Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Golden Years Ahead

It's happening.

After finishing my 25th year of teaching, people I started with are starting to...


Monday, June 18, 2018

Carbon Emissions

"Well, if you don't want to be a teacher for a day, then find a partner and create a Kahoot," I said last week in an effort to make sure our class time was full and engaging right up until the last day.

(For those who are unaware, Kahoot is a game-based educational tool played by whole classes in real time. Multiple-choice questions are projected on the screen, and students answer the questions with their device. It can be a very engaging way to introduce, review, or assess material.)

"Does it have to be about school?" asked someone.

"No," I replied. "Find an interest you have in common, do some research, and write 10-12 questions."

The notion of having the whole class play their quiz game was instantly engaging, and soon the class was humming along, using all sorts of higher order thinking skills to create some fun time-fillers for those excruciating final days of school.

And that's how we found ourselves competing to showcase our knowledge of "Different Types of Farts" this morning.

First question? Which type is also known as a Ninja Fart?

First answer? Silent, but deadly. 

And so on, until we got to the question When do girls fart? 

The choices were:

All the time
Only at night
When they are alone

As the time was ticking down, I heard one boy agonizing over his answer. He is the oldest of three brothers, so his experience is somewhat limited. "Wait!" he cried. "Do girls even fart?"

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Lucky Little Girl

I almost ignored the email.

It seemed like some junk from SiriusXM, but I went ahead and clicked on it before deleting. Turns out I had won two complimentary tickets in a promotion I had entered and promptly forgotten. And that’s how we are going to see Lucinda Williams, Steve Earle, and Dwight Yoakum at the MGM Grand Casino Theater tonight. 

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Time is Not of the Essence

The day was filled with minor nuisances: I got up at 6 with the restless dogs; we were scheduled for a work day at the garden; since our washer is still inoperable, we spent several hours sitting around somebody else's empty house doing laundry.

In fact, the list goes on, but honestly? I don't even care. Because this weekend is not like most weekends. Today is the last Saturday until August 25th that is part of a regular work week.

And everything seems, so...




Friday, June 15, 2018

One and a Half to Go

Another day, another--

Wait! No one got hurt today! Nothing was broken or destroyed...

...unless you count my office chair that Z peed on.


Thursday, June 14, 2018

What Could Possibly Go Wrong? Part IV

Years ago we used to organize a field trip to the skating rink just up the road from our school. In our minds, skating was just good, old-fashioned form of healthy recreation, and the facility was new, not many of our students had been skating back then, and so the novelty was a thrill and the trip was always a hit. 

The problem was that every time we went, some kid got injured: lacerated hand, sprained wrist, bump on the head: ultimately, it was the broken leg that put an end to our skating excursions. Even so, we briefly considered reviving that field trip when we were planning our end of the year activity, but the threat of injury waved us off.

So we ended up with a wholesome day at summer camp-- capture the flag, tent races, team building, arts and crafts, a bounce house obstacle course relay, hot dogs and s'mores. Super fun, but safe.

Until that kid dives down the slide in the bounce house and, yes, breaks his arm.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018


And today?

The teacher-for-a-day lesson was slime, fluffy slime.

My niece is a slime expert, but I must confess to only being a slime observer from afar, until today. Everything was going great-- the *teachers* were organized, the students were engaged, until I decided that I wanted to get in on the fun, too.

My first mistake was my last mistake. When I dipped my fingers into the pale green concoction of glue, shaving cream, food coloring, and detergent, instead of coming together into a smooth, squishy ball, mine glommed onto my fingers like sticky dough. Had I been cooking, I would have added a little flour until I achieved the right consistency, but in this case, adding a little more laundry detergent only made matters worse.

Of course it was at that exact point in the lesson that several other students had the same problem as I did, but with my fingers covered in failed slime, I could not offer assistance or redirection. In a matter of moments there was slime on the tables, chairs, carpet, and walls. A quarter of the class dashed to the bathrooms to wash their hands, and I did, too.

In the end? It was nothing that twenty Lysol wipes and five greased elbows couldn't handle. A few kids left with a satisfying baggie of slime, but the trashcan was full of goop.

Lesson learned.