Saturday, December 29, 2012

everyday carry

Inspired by Stormdrane, I put together a everyday carry bag.  It is based off his with some minor modifications.  You would not think I use the small crowbar, but I do, often enough I am glad I put in it.

 I do not have paracord.  That is something I need to add.  I also do not have matches.  I tried the firestarter striker, but I just cannot seem to master using it.  So I either going to get some strike anywhere matches or a butane lighter that I replace every now and then.  I did order a vintage match holder, we'll see if it is the right size to put in.
 Hemostat, small scissors, tide pen, WD40 pen, small pen knife with tweezers in it.  Magnifying glass, small led flashlight, small sewing kit, small (eyeglass repair size), Gerber artifact, sharpie, writing pad, some bandaids, few safety pens.
Between this, my gerber multitool and key ring (small grooming thing, whistle, p38), I generally can fix anything which does not require hammering.   I am looking for a new screwdriver set the top came off this one, it still works but I need to replace it.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012


like many people I watch American Preppers sometimes.  Maybe they are extreme but there is nothing wrong with being ready for problems.  So step by step I am doing some, hopefully, common sense things to make safer and prepare for emergencies.  I have plans, and I am not doing it all at once.  First step is preparing a first aid kit.  I am making two, one for in the car, one in the bug out bag when I start that halfway through January.

So first aid kit

tape, gauze (pads, and rolls), bandaids, butterfly closures, tegaderm, neosporin, nitrile gloves, ace bandage, athletic tape, eyewash fluid, burn gel, nitrile gloves, cold pack, sting relief pen. 

I'm pressed for space.  There are a few things more that I would like and may ditch the cold pack and burn gel.  There are burn pads that can do the same job.  I have an israeli bandage on order.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

good old boys

Every Halloween I try a lesson on science and superstition.  This week's was Orson Welles radio version of "War of the Worlds" and the hysteria it made.  Listen to it, there are pauses, places you can here "do you here that?"  Students moved forward and gestured that they could not hear.  Supposedly, a bunch of good ole boys shot up a neighbor's water tower thinking it was a Mars Walker.  I asked the students if they knew anybody who would do that.  Not only were there hands, there was pointing to specific students.

Monday, October 29, 2012


Our school does an event at this time of year.  The students dress up as dead characters from history and have a monologue about their character.  Today they dressed up to bring PR to the event in the evening.  (I have prior plans that must take priority.)  The students were very excited about who they were and were very happy if I could figure out who they were portraying.  A group of girls were the characters from _the_Crucible_

Monday, October 22, 2012

playing cards

I have had the "racist card" played on me so much I have a complete deck. 

I have also had the "lazy redneck so I don't need an education card."
Along with the "angry black girl" card.  I have seen these acts before people, they do not impress me, scare me or make me change my ways.

I swear one of the dealers of "angry black girl" is going to stroke out before she's 25 from so much rage.

head banging

Somehow 13 students in the slower class think that they can wear me down.  "Why we gotta learn this, I'll never need this."

They are trying to pull me into an argument.  Their problem is I know this game.  A calm, "you are in this class and this is the curriculum."  I am not going to argue, you need this for life or need to know or how do you know you don't need it or anything  else.

What you guys think that "oh yea, you do not need this, chill out for the rest of the year."

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Myths in Professional Development

"Einstein was dyslexic"

No, look who knows more about the Father of Relativity, you or me, the Physics major.

There is no evidence that Einstein was dyslexic.  Maybe what we call Asperger's Syndrome now.

In a highly structured school system such as was Germany 100 years ago, he had trouble.  As a Jew in a Catholic school he had lots of trouble. 

 What Einstein was a genius, even as a child. I doubt I could teach him, I doubt anybody in my school system could teach him.  The best for him was a library and time.

