Thursday, February 27, 2020

Bottles, Cans and Plastic Bags

When we had purchased juice, sodas, bottled water and so forth in Salt Lake, we were not required to put a deposit on the containers.  Here in Oregon we are.  Some people don’t seem to care that they are paying ten cents extra and will carelessly toss containers away as recycling seems to be such a bother – which it is.  I was not opposed to tossing cans into the recycle bin when we lived in Salt Lake, but all of those cans and bottles add up – especially for party animals or those who drink by the pack.   

There are some areas that offer services by providing machines outside of their stores, others who have tried their hand at providing the service but doing away with the service when it becomes more work for the store who has to send employees out to empty bins, clear jams and what have you. The local store Rays has a couple of machines out front. But for those who have bags and bags of bottles, Roseburg BottleDrop Redemption Center is a really great place to go.  On November 22nd 2017 Gabby Urenda reported this story

We went there one Saturday and waited in a line that proceeded to get longer before we were able to find a machine to put our cans and bottles in.  I like watching the machine sort the bottles from the cans.  Unlike the machines in front of Rays that deposit cans into the bottom, the machines at the Redemption Center have conveyor belts and I’m guessing people behind those belts who change the tubs as they get full instead of opening a door at the request of a customer who has brought to the attention of store employees that the machine had stopped. 

I had mentioned the recycling program in this post, though I hadn’t explored the Redemption Center at that point.  In addition to the mandatory ten cent deposit on each can and bottle, legislature has voted Oregon to ban plastic bags thus encouraging patrons to recycle or used recycled bags or pay for each bag they need to hold whatever they purchase wherever they purchase.

  Thus we have a hardy supply of bags in our car.  We rarely remember to bring them into the store.  Fortunately the parking lot is generally not that far away.  Jenna usually has a sweatshirt on and will often take it off and turn it into a temporary bag.  I am impressed out how much it will hold. 

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

My Lazy Way

          There was a sub in the eighth grade math class yesterday.  The instructor had left the instructions for the students to write out their 9 times tables from 1 – 25.  They were required to do in their heads and not use a calculator.  It’s not so bad doing in order.  1X9 of course is 9.  Just add 9 to it for your next answer 18 + 9 for your next answer: 27 and down the line.  Or you could use my lazy method which I have been doing since third or 4th grade (whenever it was that we were taught)

          I never did memorize my 9 times tables, but tens were easy.  All you had to do was tack a zero to the end of the number being multiplied and then take that number away.  Thus 70 -7 is the same as 9X7.  I find subtracting a number is easier than trying to multiply:

          When I was taking courses on line, we required to look up references to back up our theories or understanding or whatever you want to call it.  I am sure that there are several others that may have come up with this same type of math solution for multiplying 9.  But we didn’t have the technology then when I figured out subtracting rather than memorizes the nines table.  Thus I am not going to provide any references other than the pictures I scanned of problems printed by my hand.  I’ve been doing it that way for decades.  It is what works for me.  There’s your reference.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

100 plus days

                I believe it was Thursday when the kindergarten celebrated the 100th day of school.  They had used 100 beans to fill in the number 100 on a paper and glued their beans in place.  I wasn’t there for that part.  I saw their papers set aside to dry.

            It had rained on Sunday.  I’m assuming that the rain chased the fog away as there was none impairing my vision during yesterday’s drive.  It was cold and the sun remained hidden and so was not blinded as I approached any off the exits. 

            First class: 7th grade math.  17 students who for the most part are respectful to the instructor and pay attention to what she is doing on the board – except for two who constantly visit.  I can’t stand between them as there are two students behind the talkers.  If I stand between them, I will block the view of the other two youth.  I stand to the side.

            Next class: 8th grade math.  12 students.  Pre Algebra.  XY slope.  Yuck. I mostly just sit in the back of the class.

            Prep Class: teaching respect and humane concepts in addition to academics.  Last month they learned math. This month is writing. 

            After that is homeroom for 15 -20 minutes.  I just don’t get the Canyonville schedule.  What is the purpose of homeroom?  To get caught up on missing assignments.  Most of the students seem to be under the impression that it’s a time to socialize.

            Student lunch.  I have usually preferred monitoring the middle schoolers as opposed to the younger children.  Middle schoolers don’t say, “That kid pushed me/called me a name”.  But I noticed behavioral attitudes with several after the 100 days.  Coincidence?

