Science fun!

Today is orientation for Science.  All these orientation classes have been a waste of time, but a way for the various teachers to introduce themselves to their students.   They have all taken 30 minutes, give or take a few minutes.

Science starts at 9 a.m.  The teacher talks so much, that my daughter couldn’t talk in class, since only 1 person can talk at a time.  So my daughter had to type her intro, and was skipped over for the most part.  The teacher even gave her own intro.  I could just imagine all the kids rolling their eyes as she went on and on… like me typing on my blog!

Science is one of my daughter’s favorite subjects.  I don’t think this may be the case this year.  The class is going for far too long for an orientation.  It’s redundant.  Do you really care about the teacher’s hyphenated name or her dog’s name?  She gave an intro at the beginning of orientation – why do it again, and longer, 5 minutes later?

Forty five minutes later and my daughter was given the escape route – “If you have nothing to say and no questions, you can leave.”  *PLONK*  At least she typed good bye first!

Why are kids bored in school?   It doesn’t matter if it’s a brick and mortar school, or an online school.  You can only capture their attention for so long before you lose them.  I bet if I asked my daughter how the orientation went, it’s going to be entirely negative.

I have to say, just like my opinion changed about the math teacher (so far!), my opinion of the digital art teacher is improving as well.  He sent the kids a message yesterday that was full of enthusiasm and reminded them about orientation tomorrow.  Today he sent out another message to the kids asking how they’re doing, and to let them know if they had any questions, he was there, ask away.  All teachers should have that sort of attitude.  Enthusiasm makes a big difference.  If you’re a boring teacher, you’re going to have bored students.  Kids will learn more if you’re enthusiastic.  This is goes for parents who homeschool as well.  Perk it up!

Boy can things change in a day, or what?!?! I have access to seeing what the kid should be working on, or should have finished and submitted via an online checklist for each class.  Well these wonderful teachers have orientation classes listed at 6 a.m. or 9 p.m. and 3 times a week.  Perhaps they are the ones who should have to take an orientation class as well!

We’ve also discovered that there’s a bunch of assignments that can’t be done because there’s no link or explanation of what needs to be done.  It’s on the checklist though.  So the kid emailed a few of the teachers to ask, because I feel that if they get paid to do their job, they should get annoyed over this shit as much as I do.  I wish I could be a laid back parent who doesn’t give a shit… but then my kid would still be in some shitty public school, and still wouldn’t be able to read or write.  Teachers are supposed to respond within 24 hours, but we still haven’t heard back from the LA teacher, who was emailed yesterday.  Then we discovered that one contact doesn’t even have a correct school email addy posted for herself!

I think this mess requires a nap!  I don’t drink.  I don’t do drugs.  I don’t smoke cigarettes.  My remaining bad habit is my potty mouth, and it has dropped enough bombs for one day!  Plus I’ve got the night off from cooking.  The kid wanted to cook, but is cooking tomorrow instead.  We’re having leftover eggplant parmigiana that I froze a few weeks back… we love eggplant!

Now to go freeze the abundance of chocolate mousse that my young chef in training made from scratch yesterday… I can’t see throwing it out and neither of us really want to eat all that the recipe made.

Mousse anyone?

Chocolate Mousse

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Aside

Selfish much?

I woke up for my Wednesday routine, grocery shopping, and my daughter’s volunteer work helping the seniors and handicapped on the weekly run.

I logged into Facebook this morning to learn that someone I used to consider to be a friend died.  I just knew it had to be suicide, and unfortunately I was right.  They may have only been an online friend to many people, but through her, so many other people were introduced to one another and developed friendships or acquaintances over the years.

Quite a few people are sad and upset, and while I can’t blame them, I am at the opposite end of the spectrum.  I am so fucking angry over this, that I can’t even put it into proper words!  I fight ever day to live another day and thank whoever’s listening for giving me another day to live and spend with my daughter.  I cannot relate to anyone who is a parent of young children taking their own life because of depression, or another failed relationship or marriage.

I have had my fair share of bad days, serious depression, the end of a marriage, the end of relationships, and having my husband die – but there is no way in hell that I would ever end my life and leave my child on her own, even if she was grown and independent.  I fought for so much in my life to have her, keep her, raise her… it’s just so damn selfish to commit suicide.

I know it sounds mean and downright nasty… and some people can’t understand it… and I was never one to handle death very well since having to bury the majority of my family members at a young age, and having the last one die on my birthday when I was in my 30s… but I can’t help but feel for her kids.  She had 2 young children, and 2 other children a tad older from another failed marriage.

