cranky to even mimicking fetal alcohol syndrome.
Robobaby is crying. He pleads to the teacher in the commons who gave him this task that his is ready to turn it in (we don't allow them in class...it is a homework assignment) She responds that she will not take it in until the baby is quiet. Bubba stops at my class, which is enroute and starts trying to figure out the problem. cuddling, bottle change diaper...
I'm doing my morning errands, and laughing at him.
"ms widget you are enjoying this."
"yea, I told you I'm a sadist. You want one of those?"
"oh hell no, this thing cried at 1 and 3 and...5..."
Friday, February 18, 2011
If you do not like where you are working, leave.
If you are an effective, experienced teacher who is facing this ATR or being forced out.
Leave under your own power.
Leave the pollution, the crowds, the bloated bureacracy, the old outdated schools.
Come to the South. We want you, we need you and we'd love to have you.
Come to the South. Come to rural. Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Texas, Arkansas, North and South Carolina have all increased in population. Some by over 10 %. Look at Texas' massive growth.
And the growth means children who need new schools and teachers.
Come to where you can fish. Come to where you can have a yard, and a garden and fresh vegetables bought from the roadside. Come.
Come to the South. Look at this winter's heating bill... and Come to the South.
Yes, we may not pay as much, but our living here is cheaper and we have less taxes. Florida and Texas have no state income tax.
We have seafood, Barbecue, Cajun, a touch of Mexican and Southern cooking.
We have RocknRoll, Blues, Folk and Bluegrass.
We have New Orleans, with Marti Gras. We have Memphis, Home of the Blues and Beale Street. We have Austin, Live music capital with SouthbySouthwest. We have Atlanta, Dallas, Houston and Miami.
My principal would bite off his left arm for a Drama/English/Speech teacher we can keep for more than a year.
"time sheets?" what? I am a professional and treated as such. The only such thing I have to fill out is extra tutoring or if I am sick.
Most schools will pay for the move, maybe even a bonus if you come.
So come, come to the south.
Friday, January 28, 2011
I have one such student. I think he thought he would get out of class and work. I think he honestly thought this trip to coventry would be fun. I have complained "look he's all in the halls, he wanted to go there, if he has a temper trouble he should not be associating with the other students." On that issue, Oh Well..
The reason he is in the halls is, he can attend some classes then go to his exile. He comes in for labs in my class, but still I am required to be with him to help him work. I send the lessons and assignments in to the office for him. I still get the "I don't understand this." So I'm spending my entire planning period with him today to help him catch up. I am not cutting him any slack. I will not give him the answers, he had to read the right pages to me, answer the questions etc. All the while maintaining my professional and helpful demeanour. Finally he puts his head in his hands. "maaaan I don't get this, my head is starting to hurt."
"Good," I reply, "that means you're learning."
Later when I talked to the teacher who runs our little brig, her comment was "I heard you and thought I was going to loose it right there at the desk."
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
They just picked up their graduation invites.
They will not shut up.
A few lucky talkers got detention with me in the morning.
One student, "I can't be in that early my mother doesn't arrive that early."
Her mother works at the school. Relax I say I can email her.
Now my letter to the mother was the most helpful of all, full of how can we make arrangements, what time.
Kiddo did not think I'm going through with this. Another said she had a doctor's appointment. I can see the attendance of the other classes. If you are first period and not with me I will write you up.
First kiddo though is spoiled. Constantly trying to get out of class to "talk to my mother". Seems put out when I finally started saying "no, if you have a problem talk to the office first, your mother has a job to do also"
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
This is the beginning of a new semester. Two students were moved from the class. One directly over my head by the school, because he needed another class to graduate; the other with my permission so this struggling student can be in smaller core classes. Since my class is not required to graduate I have no problem.
A third student comes to me with a drop slip. Now this student has been saying all week that he is leaving the class because it is too hard. He gives me the drop slip with the add slip signed by the other teacher. "Why do you want to take this class?" I point at the class he is trying to take.
"I want a completer." he says gesturing to his neck. We have a career training program and if he takes this other class he can get a cord around his neck at graduation.
"no" I say firmly. "You want out my class because I make you work. A high C is not an option to drop mine and if you did the the work you are fully capable of B or even A work."
"but.." he starts. I take a deep breath and remind myself of all my professionalism classes. "no, the principal's office is that way." I point. "you can take it up with him." Sparky goes and sits down and sulks for the rest of the class claiming that his mother is going to fix everything.
Oh dear child did you not think I'd do an end run. I call his mother that night. I use my best "I am here for you child routine." assuring the mother that her son is fully able to get an A and that I would do everything I could do to help him. We end on a positive not. I call a few other parents.
Next day, Sparky's buddy was also a household called. Same story, bright kid, personable, still a kid, capable, but not able to get control of his work. Not even lazy, just not able to get his work in on time. Buddy comes to me with a drop/add slip already signed by other teacher. "why do you want to take this class." I ask. No harm in getting the story.
"Right here" he says triumphantly pointing at the checked "does not meet career/college choices".
"hmm, I see, but you are not going to be a nurse or such and my class can't hurt you, no."
He starts to argue. In my best teacher's voice I tell him, "I have a class to teach, I will talk to you at lunch or my conference period or even an the end of class if all the work is done,. You have two choices, sit down and let me teach; or go to the office and talk to the principal, in fact he was in the hall just now."
Buddy scoots off to plead his case. I start class. He comes back in with his slip. "he said it was okay for you to sign it." I laugh and shake my head.
"no he didn't, he can sign it himself."
"you have to sign it." Now his classmates are all giggling. The current class is not the one he wants to drop. This is a more advanced class, we are currently in. They are all laughing at him. He gets me twice, poor kid. "no, I don't. The principal can override me, in fact he already did once, but he cannot make me sign."
"get to work and join your group Buddy."
"he said its okay for you to sign it!"
_no, the principal said it was okay with him if it is okay with me_ He backs my plays.
Also as I pointed out, my life would be easier if these two clowns were not in my class.