Saturday, December 6, 2014

tis the season

When the students are coming into class I have christmas music playing.  Charlie Brown Christmas makes their faces light up.  Even jaded, sophisticated students can be seen doing the Snoopy dance.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

its knowing what button

Before thanksgiving my promethean (like a smart board) stopped working.  I complained, went through the channels, etc.

the third part that was supposed to work went bankrupt.  wonder why?  could it be you did no work for the customer?

Toward the end of the year I broke channels and called the company that made the board..  The warranty had worn out the month before.  They could have talked me through some problems.

We renovated the school this summer, so no work.

Finally today, the new third part comes in and ...its the bulb.  Which I though our IT people had replaced.


It is what it is.  The reset the controls and moved the hook up to a more convenient place.

Sunday, October 12, 2014


There is a group that does scottish and North American Indian style combat training nearby.

The class is supposed to be for tomahawk.

So I used my norse ax as the template for the practice ax.

It seemed to work okay.

I used foam, and PVC for the practice one.  I forgot as an aging geek to wear gloves when working with contact cement.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

I am the author, I out rank you

So it is homecoming.

Tradition say teachers sit in the back to monitor.  I'm tired and do not feel like leaning against the wall. The last three rows are taped saying "JROTC".  We have an ROTC program at our school and there is a color guard and a saber team.  The saber team salutes each member of the court.  truly a difficult job to hold that thing in the air and stand there for the entire ceremony  (really no sarcasm here)

So I look around, count jrotc students and decide with the secretary that there is room enough and sit down.  A JROTC student in uniform, whom I did not know, "this is for rotc." 

"that's okay I reply, I'm a veteran."  (translation, "darling I am a full fledged adult and many, many members of my family are not little tin soldiers"  and if a student in uniform needed a seat I would have moved, as we did for a parent)

Eventually the JROTC student commander told student it was okay.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

good questions and light reading

I have a copy of the CRC.  It is the handbook for Chemistry and Physics.  My copy is rather old, but it has the right information.  For those that are not familiar it is a reference guide, math tables, boiling points etc.  I was looking up flame tests of chemicals for a lab students had and showed it to them.  One student asked if I read it.

"no, it is not meant to be read, it is a reference guide."

Next question, "do you understand it all?"

Hmm.."good question, no, maybe half of it."

Guess I have a goal this year.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014


It was kinda like this.

I finally have access to the school credit card to get over the counter supplies.  Isopropal alcohol, bleach, balloons, (yes balloons are used in labs, seriously), ammonia, vinegar.   I should have taken a picture.  Then somebody glances at the items in my cart as I'm throwing the matches in.

Thursday, August 7, 2014


Kickstarter with temporary tattoos of literary quotes.

Since my daughter teaches english we think this is a cool thing and hope that we can share.


kick starter

I have a few specialized playing cards.

A few black, a cthulu deck, one from Badassoftheweek.

Then I supported this from kickstarter.

A science deck.  I love the court cards are famous scientists and the other cards are science things.

Heck, if they fund it, I might try ordering a few more for my classroom.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

And it is getting that time too.

Anytime I talk to someone about school time, they object saying Kids need the summer off.

Really, we no longer need them to help  with the harvest.

A better solution would be breaks in between semesters and such.  Then we do not have to spend time reteaching things.

Also it is simple, want more learning?  spend more time.

Monday, June 30, 2014

do they hear themselves?

  • I absolutely support a woman's right to control her body.  But the things that the people who do not agree with the supreme court's decision with Hobby Lobby get tied up in rhetoric.
  • "The exemption sought by Hobby Lobby and Conestoga would…deny legions of women who do not hold their employers' beliefs access to contraceptive coverage"
No, it just says the cooporation does not pay for it.

And its not "health care" people, it is birth control and a limited decision at that.

  • "It bears note in this regard that the cost of an IUD is nearly equivalent to a month's full-time pay for workers earning the minimum wage."
Okay the number I see is $210 to $800 including office visit.  won't argue with that, since after taxes its about that much.  but you can go to free clinic.  Or other forms, that Hobby lobby will support.
  • "Would the exemption…extend to employers with religiously grounded objections to blood transfusions (Jehovah's Witnesses); antidepressants (Scientologists); medications derived from pigs, including anesthesia, intravenous fluids, and pills coated with gelatin (certain Muslims, Jews, and Hindus); and vaccinations[?]…Not much help there for the lower courts bound by today's decision."
There is a difference in Health care and birth control.
  • "Approving some religious claims while deeming others unworthy of accommodation could be 'perceived as favoring one religion over another,' the very 'risk the [Constitution's] Establishment Clause was designed to preclude."
  • "The court, I fear, has ventured into a minefield."

