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April 2010

March 2010

Programmers who piss me off

Right now, I am completely pissed off at several programmers:

First, the yahoos that wrote Adobe Soundbooth.  If I open a file as an MP3, save it as a WAV file, and save it, I expect it to be in the same directory I retrieved it from.  Not the directory I saved something the last time I used Soundbooth.  Just saying…..

Second, I swear to god that the Java people update their software just so they put a new freaking ad in their installer.  And PLEASE do not set the button automatically to check.  I have to uncheck the check on 33 freaking machines.  And had to do another 30 some machines in the business lab.

Third, the authors of TestNav written by the Pearson Learning people.  The freaking client installer reboots computers, and doesn’t tell you it didn’t finish.  And not every computer.  My lab is pristine – I use Deep Freeze, and am careful about keeping a frozen.  Something like 6 out of the 28 did this.  This is NOT fun.  Business lab was even worse.

Finally, the authors of ICQ.  One of my face book friends invited, and they not only changed my Home Page, but my default search engine AND my blank tab in Windows Explorer.  It’s gone and won’t be back.

Fixed a Kid

Well, not completely, but I have identified the problem.  She has been driving me absolutely buggy for months.

She screams at me constantly and doesn’t do what I tell her too.  Yesterday I figured out why.

She came into the room late, and I said “Tardy Center”.  Didn’t blink, didn’t move, “Tardy Center”. No blink, no move, “Tardy Center”.  Then she even said, what did you say?

When she came back, I wanted to tell her what I told the other kids.  I called her name.  I did it again.  I walked towards her, saying her name.

Then it dawned on me. 

SHE DIDN’T HEAR ME, and I have been mad at her for the same reason my mother gets mad at me.  SHE DIDN’T HEAR ME.

I wrote her a pass to the nurse with a note to sign her up to evaluate her hearing.  I haven’t done that before, in 17 years of teaching I haven’t noticed that a kid was not hearing me.  She thought I was being funny.  Okay, I’ve been known to send a kid to the library and back to give us both space.  BUT SHE DIDN’T HEAR ME.

And yes, she flunked the hearing test.  They were able to determine she had a problem and found her a way to fix it in less than 45 minutes.  Finally flunking is a GOOD thing.

This is a perfectly brilliant child, and there are 8 other teachers that she doesn’t hear.  Why did it take me so long and why didn’t the other teachers notice? 

Why didn’t her mom notice – who did say, no wonder you don’t do well at school, you can’t hear your teachers.

Score one for Weaver, but why did it take us so long to notice?

By the way, I had something similar happen to me involving needing glasses and the 2nd grade. 

The Clock is Ticking

I have clocks ticking in my head, and they start getting loud.

My first clock is the TELPAS clock.  Good news, we test Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.  Bad news, I don’t have a complete schedule and haven’t figure out what to do with my kids!

The next clock is the AP clock.  I had to stop it to get the TELPAS clock going, but it’s going on now.  And I am ignoring the TELPAS testing when it comes to that.

Somewhere is the TAKS clock, but for me, it’s mostly a time suck.  I can’t work on the other clocks when it goes off.

The next clock is the ACP clock.  I have to have a certain amount of material covered and let me tell you, it isn’t happening this year.  I don’t know what I am going to do about it.

But I have a bad thing and a good thing in all of this.

The bad thing, is that I have a student who has been homebound I am trying to get caught up.  Man is that clock ticking, and I am going to see how much of that clock we can push off to the summer.  If we can.  We’d have to work out something to where that student and I are not alone and that student’s parent wasn’t any where around.  I can’t say much more than that, but that situation is making the clocks tick louder.

Special Ed Interventions

I have a student in PreAP Computer Science.  Wondering if anyone has any more ideas for interventions.

I have given him extra time, have walked him through several labs, and upon finding out he either doesn’t or can’t read and follow directions, have made a series of movies of the material he has missed so far.

Anyone have any other bright ideas?

Rock Band Drums

I took my Rock Band drums to school and I actually think I’ll leave them there.  They are a bit big to steal and I never get around to playing with them during the school year anything.  I also figure I will take my extra Rock Band Guitar, and probably even leave it since i have three (one Guitar Hero usb, and one Rock Band Wireless), and since I never play it either…..

The Rock Band kit worked with the Drum Kit software 100%, there is a lot of things I can do to make it better, so it will be interesting to see what I and the kids come up with.

Sound Game

So when I finished the demo, I had a working sound game.  One student turned in hers (I always have them do a copy of mine as their first assignment over a new program.

Movie here: Sound Game

I think it was fun.  I think they did too, and I think they are getting that these things are building on each other.  Wish my Rock Band drums were smaller.

AP Exam

I have two students signed up for the AP Computer Science Exam.  Sadly, I haven't been able to get either one of them serious about coding.

We started out today, going through the Barron's book.


Back from Spring Break

Since I can't eat lunch today .... taking a blog break.

I was really glad to get back to my almost clean, spacious room.  With the new room arrangement, EVERYONE has more space.  We even have space to actually sit down and write stuff, which we didn't have with the old tables.

I am still doing a major purge, and unfortunately the custodians left my last trash bag in the room.  I live in Farmers Branch, and we have fabulous trash bags, designed to fit in our machines without a lot of work.  I personally like better than those plastic things that load into the Dallas garbage collection vehicles.

Spring break was great:

  • Won Dallas Symphony Orchestra tickets which was a nice different outing for my husband and I
  • One the TypePad Creativity contest with my blog entires about the different ways you can make a blog entry with TypePad (I'm using the web interface today).  $100 Gift Certificate from Amazon
  • Got lots of chores done
  • Cleaned out closets
  • Got HAV unit preventative maintance
  • Did a minor purge of my office
  • Got oil changed
  • Made lots of movies with new, soon to be released software
  • Got a Screencast Pro account for free (and put movies there)
  • Slept each day.
  • Weather was gorgeous during the actual week

Spring Break sucked because:

  • Dealt with special ed student and family (which made today sucky and last night hard to sleep)
  • Ended with winter.  We had snow on Saturday and Sunday

So yes, I am glad to be back and finish the year.  And I've spent almost every minute since I got to school dealing with special ed family.  Still have to call mother and tell her my decision.