Friday, December 29, 2006

I do love them!

My period one class chose not to write their exam on the last day of classes, so instead we had cookies and hot chocolate and discussed our favorite tv shows and random things. (This actually happens more than I should admit...) While we were "sharing fellowship" (the Catholics have words to justify everything, including eating and doing nothing. I may have switched systems, but I will steal what I deem appropriate.) one of my students took a few moments and personalised my Christmas card. It seems appropriate to share.

Twas 3 days before Christmas
And all through the school
Students chattered of the upcoming yule
In the math class Mme sat at her desk
Patiently awaiting 2nd periods test
She then glanced at her class and realised
Oh my goodness I love these guys!
So her class shouted with cheer
Merry Christmas Mme and Happy New Year!

a christmas explosion!

I know this is way late, but it seems really wrong not to post about the last day of school before the break.

It took me a little while to get into the Christmas swing of things this year. There was just so much to do, and so little time for things Christmas. However, by mid December, I was right into my typical love of Christmas. Greatly aided by Rach and Mariltio arriving home of course. School was certainly a festive place indeed - so many goodies, Secret Santa, and festivities galore. I was quite impressed at how contained the festivness was from my students this year. I don't always love the last week before Christmas because dreams of sugar plums and new ipods tend to distract my always attentive learners. This year, I managed to keep the darlings learning right up until the 21st, and even had a class who wanted to write their exam on the last day of classes. Dedicated to learning they be! I had to stop myself when I realised that I was the one trying to talk them out of learning/thinking on the last day of school... Bad teacher!

So yes, it was a good season, and I was very happy to see the 22nd arrive if only it meant I would get to sleep in the next day. I was prepared for a fun relaxing, and generally Christmas-y day. It would appear what had been going on in the ways of the spirit inducing was not satisfactory to the SRC. Acceptable, maybe, but they were not totally convinced that everyone has been completely submersed in the Christmasness. The week had been mild and gentle sprit. The 22nd was a full on spirit assault. Labelled dress up day, I was shocked at how many kids actually dressed up. Crazy elves, Santas, Mrs Clauses, presents, angels, Christmas trees and Reindeers were everywhere. The band and choir had also been recruited in the war against the unspirited - around every corner was another small group of students singing or playing Christmas carols. Several different times during the day I witness "spontaneous caroling." The whole afternoon was dedicated to Christmas cheer - no classes were even held, instead we had a pep rally dedicated to the love of Christmas full of silly antics.

I left school that day so full of the Christmas love I thought I might burst. So of course, I did the only thing possible - went home and cleaned my house like a madwoman so I could have the girls over for our annual Christmas get together. It was awesome.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

3 more days!

Well the craziness is officially in full swing. So much to do, so very precious few non working hours. Being as responsible as I am certainly is tough. For when you are a responsible professional, you don't stay up til 1am decorating Christmas trees and gingerbread houses with your bestest friends. Especially not when you have an exam to give the next morning that is not finished or photocopied. Never! This would require you to get up at some ghastly hour, hoping there is still enough sugar in your system from all the icing and candy you didn't eat while you weren't decorating a gingerbread house to finish things that should have been done earlier. You also wouldn't be making blog entries from school while your students write said exam, so if it existed you could post pictures of the marvellous creation that was really just an excuse to eat more candy.

But enough about what I haven't been doing...

Through a somewhat complicated, yet simple system, we managed to get our hands on a Wii last weekend. It involved tickets, WalMart (I know!), bribing my bro, and someone else with more money than myself. The end result was awesomeness. Jeff has posted some pictures on his blog. I love that in 2/3 I look totally unimpressed with what is going on. The truth? I probably haven't had that much silly fun since I was a preschooler. No lies, the Wii is just as awesome as everyone thinks it is, and then some. For one, I can actually play it (unless we start talking about tennis...). This is a pretty big deal in the land of the 3D console games and confusing controllers that my spatial abilities just can't handle. The actually moving to accomplish stuff on screen is awesome. It's fun cause you're doing stuff, and it's fun cause you and everyone else look just a little silly "pretending" to do stuff. We only had Wii sports to play, I can't wait to get back over now that an extra controller and Monkey Ball has been purchased.

Shopping is slightly stressful this year, mainly because I have no time to do it. I put a good dent in it last weekend, but have zero hours allotted to completing it. That and finding what I consider to be the simplest of items has been difficult this year. My gift ideas are so fabulous, everyone else has already bought what I'd looking for... My new best friend, Elise the massage therapist, has been helping my poor back recover from my abuse. More on Elise, the lady with magic hands, when I'm not supposed to be inspiring the leaders of tomorrow...

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

my body is a wonderland?

More like my body is a freak show. I have been somewhat at war with my body for the last little while. You see, there is some kind of super cold/virus/flu thing going around that is knocking people out for weeks at a time. I have been feeling on the verge of getting sick for over a week. Hence the war. My body is normally pretty good at fending off evil colds and flus until I have a break - most typically Christmas break. I trick my body into thinking team chelle doesn't have time to get sick by keeping up a steady routine of not getting enough sleep, working bizarre hours and not eating properly.

You would think I would do the opposite - eat well balanced meals, go to bed on time, etc. to keep the immune system happy. This, however, is a language my body doesn't understand. Forgetting my body does not understand preventative measures, I actually got to bed early last night. I mean early as in 10:45. This is only 15 minutes earlier than my idealistic bedtime, and 45-60 minutes earlier than my real bedtime. I also let myself sleep a whole 20 minutes later this morning.

How does my body reward such kind actions? By thinking it's the holidays and time to get sick. I kid you not, I had a runny nose by 9 this morning. By period 3 I was downright miserable and my staple drug of Advil Cold and Sinus was at home. My grade 9s must have sensed something was up, because they were uncharacteristically cooperative today. I sure was happy to be home at 4! I rewarded myself with le Advil and some Minish Cap. One dose of Advil just didn't do the trick and I had a very important supper date that has been in the works for just about a month, so I took two more before heading out for supper.

To really prove what kind of freakshow I'm running around here, when I got home from supper I was totally in the mood to go for a run. WHAT?!? I am never in the mood to go for a run. Most days I would rather donate a kidney to a stranger than hop on the treadmill. So, against all better judgement, I went for a run. While running I read an article on how it's okay to run if the only thing you are sick with is a cold.

Now I've got some work to do before I can go to bed. 8 more days of school til holidays... Not that I'm counting or anything.

Monday, December 11, 2006

it's beginning to feel a lot like christmas...

I'm sure you've noticed by the lack of posts that it's that time of year again. The time of year where even just thinking about taking time out of my day to post on my blog causes my blood pressure to rise and for a mini stress crisis to start brewing. Oh December. Month of holidays and more work than I normally do in the first 4 months of school combined... Or maybe only slightly more work and way more "social obligations." Please understand that I consider a social obligation anything where people I so much as moderately like and food and/or beverages will be present. It becomes a moral obligation if the food is related to chocolate or cheese.


All this work and eating aside, exciting things have been going on. For example, just the other day I spotted my very first set of truck nuts! I literally clapped with joy in my car. I was really wishing Marlito or Km would have been here to share in the moment, seeing as these were a very subpar set of nuts. They weren't round, but instead flat on one side. They were also a disturbingly accurate fleshy colour, and their one sided flatness made them look rather droopy. I had full intentions to linking to Km's blog, where he discusses these little beauties in more depth, but can't find it. Km's blog has a tendency to break my computer, it's full of that much goodness.




Today, 3 girls performed for me an original Backstreet boys medley. For a project, they rewrote the lyrics (in French!!) to 4 different sections of popular BSB's songs, to teach a "sick classmate" about inverse variation. They even added actions. I'm not sure if you've ever really experienced being a teacher until you have 3 girls, singing in French, to your favorite teenage songs about math. I should have videotaped them (had they given me any kind of notice this piece of wonderfulness was going to brighten my Monday).
Big Red moved at the beginning of the month, to his own place. It's pretty sweet he no longer lives in the middle of some kind of wild zoo.
I've become totally addicted to Zelda's "Minish Cap." This is not good. What is good is that I'm almost done.
I'm also trying really hard to get all my school stuff done before Friday when Rach and Marlito will be home. This is not particularly easy considering I'm reinventing 2 units and only sort of have resources for them. I know I could cheap out and do it the old crappy way, but that's not the way I'm rolling this year.
That being said, this trend of no posting will probably hold steady until the holidays start. Just have some more chocolate and Christmas cheer and you won't even notice I'm gone. Hopefully because I'll be visiting with you shortly!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

meeting the neighbours

I am currently accepting donations to fund the "get chelle out of Canada and into the tropics" initiative. While a tax receipt will not be provided, your choice of cookies, muffins, or chocolates will be. An added Christmas incentive will include homemade Baileys.

