All Bad Boys Go To Canada

I almost sent a student to Canada today–I even wrote his name in the book–but he did his work and I decided not to send him.

A Canadian colleague gave me a Canada notebook after her trip home last year. It’s been sitting in or on my desk at work since then as I’ve tried to figure out what to do with it.

The cover of the notebook. The Canada shape is actually a hole in the cover.

At long last, as part of my goal to use up as many notebooks as I can this year, I finally came up with a use for it: This year, until the notebook’s used up, all bad boys in my classes will have their names, and their punishments written in the Canada book.

I’ve informed my classes that if they are bad they will be “sent to Canada”. Today a boy refused to do work and got the honor of being the first name in the book. I informed him and his classmates that he was “going to Canada” and that meant he had to meet me at lunch to do his work.

This inspired him to do the work and I told him he didn’t have to go to Canada anymore.

The notebook itself is unbranded and is not my style of notebook. The pages have lots of unnecessary ornamentation and lines that are a bit too thick. That said, the paper is actually quite fountain pen friendly. It’s got some tooth and it holds up well to almost every fountain pen I’ve used on it. The only ink that broke it was Wancher Matcha, the heart breaker (it breaks hearts).

Also, it does have a bit of feathering with especially wet inks.

A few inks scribbles in the paper.

The backside of the same page. That’s Matcha bleeding through at the bottom.

Given the way the year is already shaping up, I suspect a lot of boys will be sent to Canada and I’ll eventually need another book.

It’ll have to be a New Zealand notebook, though, so I can annoy the colleague who sits on the other side of my desk.


A Pleasant Surprise or an Evil Twin

He said hello and asked if I remembered him. I said “Of course I remember you, Mr. Dramatica” and then we exchanged a fist bump. After that, well, things got weird, and although he looked familiar, I’m not actually sure he was the same kid.

Although I’ve seen bad students change for the better, I’ve only seen it happen once and heard about it happening one other time. I’ve never seen it happen in the year when students are supposed to be bad. In the former case, one of the worst students I’ve ever had in junior high school became a decent high school student after being held back at least once. In the second case, I escorted a student to the principal’s office (even though I shouldn’t have) and heard that he became a better student after that.

In the current case, though, the student has changed fast enough that it has me kind of paranoid and I’m convinced I had the evil twin before and the good twin now. Or maybe he’s still the evil twin and I’m just being played.

That said, he not only acted friendly, he followed instructions and asked questions when he didn’t understand. Just when I thought things couldn’t get stranger, he volunteered to do his speech. Making things even more bizarre, he wasn’t the worst student in the class. (Note: he is now an 8th grader/Japanese JHS 2.)

I didn’t say much about his behavior in case 1) I might spoil him and encourage bad behavior or 2) I might wake up from the dream I’m in.

Then again, it is early in the year…





Another Day, Another Day

The more things change, the more I end up changing things.

After careful consideration, I’ve decided to slide this bit of blather over a day and begin posting on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday rather than Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

I do this because I now have a part time job on Saturday mornings and this involves getting up early and teaching 9th and 10th graders for three hours. It’s easy work, but it requires me to go to bed a bit earlier than I normally would on a Friday and this has caused me to skip a couple Fridays now.

My goal is to use Saturday to process photographs, the dread of which has kept me from finishing several reviews and even finishing a post that explains why all bad boys in my classes will go to Canada this year.

More on that in a future post. Probably.


The Last Day Before the Whatevering

Today is the last day before classes actually start and I’m befuddled that two people are actually optimistic. Well, actually, I understand why: They are new or have been absent.

It is a tradition at this point in the start of the year to carefully study class lists and either celebrate or swear and drink heavily.

In my case, my list isn’t that bad, although I do have a couple problem students from last year and one class that promises to be problematic. At least that class is before lunch.

As for the optimists, one is a replacement for a teacher who found a different job and the other was on maternity leave last year. The former is naive and the latter claims to have relaxed more than she’s ever relaxed in her life.

At this point I went: do you actually have two kids?

That said, new classes bring new dynamics because the worst players appear to have been split up. JHS 2 (8th graders) will still be terrible, but at least they are only once a week.

Oddly, I remain oddly optimistic.

Growing into Uniforms and Placement

Note: Been in the oddly busy part of the end of break and that means I guess I decided that Friday was a hiatus.

The only exciting thing that’s happened recently is our youngest started 7th grade today.

This involved her, after all these years, finally getting a uniform and being more obviously segregated by gender.

They marched in with girls on the left and boys on the right.

There was the usual round of introductions in which every new student (71 in total) was introduced by name. There was some excitement as a student in a higher grade fainted or had an epileptic seizure and was escorted out.

Eventually, our youngest gave a speech on behalf of her class of new students. I still do not understand how she was chosen to do this, but she rocked. The speech was good and she read it like an old pro. She has clearly inherited speech-making genes from both me and She Who Must Be Obeyed, who also has been known to make impressive speeches.

