Thursday, March 05, 2009

I'm A Quick Study

I am an educated person. I hold both an undergraduate and a graduate degree. In addition to all the book-learnin', I also like to think that I have developed one or two pretty solid synaptic connections in the ol' noggin over the years. I am not saying that I'm a genius or anything. Far from it. But I am trainable.

For example, I recently learned that when the power goes out it will lead to lots of resetting of stuff. I already knew that, I suppose. But I was pleased to demonstrate that knowledge yesterday when I arrived home and saw the microwave blinking at me. I hastened right over and reset it. Then I remembered to reset the coffee maker because it won't know to start my coffee at 5:00 in the morning if someone more smarter than it is doesn't tell it to. I is more smarter than the coffee maker.

As an educated person who also happens to be an educator of young minds, I know that sometimes the best learning takes place through what we in the biz like to call, "the teachable moment." Sometimes things just happen in the course of a day that allow for some wicked good educatin'.

I now know that you can't just set the clocks on the microwave and the coffee maker. You have to set all the clocks to the correct time. They do not talk to one another. They are secretive about time and the correctness thereof. They will not tell their friends in the bedroom that there has been a power outage and that they should stop blinking the incorrect time. They think it is funny when the clocks in the bedroom are blissfully blinking away, completely oblivious to the fact that they are wrong.

It's kind of like when no one wants to tell you that you have spinach in your teeth or that your pantyhose are keeping your skirt securely hiked up around your waist in the back. The rest of the world feels better when someone else is playing the fool. Clocks are no different. They have the same self-esteem issues as the rest of us.

It's a good thing I now know this. I have learned it through a teachable moment. It is also a good thing that I learned to start setting a battery operated back-up alarm clock a few years ago. I've not needed that tinny, little beeping sound since the day I overslept and was late to school a few years ago. Today, however, it was one of those lessons that I'm glad I already learned. does one not notice that their alarm clock is flashing 12:00 at them? How does one go merrily off to bed and not see the changing light conditions as the glowing numbers blink on and off all night? For that matter, how does one make it to their mid-forties without somehow learning that you need to reset the alarm clock after the power goes out?

I blame the codeine. Narcotic cough syrup may make you feel all glow-y and happy and it may make sock knitting an adventure. But it's not so good for remembering to set the alarm clock the night before you have to be up right on time if you want to make it to morning bus duty before the kids are dismissed for lunch.

Thankfully, I was able to adjust the morning routine a bit to account for the delay in getting out of bed. (The battery operated alarm clock is set just a bit later than the regular one so I don't have too many alarms to silence at 5:00 in the Godforsaken morning.) I was even a bit early thanks to my not cleaning the litter box although that decision will probably come back to bite me later.

But the experience left me a bit off kilter for the entire day. The fact that I was short a staff person, experiencing sinus pain most of the morning and extreme fatigue by the afternoon didn't help. (Fatigue is symptom I tend to get with pneumonia and another thing I can check off in favor of my self-diagnosis...I don't need no stinkin' x-rays!!!) And let's not even get into the fact that today was the day we had to do two math tests as part of our state assessment process. My students are not particularly strong in math and are beginning to realize that a little bag of graham crackers and a teeny, tiny juice are not really enough of an incentive to perform calculations for two hours. We can't give them the banquet that might work as a bribe so there's nothing to be done about it, though

I may blame the codeine for my not remembering some of the stuff I've learned, but not so much that I can't forgive it. I gave it another chance tonight because I am all about second chances. I've learned that second chances sometimes work out well. I have also learned that the only way I can take antihistamines is if there is something else in the system to counteract the jitters they give me so I'd have to take it even if I wasn't feeling particularly forgiving. Further learning has suggested to me that snagging lots and lots of half-priced chocolate off the Valentine's Clearance Table is a very good thing as well.

You suddenly feel both smart and forgiving. It's a good combination

The weekend is soon upon me and I think I'm ready to practice what I've learned. The ability to apply learning in a variety of situations is called "generalization." I can now set the clocks in a variety of rooms and reward myself for doing so.

Good thing.  I think we are supposed to "spring forward" this weekend.  If I didn't have my rewards in place I don't know as I'd see the need to take care of that...

Maybe I'm not as smart as I thought I was, but I think I'm capable of getting better.  If not, I have the judgemental eye of my roommate to keep me from forgetting lessons learned.  I'm pretty sure I'll pass muster with the clocks this weekend and earn my chocolate/narcotic fix.

I'm on it.  



Knitting Linguist said...

Ah, yes, those lovely unreset clocks and the troubles they bring. Just take another sip of that lovely cough syrup and you won't care a bit... ;)

trek said...

Pennkinetic - a great word!

PS - Read the email I just sent you. Post-haste!

Beth said...

I suspected the power med, too. I guess there are always downsides.

kmkat said...

Spring forward this weekend? Thanks for the heads-up! I would have been wandering around on Sunday and MOnday all befuddled...

Jeanne said...

Frak! I didn't realize that was this weekend. Thank you for that.

Verification: house

How boring!

Kath said...

Ohmigawd I owe you big! I did NOT know that was this weekend and in my solitary little life it is entirely possible I could have gone around an hour off for quite a while before noticing, like maybe when primetime TV came on!

Damn good work for someone knocking back the happy syrup...

Mia said...

Ahhh... I was gonna mention that the weekend time change was upon us, but I was skeered to say so. Glad you have things covered :)

Karen said...

I'm not ready to spring forward. I think I'd be more ready if it was more spring like outside.
Have a great weekend.

Anne said...

Oh good - BFK has your back. Whew! I'm glad you aren't trying to deal with the clock thingys on you own with only Ms. Codeine as your co-pilot.

Cursing Mama said...

"or that your pantyhose are keeping your skirt securely hiked up around your waist in the back"

When was the last time you wore a skirt?

Julie said...

I hate springing forward. I hate it so much that I started catching up on my sleep all day Saturday (Yes, I do know the clocks hadn't yet sprung) and continued with several more naps on Sunday. I could use another one right now, but I just got out of bed and need to go to work.