Seriously, it's all kinds of stupid in this province right now. Yes, I am aware it's all kinds of stupid every year. I haven't quite decided which relatives I should blame this insanity on, but believe me, when I do, I will give their children/grand-children quite a scolding. What were they thinking? It's not like we had an excuse like most people - no one in my family farms. We are not "tied to the land" in any way shape or form. Currently, the only thing keeping us here is the rest of the family (and the pretty bridges, trees, and lovely 4 summer months). Gah.

So two days of blizzarding, two days of almost dying every time you leave your house. I'm not exaggerating here, for some reason, there are still people who have not figured out how to drive in the snow and ice. If you are not from out of province, what is your problem? This is nothing new. Gah.

This weather hasn't been all bad - I met a new acquaintance! We were brought together by the very blizzard I am cursing. You see, my parking spot is behind the rec center, beside the Loras bin, and conveniently collects snow drifts. It is also a low point, and collects water when it's warmer. So my parking spot is currently an excellent geological study (maybe not as good as Gnat's sandwich) - somewhere there is a base layer of asphalt, then many small layers of ice and snow, with severe ruts due to melting with a very loose but deep layer of blowy snow. There is no science needed to realise that this is a recipe for a stuck car. If I were single, this would be a great way to meet guys - drive, get car stuck, need help, get help from cute boy, meet cute boy for coffee and then hope the planets align. As I have a wonderful boyfriend, I don't really need to meet guys, but am very happy when they show up and offer to push my car out all the same. Thank you new neighbour acquaintance, from myself and my boyfriend who I would have had to call had you not showed up.

This whole process took around 15 minutes. It's a 3-5 minute drive to school. If you include the time my car warmed up, we're at around 25 minutes running car time. That is the same amount of time it would take me to walk to school (add minutes for snow on blizzard days). Currently I am trying to decide if I should spend money on better winter tires or better outside winter clothes.

Monday, November 27, 2006

follow up

And the mom set up continues.

I talked with HAS today. Finding out how the double date went was high on my priorities of things that needed to be covered during the course of our conversation. These are the very first two things she said:

"It sure was great catching up with you mom!"
"[insert mom's bf's name here] sure is nice..."

Notice she mentions nothing of her supposed date. We chatted more, and there may or may not be a follow up coffee date. Le boy made a fatal mistake in not loving the Vanier Cup, or at least pretending to be interested in it. Will he recover? Stay tuned!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

think, then speak

It would appear I have become a smidgen too comfortable with my job, and by extension, my students. This week, in what loosely could have been called a teachable moment, things escaped my mouth that very surely should have only been uttered by a teacher with a permanent position. As of yet, I haven't received any phone calls, but it's not Friday.

My grade 10s are determining the equations of lines and exploring slope. Parallel and Perpendicular lines to be precise. Titillating material I assure you. To get them to really understand that when writing the equation of parallel or perpendicular lines it is only the slope that matters, I am ridiculous in choosing the intercept point. 2, -3, 103, 4 000 356. I shout these silly numbers over and over at them, hoping they'll get it.

This year, my extremely mature gr 10s, very much enjoyed this exercise. It started out with a y-intercept of 369. Small tittering around the room. Then, just 69. Quiet snickering. Another 69. They're almost laughing now, not quite sure if I'm going to say anything, or just keep writing 69 up there on the board for all the world to see. Another 69, and now we have laughing. I'm simply smiling, telling them that that is in fact a line parallel to the original. One boy is brave enough to admit he has no idea what anyone is finding funny. He asks me what 69 means. He's serious. He honestly has no idea what the joke is. I matter of factly tell him that's something he's going to have to ask his dad, since I don't really have that kind of extra time on my hands - curriculum and all. The rest of the class is dying, this lack of knowledge from a peer is too much for them. I continue on, highly amused at gr10s.

We come to a tricky example - one involving horizontal lines. This seemed like a good time to review the properties of horizontal and vertical lines. I write horz on the board, and start writing short notes underneath. My class explodes in laughter. Now it's me who has no idea what's going on. I turn around, searching the red faces for answers. They can barely contain themselves. What's so funny? I ask the giggling masses. Horz, one student manages to squeak out. I'm confused. I say it to myself in my head. (This is a French class, all dialogue is happening in French, and 0-ri-zontalle isn't really seeming funny to me.) Horz, like.... they trail off. The light bulb goes on. Like whores.

I must have been having a really good day, because there are days when this kind of ridiculous stuff really gets to me, but on this day, I'm almost laughing with them. So, I scan the room. I reel them in. You can't tell you parents what I'm about to teach you I tell them. Probably for the first time since September, everyone is paying attention. I explain: Horizontal lines are just like whores - they're flat on their backs for nothing. I used my arm to demonstrate the flat, zero sloped line for extra oomph. There was a brief pause of disbelief that a teacher had actually just said that before the laughing started.

I reminded them that this was something that should not be repeated around the dinner table later that evening, nor anywhere near the principal. I would like to think that no one will mess up the horizontal line questing on their upcoming exam, but I know better. Sigh.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

beware my single friends

My mother may try to set you up on a blind date. She won't ask what I think or anything, she will just contact you out of the blue with a gentleman in mind. People will talk to people, and before you know it you'll be going on a blind bowling double date with my mother and her boyfriend. Don't get me wrong, my maman and her gentleman friend are swell people. Going on a date with my mom? That seems all kinds of wrong.

Giddy from hearing this hilarious news, I had to contact Rach ASAP. I have yet to contact HAS, the subject of my mom's scheming, to find out full details. As Rach and I giggled and squealed over this delicious bit of gossip (which is only going to get better, I just know it). Rach had some very pertinent questions.
1) HAS agreed to this?
2) your mother knows single young men?
3) a double blind date with your mom and her man?
4) is her tumour back?

I think number 4 sums it all up folks...

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

i support you rodger rare!

95% of the time other people are able to better express what I would like to say. If I thought he was game, I would invite Kev to do a guest blog here so he could enlighten you to the crooked practices of Wal-Mart right here in little Saskatoon. I would attempt to explain what happened, but I'm sure I would mess it all up. End product, Wal-Mart wins, Saskatoon loses. We're not just losing on a moral issue, we're also losing 8 million dollars. I hate you Wal-Mart.

This hurts my brain, fuels my rage, and make me happy other people are like minded. Well played Mr. Shawn, well played.

pd-tastic

Monday was a swell day. We had PD all day out at the Western Development Museum. No kids AND a nice change of scenery from a classroom or the cafeteria. Thank you PD committee, you are indeed doing a good job.

So we started off the morning with some entertaining group activities. Since we were at the WDM, naturally they revolved around early Saskatchewanians. We were divided into towns (go Pelly!) and each town was given the task and limited ressources to raise a barn. By limited resources, I mean our group had some cardboard, red paper, string and some markers. They also showed us a quick clip from some movie where Mennonites raise a barn, so we would "get the idea." A quick survey amongst the 6 Pelly townsfolk revealed none of us had ever raised a barn. Did I forget to mention a time restraint had been placed upon us? 15 minutes is not a whole lot... Anyway, despite our lack of expertise, our barn came together very nicely indeed. Keys were our main method of cutting things, and we securely wrapped our barn together. I, now a barn building expert, patented the design for our very solid roof. Just a hint, it involves slits and notches. Our group had finished the task and was just about delve into the discussion questions when a time extension was issued! Ridiculous! The competitive nature of Pelly did not appreciate the bending of the rules for lesser capable towns. However, we stood by our original product and chose to leisurely discuss the follow up questions over coffee instead of mess with near perfection.

Did I mention the media was out in full force for this little activity? I had a girl from Global in my face almost the entire time we were trying to build our barn. I think this testifies to how great the town of Pelly really is. I was however very glad she chose to interview someone else who had proper PD jargon down. Seriously, my fellow Pellian has a future in politics. One of my students came to school today and promptly informed me he'd seen me on the news last night. "You looked confused." was what he got out of it. Dude, I was building a barn out of cardboard and string, heck yes I was confused. CBC and the Star Phoenix were also out snapping away. From what I understand the story failed miserably at conveying what was going on and just reinforced the idea that teachers don't do any real work. They pay people downtown money to worry about my public image, I don't see the point in getting too worked up about it. I do think it's convenient that one 30minute activity in a 6 hour day is all that was mentioned.

