Monday, September 2, 2013

OMG! It's Almost That Time Again and Me and Ms. Walker

As my profile states, I am a math teacher.  Yes, I am actually one of those people who likes to do math.  I am also one of those people that likes to do math and show seventh graders how to do said math.

Wait....I can hear you from here, "Seventh Graders?!!"  Yes, I know that's what you said.  I can also hear what your brain is asking.  Your brain is asking, "Is he sick?!"  It's okay.  On some days, my brain asks me the same thing.  However, I think that my brain has gotten used to it.  Mostly, because I teach high school students too.

What?  You're confused?  Don't be.

I have one of the best jobs in the world. (Umm, I just heard your brain mention summer vacation.)  However, it's not due to summer break.  I get to teach at a small arts based public school, that has grades 6-12 and it's almost time for me to go back.

Now, most people out there really don't get teachers and why we do what we do.  Hell, I don't understand elementary teachers.  I mean really, who wants to work with little kids who want to hug you all the time.  ICK!  Plus, the little ones cry and barf way to much.  (I just had a little internal shudder thinking about them.)

I am SOOO excited to start school again.  (Umm, I just heard your brain again.)

Maybe I should explain what I call, The Life Cycle of The Teacher.

We teachers have a very dysfunctional work life.  You see, at the beginning of the school year, we all think that we are going to change the world, become a students role model or inspire the next great inventor.  Teachers also get all tingly and moist thinking about all the new lessons that kids are going to LOVE!

Now, this euphoria lasts until about winter break.  It's at this time that teachers become really tired and are at the "I still love you but you've bugged me enough that I'm just tolerating you until I get my two weeks away from you" stage. 

We then come back from winter break a bit more refreshed and teach for a month when we realize that it's just the end of first semester.  "What, I have to teach these kids for another five months!" 

Of course, the other side of the coin is the group of students.  "What, we have to deal with Hunnicutt and his math puns and mean problems for another five months!"

This is the beginning of the end; the downward spiral to the end of the year with teachers and students loathing each other and counting every day until the end of school.

It's at this point that we really can't stand them any longer and we are thrilled to see their backsides as they walk out the door.

As soon as school ends, we generally just sit and stare at the wall for about two weeks and allow our partners to dab the drool off of our chins.  As soon as this semi comatose state ends life starts back up again and we get through summer only to have the entire process start all over again. 

See, we truly are sick people.

Oh and about that summer vacation.  A lot of people seem to think that teachers get paid in the summer.  I'm not sure how that came about but I can tell you that it's not true.  We, like most people in the world, only get paid for the days that we actually work.  I only get paid for the 193 days that I work each year.  What school districts do is prorate your salary over 12 months.  This allows them to hang on to the money longer an earn interest on it. 

If you are still having trouble understanding it, try this.  Take your annual salary, lop off two and a half month's salary and then prorate the final amount over 12 months.  That's what teachers make.

Okay, enough about school.  Let's move on to Knitting!

So, you may remember from my last installment that I had accidentally skipped a few pages of Ms. Walker's book.  Well, I have backtracked and have one of those missed entries here.

For today, we will be looking at page 13.  The three patterns involved are Roman Stitch, Roman Rib Stitch and Ripple Stitch.  Same drill as last time with the yarn and needles; however, I'm running out of the stuff pretty quick.  Fear not though, being a good knitter, I have an awesome stash of left over yarn.

Okay, here is the swatch.  The stitches actually follow the pictures in the book this time; Roman on top, Roman Rib in the middle and Ripple on the bottom.  This isn't blocked at all.  The stitch count remained the same so that you can see how loose or tight the finish fabric is.

Now, I'm just sorta non committal about these three stitches.  They really don't do much for me.

Let's take them one at a time.
Here is Roman Stitch.  I'm really not getting the connection to anything Roman in the design.  Did Caligula wear this while he went crazy or did they drape Caesar's body in a cloth with this motif? I mean really, who comes up with these names.  Okay, confession, I'm not an student of Roman history; so, I may be missing something.  I'm just saying it doesn't make sense to me.  Plus, I have to also confess that I'm not a huge fan of Rome itself.  I'd much rather hang out in Assisi.  Oops, digressing again.

Back to the swatch.  It's a nice little seed stitch thrown into the mix.  I think it might look good on a gansey, maybe at the bottom of a sleeve near the cuff.  Other than that, kinda snoozey.

Okay next up Roman Rib.

Now, this one probably would have benefited from blocking.  (Hmm, maybe I'll start doing before and after blocking pictures.)  The pattern shows up better in the complete swatch picture.  Out of the three, I think this one has the most merit.  I like how each row is offset from the one before it.  It's very subtle and can give the illusion of a spiral or diagonal pattern.  I'm thinking that it would look good in a worsted weight and might actually be an nice overall pattern.

Here is Ripple Stitch.
This was a lesson in gritting your teeth and bearing it to the bitter end.  I really did not like knitting this.  To many different, uneventful things to do on the wrong side.  Plus, it just reminds me too much of a 70s afghan.  Yuck!  I'm sure you agree.

So, I have actually finished the swatch for page 14 but you will have to wait.  I have to get to bed so that I'm in a good space for the first day with my students tomorrow.  Oh, and an added bonus, I'm going to share my roasted, tomato sauce recipe.  YUM.

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