Friday, March 22, 2013
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
A couple of weeks ago a boring shopping trip for some colored marshmallows turned into a little kitchen experiment. Marshmallows were added to my weekly shopping list in order to use them for an upcoming project at school. After searching through three stores for the multi-colored ones I came up empty handed at the end of the day. Where were all the marshmallows? That evening my friend Stephanie picked me up on the way to meet some people for dinner. I talked her into taking me to one more store to see if I could find some. There weren’t any there either. Steph talked me off the ledge and into buying a bag of the white ones and making them work. When I told her the paper for the project would be white and the marshmallows wouldn’t stand out, she said I should change the paper. Fine…
When I returned home from dinner later that night, the white marshmallows were still bothering me. I was not the least bit interested in changing the color of the paper but wondered if changing the color of the marshmallows was an option, hence the experiment…
In small batches, I dropped the marshmallows by the handful into the dye and stirred around for about 10 seconds.
Using a slotted spoon, the marshmallows were removed from the bowl and dropped onto a paper towel to drain and dry. They were extremely sticky, but dried fairly quickly. Even after drying, the marshmallows were still very soft.
I made about five batches of each color. They turned out great – brighter than even the store bought ones.
The two weeks leading up to the class project my students had been working hard learning about the basic concepts of multiplication. Multiplication readiness is always fun to teach because the kids are very excited to learn it, plus the practice opportunities are fun. The marshmallow project was a hit.
The colored marshmallows were used to demonstrate an understanding of arrays. See, they couldn’t have been white!
This project is always fun and makes a cute bulletin board. It’s nice to know too that next time the store is out of colored marshmallows, I don’t have to run all over town. I can just make my own.
Sunday, March 17, 2013
I’m not much of scary movie watcher. Suspenseful is fine, but creepy horror is too much for me to handle. I’m not talking about unrealistic ones like the Friday the 13th or Chucky films. I don’t watch them, but they aren’t the ones that really scare me. The ones that push me over the edge are the creepy realistic ones.
When I was in my early teens, I babysat various neighborhood kids. About that time the 70’s movie “When a Stranger Calls” was making the rounds in various circles. Since it was all the rage, I (stupidly) decided to watch it when it was on TV one night while babysitting. Big mistake! The movie is about a babysitter who received crank calls at the houses where she babysat. At that time, one of the families I sat for was a newly divorced mother with 4 kids. When I was there, her ex-husband would make obscene phone calls to the house. So when, in the middle of the movie, the babysitter finally calls the police and they trace the call only to find out the calls were coming from INSIDE THE HOUSE, well let’s just say I took a leave of absence from babysitting for awhile. Even now, just thinking about it makes me shiver.
A month or so ago, a new television show called “The Following” started up on television. Kevin Bacon followed his wife’s footsteps into the realm of television drama, and the show was getting good reviews. It was set to be about a serial killer who creates a network of serial killers from jail via the internet and the FBI agent who is on the case. Because I like police/detective-type stories I decided to record it thinking I might try an episode or two. About 7 years back I tried to watch Dexter, but didn’t make it through the first episode. Granted, I watched at night, right before bed, but the cut up bodies strewn about the streets of Florida was as far as I got before turning it off. Creepy and nighttime and sleep are not a good mix.
Anyhow, I think I’ve become smarter this time around as I’m watching while there’s still light outside. I don’t watch much TV during the day, so I’m only two episodes in, but so far so good. The show is interesting, and it spends a lot of time on the investigation side which I find fascinating. On the other hand, the crimes are really creepy, realistic and creepy. I do a lot of watching through the fingers of the hand covering my eyes gasping, “Oh my god!” But I have been able to sleep terror free once night rolls around. That’s progress I guess.
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Last week’s book club book was The Housekeeper and the Professor. Taking place in Japan, it is the very sweet story of a math professor who, due to a brain injury, has a short term memory of only 80 minutes (and a long term memory that ends on the day of his accident) and the housekeeper who is hired to take care of him. After the housekeeper begins work at the professor’s, he learns she has a young son (called Root). After school, root is left alone while his mother cares for the professor. The professor has a love of children and insists Root joins his mother after school each day. From there, an odd but genuine friendship begins to evolve.
Although the professor suffers from memory loss, he is a brilliant mathematician. He thinks almost exclusively about numbers – the study of, their theory, and their relationship with each other. Math becomes the center of the household and, in turn, the relationship between the three characters. Both Root and his mother are eager to learn from the Professor, who, due to his love of math, inspires them to see the beauty of numbers and how they connect to the world around them.
On a side note, throughout the short book, a few of us expected the relationship between the Housekeeper and the Professor to take a romantic turn. The person who choose this book was the same one who chose Fifty Shades of Grey a year ago, so there may have been an expectation. I so rarely read a book anymore that doesn’t have in-your-face drama and/or conflict in it. Some of the book-clubbers didn’t care for it, but I liked it. It was a nice story.