Back to the barn. As I was getting my coffee, it became apparent Pelly was an independent and resourceful town. Other towns had scissors and tape! Cardboard rolls and newspapers! The discussions that followed the activity were surprisingly meaningful and insightful. Especially if you knew the bunch of jokers I work with. This part naturally got no media coverage.

We followed up our barn raising with some department time and a chance to explore the WDM. This was not overly useful for myself seeing as anything I could accomplish there I could accomplished as effectively and cheaper elsewhere. Someday if I'm in the position to teach an advanced class (they have more opportunities for multi-disciplinary projects) or maybe something in Core French will be more pertinent.

I need to mention lunch briefly because there was no mayo or mustard on the sandwiches. Do you have any idea how rare that is? Fantabulous.

After lunch I went to a fantastic session lead by a terrible presenter. I really felt for her. I was so interested in what she was saying, and amazed that she could be a teacher AND such a terrible presenter. I later found out she's even been presenting all over lately, so by now she should be at least a little better. I'm not sure what her presenting issues are, but I was able to overcome them to be able to appreciate what she's saying. She's teaching at my old school, and I feel a little jealous that I didn't get to work with her. What her old school in Ontario developed is something I really stand behind and would like to see more of in the curriculum revisions that will be coming our way shortly. Happily, I think it's something my current staff is leaning towards as well. Yay math! It's nice to be reminded about good practices and awesome ideas that get forgotten about when curriculum, textbooks and time get in the way.

We finished off the day with a good old fashioned scavenger hunt. Pelly had somehow disintegrated and we were down to 4 townsfolk. Urban migration isn't a myth my friends! At first I wasn't very excited. This took me all of 30 seconds to get over. 2 minutes until full competitive me took right over. It was requested we not run. Ummm, nice try. It was also requested that we not split up. Again, Pelly makes it's own rules. What do you get for making your own rules? 2nd place and an old fashioned candy stick. Looking to have a scavenger hunt? I highly recommend the WDM, it's chock full of history and tricky things to find. And had I had a camera and some friends - fantastic photo opportunities.

I'm already looking forward to our next PD day. Which may not be til January. I think maybe I should take a peek at my Professional Growth Binder before then...

Thursday, November 09, 2006

je suis pathétique!

I have finally decided to go back to the gym after a bit of absence. There is one right across the street from me after all. The particular gym I have joined, offers what appeals to me - some pretty fun looking classes and a weight room that is essentially never used because 95% of it's clientele is stay at home mom's who do step classes.

One of these classes is called "group centergy." i think it's pretty obvious from its name how awesome a class it is. I mean, someone took the time to make up a new hybrid word - just for this class! Group centergy is offered at 6am on Thursday mornings. Now, i'm no morning person, but for centergy, even the 6 am couldn't keep me away. Oh, I know what you're all saying - get out chelle! no class could be THAT good. oh ya? resist this!

Group Centergy is a revolution in mind/body training that will change the way you feel about your body—forever. You'll stand straighter, feel stronger, become more flexible, and more physically aware. Set to uplifting music, Group Centergy is designed to increase your endurance, reduce stress, and relieve pain. So get your mind and body into the flow - Group Centergy.

It's a revolution! It's going to change me forever! It's centergy!


Anyway, I figured it would be a good place to start my re-entry to the world of being in shape. The yoga thing appeals to me on a conceptual level. Realistically I've hated the little I've done, it's way too hokey. I've been told pilates is better, but more expensive. Tai chi? Something a little more hollywoodesque?  Really what I was hoping for was a good old fashioned stretch class. If it needed to be called centergy, so be it.


I roll out of bed. The cold hurts me, but the studio was nice and warm. I was all set to start my day with some good stretching and stress relieving. You know, in a relaxed manner. I was picturing the funny class Xtina and I took in Japan one day, minus the weird foamy things. For some reason my knowledge of the excitement over "centergy!" didn't make me think that it would be strenuous.


The fine folks at the gym really need to bold and underline the word endurance in their class description. Maybe make it flash or something. This was no gentle wake up. It was more of a plunge into cold water. Only the cold water was a flashback to doing deep pliés in second for hours on end (for you non dancers, wall sits are somewhat equivalent, minus the wall).


I was enjoying it - I did kinda ask for the stretch class - that is, until I just about passed out. Oh ya, that's right folks, I just about passed out from doing YOGA. I'm so out of shape that yoga makes me dizzy. True it was a little like yoga on speed (which, once i'm not a loser, will be awesome cause it makes it not hokey), but still. About 20mins in I had to leave and sit in the dressing room for fear of actually falling over. I'm a trooper though, I got over it and jumped right back in. Just in time for the lady to try and kill us all.


I'm an abs person. I love abs stuff. Probably cause it's something I've always been relatively good at. They didn't include in the centergy description that abs of steel were a prerequisite. Steel probably isn't good enough anyway, centergy demands some kind of crazy new alloy. Abs of centergy. The good thing was we were on the floor at this point so passing out would be almost undetectable.


For the first time ever, I appreciated the end cool down breathing/visualisation thing. Because I thought I was dying. Because I'm not sure I would have been able to walk out of there without it.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

halloween

Folks seemed to be pretty excited to find out what goes on at Diva's for halloween so I thought I'd share some of the goodness.

These two certainly don't do anything half assed now do they?

Just cause I love them so much, here they are again.


We're off to see the wizard!


That pic really does the tin man no justice at all, but oh well.

How cute is this? Sure it's easy, but it's still awesome!


Not so cute, but pretty impressive.



I can't imagine how uncomfortable she would have been walking around with the world's biggest cookie pan on her back.

And lastly, I have no idea what this guy is, but I'm not convinced anyone cared...


So ya, that was halloween Diva's style. There were lots of other cute costumes, but they either didn't photograph well or at all.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

robot what?

not surprisingly, big red is obsessed with the tv show robot chicken. not knowing what it was, he made it a mission to force me to like it. i humoured big red. sure it was funny, but it wasn't the roll around on the floor/couch kinda funny that he thinks it is

until this. sweet corn. this video sold me on robot chicken. and if you watch this clip and have no idea what is going on, do yourself a favour and go rent "you got serverd." you can thank me later.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

i heart nerds

I love nerds for many reasons. Currently it's for their love of halloween and cool costume ideas.

Have you ever seen anything cuter than this? (scroll to bottom of page) Ya, I didn't think so.

we all love product placement everyday...

While I was busy immersing myself in all sorts of ways to create a French environnment in my classroom, another conference was also giong on in Regina. Yet again not knowing anything, it may or may not have been a big deal. Sci-matics, the annual math/science conference. I think it is annual and provincial. I guess I will find out next year when I go (alternating French Math seems like a plan to me).

Anywho, the staff who went to Sci-matics are super. They brought me back presents! Merci beaucoup other staff. A spectrum pen, some handouts, a CD with graphing calculator games/exercises from the fine folks at Texas Instruments and a package from CBS.

Oh yes, that's right. CBS. The tv people. They are the brainchild (with a helping hand from Texas Instuments) of the "We all use math everyday" program. Right off the bat this sounds awesome. A program supporting math and providing cool activities can't be bad can it? can it? Hmmmm.

The WAUMED program has at its base the tv show Numb3rs. Oh. I've never watched Numb3rs, mainly cause I watch too much tv already. Maybe it's a great show. I'm still not sure I was to shamelessly promote it in my classroom. Even when you pair math teachers, university professors and the calculator people to make up activities about a tv show, the bottom line still apprears to be advertising for the tv show. The activities can be made to stand alone (or so they claim) but they focus on math used in the episodes.

Each week, the fine folk from WAUMED publish 3-5 acitivities that correspond to the math used in the upcoming episode. It does appear like the include all sorts of cool ressources for follow up things if the students interest is piqued (that are not related to the show), but the lessons themselves are full of dorky plugs. Unnessesary plugs. While it would be fairly easy to modify this stuff, why put it in there in the first place? It feels like the NCTM sold out on this one.

Example:
One of the sample activities is about cryptography. A brief history on cryptography is given as well as an example of where "Charlie" receives a coded message in the show. Followed by a really solid lesson on creating ciphers and modular math, examples included. Ok, I'm willing to let the reference to the show in the intro go, seeing as they are most likely paying for this stuff, and we are supposed to be linking where this would be used in a real life situation. On to the student participation aspect. It asks the students to code their own sentence. Logical considering the lesson. However, having the student code the sentence "I watch numbers every Friday" is so cheesy and lame it hurts. Now, it's not hard to have you students code a different sentece or something of their choice, but this just became something that I couldn't just print and use. Unless of course I wanted to get into a discussion about product placement in our lives. And then this becomes an awesome lesson.

