Sunday, November 30, 2008

Translation to English

Most of my students write and understand a text messaging/computer shorthand language that barely resembles English. Some can easily switch when they get to school. However, it is becoming so invasive that these bad habits are practiced so much many students no longer remember some basic rules.

The following is an example of myspace bulletin one of my student's wrote about her dream from the previous night. Below I translated it to English.

The Dream:

Ahaha okai wel javona shewan deja again ha cintha ma mom taylor n ma kuzns n bro were n it n mo.....alrite so shewan n javona were ku buh dai reali didnt lyke me haha n so md n javona got n a fite n she left lyk heka bite marks on me lik she kudnt fite dnt ask y it waz a dream n so we jus kept fiten n den me n shewan waz ku....n den cintha n deja kme n outa no were haha....n den it chngd lyke tha hle dream did n taylor waz at ma house wit ma mom kuzn n bro....o n mikey waz n it again omg so waz dat 1 mexican dude n ma apts shewan deja n um shanel no who im tlkn bou o n so i waz jus txtn mikey n um hym n it waz funi ha kuz mikey waz sayn stuf bou how he guna beat me up ha n omg justin b. Waz n it chris g.I tink hoopy n otha ppl buh it waz stupid buh ya if u wana no mo 2 it hit up ma phne maspace or sku

Translation to English:

Haha. Okay. Well... Javon, Shewan, Deja (again ha), Cynthia, Taylor, my mom, my cousins, and my brother were in it and other people as well. Alright. So Shewan and Javona were cool, but they really didn't like me. Haha. And so Javona and I got in a fight and she left hecka bite marks on me like she couldn't fight. (Don't ask why; it was a dream.) So we just kept fighting and then me and Shewan were cool. Then Cynthia and Deja came in out of nowhere. Haha. Then the whole dream changed, and Taylor was at my house with my mom, cousin and brother. Oh, and Mikey was in it again. Oh my God, so was that one Mexican dude in my apartments (Shewan, Deja and Shanel know who I'm talking about). So I was just texting Mikey and... um... Him being in the dream was funny because Mikey was sayin' stuff about how he was going to beat me up. Ha. And Justin B and Chris G. were in it also. I think Hoopy and other people too, but it was stupid. But if you want to know more too, then hit me up on my phone, myspace, or at school.

Bookstore Placement

Sunday, November 23, 2008

This is Cincinnati, looking for action

This morning I answered my phone from a restricted number. A woman was on the other line. The conversation went about like this:

"Hello, this is Kevin."
"This is Sacramento."
"This is Sacramento. Am I speaking to Rhode Island?"
"I have no idea what you're talking about."
"I got a call from this number..."

A few minutes later I was contemplating the oddity of this phone and realized what I could have said:
"Yeah, this is Rhode Island."
"Let's talk about the details."
"How much is it going to cost? What is included?"
"Okay... this isn't really Rhode Island. My friends call me Cincinnati, or they often just use my given name."

Where was my quick wit then? If I could have pulled that off, that would really make for a good story. Also, if I could have pulled that off I might have had someone call back threatening my life.

But they probably don't know where I live.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Right on Time

Have you ever had to be home for a "window" of time? You have to say to friend, family member, or employer, "I would love to do that for you, but I have to be home from 10:00am until about next Thursday or until the cable guy shows up." I called the gas company last month to report a gas leak in my apartment, so I was told I would be given the highest priority and someone would come out as soon as possible. They told me the technincian would arrive in the next two hours or longer. What kind of time frame is that? That's like if I went to a job interview and they told me the salary would be, "$16-$18/hr or less." Then I took the job and they were like, "We decided to go ahead and pay you the less." That morning I called PG & E about 8:30am and someone finally game out to handle the gas leak just after 3:00pm. I wasn't dead.

My question is really this: Where do they go at the beginning of the "window." Have you ever had someone scheduled to come between noon and 4pm, and the guy knocks on your door at 12:01?

"I decided to make this my first stop."

Oops. I meant, uh... never mind.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

ER Regularity

I took quite a hit at my ultimate game last Wednesday. After several more plays I was still dizzy and removed myself from the game. The guys on the other team noticed my condition and cautioned me to drink plenty of liquid and not pass out.

