Saturday, September 30, 2006

...can I handle this? people have confidence in me?

So, the other day I get 3 more kids shot into my class.  Probably 3 of the worst of the other class thrown into my class.  Instantly it was a bit harder o manage these kids.  Just as I was starting to get into a 'rhythm' it was only made harder.  Plus another kid finally came back, and she was none-so-fun.  Sister of a kid I taught last year... and he was rough, and all I heard was his younger sis was worse. She is!


So, my chair then decides that fter they've moved them in, I should go and meet with him and the guidance counsellor to talk about them.  Turns out that meeting was a veiled attempt to say "Ryan, these must be tough, we understand, and nlet's stop sending 'em to the office!"  I know I had to send a few to the office, but really... they're THAT BAD.  I can't send one of them to another room, like they suggest, they'll just disappear.  They want me to send them to the guidance room, but the one time I've tried he wasn't there.  So, my job has been made harder by throwing more kids in there, and then telling me to NOT send them to the office if they're bad.  Just grin and bear it I guess.


I've been super tired lately.  As soon as Friday hits I'm just falling on the bed.  I slept like 6 hours after I got home the other day.  Not good.  And this is just one class.  Then again, the vp did say that this is a class you'd run into like once every 10 years.  ick.


Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Look out people... pipeband comin' at ya

Okay, so I've been on a huge pipeband kick lately.  Just finished the book.  That was a late night with Rory on Sunday.


Just designed up the banner (not so late a night with Ror on Tuesday night).


Jarron did an awesome job on the Celtic Bash poster.


NOV. 18 - you all better be there!!!


Did a pipng gig the other day (and did it awesomely - thanks Ror).


Bayfield is NEXT weekend.


This should be good!


Now, jsut have to last that long.  The class is having it's ups and downs.  Today was a not so good day.  Kinda got along with some of them, and one kid has become a new problem, one that I didn't anticipate.  Grr... Never easy is it?!?


So, lesson I wish to impart today:

COME TO THE BASH ON NOVEMBER 18... help out the pipeband.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Conflicting research...

So... as much as a scientist I am, I'm very conflicted in what I should show to class tomorrow.


For years, we've heard that DDT is harmful to society.  And then comes along my hero, Dr. Joe Schwarz, and he opens my eyes to the real research on the issue.  Sure there is some research that shows there CAN be some harmful effects, but in the comparison to other stuff it's not the monster it's made out to be.  There's even one professor who tries to stress this fact by EATING a spoonful of DDT in his lectures.


So what should it be... for years and years all the textbook list it as doom and gloom.  So is it wrong to show it in a different light.


So it's a bit of an issue, for which one I should do... or do I put it in both lights?  I'm sure that's the proper thing to do.


I should also have the activity for the BIOACCUMULATION thing planned out.  I think it's going to involve me throwing stuff at the students as I 'spray DDT" on them.  heh


Wednesday, September 20, 2006

what would you do in this situation... besides laugh?

Okay, so here's the setup:


  Monday, my first day, I meet this one student... we'll call her Li'l-Miss-Wacked-Out (LMWO).  She comes in late for class and says that she already has the assignment done, but it was for another class, and is it alright to just use that one.  I say sure, just make sure it's relevant to this assignment.  She assures me it is and proceeds to sleep in class for some time.  Every now and again I'll accidentally "trip" over her chair to wake her, or yell "LMWO, you're drooling on the keyboard!" to keep her conscious.  It sorta works.


  Tuesday, I don't see her.


  Today (wednesday), part way through the class she looks at me with a total disbelief look and... well I can't do LMWO word-for-word, but here's the gist:

"Who are you?  I don't remember you!  I apparently came in late to this class 2 days ago, but I don't remember.  Apparently I was drunk or something, from what people are telling me.  But I did find this sheet in my binder [it's a sheet describing the assignment she was to be doing], what is it?  What does it mean?  I don't remember anything!"


So... how do you keep from laughing?  I just nodded now and again through the ~5 min explanation/mind recovery exercise and when I had the opportunity I deked out and had to answer another question.  Man... I nearly lost it while she's trying to explain.  The only problem was that she had the total look of seriousness... the look as if she REALLY didn't remember anything, and was hoping she hadn't killed anybody.  Pretty freaky...


Who said teaching can become blase?