Argh. I put the we all use math everyday poster up in my classroom because it abides by the Quebec laws - what I want the kids to read is over triple the size of the CBS ad in the corner. But still. I feel like I'm being used by a network. Isn't this where selling out starts? Subtle manipulations that we ignore because we think the good is better than the evil?

And even if I use the cheesiness to discuss product placement, selling out, etc, with my kids, doesn't the network attain their goal anyway? We're still talking about them, their show and what they're doing. Something about all press is good press...

Monday, October 30, 2006

acpi

No one really ever tells me anything at my school. Apparently, there exists things I am just supposed to know about and know what a big deal they are. When I was asked a month or so ago if I was interested in going to Congres 2006, I replied not really. The school only was alloted one paid spot, and another teacher appeared very keen on going. I could have applied to receive in school funds, but still would have had to foot a bill of over $100. So I declined the invite.

Weeks later, for reasons unbeknownst to me, the lady who wanted to go backed out. Our school now had a paid spot up for grabs. There was another teacher going, but he received in school funds (and didn't seem to care that he would have to pay) so I decided to go. It seems like a terrible waste of board money not to have them send someone. I filled out my forms and signed myself up.

No one told me that this conference was a really big deal. I mean a National conference that only happens every 2 years and won't be back in Sk for a guessed 15 years kind of big deal. 900 folks from around the country kind of big deal. I heard from many people that their schools had cancelled school so their teachers could be there. I just assumed it was a little conference with folk from around the province like is always offered. Silly me.

So I'm super glad I got to go. Not only was almost everyone I graduated with there (minus the girls on mat leave) but I picked great sessions, except for one. I left with lots of useable material and am feeling much better about teaching Core French next semester.

An an extra added bonus Not So French Girl was down for the conference and stayed with me. She's always a welcome house guest! It was unfortunate I had to work Sat night, but I think all worked out ok.

Fantastique!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

would you like a headache?

In an attempt to be creative, interesting and a good teacher all at the same time, I decided to get my grade nines to perform a little activity this afternoon. This seemed like a fantastic idea yesterday afterschool as I was planning it. In my mind everything was going to go tickety-boo, complete with an administrator walking in making some comment to the effect of "my, what a spectacular learning environnment you have created here!"

The plan - have them measure their height, femur length, head circumference and then answer some simple ratio and proportion questions. Sounds simple right? At first I was thinking I would just write the instructions on the board, and let them go at it. Then a little voice piped up that maybe a detailed worksheet would probably be a good idea. Bless you little voice.

So today. I get everyone seated, quiet, paying close attention. There are some simple instructions that go with the activity. All measurements need to be in the same units. I don't care which units, just the same ones. I told them where their femur was. I demonstrated how one would go about measuring apporximate femur length. We discussed what circumference was. I reinforced that to measure the circumference of your head you would need to use string and not a meter stick. Ok, good to go. Anything else they would need to know was on the sheet I had so carefully prepared. One last warning about how the meter sticks were not to be used for anything besides measuring and we were off.

I think it took less than 2 minutes for chaos to break out. Kids yelling for my help in every direction. I am incapable of helping anyone because I am utterly confused at how the instructions "Measure and record your height" followed by a space to record said height could be confusing. When I finally can speak, I consider hitting some of the children with the metersticks myself because they have already forgotten how to make a ratio. They love ratios. Nothing gets easier than first value, colon, second value. We spent the first 20 minutes of class making ratios. Somehow femur length and height are outside what we can make ratios with. Girls and boys in a class, easy. Minutes spent reading to minutes spent watching tv, done deal. My personal favorite, chocolate cake to marble cake, to white cake, super fantastic. Femur to height, wha?!

In the meantime the noise level has gotten loud enough that my neighbour feels the need to check in. His wall is shaking. You need to bang to measure. Of course you do.

The questions continue.
"I don't get #2" impatiently says student.
"What does #2 say to do" I exasperatedly reply in my most patient tone.
"Check with 2 other groups..."the trail off.
I don't reply, I just raise my eyebrows expectantly. Student stares at me.
"What does check with 2 other groups mean?" my expectant look obviously getting me nowhere.
"Oh! You really want us to check with other groups?"
"Ummm yeah..." I trail off, not wanting to say anything inappropriate by accident.

Repeat, repeat, repeat.

I may have been pleased at my students knowledge of integers, but they sure do have a long way to go in the domain of being independant thinkers!!!

Friday, October 20, 2006

interviews

My favorite time of the year. Parent-teacher interviews. Normally I don't stress out too much about them - there's not a whole lot that can go wrong in 5 minutes - but this year I was feeling a little apprehensive. You see, often with high achieving kids come crazy parents. Not to mention everyone, parents included, maybe got a little too attached to their previous teacher. Not that she wasn't wonderful, but there was a lot of freaking outlast year when a stable replacement was hard to track down.

Needless to say I was 100% booked last night. 6:30-9, one 5 minute break. It went much better then anticipated. Almost all the parents were great, very supportive and just stopping by to meet me. Turns out I'm good at ushering parents out the door and staying on time - I ran ahead of schedule almost all evening. The parents of the my most easygoing and generally likeable student are of course people who never smile. He must be adopted. I also had a family feud in my classroom. Sweet! The best part? I was not included in the conversation at all - they simply used my room and chairs. Of course, they were late and then wouldn't leave. Maybe they don't have chairs at home? Je ne sais pas. They may have remembered to say goodbye to me when they finally did leave.

The good part of interviews is invariably many teachers get together and go for a drink afterwards. We had to go out seeing as in switching school boards I left behind being legally allowed to drink in the school. Sigh. Not everything about the Catholics is bad... Anyway, there was probably about 20 teachers who wound up going out (not great numbers if you consider there are over 120 staff members...). It was bizarre at first. My old staff was a fairly close staff. When I showed up I was amazed that there literally were people sitting at the table that I had never seen before. I knew 2 names. Awkward. Someone finally admitted they had no idea who I was either, and some intros were made. Finally I felt at ease enough to insult someone, and voila! acceptance into 'the group.' I think I will include a meeting people goal in my professional growth plan for this year. Seriously, learning 30 names will take effort.

Today I got to sleep in, was served a fresh cinnamon bun breakfast to accompany my Personal Development, and accomplished looking at my Professional Growth binder. Baby steps... Oh, and I also decided that as part of my plan for this year I'm going to start keeping a super nerdy teacher blog. They encourage journal writing for reflexion, but physically having to writing things is almost obsolete. I would never actually sit down with a book and write things out, so I will type them. And share it with those who are interested. ie, my administrator in charge of consulting with me on my growth. He's not actually interested, but he gets paid to pretend so I guess that counts.

The rest of my interviews were fine, a little on the disorganised side, but nothing exciting and no stories. Darn you parents for being supportive and not crazy! You make terrible blog material.

Monday, October 16, 2006

so far so good

I am currently wearing heels AND trouser socks. So far so good. I haven't fallen, tripped or sprained an ankle (yet). This is actually somewhat of a feat considering I had to shuffle to my car this morning, and then skate around it to get it cleaned off. The trouser socks and myself are also getting along. There is no love, but no hatred either. I guess they will do until a better solution presents itself.

relief

This weekend was the best weekend since my 26th birthday. You're prolly thinking I did something exciting, adventurous, or fun. Nope. Instead I celebrated getting old and stayed at home all weekend. I cleaned, I did school work and I watched tv. It was freaking awesome.

I have no idea what is wrong with me. I'm not a dirty person, but I certainly am a messy one. As hard as I try to fix this, I just can't do it. I'm one of those 'has to make a big mess before anything can get clean' kind of people. Only it's a little extreme cause it applies to every facet of my life. I don't refile school things when I take them out, I have a big pile of 'things to refile, someday.' I don't put clothes away or wash them until there is a huge pile that has taken over my dresser/floor. Floor for dirty, dresser for clean. Mail stacks for long periods of time until it gets dealt with. At the end of the day I have to clean my classroom and put everything away cause I am capable of messing it up in the 4 hours I teach in here. Gah!

So this weekend, I cleaned my house. All of it. With the exception of the computer room, cause that is where some chaos is allowed to stay. Seeing as I can only clean in bits before I get bored, this took 3 days. But now it's awesome. And I really am going to try to get slightly neater. My closet organiser should help. This year I've already been way better with the bathroom. Next step - keeping things off the kitchen table and hanging up my jacket. Big hopes and dreams for 26!

