“…a little bit of this, a little bit of that”

the ramblings and musings of an elementary music teacher and aunt extraordinaire

A little more on proofreading October 20, 2007

After my previous post, a friend emailed me a link to this video. I thought it was really too funny not to share. I should probably also warn you ahead of time that this video is not rated G. (I’m no expert, but I would guess it’s probably PG-13ish.) So, enjoy it, but be aware…

P.S. Please do not take this post or my last one as my attempt to prove any kind of “grammar or spelling superiority.” I depend on the spell-checker sometimes. I also miss mistakes in my own writing after I proofread. I simply believe that no computer-based program is smart enough to catch all mistakes by itself.


Spell Checker doesn’t catch everything October 15, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — marlise @ 8:04 pm

Alright, I know that title is not earth-shattering news to any of you…..

I’m sure most of you have been there. You know…. you type something, and in re-reading it you realize that you typed “from” instead of “form.” Your spell-checker realizes you’ve typed a valid word, but it has no idea that your sentence makes absolutely no sense.

I have after-school supervision duty this afternoon, and as I was waiting for the students to be picked up, one student was telling me (read: griping) about the number of steps his teacher is making him do for his essay assignment. The steps include creating a rough draft, editing, and revising. (He may have mentioned more, but I had to stop kindergarten students from running out in front of traffic at least three times during the conversation, so I lost track.)

He explained how he thought it was all a waste of time. He could, he reasoned, just type it directly into the computer and skip all the steps between the rough draft and the final draft. In vain, I tried to explain that the computer does not catch all the mistakes. He quite simply wasn’t buying it. I felt defeated, but it is a Monday, and Mondays generally come with that defeated feeling.

Then, I ran across this article. Please go read it (at least the first paragraph.) Not only is it a piece of good news for once (which is why I was reading it,) but it also proves my point. Where did the boy scout find safety?….What exactly is a sleeping back?

OK, I know, I’m preaching to the choir, but I had to use my blog for a little Monday afternoon therapy. Spell-checker is a wonderful tool, but it can’t make up for simple human editing.

Thanks for listening. I really do feel better now.


My New Camera!!! October 9, 2007

Filed under: family — marlise @ 1:14 pm

I enjoy photography. I really do enjoy the whole process. I’ve enjoyed snapping pictures since I got my first camera in elementary school. (That first camera, by the way, used disc film–remember that stuff?) My love of photography increased as I learned the basics of black and white film development for my yearbook class in high school. Then, in college, I took a couple of photography classes, learned how to really do well with all the manual ins and outs of the camera, and even won first place and a small cash prize in the photography category of a college art show.

I am also somewhat of a purist. My major instrument is the piano, so very few electronic keyboards or pianos are acceptable for me (although I love the Yamaha Clavinova that I have in my school classroom.) And until now, that has also been true of my feelings about cameras. I like the feel of a real camera, the click of a shutter, the view through an SLR viewfinder, the smell of development chemicals, and the thrill of seeing the image appear on photo paper. I’ve played with some other digital cameras, and I really never expected to like one.

I have a confession to make, though. I am in love with my new digital camera. I love that it feels like a real camera. I love that I can zoom, add a real flash, change shutter speed, and manipulate all the things I like to manipulate. Most importantly, I love the instant gratification. I love being able to immediately see how the picture turned out. I love that if it isn’t good, I can delete it and try again before everyone leaves. And, I love that it is now so easy for me to post pictures of some of my adorable nieces and nephews like this:

My brother’s kids

My older sister’s kids

And a combo shot


Lice, chickenpox, and anniversaries October 8, 2007

Filed under: moving back to my small hometown — marlise @ 2:08 pm

I’ve been slacking (again) on my blogging, as I’m sure my loyal reader has figured out.

I apologize to the one or two of you who have actually noticed the lapse. Life has been crazy the last couple of weeks. My sister’s kids contracted head lice, which didn’t really have any personal bearing on my life, except that it made me really paranoid. Chickenpox has been flying around at school. The innoculation is required of all the students starting school, and it has been required for a few years. The older students, though, started school before these requirements were in effect. So, our upper grades have seen several cases. Since Friday was grandparents day, meaning a large music program, the chickenpox-infected students had me scrambling to cover parts last week.

This weekend, our school had several celebrations for its 50th anniversary. Our church also had celebrations for its 30th anniversary. I’m feeling like I could use another weekend just to recover from this weekend. The problem with leaving the small town in which you grew up and returning to the school and church you attended as a child the year before they both celebrate significant anniversaries is that they both expect you to share your perspective at their celebrations. They asked me several times to share something at the school’s Friday night banquet. I declined the invitation. When I left the banquet (which took 4 hours, by the way), I was very glad I had not agreed to share. I only wish I had made the same decision about the church anniversary. For that one, they videotaped our testimonies. My clip was shown in a short blurb in church, and in a longer video that included pictures of me with a series of bad haircuts, perms, and braces. The long blurb is (thankfully) not publicly available. The short one is on the church website, here if your interested. It would have been OK, but the pastor really liked what I had to say, so he referenced it in both services on Sunday morning. When will I learn to keep my big mouth shut?