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

10 Applieds... again... more energy than ever.

So, settling into the school (again), teachign grade 10s (again), Applieds (again), science (oooh, that's new!)


I get going on the first day, ready to teach, when they tell me they were supposed to be working on a poster in the computer lab.  So, i acquiesce and let them go there.  It turns out that oly a  few needed time, the rest were playing games.  So I decide to haul them back to the room.  I guess because there was only a few minutes left in class [25min] almost half decided not to come back.  It's ok... I understand...


Anyways, it was a good day, for a first day.


Today... wow... i sent 3 out to the office, another to the hall and I counted 15 swears from another kid.  This is also the same kid who asked would a hunter's gun be an abiotic factor... anyways, you had to be there.  OOoh, he also asked what a linear line was.  At first I thought he was going to get me on the whole "technically a line is linear, so you don't have to say linear" but he legitimately didn't know.  Ouch.  It's gonna be a long semester I think.


What do you think of my office?  I got the key for the science room and just plunked my stuff in the first spot I could.  A table that was almost bare.  And I spread myself all over it... heh.  Now, to do something about the computer in that room... it's pretty awful.  Old, won't use my usb key... and apparently my password isn't working.  Grr...

Friday, September 15, 2006

I am a scientist... and a science teacher

So... like the song says "I am a scientist, i seek to understand things..." I too am a scientist.


And, as of today, I am a science teacher again as well.


That LTO I was kinda worried about not getting at PACI?  I have it!  Sweet eh?  *whew*

I tell you, tho', I do NOT interview well.  I'm getting better so that I don't ramble, but the nerves are hard to control for me.  It was pretty gross.  But I did ok.  I felt like throwing up after the interview tho', really, I was feeling pretty ill... maybe it was my breakfast [little as it was] or something else, but I had to take a few minutes and go home, 'just in case.'  Then I went to PTC.


Yeah, so I found out at 1:30 that I start on Monday teaching.  So I went in at 3:30 and met with Andrew [he's definitely got my vote in the upcoming election now] and the previous teacher.  Turns out it's a pretty rough class.  19 apparently right now... may be more soon enough he said.  But a few really rough kids in terms of classroom management.  And then I was handed a TON of books to start planning.  Should be easy enough.  The first chapter will be nice to get out of the way tho' ... biology.  Ick.


But, hey, I've got a job!!


Thank you:

  1. Andrew, Susan and Paul during the interview

  2. Jarron for putting the bug in Susan and Andrew's ears

  3. anybody who had wished me luck

Now, ... on with the rest of the story.


[oh... so I'm working at PTC and PACI... both start with P, and 2nd letter is a C... weird]

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Tough break Rory / Rain... I hate Henry Templeman

Yeah, so, Rory and Rain have been really looking for a house.  And finally an opportunity came up where both Rory and rain agreed upon a good house they liked.  (quite rare for rory...).  It was a 'not bad' deal for the price.  It was a good area.  It was a bank repo, and they knew it was listed for more than it had sold for, so how could they NOT put in an offer.

For the next few days they waited in anticipation to hear if the offer was accepted.  The deal was closing at 5pm on Friday.  Friday 5:30 they find out that they had been rejected for their offer.  But somethign smelled funny.  The final offer, the winning bidder, came at 4:59pm and it had not gone through the seller, but straight to the bank.  Hmm... that doesn't seem right.


As it's unfolding, not much is known, except that HENRY TEMPLEMAN had circumvented the code of ethics they have and gone through shadier channels to outbid Rory and Rain by a meagre amount, and waited until the last moment to offer so there could be no chance to call in and inquire.  Apparently he had violated some of their own rules in doing so.  Unfortunately their in a weird predicament where it's a matter of "well there's nothing we CAN do?"


Sure there is!  There always is!  PEOPLE:  pass it along that Henry Templeman is the slimiest dirtbag there is!  He actually really is (I've dealt with him a few times, and he's not a pleasant person).  I'm urging them to go to the Better Business Bureau and if necessary seek out legal recourse.  This cannot stand.  Makes me sick.


On, other news... nothing much has been going on.

  • The tune book is carrying on, and should meet deadline.  Just trying to 'jazz' it up a bit.  But you know me, I'm not very artistic at all, so I'm at a real loss of what to do.