I also watched a tonne of tv while doing school work. This makes school stuff less annoying. Seeing as I'm making up the answer key (somedays better than others...) I have lots and lots of questions to do, all the time. Tv makes this slightly less painful. Marking is also better while accompanied by Mack and crew. If my current school work load is any indication, I will be caught up on all the CSIs by Christmas... sigh.

Honestly it was good to be a hermit for a few days. Not to mention both my school and home life are in much better shape. Stress minimisation, that's what I accomplished this weekend. I would like to think that someday soon, having a clean house, being caught up on school AND seeing my friends is a possibility. For now, 2 out of 3 ain't bad.

Friday, October 13, 2006

birthday extravaganza con't

After our delicious supper and a small wardrobe adjustment, we continued our evening with what every good birthday must contain - dancing! Remembering how well the hose turned out for Rach's stagette, I decided to head there first with plans on bailing if it sucked.



We were joined by Xtina and some of her fabulous friends/aquaintances. They were wonderful because they were so fabulously nerdy. They convered the whole spectrum of the nerd scale, which I highly appreciated. The friend was my favorite type of nerd - nerdy interests but some social skills, very funny, and generally confused by those operating on a lesser intellectual level than himself. The two aquaintances were the extremes. #1 was more of a traditional nerd. As in a geek. Little social skills, even less interest in posessing any. #2 had the long hair and glasses, reasonable social skills, less intelligence but potentially a closet full of costumes and magic cards. There was also an aquaintance girl whose role did not become obvious until later in the evening. She seemed very nice, awesome and normal but seeing as we were with her friends you knew she must have some secret nerdiness locked away that she can bring out when she wants to.



Back to the hose. Hmmm, I should have assumed the luck we had the first time was just that - luck and maybe attempted another local. It would appear the Hose has developped several fatal flaws and therefore should only be attempted in a large pack. Flaw number 1, the good music appears in very spaced out sets. Unless of course you are a gangsta' and then they temporarily interrupt what you like so people can dance every hour and a half. Flaw number 2, the age of the patrons. When I go to a bar, I always expect to see what I like to fondly refer to as "the creeps." You know them, they're old, they're creepy, and occasionnally they drink enough that they think talking to you is a good idea. At the Hose on Friday night, those creeps were not 40-50, they were 25ish. WHAT? If I were to draw you a box and whisker graph of what the average age at the Hose was, this is what it would look like:




Naturally, when this is your age dispersion, stupid drunk boys happen. They yell. They also come up to your table and try to hand out straws. This is awesome for many reasons. No one really wants a straw in their drink that a stranger has manhandled. A drunk stranger. Some people are more opposed to this than others. Some people, are nerd #1. Having not said a word all night as far as I know, he must have been sitting in the corner working himself up into a big ball of angry. All the drunken stupidity must really have gotten to him, and drunk straw man is who pushed him over the edge. Contrary to his very nerd nature, he could no longer contain himself. So angered was he by the drunken straw touching and handing out, he grabbed a straw off the table, stood up, and whipped the straw at drunk boy's back. This may have been on of the funniest things I have ever seen. I was in awe. I mean, drunk boy didn't even feel it and nerd #1 was practically shaking he was so angry. I sure hope he felt better after the release of the pent up anger, cause we made him stay there for at least another hour. He confided to Xtina later that "he's never been a bar person." I resisted the great urge to call him Captain Obvious, I was pretty sure he wouldn't find that funny.

I digress. It was weird to be in a bar with creepy 25 year olds. I always thought there was a process to becoming a creep. It would appear it's inborn in certain people. But we didn't get to bent out of shape by it, there was of course dancing to be done! True, it was dancing with 17 year olds by the nicest guess, but Sexyback is Sexyback. On the dance floor is where we met Elbows. He swooped in out of nowhere and appeared to belong to no one. We were suspicious, it seemed very likely a dare on behalf of his friends that he come dance with the two 'old girls' on the dance floor in the most ridiculous way possible. His manner of choice? The elbow dance. Much like the uppercut, with no cutting. He also favoured the twirl, the group sway and his grand piece de resistance was trying to push himself off our shoulders and onto the speaker (failed on all 3 attempts). I kept expecting Elbow's friends to show up and politely escort him away. They never arrived. Luckily, bad music eventually did, and we sadly had to leave the dance floor and Elbows behind. Whatever became of him we don't know, as far as we know he is still cutting up a rug on the hose dance floor.

It was finally of an appropriate hour to be able to leave and head to Diva's for what was hopefully to be better music, and a slightly less intoxicated crowd. It was here that the girl's role became known. She was nerd #1's girlfriend!! I never saw it coming. She ditched them to come with us, which was almost as unexpected as her dating nerd #1. Not unexpected was running into a fight on the way out. Want to make your bar look busy? Simple, don't let anyone leave! An approved practice since 1925!

Diva's was mediocre, but still fun. Kev and crew showed up and confirmed that all of Saskatoon was mediocre - hypothetically due to the long weekend/rolling stones concert combo. Twas a good birthday indeed.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

birthday extravaganza!

I had been warned by Big Red that we had supper plans on Friday at 6:30. So I wasn't too surprised by him arriving at my house unannounced at 5:30. I was surprised that he arrived with flowers! Absolutley gorgeous flowers. These are the only flowers I've ever received from Big Red, but he picked them out like he'd been doing it all his life. A true expert in flower selection, Big Red bought me a bouquet that's gotten nicer looking over time instead of uglier - every day a new lily has opened, and these flowers appear to have genetically modified stem cells because the rest of them aren't dying. My boyfriend the prostar.






After I finished getting ready (and said goodbye to NSFG and D) we went for supper. Secret supper. My 3rd gradish attempt to break Big Red's will and have him tell me where we were going failed miserably. A year and a half later he appears to be completly immune to my pestering. So I found out when we were a block away.

In attempt to win some kind of "best boyfriend ever" award, he took me to the Taj Mahal. As Kilometers would say "OH MY GAWG." You see, Big Red doesn't like Indian food. I believe he has been quoted using the word 'hate' and 'Indian food' in the same sentence, several times. Well it was fan-freaking-tastic. So good that Big Red is willing to admit he doesn't hate Indian food anymore. He's not yet willing to add a like or a love in there, but this is huge progress. Besides, I don't think I loved Indian food the first time I ate it either but I sure do now. Anyway, back to our meal. We shared an appetizer platter that had the best pakoras I've ever eaten on it. I mean, I'm not sure I'd be willing to agree that what we had at the Taj Mahal and what I'd know previously to be pakoras were actually the same thing. For supper we shared 2 dishes - lamb and spinach was Big Red's pick, while I chose chicken with oranges and almonds. Then for dessert homemade mango ice cream complete with a sparkler.

I was all so good, and the staff was so awesome. You can tell how proud they are of their restaurant and how much they love what they do. The father and son duo were always around to answer questions, make sure everything was perfect or just to chat.

Well played boyfriend, well played!

i heart my friends

I have pretty awesome friends. Seriously, you rule. Even if you did forget my birthday was this weekend, I understand cause I forget birthdays all the time. Actually, I remember them several days before and then forget the day of only to remember again the day after and feel like a total twit and bad friend. So, no hard feeling about the birthday wishes or lack of.

Back to my friends. Not So French Girl and D decided to come visit me all the way from the queen city. How awesome a present is that?! They couldn't come down for the weekend since D had to work, so instead they came Thursday night. I'm still working Thursday nights for my mom, so they had supper with other friends until I was finished. Then we went for delicious and funly named drinks and food. I think by naming something a "purple nurple" you make it taste better. I was proved right. Mmmmm. The company was also spectacular (which goes without saying, but for extra reinforcement I said it) AND we spoke mostly French. Good stuff.

Back to my house where we met up with Kev and his not from Austria girlfriend. D turned into Magiver so we could enjoy wine with our conversation. 2 screws, pliers, and some elbow grease = tasty. After exerting all that effort D didn't even have any wine, but the rest of us enjoyed it for him. Kev regaled us with stories of his travels across the world until the wee hours of the morning.

I had to work Friday, so I met up with NSFG and D for lunch at my most favorite lunchtime restaurant. Jake's, you make me so very happy! Adding to the happieness, I ran into my favorite coworker from my old school. Fitting seeing as she is the one who introduced me to Jake's. If you have never been to Jake's for lunch, you need to make it a priority, it's really that good.

After school, I visited some more with NSFG while D slept in the papasan (all the while maintaining he wasn't tired and didn't need a nap). NSFG helped me get ready for supper, and then when they had squeezed all the goodness out of Stoon that they could in 24 hours, they packed up and left. This leaving coincided very nicely with the arrival of Big Red who may or may not have encouraged D to buy NSFG flowers.

