Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Peter Piper Picked a Peck of Pickled Peck-um, Peppers

One of the great things about teaching is that learning takes place on both sides of the (metaphorical) podium.

So.  Last week I was teaching my statistics class some probability, specifically binomial probability experiments.  Don't worry, I'm not going to explain that now.  What's important, though, is that talking about binomial probability experiments requires one to say the word "success" approximately a million times.  Make that two million because I have two sections of stats.

Here's what I learned:  It is impossible to say the word success a million times (or even twenty) without at some point butchering one's pronunciation.  Unfortunately, for me that means changing "suck-sess" into "suck-sex".  Yeah, so that happened.  A bunch of times.

Sadly, this is not my first foray into being accidentally lewd in the classroom.  When I taught math at a high school in Virginia there was a time when we were covering trigonometric problems.  The abbreviation for the secant function is "sec".  I was using the variable x to represent the angle which meant writing "sec x" on the board several times.  You can see where this is heading.  Yup, in front of a whole room of 17-year olds, I wrote the word sex on the blackboard.  I sent them further into hysterics by saying "Well, ya know, it is Friday."  What I meant was that it had been a long week and I was tired.  What they thought I meant was that Friday = Sexday.  Frickin' fricklebats.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Could Happen to Anyone

I'd like to present this conversation with as little explanation as possible and leave you to determine how it came about.

Me:  Erk!  (accompanied by a wide-eyed look of pain and surprise)

Huppy:  Did you just pinch the skin on your stomach in the hinge of your glasses.

Me:  I did.  It left a mark.

Come conclusions you may draw:  I am very, very flexible.  I have a specific unique facial expression for absolutely every situation.  One of these things is true and one is probably not true.

Situational Awareness Is For Suckers

So we're just coming off a nice three day weekend.  The weather was quite temperate and so a ton of house projects got done.  That's the good part.  The bad part is that in those three days I found three different ways to hit my head on something.  I'm pretty sure the first and the third time were on exactly the same spot.  How did I manage this?  Well, I started out with the locking mechanism from an open trunk lid on Saturday.  The next day I climbed the ladder into the attic and stood up right into a roof beam.  I wrapped up the holiday weekend by hitting my head on a shelf after plugging in some speakers below the shelf.  The lesson I'm taking from this is that it would be best if I just walked around all hunched over because floating just above me is a whole host of crap of stuff waiting to bash me in the noggin.  So, if I start acting weirder than usual I may be concussed.

A-Maia-can Horror Story

I know, it's been a while.  I have a few things saved up to share with you, though, so buckle up!

A few weeks ago we had about a week of dreary, rainy weather.  On one of these days we'd had a respite from the rain and I drove downtown to stop in at my taekwondo school to find out why Master Oh had called me on my cell phone.  I parked in the municipal parking garage behind the school.  When I pulled in I noticed that someone seemed to have parked their wheelchair next to the low wall that separates the garage area from the alley.  The wheel chair was completely draped in a thin red blanket.  If this was to hide it, I'm not sure that red was an ideal color choice, by the way.  As I was straddling the low wall (what, like I'm going to walk all the way around?) near the shrouded chair I glanced over it and saw that there was something in it.  In all the times I have parked there and gone across this wall to get to the school I have never, ever made it over that quickly.  Seriously, if it was a pommel horse I would be sporting a medal right now.  Whatever or whoever (whomever?) was under there was not visible aside from tenting up the blanket in a few odd spot.  It seem to me that there was a smallish person under there taking a nap with their arm up over their head.  On my way back to the car I gave it a wider birth and kept me eyes locked on it the whole time.  No movement.  I sped home.  A hour or so later when Huppy called to say she was on her way home I a) told her about the freaky deaky wheelchair red (blood red!!!) blanket ghoul in the parking garage behind the school and b) made her promise to drive by and see if it was still there.  It was and she was equally creeped out.

I spent the next day thinking about what was obviously either a troll who lost his bridge and hides under this red (blood red!!!) blanket now waiting for unsuspecting people who get to close so he can snatch them and suck the marrow from their long bones OR a pile of dismembered body parts stacked on a wheelchair with a note for the police from a brilliant serial killer who wants to engage in a battle of wits.  That evening, I told Huppy that we were going to drive back there and see if it's still there.  AND IT WAS.  This time I took pictures:

At the time that I took these it had been raining again all day.  As a result, a few things became clear:

1.  It's not a troll in a wheelchair.
2.  It's not a pile of body parts in a wheelchair.
3.  It's not, in fact, a wheel chair.
4.  It is probably someone's bicycle and cart.

Or is it?