Sunday, November 15

How did that Glitter get in my Nose?

I was cleaning the house on Saturday, and as I scrubbed the bathroom sink I looked up at my reflection. I noticed a little light reflecting from my nostril and thought to myself, "I can't feel my nose running but it must be." Then I took a closer look and determined that there was glitter in my nose. How did glitter get in my house? And once it arrived, how did it get in my nose? Was it in the process of entering my body or exiting?

Tuesday, November 10


A few months ago I took a survey about family and marriage support programs in Milwaukee. This week I have been contacted to meet for my follow-up interview. I like doing surveys. I feel important. And after studying statistics in college I like to be on this side of the data.

In my last interview the man came to my house and asked me a great deal of questions about marriage. At one point he asked me how many times I talked about marriage in the previous 6 weeks. I clarified that he meant marriage in general and not just my own, and answered Fifty. He was in taken aback. I explained that I'm at the age when I go to several weddings a year. I hear about engagements and several of my friends talk about their new marriages (and/or struggling marriages) on a regular basis. My coworkers alone probably account for half of my marriage talk, and we only really speak to each other during lunch and in between classes.

My follow-up interview is scheduled for Saturday afternoon. I was invited to 3 weddings in October. I wonder if my interviewer will be surprised by my answers this time.

Monday, November 9


I had a great Sunday. It began with a free bagel and ended with a free cookie.

The weather was great. Sunny and balmy temperatures. I had 10 pages left of a novel and I decided to get a bagel before church and eat it while finishing the book. The bagel shop was closed for renovations, but instead they set up a free bagel stand in front of the store. Great marketing. At least great for me.

I spent a good deal at time at church. I am leading the adult Sunday school class, which mostly means I read the discussion topic beforehand and plan which supplementary topics we want to cover. The service was comfortable so I don't remember much about it. Afterwards though we had the annual church meeting, aka the charge conference. Because I'm on the finance committee, I had helped prepare several of the reports that would be presented at the meeting. It was a good meeting because nothing of substance happened. All real decisions and work had been done the week prior. The conference is about making things official and communicating with the rest of the congregation.

My favorite part of my time at church though was the potluck dinner and washing the dishes. I enjoy cleaning up after large groups of people, especially when I have friends to keep me company. And that's exactly what happened on Sunday afternoon. Two of my buddies helped me in the kitchen, and we had two of the boys help us with the dishwasher. I really do mean that the boys helped us. I am still not sure how the giant dishwasher works, but the 11 year old does. He takes a lot of pride in this and it's good for him to know that he's valued. I believe this is what most people want - to know that they matter and have a role to play. We joked around a good deal and we got the job done. I don't know about the other guys but I had a good time getting that work done along side of them.

My afternoon was pleasant. I ran some errands. Grocery-shopped until I realized that I had left my wallet at home. A friend visited for 30 minutes because he was early for work. I did some work at the local coffee joint with Amanda. We were really good about concentrating on our work until Mario arrived. We didn't plan to meet him, but I suppose we're just lucky. Mario and I both managed to get 3 cups of tea out of each of our tea bags. We then had a contest to see who would need to use the bathroom first. I won. But then I'm not sure if understood how serious the contest was. Or if he even knew we were having the contest.

Wednesday, November 4


Because my school is on a block schedule, the quarter is actually a semester. Therefore I am giving semester finals this week. I hate finals. All they do is prove to me how little my students have retained. It's depressing for me to realize how little learning has occurred. For example, my precalculus final was mostly made of questions that I gave the class on the first day of school to assess their knowledge from algebra 2. Well, it appears that not only did they not know the info after Al2, but they don't know after a semester of precalc. The test isn't difficult, folks. There are questions about solving quadratic equations. And finding the slope of a line. Honestly, it's similar material that I present to my freshmen.

As for my freshmen, most of them earned a zero on their final because they talked during it. Now I don't mean they spoke once, but they had full-out conversations. It's incredible. But it's a lot less grading that I have to do. Most of them would fail the final anyway. On average only 1 or 2 pass the final in each class. Perhaps it would help if they studied, or kept a notebook, or brought a pencil, or stayed awake.

yea! school!

Monday, November 2

Fixing for a Change

I was in an accident more than a week ago. The parts to fix my car finally came in so I dropped off my car this morning. My loaner is a buick. There's nothing wrong with it, but in the 2 months since I bought my new car, I got used to driving a new car. The buick has more than 120,000 miles on it. It goes, but not with as much pep as I want. So, no drag racing for me for at least a week.

In the middle of geometry class today the (new) principal came over the speaker and announced, "Students you have five minutes to get to your 4 period class." What?! The bell had not rung. The students looked at me for guidance. We were half way through a problem (Special angles formed by a transversal and two parallel lines) and they were actually following along. Except for the dozen sleeping, class was going well. The problem is that I really didn't know what was happening. My clock runs slow so every day I have to figure out what the calculation of the day will be. Today's calculation was to subtract 10 minutes from the minute hand and add 5 hours to the hour hand. Perhaps my calculation was wrong. It wouldn't be the first time. Plus, this weekend was daylight savings time, so it's very likely that the bell schedule would be messed up. And it is not uncommon (read: common) for the principal to be confused by the bell schedule and clocks.

In an instant I had to figure out what mistakes were most likely to have been made. The bells, the principal, or the clocks. I chose the wrong one and told my students they had better hurry up to their next class. Half of them were out of their seats before I reconsidered my decision and relized that the most probable mistake would have been made by the principal. So I ended up chasing my students out into the hall to shepherd them back to their seats. I had ten minutes left in class, but it was pretty much a lost cause.

There are many things wrong with my school. Blame can be shared by students, teachers, parents, and administration. But today is a fine example of how the little mistakes add up too. A mistake by the principal should not have upset my class. But because I have to consider the unreliable clocks and bell system we lost the real focus. Parallel lines and corresponding angles.

Sunday, November 1

In recent years, some of my friends managed to post once a day for the entire month of November. I don't think I can pull that off, but I'm going to attempt to at least post more frequently than the once per month that I've been averaging. I am doing this because I miss reading my friends' blogs. I perhaps by being a little more reflective at the end of the day, I will keep my trials and tribulations in perspective.

I had a nice Halloween. I dressed as a bumblebee. I looked ridiculous. Mario threw the party and he dressed up as the stack of money from the Geico commercial. (Why does it feel like? Somebody's watching me?) Other costumes included a Wheaties box and a lobster made out of paper products. The party music was mostly Billy Ocean and Hall and Oates. "Get Out of My Dreams, Get into my Car" and "Maneater" were each played at least 5 times.

Friday, October 23


I was in a car accident on my way to work today. Yeah, October cannot be over fast enough.