The book got me thinking about math. Throughout school, math was the bane of my existence. It was hard, and I developed a bit of a mental block about all the way into college. Even worse, my dad was a math teacher. Reading and writing were always a piece of cake while math and science were usually a struggle. Now, as a teacher myself, math curriculum is what I enjoy teaching most, granted it’s only 2nd grade curriculum but still. I find that my bag of tricks is fuller with math strategies than any other curricula. I’ve always heard that the more you struggle with how to do something the better you are at explaining it. Which would make a lot of sense.
The Professor in the book truly loved math and his teaching of some of the most difficult concepts was so beautifully done even I understood what he was going on about. Due to past experiences, that surprised me which I think made me like the book even more.
Saturday, March 9, 2013
1) Have you ever been to the Atlanta? No
2) Do you enjoy traveling by train? Yes. I haven’t traveled much by train here in the US, but I love the subway. The traveling I’ve done by train in Europe is so easy and much faster than it is here.
3) "Midnight Train to Georgia" is Sam Winters' signature number at the karaoke bar. What's your go-to song when you take the mic? Well, I’m not much for karaoke. I’ve been to Dimples in Burbank a few times with a group of friends who like to karaoke. We had fun, but I never wanted to sing because they video tape the stage and then play it on their website (the horror). Once, after a few too many, Jason talked me into singing “Come and Knock on My Door” from Three’s Company with him and another (brunette) friend, because I’m blonde – get it…Jack, Janet, and Chrissy?!?! Anyhow, I agreed, but only if I could stand off stage so I wouldn’t be filmed. We sang and laughed, and it was fun. However, after we sat back down the DJ played the video, and it was of JUST ME, standing off to the side. Sneaky guy!
4) Do you drink tea? When it’s cold I do. I like to add a bit of cinnamon to it.
5) What's the most recent thing you purchased for your home? I thought I was going to have to purchase a new washer and dryer last week, but thankfully the repairman was able to fix it. So the last thing I purchased was a multi-usb plug.
The separate plugs for each device are driving me mad. This way there is one place to plug them all in. I may need to get another; one for upstairs and another one for downstairs.
6) Are there dishes in your kitchen sink right now? Ugh! Yes. The dishwasher has been full and clean this week, and I haven’t had time to empty it. By the time I get to it today it’ll be full all over again with the dishes left in the sink. I hate that!
7) Have you ever been fingerprinted? Yes, by the DOJ and FBI, as a job requirement.
8) What was the last check you wrote? The appliance repairman. Before that? I can’t tell you. I never use checks anymore.
9) What color are your eyes? Blue
Just last night did I was notified that we spring the clocks forward this weekend. Ugh! I hate that we do it so early in the year now (said in a very whiny voice). There are not enough hours in the day as it is and now this weekend we’re losing one. And the hard-to-get-up dark mornings…so depressing.
Thursday, March 7, 2013
BUT I'm taking a quick dinner break and can share this short, amusing story (although maybe also a small glimpse into the lack of experiences my funny little class has).
Last Tuesday, my fourth and fifth new student of the year enrolled in school...twin girls. They are darling, but very very quiet. That's not necessarily a bad thing since the rest of the class doesn't stop talking, EVER. However when these girls talk nothing actually comes out of their mouth. They have been home-schooled up until now and are extremely shy. I'm sure, as one of my other students said, "Ms. Delight, I think we are scaring them!" And I think I agree.
Anyways, I digress. Upon lining up after the morning bell, the rest of the class was in such a flutter. "We have twins!" They shouted as I picked them up on the playground. My group this year is always in everyone else's business so they were in all their glory last week helping and smothering these little girls, even better, there were two! The week passed without any great incidents, no more than usual anyhow.
As I walked my kids from the yard to class this Monday morning, one of my girls looked at me in all seriousness and said, "Well Ms. Delight, the girls are back and...they STILL look the same!" With a chuckle under my breath I nodded, "They sure do."
Alright, dinner is over; back to work!
Saturday, March 2, 2013
I seem to always start off these calendar posts by mentioning how fast the month went. This post is no exception. With only 28 days, February flew by.
Life was extremely busy this month and looking back at the calendar makes me remember what a terribly boring person I was in February…work, home, bed, work, home, bed. Oh well, maybe March will be more exciting. :)
The covers were finished and the signatures have been put together. I didn’t have wide enough tape in my stash for the binding, so I had to order some 3” gaffers tape and some waxed thread. It finally arrived yesterday. Hopefully there will be time to stitch up the book before I actually leave.
The tax man comes today and then company visiting for dinner. Maybe I’ll be able to fit in some creativity tomorrow.
Indoors or out, no one relaxes in March, that month of wind and taxes, the wind will presently disappear, the taxes last us all the year.
- Ogden Nash