Still feeling dizzy and nauseous the next day I called in for a substitute. However, after a couple hours and one load of laundry, I found myself unable to sleep so I drove to work. I explained to the office manager I suffered a mild concussion the night before in my game, but didn't think it was likely I would pass out while teaching (I had myself at 200 to 1 against). Soon I found myself on the phone with an advice nurse, and explaining to the school counselor that I did not want to go into the doctor. Eventually, I had her yelling at me "you men are all the same," while the principal insisted that I could not return to my job. Then the track coach (I don't know how he got involved) was playing the role of mediator. He determined that I could keep my 4:00pm appointment, but as a compromise would rest in the nurse's office until that time. I refused mediation and replied, "if that's the case then just take me now." The principal (also a woman) replied, "Good. Go now then." The spiral of over-reaction led to me being driven to the hospital against my will, leaving my car at work.

I checked myself into the ER. I wouldn't exactly call myself a regular there, but this was my second visit in the last six months. This time I got a bed and a room. They even put some plastic suction cups on my chest and hooked me up to one of those machines to make sure I didn't die. It was just like the movies. As the nurse set me up she apologized in advance for the hair that was going to be ripped off my chest upon removal. I told I had considered waxing it. She replied stoically, "hair on the chest for males is normal." Oh, thank you for that enlightenment. While your grabbing me a blanket in the hall feel free to look for a personality. My doctor was young, female, personable, and fairly attractive. She confirmed my self-diagnosis of a mild concussion and told me she would give me some meds. She offered oral medication or intravenous. I checked the time and figured I had at least an hour and half till someone from work could come get me so I opted for the IV (that is after first confirming that there was no additional charge for it).

I asked to use the bathroom and a new nurse came to my aid. He looked at the computer and said, "No urine test was ordered, but just in case..." Let me tell you peeing in a cup is not very satisfying. I let some out in the cup, but then finished my release in the toilet as I had planned. As he hooked up my IV he says, "No blood test was ordered, but just in case..." Clearly precautions were taken. Before he pumped the first drug into me he asked, "Have you ever had blahblahblahcose before?" No. I was at the bar the other day and was going to ask for some, but I went ahead just got a gin and tonic. He then explained that one in a hundred people become anxious from the medication. He pumped in a second drug and then left with the IV attached and flowing.

Within minutes I was freaking out. My heart was racing; I couldn't sit still. The lines on the computer were waving and it was beeping just like in the movies. Except, unlike the movies, nobody rushed in to check on me. I hit the button for the nurse. I said, "I don't want to be hooked up to anything anymore. I want to go home now." He got the doctor. She told me I couldn't just go walk around, but she would get some drug to calm me down. It did. She sent me home with two prescriptions, some literature about concussions, her home phone number, and told me I couldn't play contact sports for two weeks. I inquired as to what constituted a contact sport and she told me I was a big boy and could make that determination on my own. Which is a good thing, cause I got a game on Wednesday (I'll take it easy).

This may be tricky

Blog Update

To all my loyal blog readers:
With the influx of response coming in I haven't been able to respond to everyone. I got e-mails, phone calls, text messages, and one letter brought by Pony Express all wondering the whereabouts of Sunday's column. Let me assure I did not just neglect my readers. Although, I am a big proponent of taking personal responsibility the situation was out of my control. Don't blame me. Blame Comcast. I wrote the column Sunday, but there is a problem with my modem and I haven't had internet.

Don't worry. I will the regular scheduled article, and the fail blog of the week, posted by midnight tonight.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

What is Today?

Last Monday I was teaching my students some problems involving the perimeter of a rectangle. In one problem we labeled the length "3w," because it was three times the width. In another we used "w + 5," because the length was five centimeters more than the width. I started reading the next problem to the class, "The length of the rectangle is 19 centimeters." I stopped reading there and asked the class, "What is the length of the rectangle." In my third period class nobody was able to answer my question. I reread the statement with increased voice inflection and annunciation, "The LENGTH of the rectangle IS 19 centimeters. What is the length?" Still no one could answer my question. So I stopped class and told them the following story:
A few years ago I was substitute teaching at a preschool, and we sang a song called "Days of the Week." It went like this:
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. Thursday, Friday, Saturday. Next comes Sunday. Today is Monday. What is Today?
There was always a little pop quiz at the end of the song, but if you listen real carefully the answer to the quiz is found within the song. Sometimes the preschool kids would still get it wrong. So we would sing the last line again, "Today is Monday. What is today?" Then they would answer excitedly, "Monday." We would praise them for their response.
I said to the class. "I feel a little like that right now. Let's try it again. The length of the rectangle is 19cm. What is the length?" Thankfully, they came up with the answer. Which is good, because I can only do one singing metaphor per class period.

The Ultimate Special