            “No balls in the playground area.  It isn’t safe.”  “Don’t play tag near the playground equipment.  It you’re going to play tag, take it out into the grassy area.”  Do they listen?  No, they are middle schoolers and the rules don’t apply to them.

            Their lunch and recess are finally over and I get to take my lunch.
            Kindergarten:   Usually I have helped with assignments involving the letter of the day.  Yesterday was math.  New numbers introduced: 16 and 17.  Though they have been counting to the current days-in-school each day.  They have counted from 1 -100 by ones, by fives and by tens.

            2nd grade reading: the room is so loud I can’t even hear my own group.  I wasn’t having issues with them but the teacher was.  She had reprimanded several of the students several times.  I thought my group was doing okay – except maybe one who wasn’t following directions.  She couldn’t seem to hear me.  It was loud.  I couldn’t even hear myself.

            15 minutes of recess and I’m done.  I will follow that same routine today.  But Thursday and Friday will have me at a different schedule.  I won’t be working with the middle schoolers.  I might only have to do lunch recess.  I’m not sure. 

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Morning Drive

                I left the house later on Friday than I had on Thursday.  The fog lingered longer. 

         On Saturday morning Roland and I went up to Roseburg.  We left the house before 9:00 and rode in fog all the way there.  I expect it will be the same each morning I leave the house this week.

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Junior High

          Canyonville School caters to grades K-8 and so it doesn’t seem far-fetched that the middle school age kids will use the playground just outside of the cafeteria.  Coffenberry also has a playground to use.  We never had that option when I went to junior high.  I honestly don’t remember where I went after lunch – although I am quite certain that I did not intentionally hang around the cafeteria.

          It seemed like there were some kids who went out to the field to play ball – or tag or something.  I was not a part of any athletic crowd – or any group for that matter.  I was mostly antisocial. I really didn’t like the loudness of school or being there in any way, shape or form.

          I used to dress up for spirit week – not because I had spirit but just to get away with dressing up in something out of the ordinary – though the themes didn’t seem as wild and crazy as school spirits have been in recent years.  I’ve taken pictures of Jenna in years past (see here) and  I took these pics of Jenna earlier last week:

Friday, February 21, 2020

Weather Change at Every Exit

          Driving to Canyonville should only take 11 minutes according to Google.  Though I have arrived at the school in less than 20 minutes, I generally allow myself at least 30 minutes on the road and arrive to the school just a few minutes early which allows me time to store my belongings in the staff room.

          When I start to approach exit 101 and see I have plenty of time, I will take the ramp that leads to Stanley park and avoid the 99 exit.  Sometimes I have missed the exit and will take the off ramp at 98 – which is where the school is located just on the left hand side.  But it also requires turning left onto Main Street (which can get busy during certain hours) and make another left into the parking lot.  Google maps, the GPS and other sources will always have car exit 99 and drive through town. 

I left the house earlier than normal yesterday morning as Roland mentioned that it was cold and foggy.  I entered I5 at the 106 ramp, and it was foggy.  Three miles of thick fog.  I was focused on the broken white line until I got to 103.  I could see the fog was lifting.  It would have been nice if it had to have that for the rest of the drive.  Just as I neared exit 102 – the sun taunted me with its blinding rays.  Oh, please.  Slow the car down.  I can’t see. 

I had to get off exit 101 as I know I was going too slow for the freeway.  I like the drive when I feel like I am the only car.  However, it felt like the longest stretch of yesterday’s drive.  I finally arrived at Main Street and was able to turn without any problems.  Many of the drivers that use exit 99 – particularly the trucks, don’t seem to go beyond the truck stop or the casino.  The road I travel after exiting 101 brings me behind the casino on the left-hand side.  Then I make my way into town.

Whoa!  I had left the house much earlier than I thought.  Surely that’s what it was.  I can’t imagine I had been speeding during the fog and I know that I slowed down to barely moving once the sun glared in my eyes.  I played on my kindle for 20 minutes before walking up the hill to help monitor the first ten minutes of “before school starts” recess.  And then I went to class.

