Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance

If only ... I can't read minds. If only I could. [Okay, maybe selectively... all those sci-fi shows where the person who can read minds but can't turn the ability off and has to live alone, in the middle of nowhere. Not worth it.]

I had a conversation with someone on support staff this week who was asking me about sub folders and I laughed and told her I'd seen everything from soup to nuts. The binders with literally nothing; I should have known about the allergy in the room from something other than the allergy alert bracelet around the kid's wrist, no roster, no seating chart, no classroom schedule, no specials schedule, no bell schedule, no school schedule, no I-have-bus-or-time-out-duty schedule... the binders that should have been bronzed and held up as an example - yes, please! do this! because even within the district it was different from elementry school to elementry school. In a world where everyone wants everything to have some kind of standard to hold everything else up to, the last thing that comes standard is the expectations - and the instructions and information - one teacher leaves for the guest in their classroom. However capable or inept that person may or may not be.

So I found this little gem. And I heaved a sigh. No, it's absolutely right. I don't need to know someone's life story that I do not interact with 7.5 hours a day, 5 days a week with for 37ish weeks. But it's nice to know about allergies, and to go to the nurse to learn to use the EpiPen. NOW. Don't open that vaugely labeled granola bar here. You can't drink your coffee unless that's non-dairy creamer. Hope you didn't spill any.

But... on the off chance it's a kid's birthday, is it okay that I get the birthday stuff from your closet/desk/whatever -  or don't? Because you want catch up with them when you get back? How am I supposed to know any of this? If you care - or don't? You didn't say - it's seemingly minutia, but people keep all kinds of things all kinds of places. I will not rummage in someone else's room because I don't know what I'm going to find. Not everyone labels a drawer CONFIDENTIAL. I'm smart enough to stay out of that. I also won't just walk into someone's room when they're not there and I'm a floater [no one place to be for the day]. Then you get the "Why are you in my room? Who are you? I'm calling security" questions before you can flash a smile and calm someone down. If I learned anything in 6 months it's that some teachers can get incredibly territorial about their room. Especially their desk. So you wait for them to come back first, and enter with permission. [Walking in and finding the regular teacher there, even if you're supposed to be in that room, is always fun, too. Especially when neither of you have any idea who each other are.]

Don't sweat it, I'm over planning. Get what you can get to. This is enough, but on the off chance you finish early... please. Tell me right off. I can't read your mind. The other teachers say, eh, it's okay, we didn't lose anyone today, but sometimes I wonder how okay it really is. You may feel like you're repeating yourself saying again and again "I'm over planning" everytime someone walks through your door. But I don't want to mess up. I know I messed up when I came back for you, uninvited, and the first thing you wrote was, "Please, don't try to cram in everything like last time. I'm overplanning." Thank you for telling me though. Because the definition of insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly, getting the same results, but expecting a different outcome.

Sometimes I think people see the sub tag and they think I've been there - or maybe at least subbing - forever. So I fumble, from tiny faux pas to Oh. No. She. Didn't. and it's God, there's another awful sub. Can't we do better than this? (Am I making this up? Sometimes I feel like I must be making up the words in my head... like the title of that book, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? [And Other Concerns] )

The two things I think I would add as musts to this list are the phone numbers to the office and the nurse. Seriously. Kid goes down, you don't want to wait sending a runner, and if you don't know there's a panic button in the room, it doesn't do you any good. Kid has a melt down, I want to know how to reach the principal - or at the very least the secretary, who can tell the principal that someone's coming down, so look out for them.  Rookie mistake number one. Not knowing, or having someplace easy at hand, the office phone number.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Knit 4 purl to marker

If I start now, it will be done in ... 6th months?

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Raising the Bar

I tried making a cowl for a friend of mine for Christmas, and it would have ended well. She loved it. It was long and loopy; could be worn like a giant fiber necklace or twisted in two and worn a little closer to the neck when it was really cold. It was Lion Brand's amazing yarn in strawberry fields. And I figured that, with only 10% wool in it, my friend's allergy to animal fibers wouldn't be a problem. So little wool...  Such a big reaction. She started itching immediately. So the best gift turned into one of the worst. We stopped at Natural Stitches and I handed her hanks of alpaca, angora and super wash merino, hoping maybe the allergy was limited to el cheapo wool. To no avail; every animal fiber. So we found an acrylic she liked instead.

She's waiting for her results for the bar exam for Pennsylvania and we've been running together when the weather isn't subzero ( which hasn't been lately ). I've been running with my purple cowl over my face (it's cold. My lungs don't like it). But I think I like this better, its leas drapey. I'm calling it Raising Thue Bar. It was knit in the round on US 9/ 5.5mm circular needles. It's cast on in a multiple of 10 stitches - I did 90 for something that would stand up on its own and hug the face a little bit.  Begun in garter stitch, there's four rows of garter for the basis of picot trim (row 5 is *k2tog yo*) and four more rows of garter. Then five rows of double rib (*k2p2*). 

And then I don't know what the stitch is called, but it's a five stitch, five row repeat and creates a spiral: 

R1: *k4, p1*
R2: *k3, p1,k1*
R3: *k2, p1, k2*
R4: *k1, p1, k3*
R5: *p1, k4*

Repeat rows 1-5 until desired length is reached. Double rib 5 rows. Garter stitch 4, fifth row *k2tog, yo*, garter stitch 4 rows. Cast off.