Friday, February 22, 2008

Dueling Banjos

I have come up with a nickname for New Boy C all by myself.  (Yay me.)

Y'see, there's this guy at Disneyland that comes on the loudspeaker for announcements:  "Ladies and gentlemen, in just 15 minutes the skies above Sleeping Beauty Castle...."  I call him Mr. Voice.

Mr. Voice has that kind of deep announcer voice that just...well, grabs your attention.

New Boy C is now Mr. Voice.

Mr. Voice -- the school one, not the Disney one -- likes to be loud.  In fact, the more he doesn't want to do something, the louder he gets.

Mr. Voice also has a great sense of humor.  He was fiddling with the volume on our teaching game the other day, and would chuckle every time I asked him to turn it back down.  I don't much care what psych and IQ testing and even his school performance says (psych testing is skewed against folks with autism anyway): this is one bright cookie.

Anyway, he figured out that M copies everybody.  So today, he made a noise, kind of a loud grunt.  M copied him.  His eyes lit up and he grinned.

He made another noise, a bit louder.  M, now beaming herself, copied him.

Sometimes it was vocalizations (noises, grunts, squeals), sometimes it was scripting, but back and forth it went, louder and louder and louder.

It was Dueling Banjos: The Screaming Version.

If it hadn't made the rest of the kids (and me) crazy, it'd have been funny.  As it was, apparently my behavior management mojo deserted me today, and I had a hard time redirecting either of them.

By the time I went to the office to sign my 2-week attendance paper, I was twitching and losing words...our poor office clerk had to decipher,  "I have to...sign the...the...the thing."

But, at least my day wasn't as dramatic as Cat's.  (Sorry, Cat.)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Another Boring Day

In history, not at school. Those are not boring. Though I'd take one day of borning. Just for fun.

Also? The clouds are making me miss the eclipse. Boo.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Like most people, I occasionally use my blog as a place to vent and whine, especially when I don't have time to write creatively.  And I probably will again.

But for my 400th post tonight, I figured I'd go a different route.

I was working on next week's homework on Sparky Jr., my aging PC.  It gave me the predictable "OMG YOU'RE OUT OF RAM" error, followed by the "I WILL NOW USE YOUR HARD DRIVE (a.k.a. "page file") AS FAKE RAM; AS A RESULT, YOUR COMPUTER WILL SLOW TO A CRAWL," followed by the "OMG, I USED ALL YOUR DISK SPACE FOR THE PAGE FILE; PLEASE DELETE FILES SO I CAN USE MORE."

In other words, Sparky Junior is sick.

(Sounds like whining, I know -- just go with me here.)

Instead of getting annoyed, I thought about how my shower doesn't shock me, there are no alligators outside my door, and I can count on electricity any time of the day.

(Huh???? You are now asking.  I know.)

A while back, I mentioned, I think, my surprise at discovering that the girl on Signing Time was none other than the little girl I met when I first started working as an aide, who realized -- at the age of maybe 5 -- that although I sign some, I had no idea what the other kids were saying, and slowly told me her name was L - E - A - H.

Well, I discovered that Leah's mom Rachel has a blog, right around the time she was preparing a trip to Ghana (either with the help of, or in association with, Signs of Hope International -- I forget which).

Yep, Ghana.

Now that they're back, Rachel has been posting a trip report of their trip to Ghana.  It's fascinating, and more than a little sobering.

And then I read Day 8, which contained an account of their tour of a castle built during the slave trade.  They toured places where slaves had been kept, and where difficult slaves were kept.  I don't want to "spoil" it, but suffice it to say, Leah's reaction to the whole thing -- especially her matter-of-fact declaration (reported by her mom, but still) of what she would have done in the same circumstances -- was...well, thought-provoking is putting it mildly.

But it makes you think.  Yeah, Sparky Jr. is about to self-destruct, and, yeah, I've been trying really hard to come down with the flu for the last two weeks...but I'm not going to be shoved into a dark cell and holed up until I die.  I don't have to worry about being eaten by an alligator while I go to get my tooth brush.

I don't even have to worry about my shower shocking me.

We take a lot -- a lot -- for granted, and I think it's good once in a while to think about that.