Eventually the students left and we parents suddenly found ourselves being held hostage. It is tradition to observe the first homeroom, which was happening as we sat there. However we were assured we couldn’t get to the homerooms before they ended unless five people volunteered to serve on the PTA. As I was holding down SWMBO’s hands she couldn’t volunteer.

Eventually volunteers were drafted and we got to see the homeroom and run home.

I ended up having to go to work, but that ‘s a story for another day.

Back and Back to Normalish

The girls survived their trip to and from Niigata. They brought back the usual baggage, though.

This means that within one day we’ve already had arguments, a surprise latish night, and serious questions about the food I ate whilst they were gone. I’ve also been criticized for not eating something that 1) I didn’t know I was supposed to eat and 2) was buried under stuff where I couldn’t see it.

That said, it’s good to have them back and in one piece.

Now it’s time to settle in to something resembling normal and start thinking about the start of the school year, which may suddenly be more complicated than I’d hoped.

More on that in a future post. (Along with possible job hunting.)

Missed it By That Much

Missed a day thanks to a game. My intentions were good but my actions, well.

Before writing yesterday’s post I decided to play a few rounds of a game. I ended up teaming up with an old friend and that meant I played longer than I’d planned.

At 4:00 a.m. I decided it was time to get to bed as today is technically a work day (aka House Arrest.) At least it’s supposed to be. More on that in a future, possibly angry post.

I was mostly pleased to see that I could still pull an all-nighter and be reasonably functional the next day.

However, I opted for a few hours sleep rather than writing a post.

Now it may be time to play again, but She Who Must Be Obeyed and the girls are returning tomorrow. I don’t have to be coherent or awake, but I do have some cleaning to do.


Not Sure What I’m Doing Here, But I’m Here

Today my so-called mansplaining (aka research and knowledge) was confirmed by womansplaining and after something where I wasn’t sure what happened but it wasn’t too bad.

Several months ago our oldest figured out she could charge purchases to her phone and I would have to pay for it. I spent a couple hours with our provider figuring out how to stop this but I required the assistance of She Who Must Be Obeyed to finalize it. I explained this to SWMBO, however, she is totally too busy so solving the problem was was put off. At a price.

Last month, She Who Must Be Obeyed decided we needed a new phone provider (and she a new phone as hers, at age 12, no longer updates the calendar) and I assumed she was doing research.

Well Ass. U. Me.

Last night, after some, um, words, I reminded SWMBO that changing companies was her idea and she did a shocking amount of research.

Then, today, I was rushed off to a nearby office where our data plan was modified but nothing else. I thought we were getting new phones despite my having explained it was too soon but instead my job was to sit around until my signature was required.

In the aftermath, I was carefully informed of the things I’d explained months before and told it was too soon to upgrade our contract. I was pleased to be correct in all this. Sort of.

The next phase will involve new phones. I’ll have to figure out how to make SWMBO think it’s her idea.


Reversing the Polarity of the Normal Flow

Lately I’ve been reverting to university summer time. Either that or I’ve become a vampire.

Because it’s a holiday/house arrest time, I’ve been staying up later and getting up later. This is something I haven’t done much since summer time during university. In those days, I’d invert time to the point I was staying up all night and sleeping a good portion of the day.

This doesn’t help me remember what day it is but eventually I get up and do the “work” required of my house arrest.

The funny part is, I’m actually doing actual work as I’ve foolishly decided to change things next year. Sigh. Perhaps it’s not too late to change my mind.

Monteverde Impressa–Long Term Review

Note: Once again I have to thank the kind folks at Pen Chalet for donating this pen. The pen is currently out of stock, but if you’re interested in getting one, you can ask for notifications at this link  in case they become available again.

The Monteverde Impressa is an odd pen that may serve as a good first fountain pen, but for reasons that may be out of the ordinary.

In the ten months I’ve used it since my initial impressions, I haven’t had any great technical problems. The nib writes well and I’ve liked using the pen. The cobalt blue and pearl white look attracted a lot of attention in a “Wow, that’s really cool, can I try that” sort of way as opposed to the “That’s sure a big old pen, ain’t it” attention my Shawn Newton Moody often attracts.

The only issues I’ve had have all been cosmetic. The most obvious is that the cobalt finish on the end of the grip section has peeled off.

The pen with part of the finish gone.

A different angle on the problem.

Also, over time the pearl material on the barrel has developed some odd black scratches.

Some of the scratches on the barrel.

This will be off-putting to a lot of true pen addicts, but in an odd way it makes the Impressa a good gateway drug, er, starter pen:  1) It’s inexpensive but doesn’t feel or look cheap. 2) It looks cool and attracts positive attention. 3) It writes well.

However, it’s not a family heirloom kind of pen. A year of solid use will produce chipped sections and scratches. Eventually, the new pen user will become annoyed by the dings and scratches and move on to more expensive pens.

At that point it will be a good pen for testing inks the newly minted addict’s are afraid to try in their more expensive fountain pens.

Second Note: The pictures are sized too small. Sigh. Will fix that another day. –DL