Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Dyslexing tonight was great, as always. Our tutor has always maintained that we should try out each diagnostic test ourselves before giving them to a pupil, so that we understand what it's like to be assessed. Spelling and reading tests have not been a problem, but tonight's focus was maths and the problems that dyslexics face with numbers. The maths test she gave us was ROCK SOLID. Granted, it started easily enough (4 + 1 = ?) but within 6 questions was onto long multiplication and by the end of the first page had covered percentages and factorisation. I've been reminded why I'm not a maths teacher! My brain now hurts.

Re: minger-with-child scenario

Maybe she was just the child-minder. Jealous wife, keeping husband from having affair during her PND... now you're on the clicky-linky-feedy-thing, I get up to the minute notifications of new posts. Nice one Mad. Ashley

And more scarily...

I got my idea for my web site from yours and i will give you the adress when it is on the internet my name is matthew crawford

Eeeek. I'm not sure I'm a good role model. Don't try this at home, children!

Confession: today I saw the ugliest woman in the world walking down the road, pushing a baby in a pushchair.

Ok, OK, I know that beauty is by no means the be all and end all; I know that she's probably a physics professor or a classicist or someone equally as intelligent; I'm aware that she's probably a virtuoso clarinettist or a world-class gymnast. I know that you are now thinking awful things about me because I'm commenting on her facial appearance.

Confession: it gets worse.

What makes it worse is what I thought when I saw her - "how on earth did she persuade someone to have sex with her so they could have a baby?!"

Pennance for my sins: writing about diagnosing dyslexia, for 45 minutes without a break, so it can be handed in at college this evening.

Friday, November 26, 2004

Late night dilemmas of our time: start marking another set of work, or go to bed? I have to confess that bed's winning at the moment...

Happiness is...

* being able to do up a cardigan so there are no bulges, except where you expect them to be
* getting exciting photos by email
* Thornton's marzipan chocolate bars
* discovering lots of post in my letterbox

Disgruntlement sets in when...
* I realise that all of my post is junk mail. Pah.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Tonight was the Guide district's Christmas celebration. As a district, we've not done anything more exciting than a coach trip out for at least 4 years; probably a lot longer. The local Guiders are, in general, very conservative (with a small 'c', you note) and it took a lot of persuading to get them to try something new. In the end, I bulldozed my way through their opposition and planned tonight's event in such a way that it was fait accompli by the time they got to hear about it. Tut tut. The evening went brilliantly: cakes; games; a make you own Christmas card stall; and all of the units up on stage performing songs, dances and plays. We even had the Div Com come to present a couple of 5-year service badges - a new introduction to the range of long-service awards, and they're presenting to everyone who has done between 5 and 9 years' service. One of the Brownie Guiders got hers, and so did I.

The irony is that I'm due my 10 year badge in 14 days' time: better late than never!

In learning support today, after a typical Mad explanation of decimal places, significant figures and percentage changes, one boy turned to another and said, "I've learned more maths today than I have in any maths lesson."

Warm, happy glows all round.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

What is an atom feed? Those of us who are not geeks don't understand!! Love CMT

Although not in any way an inhabitant of geeksville, I think that an atom feed is some way of telling other people's websites when you've updated your site. Clicking on the appropriately named clicky-linky-feedy-thingy bit o'er there seems to suggest that I'm thinking along the right lines at least. Beyond that, though, is a mystery.

Except it's nearly time for school and I don't have time to sort it. Pants.

Si, an expert in geekery-pokery if ever there was one, writes:

Blogger has a nice feature whereby you can switch on an atom feed with one simple change to the settings. At least it would be simple if I could remember which one it was. Si

After a bit of poking around, I've got it sorted out. I hope.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004


Now is it the fatbusters regime of less food, or the, er, 'couples exercise plan' that has you looking so svelte??!! Photo evidence please! (of the results, not the slimming method, she hastily adds!) Charl

I reckon that fatbusters is to thank, although I'm interested in discovering more about the "couples' exercise plan".. it sounds like a worthwhile pastime! Photos to follow, when I scan 'em in!

And then:

Any chance of an Atom feed on this here blog? Go on... please. With bits* on top. [ * bits are a variety of your choice ]

Oooh, that sounds like advanced geekery-pokery. Even with bits of my choice on top, it may be above my luddite abilities. I'll have to do some investigating.


Lunch yesterday - in the House
"Miss, what's this pudding?"
"I think it's digestive biscuit crumbs and..."
"Really - digested biscuits?!"

Saturday night - at a House charity black-tie dinner
"Miss... you look beautiful."
"Pah - shut up."
"You do - so thin. Washboard stomach, no less."

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Mr Johns, that well-known bad influence, has a cheeky little link on his site. Very cheeky it is too. You can tell that it's an online game, with a high desity of users from the land of geekdom, by some of the words that pop up: oracle, linux, firefox... :-)

Thursday, November 18, 2004

I haven't written anything for a whole week. I was going to spend my free afternoon and evening catching up with email and blogging and other such technical things, but instead I went to Cheltenham for a couple of pints of diet coke. C'est la vie.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Another of those late night conversations, in which my bloke makes me cry:

Him: I've walked over 6,000 steps today
Me: Oh?
Him: I've got a pedometer from Walkers
Me: Ah.
Him: It's 16 steps from the cooker to the toilet.
Me: How useful if you ever need to cook your poo.
Him: Indeed. And I walked onto campus today - it's just over a mile, but it's still only 6,000 steps.
Me: Can you not take smaller steps?
Him: Hmmm...
Me: Like mincing, rather than walking.
Him: Do I need to wear special mincing trousers for that? Or just some mincing pants?
Me: No, you just need a certain type of meat...
Him: Cut up very small?
Me: Indeed.
Him: In your pants?
Me: Ah - mince in pants.