I had worn a jacket as some of the classrooms get really cold.  I think Canyonville School has the oldest building of the five that are in the district.  The ventilation says it is anyway.  In the morning I had my long green coat scarf and hat in addition to the jacket.  By lunchtime I had just my jacket – sometimes my hat – depending on whether I was standing in shadows or not.  Just before school let out, I had removed my light jacket.  The air had gone from 39 degrees to 63 within four hours.  That isn’t very nice.  I think the weather change needs to happen more gradually.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Work and Wednesdays

        I don’t generally work on Wednesdays as it has been set aside for meeting with the RS presidency.  They used to meet on Mondays but I had asked if we could change the day as Mondays are generally the most requested days off and I can pick up sub assignments more easily than any other day.

          Wednesdays are short days.  I don’t particularly care for short days.  Normally I leave the school a half an hour to an hour before the students let out, but on Wednesdays the kids get out of school at the same time as the aides – which makes for craziness in the parking lot and then driving home.  At least for two of the schools.  I have never worked the others on a Wednesday and guess I never will – at least for the time being.

          Our meetings are usually at 10:00 – sometimes 1:00.  Two weeks ago it was announced that we’d be bumping the meeting up to 3:00 yesterday.  Thus I removed myself from having a personal day as I believe I would be able to work.  Canyonville had a position from 8:30 to 2:00 – which means I would arrive home before the children were let out.  Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) the RS pres told me the time I had changed back to 10:00 and I hadn’t yet even seen the listing for Canyonville.  Thus I did not accept.

          On Tuesday night I noticed an available position at Coffenberry and inquired about accepting the position.  They’ve had me come in at 8:00 to 10:00 before and then I just drive up to the church from there as it is close enough to be within walking distance (in fact Jenna would walk to the church after school let out every second Wednesday of the month).  I met with the presidency and returned to Coffenberry after the meeting.  How many other schools would allow me to take time off for a meeting. 

          I missed the student lunch – which – in my opinion is the most necessary reason for the aide’s purpose.  But I suppose that some covered hours are better than no covered hours.  It somehow feels the permanent aide positions have been harder to fill this year than the subs. I often feel like I am the only aide to sub for the middle schoolers.  I had seen others in 2019 but have not seen many 2020 and know that there have been many days when the schools have gone without.

          Back to Canyonville today.  At least I don’t feel like I’m in a trance this morning.  At least not yet.  I definitely need to change my eating habits so that I can feel more alert and not like a zombie – though I did feel more productive yesterday than on Tuesday.  My trance had not started until Roland and I went up to Roseburg.  On the return, it was all I could do to stay awake.  It was only 6:00.  Time for some wake-up juice and more vegetables. 

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Holidays and Brain Out

          Valentines Day is a non-Federal holiday full of traditions and legends which may or may not be true.  There were at least two, perhaps three, patron saints who bore the name St. Valentine.  Their lives ended in tragic massacres; perhaps it was the way they lived that got the Valentine’s celebration started.  There are many websites to choose from when “Valentines” is the subject entered into a search engine such as Google.  I have never been much into the Valentine spirit.  The concept behind Valentine’s Day seems noble enough, but the commercialism is what keeps the holiday alive and I could do without that.  No one gets off of work or school in honor of Valentines.

           President’s Day was created in honor of George Washington, first president of the United States.  President’s Day was initially established on February 22, 1885 in honor of his birthday.  President's Day is a Federal holiday - which means most governement businesses, banks, and schools are closed on Presidents day.  In 1971 the date was changed to the third Monday in February.  This was done as part of the Uniform Monday Holiday Act (see here 

I had accepted an assignment that put me with kindergartners and first graders on Valentine’s Day.  The first graders surprised the aides when we were invited to play a trivia game to test our knowledge of George Washington.  Each time we answered correctly, we would get a point.  If we answered wrong, the children would get the points.  I thought it fairly easy as all of the questions had multiple choice – though I either hadn’t been aware or agreed with the answers as being correct – like the cherry tree incident I learned to be a myth.  Or that his teeth were not made out of wood but ivory – however ivory was not one of the listed choices.

I don’t remember how many questions there were.  Two of us answered all of our questions correctly.  One answered a couple incorrectly and one I think got only one right.  The aides won.  Later on that day I helped set up for the Valentine party.  I passed out the punch.