I hate to break it to English Majors, but Einstein was not that much.  Surely he has more Brains than I will ever had, but consider Feynman, or Newton or Curie.  He wrote three papers that he made his career on and refused to follow quantum mechanics in spite of the evidence.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

kevin honeycutt

Saw him at a workshop, and went to a class he gave.  Still trying every now and then trying to incorporate this.

any teacher watch 9 minute to 11 and see themselves?  Hope not.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Go away

In my school mail box there is a largish envelop for me.   I've seen this before.  Yup, from some kind of science teacher group is a bundle of surveys on science attitudes and plans that they want me to give my students.  They will even give back the student a free career guide.  Gee, guys if my student checks the box saying he wants to go to a "church sponsored college" and specializing in "banking" are you going to tell him he really wants to go to a church sponsored college and get a degree in finance?  That's a lot of work.

The survey frankly, sucks,  I say this as the wife of a professor who teaches college students how to make and give surveys.

Then the very first thing is they want my students' names and contact information.  No.  You have absolutely no need for this.

No, go away.  Do not bother me again. I am not giving up 10 minutes of instruction time for your silly survey so you can say you know about students attitudes toward science.  I can tell you that in 5 minutes, pay me though, my services will be 100 dollars and hour with a minimum of 1/2 hour, not including travel time.

I took all the surveys put them into the postage paid envelope along with a "do not bother me again" note and asked a student to take them to the office on his bathroom run.

Good for Google.

The White House asked Google to see if the supposedly anti Muslim film "The Innocents of Muslims" violated the term of use.  Can't help but if the question was set as a "wink, wink." question of "please take this off because it offends people."

Good for google, they said no.  Not that I am in favor of the film or anything like that.  Offensive speech is supposed to be protected speech.

New Law

I propose a new law.  One day a year, teachers are allowed to hit parents without any legal action.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


One class is fairly bright and is small, so often we finish the lesson early.  Ideally we are supposed to keep them busy, "teach bell to bell" but what happens in a week.  Its JROTC uniform day.  The students are talking about "Hunger games" and the differences between the movie and book. Afterall a class room of girls, I have a _lot_ of _Hunger_Games_ fans.  I have never read the book entirely or watched the movie (okay I "watched" it on the screen of the guy next to me on the flight back from london), but I'm fairly familiar with it.  "You know the real horror is not that the children are killed, but that Capital City can make the children into killers."

A few students nod their heads at this and began talking.  "hey John and Melissa,naming the two JROTC students and then tugging my collar; we don't turn our kids into killers do we."  After a few seconds one of the original conversationists caught my context.

"The army doesn't kill people protests" Melissa.

"Sure it does, the job of the Military is to kill people and break things"

A few rounds, Melissa opins,  "the army protects people."

"sure it does, by killing the bad guys."

A few, including the other JROTC student caught on what I was saying.

The military's job is to kill the enemy of the state when ordered by the state.  Hopefully the state is wise and uses compassion and judgement when ordering these killings.

BTW I am a veteran, the wife, daughter, sister,  and grandaughter of veterans, along with the mother of a soldier. 

Friday, August 10, 2012


I am not sure.  I think something like this has been tried in the courts and the ruling was "the education was offerred, you did not take advantage of it."


In correspondence to

Yea tis a who came first question.  I get my National, does the process make me a good teacher, or was I good teacher to begin with and national acknowledges this. 

It reminds me when I was in a Medieval reenactment group.  Being knighted does not give you the chivalric virtues, you already had them, we just acknowledge this.

Since I have a job at another school, settling in, getting used to new systems, colleagues, students; I am delaying plan to get my national until next year.  I think my statement of that at my interview helped me get the job.

I have three years to get this, jumping through hoops.  I will have no problem with the test. 

I will admit I do it, its not because of the prestige or being able to move.  It is, as my novice pointed out, 5,000 in 10 years.  That pays off my house.

(okay it is a little of the prestige, I can see it now at professional development "talk to my national certification").

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

A few years back I had some students who I refered to as the "harry potter" group.  The nickname got picked up by the other teachers and eventually I had to explain to the students why.  "well Harry has black hair,  Ron is always described as tall with long arms, Hermione is the smartest student.  Besides there are worse things than being compared to a group who save the world."  After that, they embraced that with style.  Now they are in college.  The girl had 70 thousand dollar plus scholarships last I heard.