And that was when the tears started. I got stitch too, at about the point when he told me that he was looking to register an internet domain - mincenpants.co.uk.

Laughter is a good thing.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Looking back over your March/February posts (was looking for the posts on one of your experiments) and read up on your bluetooth dongle. I hate the word dongle.

That's a shame, for I am very fond of 'dongle' as a word. It's similar to 'dangle', but instead of dangling it's dongling, probably at great length. It's quite a useful gadget too, and it has a very cool blue flashing LED.

As a word, 'dongle' is similar to the non-words we were discussing during this evening's dyslexing, which are used to test a pupil's knowledge of phonics and sound blends. Whilst reading through the non-word test, I was horrified to note that 'scritch' is officially a non-word. I fear a more extensive list might wipe out half of my vocabulary!

Monday, November 08, 2004

Someone ooop north writes:

"bum laden" - is that a terrorist leader?

Y'know, I thought the very same thing when I wrote the bloggage that this refers to. My feeling was that 'terrorist leader' didn't lend sufficient gravitas to an object so massive, so I prefer the term 'rogue state'.

Conversations that I have with my man, quite late one evening...

Me: I love pearl barley
Him: Oh, you're so easily pleased
Me: Stews, soups, casseroles...
Him: jewelry
Me: ?
Him: Just drill a hole in it and thread it onto spaghetti

...that show he's as much of a loon as I am.

Friday, November 05, 2004

Offloading DC responsibility - does that mean your bum shrunk instantly? (Note that's not supposed to mean it was big to start with!)

Indeed, I am far less bum-laden than I was. Who needs Blob Watchers when you can simply move down the Guiding ladder?! :-)

I spent all day yesterday trying to get onto Blogger but it wasn't playing ball, so I've missed the opportunity to spout forth about my dream involving hotels, shoe swapping, cotton wool and a rubber dingy. I've also forgotten the subtle nuances of the conversation snippets I wanted to share that arose as a result of the annual "Wear what you dare " day yesterday, where I dressed up as a war memorial. I wasn't able to share my relief about last night's Guide district meeting, where I was finally able to offload most of the commissioner's responsibilities, meaning the district will run far more efficiently and smoothly. I couldn't even wax lyrical about my fantastic tutor session where we talked about politics in the UK and the US and played 'guess the politician' from a page of cabinet members' photos.

Instead I spent the time writing a Christmas song title quiz for Guides. Rock and Roll!

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

After two weeks eating like a woman condemned to death and facing her last meal, I decided on Sunday that is was time to go back to the blob-watch healthy eating regime. I was very good yesterday - lots of veg, a smattering of exercise, self-controlled in all I thought, said and did - but I sort of slipped today.

I've had a thin day today - my skirt felt far too big and I was complemented by a colleague. Despite this, I was good at resisting the chocolate biscuits at break; I took the smallest piece of pie at dinner; I even chose to buy an apple rather than chocolate during the break in my dyslexing this evening. Then I came home and it all went wrong.

The leeks were perfectly acceptable under the healthy regime, as were the onions, mushrooms and garlic. Even gently fried and mixed with cheese as a pancake filling, they would have been great. I'm not sure if it was the whole bottle of wine or the discovery of the jar of toffee sauce in the cupboard that caused my downfall. Either way, I've got a lot of healthy living to do in the next few days if I'm to make up for it all. Off to dream about jogging...

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Things that make me chortle:

Found at the bottom of an email from some bloke who's offering me 10% of his family's fortune that is being mercilessly hunted down by a malevolent government

Please do not share my email addess with anyone as I have received some emails from some unscrupulos people claiming to be charity organisations and other weird stories.

Should you be a charity organisation, a weird person, or have any unscrupulos [sic] stories, please direct them to Mr Paul Wang at wang_55@fastermail.com. Thank you.

Monday, November 01, 2004

The first day back at school after half-term is reaching its close. Although half-term was much needed, it's been nice being back at the chalk-face. I've had a good day, and I hope that it remains this way during the next two months.

The first week of half-term was spent in Greece on a Classics trip (my second of the year). I have been declared an honorary Classicist for my dedication to the subject; I still maintain that I'm not worthy enough, but it would be churlish indeed to refuse such a prestigious title! We spent three days looking at rubble - in Athens, Delphi and Ancient Olympia - then moved on to Tolon, a beach resort, to indulge in more rubble, sand, sea, boat trips, pedalo races and a "sandcastle on a Classical theme" competition. 'Twas grand.

Greece was followed straightaway by Guide holiday: thirteen girls aged 10 and 11, all camping virgins, who spent three days learning how to put up tents and cook for themselves. They managed to put up a mess tent with far less fuss than most adults would manage, so things are looking promising for next summer's camping!

After Guide camp I headed off to blustery Snowdonia with the Boy Wonder, returning via my parents' for dinner and his first offical 'meet the parentals' session. Luckily he's a tolerant bunny and survived with barely a mark on him.

The final excitement of the holiday was the arrival of Fatso III. I picked him up from my Fatso dealer on Friday, and he travelled home in a box on Saturday. He's big, fast, fat, fluffy-bottomed and ginger - I tried to photograph him but my phone cam's just not fast enough. I'll try again later, so you too can appreciate his cuteness at close quarters. Bless.