We had a three day weekend and did not return to school until today.  I had picked up an assignment to work today as well as Thursday and Friday.  I had accepted the assignment yesterday.  Oh my word, I was soooooooo sleepy.  The fact that I was sitting in a middle school math class was not helping in the least.

A snail travels 0.029 miles in an hour.  How much will he travel in 10 minutes?

saved from Emma Portel Pinterest file

Way too early for my brain to convert anything.  So glad NOT to be a student today.  The second class was more of the X Y chart but now introducing Z.  My brain hurt.  The instructor played this YouTube video.

Next was a prep class.  The instructor wrote a paragraph about a blizzard in the “maintain” and some other misspelled word – no punctuation.  I didn’t know if it was intentional so that the class would correct whatever they happened to write.  But they had to have three paragraphs.  It was definitely interesting. 

Only one recess was required with the schedule I had done on Friday, but the schedule I am doing this week has me outside three different parts of the day.  Though recess is not my favorite, I do enjoy this schedule overall.  But today was fricken cold and I never did get warm or felt awake.  I think I’ll be going to bed early.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Initials for What?

Sorry for not explaining certain item used in my last post.  I still have ideas in my head but have not had much opportunity for sitting down and turning them into posts.  Today feels like a Saturday and I don’t know how I will be able to get into the swing of things as I have accepted a work assignment at Canyonville for the remainder of the week – and so may not get things typed up still. 

APA can stand for American Planning Association or American Poolplayers Association.  I created one post in which I refered to APA as American Preparatory Academy.  For the most part my APA references and what seems to be most popular for Google Reference is American Psycholgical Association -  which is a style of writing.  The “proper” style.  It often seemed like APA format was more important than the contents.  What’s up with that?  Also, many professors seemed to prefer third person as opposed to first.  I am grateful to those that allowed or even preferred first.

Owl Purdue is a website that adds complication and confusion to APA use – at least in my opinion.  Now that I understand what it is, I might be able to understand it better than I did in 2016.  But Owl Purdue is NOT the only website to refer to APA nor is it the most easily understood.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

NOT a Short Essay

          February 14 was the deadline for the short essay contest through the University.  The topic to write about one of the following:

Most memorable class or instructor, most valuable lesson or how the university changed my life.  I guess I could have gone for the third one and stayed with the 150 word maximum limit.  But I was certain that I would have well more than 150 words for the others.

Recently I have gone back to revisit some of the discussions that were posted.  I notice that I got a late start on the discussions in my first two classes.  I had wondered why as I have always been among the first to post to a discussion but then remembered that unlike most of my classmates who had actually started on Monday, I was not given the opportunity to do so until Wednesday.  (That definitely feels like a run-on sentence)

There had been a miscommunication on the parts of administration and I wasn’t able to get into the system until Wednesday – back in June 2016 when I started taking courses for an accounting major.  The first two classes were generic – everybody-takes-these-classes-regardless-of-major.  There were no live lectures. The two classes offered prerecorded classes with a link to YouTube.  Each instructor took a turn of being available to answer any questions or assist.  Of course, being that they were my first two classes, I had nothing to compare them to and so did not realize that the conduct wasn’t the norm of each class I would have since. 

The university was big on APA format and I think pushed Owl Purdue.  Or perhaps it was just that first instructor really did have a thing for it and really did trust it and really thought it would be helpful to everyone and would constantly refer me to the site.  Owl Purdue did nothing for me but frustrate me – not that my instructor was a great improvement since we were obviously not seeing eye-to-eye about how to fulfill my understanding (or lack thereof)

There were a few instructors that had great respect for, good standing with, or admired in some other way.  One of them, Whitney, was my English instructor, who as it turns out is/was the Dean of English Department . . . I suppose I could look it up to see if she teaches there currently, but I’m choosing not to do so at this time.  As you can see from my spectacular grammar skills (meant in the most sarcastic way) I was a star pupil in her class. 

I really did receive high marks in the class, but this post may say otherwise.  But I am more interested in posting something right now and checking the grammar at a later time (if ever).  She didn’t seem to care for Owl Purdue much either – but I think was required by the University to mention it.  She had other resources and links and homework trackers and was very helpful – unlike my first instructor.  She explained things on my level.  I really enjoyed having her as an instructor.