Why would you take your own life when so many people gave a shit about you and were there for you?  How could you ever want to leave your children alone to never see you again?

Folks, I am no different in person than I am online.  I am outspoken, opinionated, and honest for the most part (I might like and say I like your shoes, when I really don’t sort of thing).  Most people tend to be ruder online than they are in real life.  I am nicer online than I would be in real life.  Sorry, I am not taking, or putting up with, shit if I don’t have to.  If you have an issue with me, it’s ok.  I am pretty happy with myself, like myself, and try to be content.  I have spent too many years being a doormat, or trying to please someone who didn’t deserve the time of day from me.

Don’t stay where you’re not wanted, not loved, not appreciated.  Learn to like and love yourself.  Learn to enjoy spending time with yourself.  If you have a drug problem, get help.  If you’re an alcoholic, get help.  Drinking when you’re depressed makes you even more depressed.  If you’re depressed, get help – especially if it gets to the point you’re even thinking of suicide.  Think of other people in your life and how your death would affect them – especially your children.  Taking your life isn’t punishing anyone but yourself.  You’ll be the one missing out in the end.  That man wasn’t worth it.  He wasn’t worth shit before either!

So many people have serious health problems and would love to have the option to live longer… suicide is selfish as far as I’m concerned.  I think it angers those who have serious health problems more – but for me, it angers me because four innocent children lost their mother today.

To end this day, this Maxine post shows up today… I guess for the divas and those with a flair for dramatics, this might be appropriate.  I treat people how I was treated until I am treated otherwise!  I many not know you from a hole in the wall – but if you are depressed enough to consider taking your own life – I will be there to listen to you and help if I can.

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Is this week over yet?

I just love waking up to have a few minutes of quiet time, only to wake up an obnoxious kid in need of a good bitch slap!  Why don’t kids shut up when you tell them to check their attitude?  No, let me argue with you and tell you I don’t have an attitude! Really?  Let me give you a good hard smack to remind you where you are and bring you back to reality.  Oh, if only I could actually do that on some days!  In the end, I calmed down in a few minutes and my daughter came in to apologize to me for her behavior.

Soooooo the math teacher showed up for orientation this morning.  She looks better now then she did in her posted picture.  It wasn’t the best orientation, but it wasn’t awful either… unless you ask my daughter.  I’ve temporarily changed my opinion of the math teacher for now.  She wouldn’t let the kids type in chat at all before class started.  She did let the kids talk on the microphone, and gave them webcam privileges too, at the end of the class.  It seems everyone has a dog.  When my daughter typed that she doesn’t have a dog, she has pet rats, not a single comment was made – not even the expected shriek or yuck.  Not one iota of anything having to do with math was covered.  It was just a general online class of let me annoy your child and confuse them even more with stuff they already know.

Halfway through the day and we FINALLY have the schedule figured out!  Thanks to the advisor, who I went back and forth via email with, who sent me a schedule for our correct time zone.  I think I finally confused her too – or she did it to herself.   She only screwed up one class – hers!  It’s very confusing to have teachers on the east coast and west coast when you’re in an entirely different time zone, and no one is posting the time of the class for your zone.  Two hours ahead, one hour back, and a step to the side, clap, turn, repeat!

Today’s asshole, besides myself, seems to be the digital arts teacher.  He put up a zip file with freeware for his class, when the craptops don’t have any software to unzip it – and it was very easy just to go to the website and download the freeware there.  On top of which, the craptops don’t have a CD drive, so I’ve been doing things on my desktop, transferring them to a flash drive, and transferring them over to the craptop!   So after “assuming” that my kid can unzip a file and install it, he then “assumes” that my kid can’t create 7 file folders and name them.  Really?  The zip file contained the freeware, which I downloaded directly off the web and installed, and 7 folders.  Each folder has 1 file in it – “Read Me.”  What does the read me file have to say?

 “This folder is a place to save the projects and assignments for this section.”

What are the names of the 7 folders? Section_1 is the first one, and Section_7 is the last one.  You can figure out what comes in between!

