Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Where are we headed?

Today I subbed in a high school classroom. It doesn't matter where; it doesn't matter what subject. After four years of subbing, I've noticed one disturbing trend - students are incredibly lazy. If kids can't look online or ask a friend, then they don't know how to find an answer.

Today was an easy assignment - chapter review. Not only that, but the teacher gave the page numbers of the indices that would help them answer the most questions. The kids' first reactions were to ask the smart kid. When I put a stop to that, the whining started:

"This is too hard!"
"I don't know this!"
"We can't do this!"

Not ONE of those students had opened his or her book.

It does worry me that even with the page numbers given to them, a large number of students don't know how to look up an answer. It always surprises me how many students look at me like I've got a 3rd eye when I ask them if they've checked the glossary for definitions.

The what?

Granted I think it's wonderful that kids know how to use computers and research online, but at what expense. So a 10 year-old can create a power point. Fabulous. Can he use a dictionary? Kids are learning to be dependent on technology, but what happens when their phones lose reception?

I do a lot of reseach online because it's convenient, but before I had the internet I used the library (you know - big building, lots of books).

Techonology is a great TOOL, but I'm not so sure we should be promoting it as THE tool. I'm not convinced that it makes kids smarter, but it sure does make them lazier.


I got paid twice today: once for subbing, and once for finishing an article. Technically I won't get paid for the article until the end of the month, but the point is that I had the time to finish it today. It's times like this that I LOVE subbing in high schools!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Mornings in a Van

As I spend this week babysitting my friends' kids I've found the most entertaining moments to be on the drive to school - all five kids at the same time.

The 15 yr. old just wants everyone to be quiet - it's too early for him.

The 5 yr. old is in the far back, and she's the boss of everyone. Yesterday I kept hearing, "Don't make me come up there!", and she's even telling me how to get from point A to point B, "NO! Go that way! Momma goes THAT way!"

In the middle sit the 3 yr. old boy and the 11 yr. old girl. He brings Superman, she brings a Barbie. Most of what he says sounds like gibberish, but she is easy to understand. Yesterday her Barbie used super powers that she stole from Superman (in the crystal box from Superman II) to make him marry her. Today she asked Superman if he kissed her cell phone; Superman asked Barbie how she knew. Barbie answered, "Because my phone has a tracking device".

And the last child is the 9 yr. old girl who tries to help keep the peace...unless she has something better to do, like sing the National Anthem :)

The drive to school is really my favorite. I have so much fun listening to these guys. And they really know how to love each other: the older kids shared their candy with the little kids, the baby carried his sister's backpack (and wanted to carry my groceries), and the boss took time out at school to make a card for her classmate who had a birthday yesterday.

These kids are my favorites (next to my nieces and nephew, of course)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Slap-Happy Matty: Extreme

Poor, poor Matt. He didn't have to go into work until 5am today, but he didn't get home until after 7pm. We had very little time together, so he wanted to help me in the kitchen. Oh. Joy.

It started when I asked him to make some salads for lunches. He was putting grape tomatoes on them. As I washed dishes I heard:

"Tom-ay-to, tom-ah-to. Tom-ay-to, tom-ah-to."

Then Matt leaned over to pick something up. The skinny dude was wearing his large pajama pants, so I got to see a whole lot of crack. I pointed that out to him. As I washed dishes I heard:

"That's because I get up at the butt-crack of dawn. The hairy butt-crack of dawn. Butt-crackage. Butt-crack-a-mungus. Butt-crackular."

And then the cat walked by...

"We don't have to take it anymore. Cats should be able to lick their butt-cracks in public - lift your leg high!"

It was an interesting night...he was asleep by nine.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Read The Fine Print (and other shopping secrets)

Yesterday Matt and I spent the day relaxing (Borders and a movie) and shopping (Kmart and Lowe's). I am already a big fan of Kmart (the one in Acme). They keep a clean store and have great customer service. We've shopped there a few times when an employee forgot to pull a sale sign. When we were checking out and the prices didn't match the cashiers always honored the sale price (while another cashier ran to remove the sign).

