Archive for the 'Work' Category

3 Things Blue

Today’s JOY DARE was to find 3 things blue, which you might think would be easy, but I had to look all day. Here they are:

1. the English hallway,from which I felt somewhat exiled but where I now spend all of my time

2. my winter jacket, courtesy of the daughter. 3/4 of my winter jackets are hand-me-downs from the daughter. What’s up with that?  And finally,

3. Indiana’s “In God We Trust” license plate. Not every state has these, and I feel fortunate to live in a state that does.

Childhood and Play

I just had to share this since, well,  I work in a school and see examples of what it talks about every day.

Cons and Pros of Technology

Yesterday, I was holding up the door of a store when it opened.  I had traveled almost twenty miles to buy a sweater while they still had what I wanted in stock.  (Have you noticed that stores don’t carry nearly as much stock as they used to?)  Anyway, sweater in hand, I walked to the cash register only to be told that their computers were down and I couldn’t buy.  I couldn’t even pay cash because there is no longer a form on which the salesperson could write an official receipt.

Today, I had to take the sixth and seventh roots of numbers in order to prepare for my math class, and I was stymied.  Enter the graphing calculator.  I have always had just your basic calculator, although we bought scientific calculators for the kids when they were in high school.  Calculators were just coming in when I was in college the first time, 1969-73.  When I took my stats class, you only had half the time to complete the test if you had a calculator.  Few people did; I took my test without.

That said, though, I was amazed at what the graphing calculator can do.  It can take the nth root of a number that is raised to a fractional power like 1/2 or 1/3.  It can square numbers or take square roots (at least it could after I found the right button to push).  I bet there is even a way to work with variables on those calculators, although I have not discovered it yet.

We’ve gotten used to all of this technology and, I have to admit, today I was really grateful.  I still wonder, though…if the system crashes and the batteries run out, will we be able to function as a society, or will things be  confused like they were at the Tower of Babel?  Once all the Baby Boomers retire, who will even know the old ways?

Obsolescense

Do you like to hold books?  To touch them?  To swap them?  As I have said before, I used to be an English teacher.  I eat with English teachers.  We all feel that way about books, and we are all mourning the closing of the local bookstore at the mall.

But maybe we just have to go with the times.

The head of the English department got a Kindle for Christmas, and she was showing it off at lunch today.  She has a leather case for it, so you can hold it like a book.  She passed it around, and we were all impressed.  Evidently you can’t download the pictures from books, although she does have a picture of Ernest Hemingway as a screen saver. It was easy to turn pages, and the pages looked like book pages, not all in Times New Roman as I had envisioned them.  The Kindle will even read to you with a synthesized voice.

I was sort of on board.  You can download old books for free, and any book, evidently, for $9.99.

And then…

One of the other teachers my age looked at the thirty-somethings and said, “Save your books, girls.  Otherwise your grandchildren won’t know what they look like.”

Really?  Is that the way we are going?

What about the pictures?

And what will happen if the Kindle (or the other electronic media that is supposed to house printed literature) crashes?

In the old days, people used to memorize to keep their important literature, but I think we can all agree that memorization, for the general public at least, is a lost art.

So if the system crashes, where will we, as a society, be?

I don’t know.  I’m just asking.

Open Mouth, Insert Big Foot, and Look What Happens!

I didn’t even know I did it.

Last semester, I made an offhand remark to one of the teachers in charge of scheduling me that I was out of practice with some of the higher math and didn’t feel like I could help in study hall like I wanted to.  It was really just an offhand remark.

Well…this morning, when I walked in to get my second semester schedule, I had:

1rst–English 12

2nd–English 11

3rd–Resource Room

4th and 5th–English 10

6th–Credit Study Hall (the place where I said I sometimes didn’t feel like I was much help)

and

7th–Algebra 4, which is really the second semester of Algebra 2 the way I took it in, um…1971-72?

GULP!!!

I have written before about the math teachers with whom I was blessed, particularly the Kroggels. As I viewed my schedule with some concern,  I could hear them saying , as they did so long ago, “Calm down.  You can do this.”

Still, I have to admit that I was a bit nervous as I waited for 7th period.  Nervous enough that I stayed after and worked the homework while the teacher was still there to make sure I could do it.  And that I understood it.  When you are an aide, you have to be able to explain things in a very basic way, and usually you can’t take short-cuts because the minds of the kids with whom you are working just don’ t work that way.  There are a lot of different methods used to teach the things I learned so long ago, so while I might know how, I have to be able to show the kids using the appropriate method.  And while I left school half an hour late and reworked the problems when I came home to make sure I could explain them, I think I’ve got it!

For today, anyway.

Oh, well.  Don’t “they” say it’s a good idea to shake things up when you’re older to keep your mind alert?  Who am I to argue with the oh-so-knowledgeable “they”?  Maybe this is a blessing.

I’ll just approach the rest of the semester with sort of a cross between what the Kroggels taught me and the Little Engine That Could

I’m calming down.

I think I can.

I think I can.

I think I can.

I can.

🙂

Right?

Unexpected Gifts

These are the two gifts I got at work today:

1. Steven asked for my help and then received what I had to give.  The semester is over next Friday, and this is the first time.

2.  Kenny told me his dad wanted him to stay home but he came to school because he knew I was waiting to help him get caught up.  “It was my choice,” he said, and he was proud.  So am I.

Aren’t those wonderful things to happen on a Friday? 🙂

Gratitude Journal, Day 19

Today I am grateful that…

61.  …one of my “lost” boys finally smiled.  Today was his birthday, and we fussed over him in two classes.  Finally, in the second one, we saw a smile.

62. …that one of our  little “angels” didn’t get caught when he did a favor for one of my colleagues.  He had promised to return a DVD for her because she had a sub and could not do it herself.  At first he forgot, and when he remembered and came back to school, he found her room locked.  So, instead of getting a janitor to unlock the door,as you or I might have,  he, ummm…used his credit card.

Sigh.

The DVD did get back on time, and my colleague lectured him on using his credit card for something other than that for which it was intended.

63. …I have a hubby who doesn’t mind packing.  I sure do, and we are about to do a LOT of traveling.