The Princess and the Pill

Mom told me a story.

“I put my foot in my shoe, and I could feel something in there.  I dumped out my shoe, and nothing came out.”  She checked her slipper.  Nothing.  Then she dumped out her sock.  Of all things, a pill came out.  Apparently, Floyd lost a vitamin-D pill a few days ago.  How it landed in her sock, no one will ever know.

However, she apparently hadn’t heard the story, The Princess and the Pea, so my comment, “You’re the Princess,” didn’t make any sense to her.  Floyd thought it was funny though.

putting up walls (or, ups and downs)

I’ve completed the walls for the latest project, the teardrop trailer.  Unfortunately, I broke a jigsaw blade and had to go buy some more.  Fortunately, the shop is close.  Unfortunately, those little suckers are expensive.  Fortunately, I get AirMiles.  Unfortunately, I haven’t figured out how to use my AirMiles – just keep collecting them.  Fortunately, however, all my AirMiles points are toward cash value from now on instead of travel / merchandise.  Life is full of ups and downs.

auto stop & start students

The same day I posted my last entry on M & F (students, not Mom & Fl0yd), F quit.  He’s gone with another tutor.  His schedule has changed, and I can only tutor after 5:30pm, so F is no more.

At the same time, another student started.  Students come, students go.  This time, however, the student isn’t in Coaldale like F was; he’s in Lethbridge.  Good for me.  I don’t spend $5 in fuel driving to and returning from a student’s house to make $17 / hour.

a good measure

My students have been improving considerably.  Two in particular, M & F (no, not Mom & Floyd, but another M & another F!), have caught the I-want-to-learn bug.

M has improved his mathematics skills considerably (among other skills).  It’s not easy to do ‘mental math’ without guidance and practise.  We’re using the practices of 1) using fingers to count, 2) memorization (as in the multiplication table), 3) writing out problems long-hand, and 4) using a calculator for complex calculations or to check one’s work.  Because M is in a Montessori program (and, no, it isn’t just for playschool, preschool, and kindergarten – it’s valid all throughout elementary school and beyond), it involves practical life (understanding everyday activities), sensorial (tactility, sound, vision, etc.), academic (mathematics, language arts, histories, the sciences), and societal (creativity, games, group work, social activity).  It’s not just reading, writing, and ‘rithmatic anymore, folks.  So, part of yesterday’s homework is fractions and their uses.  What’s the good in knowing fractions unless you can use them?  He’s a creative fellow, so he could go on to use this skill in everyday life.

No, he’s not helping me build the trailer.  He’s reading the tape measure in the pictures.

F has improved his reading skills. It started with not knowing the phonics of letters and combinations of letters of the alphabet, having difficulty writing letters in patterns, and knowing sight words.  Now he’s sounding out words he doesn’t know and breezing through those he does.  It’s about not being intimidated by the written word, I think, and he’s come a long way in this.  He says he enjoys writing, so hopefully this will pull him along in the reading thing, too.  Plus, I promised him a prize (a notebook from Korea) if he reads really well – something to shoot for.

the flow

I am reading a book called You Are a Badass.  It’s about having good intentions, good thoughts, good vibes, for lack of better explanation.  “The Universe will match whatever vibration you put out.  And you can’t fool the Universe.”

“Can I get a name?” Starbucks staff asks when I order an Americano.  “Allan.”  (Yes, you already knew that – but she didn’t.)  Why a name?  Because many people might order an Americano.  So the woman after me, after being asked her name, said, “No.”  …  Uh … “Okay, I’ll just leave it here for you.”  Is the world this concerned with privacy that she can’t leave a name?  Maybe she should say, “Esmeralda” or “Lapodopolis” or even “Steve” or “Jesus”.  Sorry, but I have no tolerance for people like that.

By the way – her coffee sat there and waited for her, exactly where the barista said it would be.  The woman was miffed.  <puff, pant, huff, snort, throat clearing, cough>  Good fracking hell.

I met a Canadian in Korea who refused to walk with the crowd.  “I’m going this way, not that way.  I don’t care if people are on this side of the sidewalk.”

I know – I used to be this person, a million years ago.

HTML vs. Moodle, WordPress, etc.

Okay, so this isn’t 1990 anymore.  Websites are dynamic, not static.  No one uses .html (hypertext markup language) anymore.  Instead, modern websites use https, .asp, databases, interactivity, splashy advertisements and pictures that fly across the screen, areas of the page that stand still whereas others move around … all that is terribly impressive.

But, after fidgeting around with with WordPress, Moodle, Joomla!, add-ons to those, databases from MySQL and Microsoft SQL, and various other CMS packages made for teachers & students & school admin, I’ve decided they all suck.

Read moreHTML vs. Moodle, WordPress, etc.