We had the same experience last night at Lowes. They had three types of storage units for sale on an end cap: A, B1, and B2. A and B1 were the same price, even though they were different brands. B1 and B2 were the exact same things, but with different prices (B2 was more expensive). So we looked at the signs above the units. It had the sections listed as A, Clearance A, and B. Obviously, it didn't match what was actually on the shelf.

Long story short: the price tag on B1 was for the price of A, but it was on the "clearance" section of the shelf, so we figured it might actually be on sale. Having had the experiences at Kmart where the honor a wrong price, we gave it a whirl. Sure enough, they honored the price!! (52% off the original price - yeah!)

When we go home, Matt looked at the Lowe's ad from two weeks ago. On ONE PAGE it said that the sales prices were good until 1/10/10 (even though the rest of the ad expired on 1/3/10). Lo and behold - on that page there was a picture of the unit Matt bought last night. The sale: buy the unit, get a smaller one FREE!!

Matt took the ad and his receipt back to the store. The manager double checked everything and gave Matt the free unit (while another cashier ran to the back of the store to double check all of the sale signs). Matt now has two high quality garage storage units. What should have been a 30% savings ended up being a 67% savings!!

So make sure you read the fine print and don't be afraid to show a store their mistakes! It can definitely work in your favor :)

Thursday, January 07, 2010

"The star, Jimmy! Get the star!"

Do you remember which great (great = cheesy) movie that's from?

I was just sitting here remembering the good ol' days (I have gray hair now...I can have good ol' days). There were some great movies back then. I remember when my dad used to rent a VCR from the appliance store so that we could watch movies (which we also got from the appliance store). My sisters and I must have watched "Wild Blue Yonder" and "Space Camp" fifty times.

What were your favorites? (And who knows the quote? My money is on Bob C...)

Monday, January 04, 2010

Nothing, really

I don't really have a topic, but I'm not ready to start on my article yet, so I thought I'd swing by and hit the keys for a while.

Matt and I watched "Barnyard" tonight. The only movie I've ever seen that's worse than it is "Highlander". I mean, I'm a movie collector and watcher. I'll even keep a disc in the player all day and let it keep repeating. But I'm tempted to use those movies as coasters. Or maybe I'll just put them in with my collection of toys for when kids come to visit...

Matty-Matt-Matt was sick today. Actually he was sick all last week, but today it kept him home. The cough kicked his butt last night, and he was still awake at midnight (not good when you have to get up at 3am). I finally caved and gave him some prescription cough medicine. It worries when Matt takes prescriptions. He's never been a pill-popper (not even aspirin), so he's incredibly sensitive.

The cough meds said to take every six hours, and that it could cause drowsiness. I had my concerns about him taking it at midnight, but he'd been coughing for so long that we had to do SOMETHING. Sure enough, he got up at 3am to be to work at 4am. We live a solid 30 minutes from work. I woke up at 3:45 and his was still sitting on the bed. I asked him if he thought he should try to go to work.

At 4:05 he was STILL sitting there! He was so drowsy and incoherent that he couldn't figure out what to do. Um, was there ever really a question?? Prescription cough meds and heavy machinery?? Yeah...he stayed home. Poor baby :(

On the plus side, we found out tonight that he gets two weeks paid vacation on his four year anniversary - that's this May!! We're so excited about being able to have to whole weeks together! Since we've been married the only time that's happened has been when he was sick - this should be fun and exciting!

And for something completely unrelated, I get to do laundry tonight! I'm so totally in love with my new washer and dryer :) I think I might swap chores with people - if you hate doing laundry, then bring it on over! I'll wash your clothes and you can clean my bathroom. Win-win!

Okay, enough procrastinating - I've got articles to write.