Sunday, September 15, 2013

Please! Barabara Walker, You Are Putting Me To Sleep. Plus 7th Grade Fun!

Well, the school year is off to a really fast start.  Compared to last year, this year is a million times better or, in reality -110 better.  So, I know your brain just did a double take.  Being a math teacher, you sorta need to think like me.  Truly, I know that you find that scary but it's okay, really.  Let me explain. 

Last year our school district cut 345 teaching positions.  Now, can you guess what all those cuts meant?  OMG!  That's correct; class sizes went through the roof.  See, you could be a math teacher too. 

Now I'm not going to bore you with my lecture on why we need to fund education.  Although, I will say that if you think about your average Tea Party member, you will get a really accurate picture about why education is really important.  Anyway, my class sizes definitely went way beyond just going through the roof.  Mine maybe came close to going through the ozone layer.  So, that means that my classes were in the 50s. 

Now to put this into perspective, think about your average 7th and 8th grader or even better, think back to when you were that age.  Do you remember all of the awkwardness and bad body odor?  Okay, now hold on to that image and think about 56 of those crammed into a classroom meant for 25 and you will understand how terrible last year really was.

So, that's where the -110 comes from.  Last year I had 267 students (that's not counting the extra 60 I had for study hall) and this year I have 157.  Now, 157 is manageable, but 120 would be best.  Anyway, I'm feeling like a teacher again and not someone who does crowd control with just a hint of math thrown in for fun.

This year I have two seventh grade classes and they are supper cute.  Here is a picture of them doing a measurement activity last week.  Actually, it's not really meant to be measurement activity; it's actually an adding and subtracting decimals activity.  I'm sneaking in the decimal stuff  in with the measurement.  It's kinda like your mother sneaking healthy vegetables in food that you actually liked.

Aren't they ADORABLE!  Look at them working so hard measuring things.  They hadn't gotten to the adding and subtracting decimal part; so, they were all still pretty happy at this point.

Now most of you are terrified of this age group but I'm here to tell you that you don't need to be.  They are actually pretty damn funny.  Take for instance one of my boys, Jake, who decided that all of his pencils needed to be named.  I'm still not sure why he needed to name them but he did.  They are all lined up in his pencil box with their names written on them in black Sharpie looking quite sharp and ready to go to work. 

Of course, being a seventh grader just makes you want to bring the beauty of named pencils to the rest of the world.  So, off Jake went to other members of the seventh grade class and started naming all of their pencils.  He is so proud of himself that he actually gave me a list of the names.  Here it is.

 Just so you know, I did speak to him about the missing apostrophe when he came to my class to add the name "Honey" to the list.  Apparently, he had named Tony's pencil during passing time and wanted to make sure it made it on the list.  I can hardly wait to see what Jake and all of my little darlings will do this week.

Okay, on the home front the Tomato Apocalypse continues.  Here is round five.
Yes, I now that I skipped round four.  It seems as though Jeff was busy giving away tomatoes again while I was at work.  His good friend Colleen got round four and I wish her all the best in her tomato processing endeavours. 

Now, to Ms. Walker.  This week's installment comes from page 16.  Let me just start by saying that page 16 has been the most BORING page to date.  Personally, I believe that Ms. Walker should have left these out of the book or maybe placed them in a section labeled, "Historically Interesting and a Great Cure for Insomnia." 

OMG!  It was all I could do to get through these two patterns.  Okay, enough complaining.  Here they are.
The top band is called Wager Welt and the bottom band is Banded Insertion Pattern. 

Wager Welt = Butt Ugly.  Done.

Banded Insertion Pattern = Giant Pain in the butt because you have to use two sets of needles one four sizes larger than what you cast on with.  Oh, is is also Butt Ugly.

This is about the only knitting that I have done since school started.  However, now that I am finding my stride I did cast on some fun stuff this morning using Judy's Magic Cast On.  I'll tell you all about that next week when I bring you page 17 of Ms. Walker's amazing work.

Okay, off to exercise our six standard poodles.

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