Every now and then at a book shelve there is a grandmother looking at the HP books.  She's not sure, because it has witchcraft in it.  "look I say, magic is not what this series is about.  It is about friendship, loyalty, never giving up and love.  Children read this book not for the gore but because they like and need heroes."

There they are, together.

Sunday, July 1, 2012


When you come to my house, you will see books (lots of books), maybe a magazine, newspapers (local and WSJ), a dry wipe schedule and to do list and clocks prominent in kitchen and living room.

Go into the house of a poorly performing student.  No reading material, TV is on or possibly somebody is playing an x box.  Nothing about time management.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

what do you mean?

Students ask if they can say *insert word"

"sure I say its all a matter of context"

Mary rode an ass to Bethlehem.
Be sure to cock the valve on the buret.
Do not prick your finger with the salpel.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


I live in a right to work state.  Since I teach in small schools, and have one on one contact with people in charge and see no reason for needing a voice.

It has been years since I have even been approached to join the union.  The last time was a general meeting which started as its key benefit they will pay for a lawyer if I get sued.  Somehow that does not seem  like a selling point.  That and the fact that they want over a hundred dollars a month.  No I do not think so.  I do not believe in my case that I will get benefits close to my cost.

oh geez

I'm getting ready for my third day of cleaning the class.  Hopefully this is the last day of tossing stuff and I can organize.  I open a desk drawer and it is full black worksheets.  I do not mean has some I mean packed full.  Discarded library books older than I am, they have a stamp "discard".  Two toasters, coffee pot and a microwave.  There are chemicals left over from a lab in beakers.  Finally figured out what one is (found a copy of the lab, it may have been the only lab he did), so I can go through the disposal of it.

I have a promethean board but it looks like it was hooked up to a laptop that I cannot find.  Maybe I can get one from my husband to test it out.  The projector works, just no computer.  The computer in the office is not hooked up to the electronic stuff since it the class' office.

The fact that there is a large TV with vcr tape gives me a clue what person was doing.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Once again, into the breach

I have managed to change jobs and get hired by another school.  As it is a bigger school and closer to my home it is a step up.  Once again I am stepping into the footsteps of somebody who did not do anything.  The lab is not a complete mess, some previous person organized the chemicals and other stuff.  Then it just sat there.  What is it with teachers to make us pack rats?  There are books there older than me?
The principal has given me carte blanche to do what I need to do. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

trying to embrass technology

I filmed students prepping a lab to show their buddies how to do it.  Also since it involves flame, I promised to bounce out of the class anybody not following protocol. 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Its 2 months out of 13 years

I had to tell a student today that since he failed my math class he would not graduate.  Which lead to a conference with the counselor and then principal.  I had carefully dotted my i s and crossed my t's  so all my paperwork was together, he just did not do the work.  Student cannot walk, but can graduate if he takes credit remediation this summer.  He would rather dropped.  I have never in my life wanted to slap a student so much.  Thirteen years of his life in education and he doesn't want to do 2 montth and pay the 75 dollars it takes.  Principal decided to try credit remediation until graduation which means he comes every day to ALE.  After student left, principal and I agreed.  His mother was going to light into him.

Friday, May 4, 2012

do your F**ing job and be a parent

One day, probably when I am near retiring, when I am on the phone with a parent; I will loose it. 
Parent, "I don't know what to do with him/her."
Me (in my imaginary scenario) "well I raised three children.  They have a some problems, but all are respectful, have college degrees and a modicum of success in the world. So let me offer you some suggestions."

"First, get rid of the cell phone."

Parent.,  "but she needs it."

"no she doesn't he needs love, food and sunshine, like all God's creatures.  Second, the reason she needs a cellphone is to talk to the boy friend she's banging."


"yea, everybody in the school knows they are having sex, when did you figure out?  explain to boyfriend if you see him within 6 feet of your daughter they will never find the body.  I'll let you know, boyfriend is a waste of oxygen and I will not miss him.  Do you know he has one baby already?  Hope your girl is practicing safe sex.  Now are you taking notes...the next one is important.  Get rid of the car."