  • I have an interview Friday at PACI for that 1 LTO period of science - wish me luck!  Waiting to hear about the JUMP START thing.  I applied for this due to a forward Jarron had sent me that the Board was looking to do the after school tutoring thing again.  I figure IF things work out, it will be an awesome semester:

    1. Mornings at PTC

    2. A period of science in the afternoon

    3. After school tutoring.

I mean essentially 3 part time jobs that are pretty ... well, easy.  What more could you ask for?  I don't want to get my hopes up too much, because it's just too good to be true.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Favourite ad

So, as of late, there's been this great ad on tv:



truly, it is an awesome ad.    I just love the accent, and people "in the know" have told me that it's pretty well spot-on for the true dialect (I've seen some reports say that it's approximately St. John dialect... but anyways).


Now, watching the ad, in of itself, makes it great... what makes it my favourite ad to date is the fact how easily you slip into the dialect yourself just watching it.



The other night playing cards at Jarron's place (until 4am I might add - and I won btw) we discussed the ad, and all laughed at the funniness of it.  Next thing you know, everything we were saying had that accent.

"well, ye gots ta put doon 5 there, eh, ta see da flop, i tells ya what"

Okay, accents are hard to do in text, but you get the drift - essentially we had become makeshift Newfs for the night.  It was FUN.


Try it sometime!  Watch the ad a few times and throw yer own oot there, eh?


Saturday, September 9, 2006

The New 2006 Tune Book

Ok, so I put myself under the gun this time...  I really have nobody to blame but me.  A few people at band had asked if we were going to do reprints of the tune book I made a few years back.  Some copies have either disappeared, or become tattered that a new one is necessary.  Plus, it's been a project I wanted to do in the back of my brain for a while. 


See, last time I did the book, I wasn't quite sure what I was doing.  It took me some time, and I think I figured it out.  I thought that if I were to do it again, I would know exactly what to do for each.  Now here's the rub... last time I used Quark Express... seemed fine, but lately I've grown very fond of all the Adobe products.  Adobe came out with InDesign which is supposed to surpass Quark for what it can do.  I looked at it and it looked VERY similar.  So out goes Quark, in comes InDesign.  Well, turns out that they are not EXACTLY the same, and being that it was 3 years since I did the book last year, I've forgot everything.


So for the past few weeks I've been trying to learn how to do EVERYTHING with InDesign.  I know I could probably make it simple, and nobody would know the difference, but for myself, I have to try to learn this. I have to prove to myself that I CAN still learn thigns and turn out a good product.  Hopefully people will see that I did a good job.  Now, if only I could figure out this Table of Content automatization thing that'd be awesome!.


Already I've made a few improvements over last version:

  1. Tunes are rotated to be 'landscaped' so that each tune is larger on the page
    this took a few days because I had to redo each tune in BWW so that it would be landscaped, and then I had to PDF the print of it.

  2. The tunes themselves will be better resolution
    if you look at the last version, the round notes are really pixelated, this year i outputted the print to a PDF file which is higher quality than i did last year (export to low-res BMP).

  3. Using master sheets effectively
    this is helping me get better at positioning the page numbers.  Last version some of the corners of the pages where I put page numbers was wrong.  By using master sheets it'll determine automatically which corner to use

  4. Using the 'book' more effectively
    this really helps maintain the appropriate page number and order.  when i did it last time i had to design each page... figure out where it came in teh book and put in the page number... that led to some problems throughout the project.  Now, most of it is automated.

  5. No more calendar

  6. no exercises
    we'll see... if i can keep the number of pages down, then we can keep it in... what i'd really like is to have some new execises in there, some of the john cairns' ones.  those are good!

  7. less preamble

What I'dstill love to figure out is a way to automate all the tune names into an index at the back... but even doing the basic ToC at teh front is causing me all sorts of hell... grr.

Well... why am I writing this?  'cuz I'm going stark raving mad!

I've been up since ... well fairly late actually this Saturday, but none the less... ever since I was up I have been working on this book.  Sure I've taken breaks to wash dishes, dust, organize shelves, and whatnot... but I'm going stir crazy!  This is my one way to take a break.  I hope you enjoyed it!

