fuzzy, black dogs

fuzzy, black dogs
All three of my fuzzy, black dogs -- Bob, Ace and Lilly.

Phillip's Scenic Overlook

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Life Lessons, First-Grader Style

It seems there have been a ton of self-help books written that teach you all about life's lessons. Trust me, I know. I've read a few of them myself. Each one of them claims to have "the answer" you're looking for.

Yeah. Right.

After paying close attention to my first-graders, I have learned that these six and seven year-olds hold a wealth of knowledge. In fact, here are some of life's real lessons that I have culled from my observations of these little ones in action.

Pitching a fit wont fix anything, but it sure is fun!

When in doubt, suck your thumb (or other digit of preference).

Your birthday trumps anything. You shouldn't have to do anything on your birthday.

If you don't know what to do, either draw on something or don't do anything at all.

If you don't know the answer to a question that's posed to you, point to yourself and say, "You mean me, (insert teacher's name here)?"

Anytime is a good time to crawl under a desk.

If you're unsure of something, poke it with a sharp pencil.

Almost anything can be eaten, whether it's edible or not.

Stickers and stamps have magical powers. They make the world go round.

Band-Aids fix anything that hurts. No wound is too small for a Band-aid.

Your neighbor always has better markers (dry erase or permanent), crayons, pencils, highlighters or erasers than you do.

Anytime's a good time to dig for gold (you know what I mean). A kid's got to do what a kid's got to do!

And my favorite? Easy... There's no problem too big or complex that you can't hide from it in the bathroom!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Bermuda Triangle Secrets Discovered!

After spending extensive time as a first grade teachers assistant (nearly three years, now), I've made a startling discovery. First-graders are really aliens in disguise!

There is a slim possibility that I may be wrong about this one. In fact, my alternate theory is that my first-graders really are just kids, but they can communicate directly with extraterrestrials!

Where's your evidence, you may ask. I give you exhibit A -- Dee (obviously NOT her real name!). Dee likes to walk around and mark on everyone's work. To mere mortals and school teachers, the marks look remarkably like scribbles.

What she is really doing is writing the same message over and over again! By writing the same message multiple times, it's more likely to be seen and read by those keeping an eye on us. You know, the 'ones' with whom she is communicating. Pretty sneaky!

Then there's exhibit B, Bo (not his real name, either!). Not as subtle as Dee, Bo likes to teleport within the confines of the classroom.
"Bo," I say, sternly. "Get off the computer and park it at your desk!"
"I am at my desk, Mr. Haworth." And, sure enough, there he is, sitting at his desk.
"Bo," I say again a millisecond later. "Please get out of your cubby and sit down!"
"I am sitting, Mr. Haworth." Again, there he is, sitting in his seat. 

It's almost creepy how he does that.

The secret to the Bermuda Triangle lies within the minds of these first-graders.

Like the squadron of planes that disappeared, inexplicable classroom phenomena have taken place under my watch.

Pencils, pencil sharpeners, crayons and markers have been known to disappear without a trace. I've even had an entire table disappear! Strange leaks have occurred around the water fountains and sinks. I think I've even seen single shoes laying around, though I've never spotted a kid wearing only one shoe...

And then there are the amazing moving desks. Whether the kids sit at them or not, they slowly rotate around the room, like a rotisserie on super slo-mo.

I've analyzed the details and here are the facts. I'm an assistant in three classrooms. A triangle has three sides (and three vertices! First grade info!). Three strikes and you're on red. Three colors for behavior. Three parts of a story (beginning, middle and end). Eighteen students per class, which is divisible by three! I could go on.

Rest assured that when my rooms begin humming, my kids' eyes start glowing and the water fountain water begins bubbling, I will be in the principal's office. We will be discussing my million dollar contract or my immediate transferral!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

C25K Runner Experiences Wardrobe Malfunction

After going out on my second run on my C25K (couch to 5K) iPhone app, it seems I'm already experiencing some technical difficulties. First, I may be out of shape. Secondly, I may be out of fashion. Third... Never mind the third since the second could cause me mental anguish and trauma!

My second run was much harder than the first. My shins hurt some during the running parts. I found myself a little out of breath by the ends of those parts, too. Add to that the amount of sweat pouring off my body...

Perhaps it was because I didn't have any company. Maybe the route I picked was harder than the first run. I'm pretty sure I was running against the wind the entire time. And uphill.

It's supposed to get easier, eventually. I plan to tough it out a little longer to test that theory! Either way, be prepared for an app review post in the future.

The second technical difficulty can be summed up with the following math equation.
= DORK?!

At the moment, I'm a little limited with my running gear and ensemble. Pictured above are my sole pair of running shorts and but one of my running shirts. According to my wife, none of my t-shirts actually match my running shorts. I dare her to tell Piggly Wiggly about that!

Regardless, it was a fellow runner who made me realize that my running attire could stand a make-over. She matched. Her running attire -- shoes, socks, shorts and shirt -- all matched! I was quite impressed.

Apparently she was, too, judging by the smile I got from her as our paths crossed.

I felt sure she was either noting my excellent form, running style and natural grace, or else adding the above equation to a much more appealing sum!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Couch to 5K Program Initiated. Couch... Check. 5K?

I'm attempting something new -- I'm writing this post from bed. I've got my water bottle and 500 count ibuprofen on my bedside table. I tucked a heating pad beneath my back to emanate some soft, soothing heat. A tube of Icy-Hot waits idly by...

I started my Couch to 5k (or C25K, as the app shows up) program earlier today.

I had downloaded the app to my iPhone some time back. Like any good exercise program, I needed to ponder it for a couple of months before attempting such a radical undertaking.

The good news is that during those two months, I got the couch part down cold. Today I decided to embark upon the second part. 

I put on a pair of plaid running shorts. I donned the closest thing I have to running shoes. I stretched some, put my headphones in and out the door I went!

The app should be called 5K2C (5K to couch). Thirty minutes later, after my "5K," I managed to drag myself into the front door of my house and collapse on my couch. 

As I slowly decomposed, my two tagalongs bumped exuberantly in through the door. They included my son, dressed up in jeans and a bow tie, and his fuzzy, black spaniel. They seemed no worse for the wear. Such is the advantage of youth!

Perhaps I should switch back to my other running program. It involves more running, faster running and harder running. It's pretty strenuous simply because the monkeys are fast and you can't let them catch you. 

The distances are longer, too. I usually exceed the 5K distance when I play Temple Run on my iPhone. I just can't figure out if I get more exercise running as Guy Dangerous or Scarlett Fox.