Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Rubble Watch: The Final Chapter

For a couple of years, I had been perplexed about a homestead about 2 miles down the road from my Creekistan home. For no apparent reason, they had several truckloads of concrete rubble piled, somewhat neatly, in their front yard. Every time we drove by, we wondered what they were going to do with the awful-looking mess. And for a couple of years, nothing happened. Weeds would grow around the piles. Snow would cover the piles.

Now, the mystery is solved. They have recently moved the piles to the creek behind the house, using the rubble to reinforce the banks of the creek as well as to make a shallow bridge across the creek. They do have some extra rubble, just piled up nearby, but at least its not right in front of the house and in the front yard.

Now if I could only get rid of the detritus left by the former residents of Creekistan . . . .

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Super Sub To the Rescue: Chapter 1 - Do Your Homework

I've only been a substitute teacher for a very short while, but I have some observations and suggestions for anyone out there who are subbing or just interested in my thoughts on the topic. 

  • Directions - Know where to go and how to get there. It would be a good idea to have a map, directions, or pre-program the GPS so that you can be sure to find the location of all the schools you might be going to. 
  • Different schools have different start times. Keep a list of all the different start times and perhaps a chart that says about how long it will take for you to get there. That way you'll know when to leave the house and when you're expected to show up. 
  • Be prepared - Wardrobe. Have an outfit or two ready to go at a moment's notice. I'm not just saying that you should have a shirt and pants on a hanger. It would be better if you had the shirt, pants, socks, shoes, and jewelry all ready to go. 
  • Be prepared - Breakfast. I usually won't have time to make breakfast for myself. I'm low carb, so cereal is out of the question. However, I've found a good alternative: Kroger's brand of healthy foods, the "Simple Truth" brand, has an excellent protein bar. At about $1 per bar, it's an inexpensive and healthier way to have a meal on the go. 
  • Be prepared - Lunch. You never know what will be on the school lunch menu for the day. So it's much better to bring your own lunch. I try to have some pre-packed lunchbox items ready to grab quickly. Since I already pack for the other members of the family, I'll just assume that I have to pack for myself. If I don't have to sub on a day, that's one less lunch I'll have to make tomorrow. But, just in case, have an emergency $5 bill in your wallet at all times for the specific purpose of buying lunch. 
  • Briefcase - I have a bag where I keep all my sub materials. This includes any school handbooks, notepaper, activities, pens, pencils, candy, emergency snack, and anything else you can think that you'll need. This bag is dedicated to this task so that it's not overloaded with stuff that I won't need on the job. 

 If you have any suggestions about how to be ready in case that early-morning phone call comes and you have to leave the house in a hurry, please comment! I'm always looking to help other and to be a better sub.