There are several other instructors I had – one of whom I had already written about in another essay.  My first encounter with Sarah was while I was taking the Whitney’s English class.  One week the students were required to visit the writing center and have an instructor proofread our assignment.  I expressed my grief in this post but did not mention the final result.

I don’t know if Sarah could hear the tears or frustration in my voice.  She said she would correct my assignment and return it to the canvas inbox so that I could have it.  I was quite grateful to her to take the time to do that.  I didn’t realize at the time I would have three more contacts with her.

The second contact I made was at my first online assembly which I posted here. The following month I was in her history class.  That was when I made the connection – that she had taken the time to give me feedback when I had been in Whitney’s class.  In my final year, Sarah was the instructor for my sociology class.   

          I do have more to say about Whitney, about Sarah, about Jody, my guidance counselor.  I don’t know when I will be posting more detail.  It’s in the plan.  Right now I am tired.  I’m going to bed now.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Long Day

            The RS Pres. asked if I would pick up a food order in Winston.  I Googled the address but I did not like the option it showed on how to get there.  I DON’T wish to stay on the freeway so I can exit at 119 just so I can return back down.  There had to be another way.  I blew up the map and paid attention to the landmarks that were near the dentist office that I go to.  The addresses are on the same street!  I’m not going to get off 119 when I can get off 112 and work my way up.  That’s what I’ll do.

            Yesterday morning – before I was even out of bed – I thought about two streets in Myrtle Creek that don’t go through.  One cannot get from the post office on Broadway to a resident who lives towards Chestnut or Neal.  It ends at Spruce on one side and dead ends on the other.

            Same thing with Spruce.  You can’t get from the 7th Day Adventist Church to the Catholic Church for example.  Once you hit Division you are at the school, and Spruce doesn’t continue until Rice curves into it above the hill at the corner of Coffenberry. Though a person could walk the distance of Spuce, I suppose.  Cross into the school parking lot and climb the hill and go from there.

            I am certain that I have mentioned before that the kids have a running joke about Coffins and being buried  (Coffen/berry) in the cemetery so close to their school.  The other day I received a text that asked if I would be working at “Cough and Bury” last week.  I laughed thinking she had typed it in that way on purpose, but really it was Google recording her dictation. 

Catholic cemetery, vineyard and Church taken from Coffenberry

            Yesterday I traveled close to 80 miles – which might not seem like a big deal to some people, but I personally am not used to driving that many miles in just one day.  I went 15 miles to the church in Winston(took about 35 minutes), 15 miles return (somehow that was shorter), another 7 miles to deliver (drive wasn’t as long as unloading), to homeward church from there (another 10 or so miles) stayed for 90 minutes, back to Winston for the dentist and return home. 

            Wrote this post.  Slept great last night.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Times Have Changed

            The earth spins around as it faces the sun and away from the sun.  It takes 24 hours to complete each spin.  We call the spin cycle of 24 hours a day.  While the earth spins, it also circles around the sun.  It takes 365 ¼ days to circle the earth.  Thus a full year is 365 days except every four years when we have a February 29 added to the calendar.

            The earth has a northern hemisphere and a southern hemisphere – each experiencing seasons opposite of one another.  For example, someone from Minnesota may comment about how cold it is and how much snow they’ve had to shovel while someone in Indonesia may express how hot and muggy it is.  Both of these examples were posted the very same day – though maybe roughly twelve hours apart as one was experiencing night while the other was experiencing day.  But who knows?  The one in Indonesia may have gotten up during the night because he was too hot and sweaty to enjoy a comfortable sleep.

            I had learned about the earth orbiting and rotation when I was in elementary school – I thought we had started learning it in fourth grade, but it could have been sixth.  Either way it had been in elementary school.  In this county the sixth graders start middle school. 

I also remember being more focused on geography in elementary school.  I specifically remember learning the names of the countries in Africa.  We would often have guest speakers from the different countries.  I remember labeling and coloring several maps.  I remember researching states and making posters about our findings. 

from my collection of scanned school work

I also remember learning to type in seventh grade.  I had taken typing as an elective and typed on an actual typewriter and not just a keyboard.  I understand the students are required to learn how to type now.  That is good – but I think it’s something they should learn BEFORE they get to middle school as the keyboard is now a part of their lives (computers were not a staple when I was in school).