Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Have you seen that movie?

Today in my 8th grade classes we were learning how to estimate square roots. When it came time for them to practice I put up 9 square roots.  The last one was the square root of  -3, which inspired the following string of comments:

Kid 1: “You can’t do the square root of –3!

Me:    “Thanks for spoiling it.

Kid 2: “Spoiler alert, spoiler alert.

Kid 3: “Great, no sense seeing the movie now.

Kid 4: “Ahhh, the book was much better.

Have I mentioned how much I like my job lately?

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Did I hear that right?

I had a girl student tell me the other day that she was living with her dad again because she was having problems with her mother.

She wants to be my friend, and I really need her to be my mother.

Yes folks, proof that even though they will deny it, even though they will complain about everything you tell them to do, kids really do, deep down, realize that they need parents.  And not just DNA donors, but people who will take the time and the bumps and bruises that real parenting takes.

In the words of my older brother “I’m glad I was not a friend but a parent to them when they were kids, because now that they are adults we can be friends.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Thematic Photographic: Muted Colors

Utah has a huge range of geography, from the brilliant red rock canyons in the south of the state, to the beautiful green pines on the Uintah Mountains in the north.

Out west, in the area we call the “West Desert”, there aren’t many brilliant colors.  Salt, sand, sage brush and other low-water plants stretch out as far as the eye can see.  The only bright color to see is the deep blue sky.

Unless it’s cloudy like it was this day.

But if you ask me, it’s still beautiful, even with the muted colors.

A grey and black cat laying in the dirt.  Good camouflage there Denny.

And a lone duck on the pond.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

New Galleries

A friend and I went to the Oktoberfest up at Snowbird yesterday.  You can read about it on her blog, here.

A couple of weeks ago, she danced at the Salt Lake Peace Gardens, and I tagged along to get some pictures.

And finally, the Liberty Park (and other) fireworks on Pioneer Day.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Prima Settimana

Thus endeth the first week of school.  On a scale of 1 to 10, I’d give this week a 10.

The clickers worked with minimal issues.  The students actually paid attention when I went over the class expectations and procedures and (don’t be shocked) the online math program worked for almost 95% of my students.

Oh, and the two S.B.O. boys contained their goofiness and, other than a small audio issue, the announcements went smoothly.

My 8th Grade classes are ‘rest-of-the-world’ small, (25, 26 and 27 students).  I’ve got a group of girls that drove me crazy last year all in the same period, but there’s enough room to keep them apart.

My 7th Grade classes are a bit bigger (30, 33 and 33), but by Utah standards, they’re still small. (Most  years my overall average was around 35, and I’ve had up to 42 kids in a math class).  They seem like a good group, and there are a few that are going to walk the line between annoying and hilarious.  Line-walkers can be my favorite students, animated enough to keep the class lively, but with just enough respect that they allow me to teach the class.

My Tech Crew looks good too.  I don’t have a shining star like last year, but I have the same talent spread over several students.  One student is going to build a teleprompter for the studio and another knows Adobe Master Suite well enough to produce what I think will be a really awesome intro for the “News” (the announcements).

The only drawbacks so far (knock on wood) are aching feet and a sore throat – I do a lot of talking the first few days.

Monday, August 19, 2013

La Jour de Merde, (so far at least)

Somewhere between 3:00 and 4:00 this morning the power went out.  Fortunately I have an alarm clock with a backup battery and I had set my cell phone’s alarm.

I’m also glad that I have a gas stove, or I would have been drinking cold coffee this morning.  And the water was still hot, so I was able to brush my teeth and take my shower.  Inconvenient, but not a real hardship.

It wasn’t until about noon when my day went completely topsy-turvey.  I got a voicemail from my roommate telling me he had just got home from a doctor’s appointment to find the house had been broken into.  First, and (knock on wood) hopefully last, time this has happened in the 20 years I’ve lived here.

We think that they were interrupted because all they got was my roommate’s iPad and some jewelry.  It looks like they were in the middle of going through his room when he returned home, and had no time to go through the rest of the house.  When he came in, his inside bedroom door was wide open, as were both the back doors (I have an enclosed back porch).

They got in through the bathroom window, which I had left wide open.  I usually do this (but no longer will) because it opens up into the enclosed porch.  I also left the porch door unlocked, though I did lock the house door.  Now, the weird thing here is that they had to take out the screen to get in the bathroom window, and the screen is nowhere to be found.  They stole that also.

I told my roommate to go ahead and call the police, went down to the office to tell them what happened and headed right home.  A police officer came and then a CSU person showed up.

This part was actually quite interesting.  With a homicide they may tape off the entire crime scene, but in this case she let me follow her around, watch, ask questions and learn.  I had to stay out of her pictures, but got to watch her pull a shoe print off the bathtub.  You can see the footprint tape in the light spot of the picture if you look hard (and click on it to make it bigger).

I would have gotten better pictures, but I brought my good camera to school (thank God) and had only my cell phone camera for pictures.   But at least I learned that a good fingerprint is actually better than DNA, although (unlike on TV) they are hard to come by.  Most people, especially when they are moving around an unfamiliar house, don’t put their fingers down on something and pick them up without moving them a little bit, thereby smudging the print.  She told me that when she is drinking something, puts down her glass and it has a nice clean print on it, she’ll just look at it and think “Why can’t I ever get that at work?”  I also found out that brushed metal sucks for fingerprinting, glass and porcelain are the best.  Oh, and they actually do have shoe print and tire track databases,

Anyway, it was interesting, the bathroom window now has a pipe in it to keep the window from opening more than 3” and I’m going to be locking both back doors when I leave for work from now on.

Oh, and the power finally came back on around 3:15, just about 12 hours after it went out.  Which, by the way, is probably why my house got broken into today.   The CSI says that happens when power goes out, no alarms, look for an easy in and bada-bim, bada-boom.  No more easy ins here.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Smokey Moon.

A couple days ago I posted some pictures of the smokey sunset.  Tonight I looked up at the moon and noticed that it looked like it was made out of chocolate, instead of cheese.  I took a few pictures at different shutter speeds and couldn’t decided which one I liked the best.  So, I just decided to post them all.

Jenn & Scott


Thursday, August 15, 2013

Here we go again…

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Wildfires make for beautiful sunsets.

About 40 miles (64km) southwest of us there is a 12,000 acre wildfire burning.  Since, for the most part, our weather pattern comes from the southwest, the smoke is funneling right into our valley.  Makes for hazy days and sore throats.  But also some nice sunset shots.  Here are some of mine from tonight.

Just for the record – I did absolutely no color enhancement on these at all.  Cropping, the frame and the copyright is all.

Lynda & Todd

Monday, August 12, 2013

Looking Downward

Last month I took my camera with me up on top of the Salt Lake City Library building.  There’s a public patio up there and I wanted to get some pictures of the new Public Safety building across the street.

Luckily, I also pointed the lens downward and got some pictures that fit this theme.

Traffic on 4th South.

The statue at the Library Square Traxx stop.

Traxx train coming in to the Library Square stop.

A businessman riding an orange scooter?

Skateboarding right in traffic.

And finally, relaxing at the red light in your convertible Mustang.