Thanks so much for coming guys! Come back any time! I know you're saying it's my turn to go visit now, which I will, but don't be shy about announcing you want to sleep in my spare bedroom anytime. This goes for everyone else too.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

cracker-jack

Before yesterday, one of my favorite things someone had said about me was that "I was all that and a bag of potato chips." What a hilarious compliment. Yesterday, I was called a "cracker-jack." I liked it just because saying cracker-jack is fun. Had it stopped there, I would have been happy knowing that someone had paid me an ambiguous, but fun compliment. The person, however, made sure to follow up his compliment with the reinforcement that it is in fact a very good thing to be called a cracker-jack. You may not know this, but the antonym to cracker-jack is slug. Now you know - look I can teach English and Math!

Then, as I was sitting in my desk prepping for my day this morning (read, enjoying my not quite sweetened enough coffee wishing it was Saturday so I could still be sleeping and cursing myself for forgetting I had something to do last night until 10:40 when I was just about to go to bed) another teacher stopped by to say hi and tell me how much my school and staff appreciates having me here. What a nice way to start my day! Oh Mr. D, you make me feel so welcome.

This is pretty awesome. It is so nice to be noticed as someone who is working hard. Sure, I know I work hard, but it sure does make my day when other people notice and go out of their way to tell me. At my job last year I could have completely revolutionnised the way math is done and no one would have said boo. At least not to me.

Telling people they're fantastic for one reason or anther is a good thing on many levels. It makes me want to tell other people I think they're awesome too, so they can enjoy the same feeling. Which is good, everyone loves to hear it, and sometimes we forget to mention it even though we think it all the time. And, it's encouragement to keep working hard. I can't have all these people telling me I'm doing a good job and then go slack off!

So, blog readers, I appreciate you. For one reason or another you're keeping up with me and my life and that's pretty darn cool. Unless of course you're keeping up with me because you're holding a grudge and figuring out what you're best revenge would be. In that case, well I appreciate that you think I merit that much time and energy. Now go tell someone why you appreciate them! Do it, it's thanksgiving. We shall feast on a cornicopia of compliments. Good times.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

les reponses

The missing links to the song game i poster earlier. I couldn't put the answers up until someone got MC Hammer, it would have been just plain wrong.

#2 - Metric, Slow Night
#5 - Black Eyed Peas, Go Go
#7 - The song title is really Don't get lost
#8 - Wide Mouth Mason, 40 Watt (I'm not sure I've ever listened to this song before now...)
#9 - Watchmen, Holiday
#11 - WMM, Sleepwalker
#15 - Wilco, Reservations

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

ch-ch-ch-ch-changes!

To make the day where I got to switch my blog over from blogger to the new beta-blogger (which I find much friendlier) I figured I'd change the look too. Thanks Google, I look forward to when you have all the bugs ironed out.

Oh ya, remember this? I'll post the answers tomorrow. I know, the suspense will kill you...

to my blogging friends

It's no secret I have an addictive and impressionable personality. I find more and more time in my days to dedicate to habits. Blogging is simply a natural addition to my pre-existing habit of talking with friends online while perusing the internet.

It's a quirky habit though. Reading blogs is a window into other people's lives. Not surprising considering my attachment to tv characters, I get somewhat attached to the people whose blogs I read. It would appear, I get confused about the small slice of reality these blogs contain.

You see, I read the blogs of friend's friends. In some cases more religiously than others. Then, because I do know these people, I seem to think we're better friends than we really are. Case in point, Kilometers. Sure, I know Km. We've hung out in the same space on several different occasions over the last 6 or so years. Really though, he is Marlito's friend. We would have no reason to ever speak if not for her. Or now, his blog. You see, Km is so highly entertaining I need to steal him for my own. I have imagined him into my own friend. I dream of the day when Km will come home and I too can be part of his quirky entourage and themed parties. I look forward to him coming home at Christmas. Totally hilarious.

But folks, how could you resist wanting to be friends with this:


Just try...

So please don't be confused when I start to treat you like we're childhood friends. You've been properly warned.

Monday, October 02, 2006

hooked

I've never been a die hard CSI fan. In fact, I don't think I'd even watched an episode until there were 3 different shows, 5 seasons, and it was impossible not to watch it just because it's on every channel imaginable at some time.

It became something I started to watch if I was at Big Red's and I was waiting for him to be done something so we could hang out. Or if I was marking and he was on the computer. You know, a safe tv show. One that while he didn't love, wouldn't make huge protests about if we had to watch the last 15 minutes of it. ie. for him it wasn't Alias or Veronica Mars...

The more I watched, the more I realised I really like them (all 3 versions). And while there is an underlying story line, it's not the end of the world if you don't watch them in order. CSI was starting to be my new Law and Order.

So when the season premier included cameos of the Cirque de Soleil AND John Mayer, it was like they knew exactly what they were doing. They were making me cross over from casual viewer to include it in my weekly downloads. I have joined the masses. I'm okay with it.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

le ballet

I went to see Romeo and Juliet last night. All of the regular folk I normally would drag with me and mysteriously out of the province. I had kinda forgot about it, so I didn't secure a backup. So, I went by myself. I'm not too sure what it is that's so intimidating about going to a public event by yourself, but it's tough to get over. It's not my fault no one else likes the ballet. I tried to coerce Big Red into joining me, but he claimed he'd eaten too much at supper and something about "work." Bah.

The good thing about going by myself was that ordering a last minute single ticket I got to sit exactly where I would normally pick and she gave me a student ticket. $10 to see a ballet is a good deal no matter how you look at it. I'm not sure you can go see a dance recital for $10.

The actual ballet itself was underwhelming. The Alberta Ballet is a young company, with young dancers and it showed. Technically, it just wasn't as good or strong as what you'd get from the National or the Royal Winnipeg. That being said, it appears that it's a young and creative company. The movement was interesting and modern. They did lots of interesting lifts and sequences. The overall feel was that they were trying really hard, but just needed more time to get it where it should be. I've never seen Romeo and Juliet before, so I'm not too sure how much of this was original choreography and how much was interpretation. Either way, it was a fun ballet.

While I may be way off, it seemed like the Alberta Ballet needs to work on keeping it's dancers instead of acting like a stepping stone for them. In two years, this exact same group of dancers could be kickassawesome. I have a feeling though, in two years they will be spread across the globe. Kind of too bad, but I guess when your tours consist of Vancouver, Medicine Hat, Calgary, Banff, Edmonton, Saskatoon and Regina it would be hard not to go looking for bigger things.

back to my roots

Big Red was spinning last night at Diva's, so, tired as I was feeling I hauled my butt to the bar so that I could be a proud provider of "girlfriend support."

At 10:30 I was still in my school clothes. Sure it was casual Friday so it could have been worse, but I'm still not quite ready to go to the bar dressed as Mme. I opened my drawer containing things I consider to be bar appropriate (ie. 80% not school appropriate). I wasn't feeling any of it. Looked at the closet. Blah, still not feeling it. What did I decide on wearing? My Math is Delicious shirt and jeans.

Step 2, check face. After opening the drawer and looking at things used on face to improve appearance, I decided that school leftovers were good enough. Hair? not so much seeing as I had a nap on the couch. Ponytail!

All of a sudden I've been transported back to 1999. I'm guessing I didn't look much older. I love that I spent 3 years of my life considering jeans and a cute t-shirt "dressing up" for the bar. I did used to put more effort into my hair, but I was younger, more ambitious and single then.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

fun!

Since everyone seems to be into lists these days and I am also avoiding work I thought I would play along. I got this from one of the Cambodian couple's friends.

Step 1: Put your MP3 player or whatever music player you have on random.
Step 2: Post a line from the first 15 songs that play, no matter how embarrassing the song.
Step 3: Post and let everyone you know guess what song and artist the lines come from.
Step 4: Strike out the songs when someone guesses correctly.
Step 5: No cheating (ie: No Googling)


1. I believe in memories, the look so pretty when I sleep.
Yay Rach. Jack Johnson, Better Together

2. Ya the lips on you were plain, the better to a kiss sustain.

3. Bowing down to my addiction, never thought I'd go so willing.
Rach. Moist, Shotgun

4. I believe it's love that's hiding here, in the shadows and in the dark.
an anonymous poster, Granny by DMB (shame on you Rach)

5. Let's keep it moving, come on get funky.

6. Driving in on the highway all these cars end up on the sidewalk.
Marlito got this first via MSN, but Rach commented first. DMB, Ants Marching

7. There was crack on the corner and someone dead and fire coming out of a monkey's head.
Orth, sorta. Gorillaz (got the song wrong so i'll leave it out for now).

