Thursday, September 28, 2006
News & Notes
Here's how this afternoon's writing went, expressed in a schematic illustration with precise measurements:
Nah. I'm kidding around. But I figured, *shrug,* what the hell? Having a bit of dryness at the blog, why not post a schematic of a toilet bowl and feature it as a commentary on the occasional struggle involved in writing. Plus, that way I'll have a grand total of 19 entries in the month of September--making this a solid lock for second-highest effort in the 2006 blogging campaign.
To the News & Notes list
- Our scanner expired. An HP 4600 flatbed, little more than a year old (but irreversibly beyond the terms of the warranty). Its poor bulb dimmed, and would never shine again, no matter how many times I pounded my fist against the cheap plastic casing in miserly frustration. Just to be sure I wasn't missing something like a driver upgrade or a known problem, I dialed onto the internets, went to the HP site, and initiated a customer service chat. Do you love online customer service chats or what? Given the success of the Padres and Saints, it was a small victory to get a rep named Santiago. He was the one who lucked into chatting with me about my crappy scanner, then gave me the automated text which read, "Be patient while I check our records for the status of your warranty" after I'd already explained to him that I was some forty days since we'd celebrated the scanner's first and only birthday.
- I pitched a rock and thus lost in our family's annual "Who Will Attend the Parent Orientation?" rock-scissor-paper game. And it has been raining a perfectly miserable drizzle all afternoon and evening. I thought to myself, What could be worse than going to the high school and listening to a bunch of teachers rattle off ten-minute versions of their courses before--bell rings--moving to another classroom for the same? Nothing. I could think of nothing worse. But then I got there, and it wasn't so unbearable after all. Everybody praised Ph. (although nearly everyone is calling him by the shorter version of his name: P. How'd that happen? "I enjoy having P. in class." "You mean Ph." "Yeah, P. sure is a delight.")
- Ph. has cool classes and terrific teachers. The music class, "Music In Our Lives," was especially promising, if a bit heavy on rationalism. The spiel went something like "We're emphasizing listening with an intellect rather than emotion. Students are good at emotional listening, but they often have a hard time thinking about what they hear." Probably true, but still. Emotion bad, reason good. Social studies looks to be the toughest one on the schedule. But the teacher is also our neighbor. And she's friendly. The class requires Cornell Notes, which urges the recording of big ideas and small details during a lecture followed by a summary paragraph after the lecture. The tough part is that the summary paragraph is an everyday requirement, but there are just two note-checks per marking period. Better keep up! I also went to Earth Science and English 10 (reading novels, writing through generic models, and sampling "critical theory"...oh?). And then I stopped in for a ten-minute bit from the health teacher who also happens to coach Ph.'s (or is it P. now?) soccer team. Seemed like a good class, but there were so many health and wellness messages postering the walls I could hardly pay attention to the talk. One poster presented the procedures for protecting a banana with a condom. Holy smokes. Gotta love public schools. Everyone in the auditorium at the beginning of the orientation was asked by the principal to stand and recite the pledge. "I pledge allegiance to the...."
- Once I was home again, plopped on the couch, gobbling dinner, and flipping channels, D. had Is. on her playmat "gym" and lo and behold she rolled over for the first time. She refused to perform the feat a second time (why bother?), but all of the fanfare riled in Y. a small yelp or two from the office. "Roll over," after all, is his latest achievement, as well. And although we're less jubilant in celebrating it with him, he deserves a nod for doing it first, if only by a couple of days.