Yep and that is what you are paid for.  Maybe you should just drop Obamacare.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

natural stuff

It is flea season.  The dog is okay.  I gave him the pills from the vet that protect him.  Great stuff, the drops on the shoulders never worked.  However the little buggers are in the yard.  When I go and work I pick up a few.  Years ago I planted pennyroyal in the yard.  Pennyroyal is a natural bug repellent.  The yard has shifted some since, but I looked and there it is among the grass, better than when I planted it.  When I go out I'm going to get some more potting soil so I can dig some pennyroyal up and grow some more to plant on the edge of places.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Tea party member

Years, and years ago, my now a PhD son had a high school summer job working at the movie theater.  When he got his first paycheck the deductions hit him.

"who's this FICA dude?"  Not kidding that is what he said.

"your Grandpa's social security."

I watched a republican born.

Now my youngest liberal arts major, Socialist (not talking leaning, it is what she is), got a bonus for teaching at a troubled school.  She came to the house to use my ipad to deposit her check.   She signs it, takes a picture and sends it through an app and it is deposited. 

There she is grousing.  Bonuses get a bigger hit than normal since there are not other deductions.

"Why with this kind of economy are they taking so much out?" she asks.

I couldn't resist.

"it is because they take so much out that we have this kind of economy."

I'm going to get a TEA party membership form printed for he when she comes to do laundry.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Leaving Iraq

I was never really in favor of going into Iraq, but we went.  So now we leave them to their own fate.  Sounds familiar?

I would like to think our Soldiers (and Airman and Sailors, and Marines) died for something, not just walking away saying "good luck!"

Sunday, May 11, 2014

I'm sorry Dave, I can't do that

So I am bridesmaid dress shopping with my daughter in law to be and my daughters.  Lovely girl.  We stop at a restaurant, after the book store.  The book store visit was scary since all of us liked books.

In the restaurant there is this digital doodad that will take our drink order.  Neither the hostess nor the waitress understood my

"do I tip it or you?" 

"oh it will take the tips."

"if it is taking my orders why should I tip you?"

The waitress may have understood when I explained the human connection is how tips work.  Now maybe it will help make the waitresses jobs easier.  The electronic type things they have on taxis made for larger tips, more honest drivers.  But still....

Sunday, April 20, 2014

As a libertarian/anarchast/borderling Randian/Cardcarrying NRA member and TEA party function attendee, there is often a question bounded around. 

"what's your favorite Federal program?'

Now the reason for this is that it is to make people think. "The government should..." fill in the blank.  Then to stop and think.  Are there things that "the gov'ment should" that cannot be done at the state level, or the local level,...or does not need government at all.

Back to the question.

My favorite Federal programs.

NASA  it took the collective will, force of the American people to do this.  You can argue Cold War or Space Race and I will not argue.  But I remember watching the Moon Landing. I just wish the thing would be given a decent budget and vision again.  We developed so many things as a result of this.  New Technologies were created.  Inovation and dreams were developed.

Highway Program.  This definitely fits into the Role of the Federal Government as interstate travel.  Railroads might work in Europe, but roads are American.

GI Bill.  My understanding is the college part was an afterthought.  In which case this is a rare case of the Feds having something great from something small.

The other point about these is they do not over reach.  Clean Air Act is pretty cool, and is of the Fed, after all wind does not recognize state borders.  But the people keep giving themselves more and more power. 
last week was some kind of "silence against bullying against LBGT" or some such.

My first statement was "if you want to get rid of bullying, you do not do it by being silent."  My second was "I'm against bullying, anybody...."  My third was "I can give you a list of students that should be silent...."

Sunday, April 6, 2014

students lie

There might be one I have never heard before....

Saturday, March 22, 2014

sell out

I am pursuing my national certification.  Some students still have not signed the permission slips that let me film (which makes camera angles awkward).  I reminded them before spring break to please do so.  Or if they have an objection to being filmed let me know.  "Or I will show up at your house with permission slip in hand."

smart alec.  "you can't find my house."

"its a small town, I can find you.  Don't try me, another student tried.  Google maps is useful."

"well where I live is strange, you can't find it."

*sigh*....just because I have to have the last word.  "John"  *buddy next to him* "you play football with Smart Alex right?*nod from student*  "I'll give you five points extra credit if you will show me where he lives."

John brightens up "okay."

"I told you, don't try me.  Besides I have your slip and your mother works in the next building."

(that's unethical, but I'm sure that chocolate  or such could get the same results.)

Saturday, March 1, 2014

fine girl

In all fairness he was trying to pay a compliment.

We went shopping, my daughters and I, in a nearby town and stopped at a pawn shop that has a large gun collection.  My youngest is an Army veteran, possesses a Bachelors, considering buying an older house to fix up, teaches high school english, working on her master's and is skilled in several crafts.

She is thinking about buying an AR15 for defense and I suggested she look here.  A elderly gentleman commented that it was nice that a young girl knew how to shoot.

Good thing it wasn't loaded.

Monday, February 24, 2014

technology again

the counter on the school's copier says I am out of my ration for copying.  I have no idea what it is. The reason we are not given the amount is because there is concern that we will try to use it all.

I talked to the principal whom I told "surely in February I have not used more than I did last year."

So he will look to see if the count can be reset.