8. I'm closing in on closing up.

9. We were old familiar strangers.

10. I find a fatal flaw in the logic of love and go out of my head.
Orth. The Shins, Gone for Good. My nano says this is called A Call to Apathy, but apparently that was a tentative title. I stand corrected.

11. The silence offered warnings that he'd locked up deep inside.

12. Night falling on the city quite something to behold.
Rach on her second try. David Grey, Disappearing World

13. Either work hard or you might as well quit.
Finally, Rach. MC Hammer, Can't touch this. Marlito, I thought you'd have been all over this!

14. I lost the sense of it, the absolution that we never knew.
Rach again. Moist, Leave it alone

15. I'm bound by these choices that are so hard to make.

So I cheated just a little while making this. I figured it would by way too much about Rach if there were over 50% DMB songs on here (I've got the Central Park concert and a couple others on my nano right now...)so I skipped them. As it is it'll prolly be mostly about Rach anyway, she's a little nutty when it comes to song lyrics. So I'll post the answers and who guesses right. Prize for the person with the most correct answers? Why my love of course!!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

WAR!

I am having a war with the bank. It's the best kind of war, cause only I know we're having it. My chances of winning are greater this way. There is a slight chance this situation exists for someone at the bank and they have waged a war with me they think I don't know about. If this is true, it will be a mighty long war indeed.

You see, the bank called me one Sunday evening near the end of August. Oh yes, apparently that the is the most convenient time to conduct some kind bank related survey. Being at dinner with my family, and not wanting to talk to the bank in general, I told whoever I had the pleasure of talking with that, no, now was in fact not a good time to complete their survey. They pleasantly informed me they would call back some other time.

"Some other time" turns out, in the land of TD Canada Trust, to be once a day anytime between the hours of 9:30 a.m and 9:00 p.m. For the first week they had a habit of calling during the day while I was at school with my phone turned off. This was enough time for me to commit the number to memory. By the time they branched out to other phoning times, it was too late for them, my defenses were impenetrable.

And still, one month later, the war rages on. I guess I was silly to think that a force such as TD Canada Trust would back down after a couple weeks. I underestimated their tenacity, but they have also underestimated mine. They obviously don't know the sheer joy I get out of not answering their calls. I am curious to see how long this war will rage on. I hope it's the same person that's calling me everyday, hoping to "catch" me not paying attention to my call display. That would make me even happier.

Oh TD, can't you just hold on to my money and be happy with that? You see, there's no way I can back down now.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

blog wars!

Barely 24 hours after the debut of his new blog, the boy and I are already fighting over the right to post stuff. Being the bigger person here, I let him win. So go check out this video at Big Red's blog.

I just checked his site for the permalink, and it turns out the boy isn't as clever as he thinks he is - he hasn't actually put the video on his site, just a link. So instead of linking to the link, I'll post it below.

Check it out. I was eating pizza while watching this and it was so good I just sat there with my pizza in midair, on the way to my face for a good minute or so.

But after watching go check out the boy's blog anyway, leave him a comment and say hi. We like friendly wars afterall...

the video


Friday, September 22, 2006

peer pressure

Since all the cool kids are doing it, my boyfriend has decided he needs a blog. Since he went and spent a bunch of money on a camera phone, it's already way cooler than mine. Sigh. Turns out he's also a chatty little fellow when you give him free reign over a small portion of the interweb. You can check it out here.

Seems like it's also a good time to do a little update on boyfriend's ever changing nickname. Originally I was just calling him Sean-o. Then he seemed to decide he was ok with and maybe even liked DS. Now he tells me he will be reverting back to his original, not given to him by my friends, dj/nick name. Henceforth he shall be knows as Big Red. I put my foot down at adding the DJ in front of that, if it has 3 words it's not exactly a nickname.

coincidence? i think not

About an hour after I posted my previous post, this pops up over at GFY. I think they may have been reading my diary...

And just for the record, I'd love to be his neighbour!

me ADD? never...

So I was contemplating how much I love Sexyback by none other than Mr. JT himself. It’s a lot. If you don’t love it, I’m just going to assume you’re a hater. I like it so much I sing it to myself in my sleep. Lately I’ve been waking up with it in my head 50% of the time. The other 40% I wake up humming Sarah Harmer. That last 10% I don’t really want to talk about cause it’s no good.

While mentally exploring my love for JT, I pondered what ever happened to JC. See, as much as I loved Justin, JC was always my favorite N’Sync member. His solo song from Drumline made me very happy indeed. He should make a comeback. Minus Tara Reid in his video, cause we all know what she looks like these days.

On to the scandalous news of Mr. “look at me I’m publicly gay now” Lance Bass. See, what I think should happen is Lance should find himself a DJ partner and make a comeback. He could totally corner the radio friendly “pop/house” genre. Sure it won’t be amazing (or will it?) but it will get on the radio and in the bars. This is key. Lance Bass could be the catalyst that ends mainstream hip hop culture. Hallelujah! All it would take is a little house/dance music on the radio often for people to realize there’s a whole other world of fantastic music out there to dance to that doesn’t involve wearing your underwear and gyrating as fast as possible. Hopefully he will do this while reining a massive campaign against homosexuality. Think of all the 40 something ladies “Well if Lance is gay it can’t be that bad… I sure did love him when he was in N’Sync. Have you seen his boyfriend? So cute!” Much better than the whole Clay Aiken thing went down.

Think of the consequences here. I could start going to non gay bars again. Not that I don’t love Diva’s, but one other option of a place to go and dance wouldn’t kill anyone. Baggy pants would be in style again! Everyone sees the appeal in pants with a nice fitting bum, lower rise and wide legs right? The death of little thugs. I’m sure adults hated it when my generation was running around in clothes that didn’t fit with crazy coloured hair and huge jewelry, but at least you couldn’t see our underwear and we didn’t think guns were cool. I find myself wanting to run around the school and hug the little emo/indie kids just for not buying into the whole sex culture thing. That and asking them what’s they’re listening to (I’ve been hard up for new music) and asking them not to cut themselves. It’s a complicated kind of love.

So Lance, I know you were hoping this whole “gay member of N’Sync” thing would blow right over, but you have a social responsibility here. Step up!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

math-tastic!

Firstly, I finally got my 'math is delicious' shirt. It was worth the 3 month wait, I can't wait to wear it.

Secondly, something is going right in the world of math. Years of hearing what a terrible job elementary teachers were doing in the math department, and then seeing the results in my gr9 classes seems to be no longer fact. The majority of my grade nines are so very well prepared! They've seen almost all of the current content in some form or another, and are able to link previous knowledge to the new stuff. Awesome.

I love the program the public system uses for Math 9. Sure, it's the same curriculum, but the ressource is wonderful. Sometimes too wonderful (seriously, the author is one wordy dude). Here is the problem. My grade 10s are too well prepared. Everything we have done is review. Not the good kind of review where you add some new twist to an already familiar thing and make it slightly more difficult. Nope, the redundant crappy kind of review where they are all super geniuses and are pretty bored. Ack! If I were super teacher, I'm sure I would make wonderful new ressources and challenge them somehow. I'm not. I'm already developping one course from scratch that has a shitty ressource (confusing and no answer key), and changing all my grade 9 stuff to match the new to me program. I don't get enough sleep as is.

What I want to know is how curriculum people think that this is good for students. Now wonder they all think math sucks, I do too right now. I also know we're in for another 2 weeks of review before we get into any new to them material. What to do? Do I make an executive decision to review at top speed and then test them? Teach only what is needed in detail and call it good? Continue to follow curriculum the way it is set up and bore everyone to tears for the next few weeks? The students don't really mind as there's little homework and I'm guessing it makes them feel good about their skills. I have a new and improved text coming my way (someday) and I know it does get better. There's only so much time I can put into this as my gr12 course HAS to take priority since they're writing a departmental. It just feels wrong to coast along in such simplicity. Do I make them teach it to one another for interest? I wish I would have known I was getting such capable students and could have planned a little better for this earlier...

Help!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

things not to tell your gf

Awww, you look like a school marm.

You're not getting out of this "compliment" no matter how much you try to spin looking like a school marm into good thing. Marm is a synonym for ugly spinster. Not an adjective to describe a cute fall skirt - even if it does have small flowers on it. I, the marm, do not care how much you actually like my shirt and skirt now that you have compared me to an 80 year old nun.


(Aside: later the same day one of my students told me I looked like a hippie. Good thing I don't have self confidence issues or that skirt might never make it out of the closet again!)