To end this fine day, we have the math placement/assessment testing.  First question and my kid is screwed already!  Convert the fraction.  I give her a quick reminder on how to convert it, without giving her the answer and she got it right – which for her is a mega big deal.  She is not good with that sort of stuff, and it confuses the crap out of her.    Next question is adding and subtracting decimals.  She looks at me and pulls out the calculator from under her scrap paper.  I just turned away and said “okay,” but reminded her that she won’t be able to pull that sort of thing on the annual state tests.   Turns out that the calculator didn’t get very much use.  She had linear math and algebra, and both of those we’ve yet to cover.  I know most of that was a guessing game for her.  But I have taught her to at least try and rule out the wrong answers and see if she can come up with a correct answer.  We’ll find out how she did eventually.

One thing I have learned about my visual learner – a calculator has taught her a lot.  She may not be a math whiz, or Speedy Gonzalez with an answer – but she has come so far over the years, and has advanced more than I imagined since we stopped using the K12 curriculum two years ago!  What can take one child 15 minutes to learn, can take my child years to learn.  Push her too hard and she will shut down entirely.  Luckily we haven’t had that problem in several years – since her paternal grandmother was involved in our lives.

The kid has reminded me that I bought some good link breakfast sausage that must be cooked today.  So I’m cooking that for dinner and making some pancakes to go with the sausage.  My favorite recipe is the Todd Wilbur/Top Secret Recipes’ IHOP buttermilk pancake clone recipe – and I make it with melted butter vs. oil.  I also use powdered buttermilk vs. liquid buttermilk.  The toughest choice of the night is going to be what syrup(s) are we in the mood for… IF the pancakes last long enough to get syrup poured on them!  Our bad habit it to eat them plain and warm as they come off the griddle.

 http://www.topsecretrecipes.com/IHOP-Pancakes-Recipe.html

School? Already? But… But… Oh, hell!

School started today in my world.   Waking up at 6:30 a.m. was not necessary or expected.  Dealing with idiots was not necessary either, nor did I expect some of them to be educators.

We’re trying a new online virtual school this year.  I’m tired of doing it all on my own.  I’m tired of figuring out and getting a curriculum, or supplementing a really bad one out of my pocket.  So a new school popped up in our state this year and I was impressed…

But maybe I shouldn’t have been so impressed.  Why?

  • The school is a first year virtual school in my state.
  • The last 2 weeks have involved getting a broken netbook.
  • Getting a new, and, working mini notebook.
  • Getting a correct pick up time from FedEx to return the broken netbook.
  • Finally sending back the broken netbook.
  • Deciphering a lot of stupid emails.
  • Responding to a lot of stupid emails.
  • Questioning my sanity.
  • Pondering if I made a big friggin’ mistake!
  • An excessive amount of eye rolling.
  • An abundance of WTFs and a ton of cursing.

I have spent several days trying to figure out the schedule for JUST this week.  Guess what?  It’s wrong!  What’s even worse is finally being able to log in today and again I’m trying to decipher a mess of a schedule.  My kid has 3 orientation classes scheduled back to back on Friday – one every 30 minutes.  Orientation classes run longer than 30 minutes, in general.  Parents were reassured that there would be no scheduling conflicts.  Can we say “Ooopsy!”?

I already don’t like the math teacher and I’ve had absolutely no contact with her.  Why?  The ditz posted a .docx file “assuming” that everyone would be able to open and read it.  Not me!  I had to read it on the school’s craptop.  What did I learn?  It was another schedule for this week and it is beyond wrong!  Plus, I had to play guess the day on when the class meets.  It was a process of elimination.  We figured out all the days the other teachers had classes and that left us with one free day, Tuesday.   If I’m wrong, so be it – my child will be in her online math class tomorrow.  Whether or not there’s a class, or the right teacher in that class… I don’t expect the ditz to be there.  I had to refrain from contacting this teacher cause it would be far from polite… and I’m doing my best to remain polite… so far.

The kid had language arts today and took a placement test.  The placement test glitched for her with constant pop ups of, “Are you there?”  Trooper that my daughter is, she got through the reading test today.  The language arts teacher seems nice.  She’s also the kid’s adviser and I had to email her already.  I like her.  She has a few clues about life and reality and has no problem if my kid needs to miss the weekly advisement class to be at her volunteer work.  She agrees with how I feel about it – it’s important for teens to do some sort of volunteer work.  Unfortunately we can’t change the time of the volunteer work, or it wouldn’t be an issue.

Tomorrow we tackle the math placement test.  I hope they have fixed the glitches on the testing site.

I’m going to end this with saying that I’m still not 100% sure of this week’s schedule and I quite frankly don’t give a damn!

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