So I spent time loading my web page with assignments.  I needed to anyway.  I will be using projected tests and Ipads to get tests done.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

I make lists in my sleep

This is good.

How to plan stuff.  Many forms on how to plan.  I have a stack of them for my students who need help planning.

Zombie STEM Activity

I am usually down on Texas Instruments.

Now I recognize that years ago they are responsible for Americans having easy access to calculators.  The first ones that came out years ago when I was in High School were very expensive and TI made them cheaper than the others.

My issue is they really want people to use calculators...regardless.  After all if you use calculators instead of doing it with paper, then become dependent on calculators they have sales.

Many of their lesson plans involve teaching students how to use the calculator or new program or new console, instead of learning the lesson.  Of course in my class I use TI.  I even had a set that hooked up to the calculators. (right now my current school has a set of such things by another company)

But here

is a lesson on how such a thing could happen.  It covers the curriculum. 

Hmmm. Maybe we can all do a lesson.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Myths in education II

"the State of North Carolina plans its prison population based on grade reading scores."

Urhommm, no.

Look on the face of this.
How many states do you know of that have the right amount of prison space.  Right.  None.

Every state has prisons that are overcrowed.  People are in prison because of laws.  Many in prison are non violent offenders, drug laws, mandatory sentencing. 

Granted there are many people in prison who cannot read.  But none plane their population based on test scores.

Do not believe me?  Check out

Monday, February 17, 2014

cleaning my mail

There has been a lot of discussion about Common Core.  I teach science, there is not a common core for that.  There is, however, Next Generation Science standards.  Which really should be "science standards aligned with Common Core."   I was going through this that I had sent to a person involved with Next Generation (and where is Jean Luc and Worf?).

Never got an answer.

"I read the power point for next generation recently forwarded to me.

It had this
"On June 1, a fast growing species of algae is accidentally introduced into a lake in a city park. It starts to grow and cover the surface of the lake in such a way that the area covered by the algae doubles every day. If it continues to grow unabated, the lake will be totally covered and the fish in the lake will suffocate. At the rate it is growing, this will happen on June 30. "

I am not a biologist, botonist or hortoculturist, or anything like that.  I have to ask.  "What supper algae is this?" Genus and species is nice.  I mean there is math here, excellent. But is it real?  I cannot envision any plant that grows at that rate.  Okay, cells reproduce and double, but some die, some are eaten....other thing happen. I know of algal blooms and such, even teaching it in Environmental science now.  I remember Chinese cleaning algae out of the ocean in preparation of the Olympics.

So my question is, does the quote I have accurately reflect what can really happen? "

BTW the answer is "the day before it covers the lake, what ever day that is."

I can do geometrical progression.

Friday, February 14, 2014

school shooters, and do not piss off momma bear

We had active shooter training this week.

Since we are a high school, we are not concerned about a random crazy.  At this level it is usually one of our students (Columbine, Jonesboro).

All of us agreed in thought.  They are not getting in my room, if they do it will be because they had to step over my body.  They are not hurting my students, I have high school football players, scrappy black girls, brave hispanic students and brave redneck students. 

The cops will have to scrape up the shooter with a shovel.

And I have an entire chem lab at my disposal.  We will fight back, You will not hurt any of mine.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Book of the day grammar

Transitive Vampire.
by Karen Elizabeth Gordon.

This is where I learned what a "gerund" is.  I used this when I had to teach a remediation class in reading.

You will never see a book like this.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

book of the day star wars

Wedge's Gambit

by a Michael Stackpole

From the Star Wars Expanded Universe, How the Rebellion seized Coruscant.  Multi character intelligence infiltration.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

car kit

I got tired of looking around so I gave it some thought of what to be in the car.

Tools.  I have a car that I no longer need to carry a tool kit to fix it.
I have the  small razor knife so that I have something to cut.
If I am stopped on a campus, I have a good argument that this is not a weapon.  Also, hard to see is a small crowbar to break a window if needed or prying something.  Flashlight, paracord, small pocket knife (from a gimme at a trade show years ago, we used to have several) it has a small set of scissors on it.  Rubber bands, hair ties, safety pins and paper clips.

 Medicine hygene.  Sunscreen which is lotion, germx, toothbrush and paste, wet ones, tissues and eyedrops (I have eye problems)
 Food, if needed and pen and paper.  Though I have tons of that.
 Cleaning towels, window towel, bandana, ziplock bags and an extra pair of glasses.  I finally figured out that they were better in my car than in a dresser drawer.

Other things, Two Liters of water, a signal flare.  I need to get some oil, just in case.  And a set of Jumper cables or emergency starter kit.  The Jumper Cables _will_ have the gauge that checks if the set up is right.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

teaching teenagers

"they say money can't buy happiness.  Money can buy a jet ski.  Have you seen anybody on a jet ski who wasn't happy"

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

just organized

I saw a video on a guy prepping.  Part of what he did was reduce.  If you do not need it get rid of it.

So I organized my office drawers, including labels for where things go.