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

getting old(er)

I have always wondered where abouts in life one makes that transition from normal to officially old. You know what I mean, do you just wake up one day and decide it's large floral print dresses (with sleeves), vests and elasticised waists from now on? You donate everything from your younger days to goodwill and that's the end of itÉ I have a feeling it's a more gradual transition and such things creep up on you when you're not looking. It starts off by buying something that's "not so bad" and most likely on sale. Then a second item, similar but worse. Not so bad keeps evolving and before you know it you have several pair of elasticised pants and you refuse to wear anything but. They are practical after all...

The thing that always worries me is that people guilty of such things arecompletelyy unaware. They think they look good! Heck yes my maroon vest, cream collared shirt and granny pants go together! I'm looking sharp today! Where is apple shaped gold brooch? It would complete this ensemble perfectly.

This weekend I bought new shoes. New high heeled shoes. They will look super cute with many of my work clothes. I plan on wearing them with pants sometimes, and here lies the problem. I hate shoes with no socks. In the summer I will tolerate it for the sake of looking good. In the winter, forget about it. These shoes require thin socks, very very thin socks. Trouser socks. Ugh. I feel as if by even considering to purchase something called a trouser sock I have aged myself by 5 years. Of course, I'm talking black ones here. Essentially I'm talking "convenient tights." For now my move is to black trouser socks (could someone work on renaming that for the younger generation of working people? we'd pay more.) but how many years until I think the nude ones are ok? 6 months? a year? 3 years? What comes after accepting trouser socks?

And exactly how many years til I pull my dusty rose pants, cream and dusty rose floral print shirt (with matching crocheted vest for when I get cold) and toddle off to get my hair permed?

oops

As per usual I have become the person I hate. As mentioned, I have been house-sitting for my uncle. Yesterday I went home to grab some clean work clothes. Someone had left me a little message. It appears I have forgotten about my alarm clock. My persistent and dedicated alarm clock. It is so concerned about me waking up, that even in my absence it goes off. For two hours. That's an alarm clock that is very serious about its commitment to me and waking. Too bad my neighbours also aren't as impressed with such a display of affection. It would appear they aren't quite as dedicated to waking up from 6:30 to 8:30.

I will spend the next two weeks pretending to be a ninja, entering and exiting with as much stealth as i can muster, hoping to not run into anyone who lives in my complex. Once in my apartment I will be a dead ninja. They make even less noise than live ones if you can imagine.

Friday, September 15, 2006

ACCESS DENIED! kinda

I am trying to wrap my mind around my school computer and with every day that goes by I get more confused. You see, the public school board has some kind of "parental control" over all computers. This makes sense to me for general things. No one wants porn pop ups (accidental or otherwise) while surfing the computers in the library. The more I use the internet though, the more I don't understand what I'm not supposed to be looking at.

MSN webmessenger will not work. I understand, kids should be learning, not chatting with their friends at another school who are also "doing research" in the library. My Gtalk works, on average, 50% of the time. I don't really care as I also don't need to be chatting while working, I just think it's really funny that sometimes it works while others it's blocked. So I send off quick messages to Rach just to prove that I can. Small victories against the man.

Now the not making sense bit. It blocks Penny Arcade, but not Least I Could Do. It blocks the Superficial but not Go Fug Yourself. Now I can see how Go Fug Yourself would be missed - the girls are witty and not vulgar - but Least I Could Do? It's a webcomic essentially about sex. It's logo involves a condom. How exactly is that kosher?

No internet radio. Period. Why is this something that should be blocked? Darn you kids listening to music! Learning will be unpleasant!

I also have no idea how they monitor blogs. None of my regulars are blocked, and very rarely will I try to visit a new blog to have it show up access denied. This is a good thing and a bad thing. Yesterday while floating around in the blogosphere what pops up on my screen? A massive cleavage shot. Large, uplifted, scantily clothed boobs. True the article that accompanied them wasn't racy at all, but not exactly safe for work either.

Je ne comprends pas. If you are wondering what I'm doing surfing the internet at work, it's called keeping sane while appearing busy at the same time. In a "normal" job, I would get a coffee break. At school, I check my email or read a blog entry. I love my job, but dealing with teenagers can cause brain damage if you're not careful. Seriously, it's science. Still don't believe me? Stop by for grade 9 math someday.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

you shall be spoten

I think my 50 year old upstairs neighbour is making noise out of spite. Or maybe her 35 year old deadbeat son is doing it for her, he is the larger of the two. Since I went and introduced myself all they have done is stomped around up there. No more music or tv noise, just stomp stomp stomp stomp.

I was polite! Really, I didn't want to be but I was!

Oh ya, they've also taken to slamming doors.

Jokes on them however, I'll be house-sitting for the next week. By the time I get back they'll have forgotten they're supposed to be making a commotion for my benefit.

Responses

Well by popular (and by popular i mean two...) request, it appears you're interested in what my students have to say.

Period 1
This was actually a less animated discussion than I was expecting it to be. It's a small class and they're very on task, so I don't mind talking about other stuff with them. Of course there was a tangent - they suggested that frustration with homework/school is causing teens to act out. Someone brought up the fact that there's a new statistic circulating out there that the amount of homework students do has increased significantly in the last few years. I countered with the fact that we've been watering down the curriculum - something they also agreed to. I asked what they thought we should do about a "more of less" approach in education, but no one came up with anything. It did make me think about my own homework giving tendencies though.

Period 2
I totally expected these guys to talk through most of the hour and they did. If only to get out of doing math... There was lots of speculation over motive, which of course no one really knows right now. Also some discussion around how violence is becoming a bit of a social disease and different trends in the states. Somehow we wound up talking about violence here at home and got into a very interesting discussion over the whole "east vs west" issues Stoon has going on. I had some help in enlightening some students in how this picture of a "shiny clean east side" and a "gang, crime and violence filled west side" is something supported by the media and east siders looking to feel better about where "they" live.

Period 3
Some maturity issues here - they were more interested in hypothesizing ridiculous scenarios that would require our school to go into lockdown. A pack of cougars? A crazy person with a sword? We covered quite a lot on inequalities...

Period 4
Grade nines. Mostly they were concerned for their own safety and were worried something could happen here. About half had been in a situation in their elementary schools where a lockdown had been necessary (crazy guys with knives apparently). Nothing overly insightful was said.

More exciting was my Human Rights meeting at noon - they are so keen!! Almost all of them want to join my peer support group and suggested (without me telling them that this was the kind of thing a peer support group would do til after) that they'd like to do awareness type stuff for the grade 9s in their ethical living classes! So wonderful.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

trivial

I was going to post, but really, nothing seems to important compared to today's news. If you're out of the loop, this went down in Montreal today. Rach has posted about her day. I'm grateful all her day was filled with was inconvenience.

I wonder what was so wrong with this jerk's life that suicide wasn't enough? Even first degree murder serves a more direct point. By being selfish and picking off innocent people to be noticed don't you essentially become one of the very people we'll find out you were striking out against?

We get it. You're depressed, you were bullied, no one understands you, you got lost in "the system" at school, whatever. Your point sucks. Putting kids in the hospital and yourself in the ground doesn't help anyone.

The increasing number of school shootings makes me feel tired. Tired and very sad.

I do look forward to the insightful conversations this will lead to with my students tomorrow, I simply wish our prompt was different.

welcome to the asylum

I have no idea what is up with my last few residences. I live in good areas, in nicely upkept buildings. So why do I keep getting woken up like this? I tried to link that, but it would appear I didn't blog about the previous incident like I thought I did.

3:27am. It's Monday night, so obviously I'm sleeping, soundly, as I like to do. It's normally a gift my sound sleeping, because it means I sleep through everything. On really good nights I sleep through entire conversations that I participate in. 3:28am, I am woken up. Confused. Did I move to a crappy apartment just of 20th? There are people fighting above me, screaming obscenities. If anyone had told me where to go and how to get there like that I sure wouldn't have needed a map. I guess if you get into these kids of fights you're not very smart in the first place. Much more yelling, stomping, throwing? and potentially breaking of things. Finally I am able to get back to sleep so I'm not really sure as to how everything got sorted out.

(After introducing myself to the older, defensive lady who lives above me I found out a)it wasn't her fault?!? and b) resolution happens when the cops come.)

It would appear to date I'm the only one to thinks noise that wakes up the whole complex is worthy of reporting to the board, cause when I phoned the lady who takes care of such things it was the first she'd heard of it. Maybe I'm the only one who knows they live in a rental unit? Maybe everyone else takes it for entertainment - better than reality tv!