"but she needs it to go to school..."

"no she wants it to bang the boyfriend weren't you listening?  She can ride the bus or you can drive her.  It is hard to get into trouble if you cannot run off as you wish."

"next, sit with her while she does her homework, about 1 hour everynight.  My class especially.  There is work almost every night.  Do not watch the TV sit with the child.  Read a book, magazine or do the lesson with her.  Heck you might learn something.  I have some books I could suggest."

"I really don't like to read." objects momma.

"I gathered as much the acorn doesn't fall far from the tree.  Which leads me to the next step.  Go the library every saturday.  Do not let her use the computer there to do realize that you need to take the phone and computer our of her room?  Put them in the main room so you can monitor her."

Parent's blood pressure is up, "how dare you!"

"no, no how dare you have a child and not try to raise her."

It will never happen, but I can dream.

Sunday, April 29, 2012


This year either I am getting a job at another school, or I am getting my National certification.  The school I teach at is slowly falling apart and there is nothing I can do about it.  We need a new principal, no news on how that is going but I am on the screening committee, the ones we like decide to go somewhere else.  We have been in academic distress for years and cannot see the end of the tunnel anymore.  We are just a shade away from financial distress.  The state should come in and take us over.  If I get National certification, that helps the school's status and raises my ability to get a better job.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

where do they get these

And more importantly, why in my class.

Female student to male student. "do you have man boobies?"

Monday, March 5, 2012


I ask my students this question sometimes. "if a girl has sex with one boy in a year's time, is she a slut?" Most students respond "no." "If she has sex with 100 boys in a year, is she a slut?" Almost all students say "yes." Then I ask, "what's the magic number?" ....sometimes they think.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

you say that like its a bad word

The middle school dean of students, who used to teach at the high school, came over to do some paperwork. She relayed the story of a girl who slapped another girl because "she called me a bitch". Dean related the idea of control, and dealing with consequences. She had the girl look up the definition. "See it means opinionated woman, so the next time somebody calls you that tell them to capitalize it."

Friday, February 3, 2012

how crazy

Today's lab chemistry students were supposed to determine the amount of vitamin C in fruit juices. Students all day saw the bottles of fruit juice on the counter.

"Can I have some?"

I know this question is coming. It comes every year. What? The walmart is around the corner, do you not eat enough?

"no, you do not want to anyway"

"why not?"

Real reason, it violates safety, there are things in the lab, pipets are being put into the bottles, and its not my job to cater to you.

What I tell them. "I spit in them so you would not want to."

Glance from student. She just might be crazy enough to do it.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

not supposed to be here

The other night, because of my exercise program, primarily walking and my low potassium count; I woke up in the middle of the night with leg cramps. I got up and walked around at 3 in the morning to work out the things. I went back to bed and slept hard. Only to dream about being in a lecture with several students in attendance, including two vocal favorites. Who Would Not Shut up! When I finally gained control of my dream (can do that) and went to a pleasant fantasy world of knights, dragons and heroes, the alarm clock went off.

They worry my days enough, they are not supposed to invade my dreams.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

explains why they don't understand

I took by biology tutoring class to the library this week. All our students are required to read AR books. My attitude is you should have that book with you all the time (or something to read). One problem student looked at my recommendation of _Flowers_for_Algernon_ as "that's too much to read".

By tenth grade I read all of Shakespeare's plays on my own and _The_Lord_of_the_Rings_ several times.

(reminds me I need to read LotR again)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Trying to explain fifty years of developing music taste to my students, or how I get there.

I found this

Because it was the ending music of a RPG fan film. I originally thought it was Blackmore's Night. No, I do not understand German. I can follow along what happens, I think.

Monday, January 16, 2012

videos for my students

In an attempt to get my students to think, listen and write. I started playing music. Then after they write some I show a video. As I tell them there is no right or wrong, if you write honestly.

cirque de solei