And hey... btw - nobody ever writes comments in here?  I'm sure some people check this out... let me know... converse people!  I promise I won't flame you!

the title page showing here is just a sample... tho' it may become the real thing if noboy suggests any different

Wednesday, September 6, 2006

only one LTO

So, the school season is officially underway.  They posted the LTOs necessary for this semester.  Now the fun thing is they get posted, but only at the schools.  Ok, so if you're a guy like me looking for jobs you're NOT going to be IN the schools.  But that is the only place they get put.  So you have to go to the school, just walk on in the staff room and find the bulletin board, and then go and find the LTO posting and then beg somebody for a photocopy number if you want to take it home.  [I imagine just taking the ONLY posting on the board would be rude to the rest of the people out there].


Anyways, so I get to Westgate and just write the info down... here's the posting:


  • Science 10 Applied
    pd 4

so... 1 posting... that's it.  Luckily it's at PACI.  Hopefully that'll be in my favour.  Or else I'm gonna have to get my cards ready.  I got a bunch of the magnets ready to go.  30 more to use up if i need it.

Sunday, September 3, 2006

The LAST WEEKEND of summer. [the kbf]

So, it was the last weekend coming up... nothing planned.  Just the prospect of back to work and busy lives.  What to do?


Well, sitting at coffee I suggested we should go camping at Kakabeka Falls... turns out that just suggesting it was taken that we'd really do it.  So I totally forgot about it and when I got home from work on Friday I told Mandy, so she went and called and made the bookings before we even knew how many people were coming.  But we figured it out eventually.


Saturday I spent part of the day gathring what stuff I needed for camping:

  • new cooking pots for camping

  • camping chair

  • spare tent

  • etc...

After Mandy got off work we headed to A&P for some camping food and the Buck store for some stuff to do (cards, checkers... which we never used) and made the trek to the "KBF."  When we got there Trever and Eilidh had beat us there, but had gone for a walk.  They had left us a note, but we never saw it.  In the mean time we set up the tent.  When Trever and Eilidh got back we set up their tent... man it was HUGE.  As she put it "you coul do cartwheels in there"  Which I guess is ok, seeing as it was Trish's birthday and all, she should get the biggest tent.

The rest of the night consisted of getting the fire ready ... apparnelty you really do have to get tons omre wood than you think.  We had bought 4 bags of wood and it was not enough.  We spent the rest of the night doing some 'foraging'  Foraging is a Canadian word for stealing wood from whereever you see it.  For Jarron this meant a 200lb log dragged down the road.  Oh, and a note:  200lb logs don't really burn all too well.  Next time, bring a saw.

When I finall crashed Mandy was just freezing.  I don't get it... it was chilly, bt not freeing last night.  So, it was an uncomfortable sleep on that tiny twin mattress.  Chris slept very well in his wall to wall mattressed tent, and Jarron enjoyed his Bivy sack.  In the morning I woke up... usually a good sign.  But I slept in.  Usually I can't sleep past 8 when I camp... I woke up at 10!  Breakfast consisted of muffins... yum!

After a bit people decided to go for a walk.  Mandy and I decided to opt out as she was to go to a Union picnic.  So when they left, we went and packed up and headed for home.  Not before I had left Trish some birthday presents.

Turns out, that what we had left for, Mandy's picnic, was for Monday... not Sunday... oh, well... at least she got to go camping.

Nothing left now but to get ready for work... yayayayayayay!

Friday, September 1, 2006

Readying for school

Well, what does readying for school mean?


It means usually, new toys!  Heh... just kidding.  Tho', I did make the annual trek to Staples to pick up some supplies:


  • Magnetic business card stock
    now, i can stick my regular business card on this piece of fridge decoration and hopefully make my name more visible!... hopefully

  • Ink
    what better stuff to print out my business carsd with?

  • Blank DVDs
    ok, they were just a good deal

Then I went over to F-shop and scooped up on their 'deal'  They had a 2GB Kingston USB drive for $39.99.  Awesome!  It was $80 off on sale, putting it to $69.99 and then there was a $30 mail in rebate.  So that's no hard luck either.  Pretty sweet buy.

Yeah, so school's getting under way and I'm readying for the deluge of calls... not.  I probably won't be called for some time, so I better get my cards ready to fly.  Unless a miracle happens and there's actually a job for me.  In the mean time I'll be at PTC for a while yet.  At least that first week of school.

Oh, speaking of my job at PTC... I have pics today to show you all... ooooh... check the photos section!