Wednesday, October 12, 2011

um ... what?

Dear sister,

You know I'm no good at math. I even make my students double-check their grades on tests and essays, to make sure I haven't accidentally mis-added their points and given them the wrong grade. Sometimes I even write tests that don't add up to 100 points. And it takes me about 40 minutes to balance my checkbook - which is bad if you consider I've got an excel doc that supposedly does all the calculating for me.

But here's my thoughts on your formula, regardless.

First, I think you need some kind of factor to take into account the decreased efficacy of coffee relative to the increased number of cups consumed.

Second, you might need to take into account the increased efficacy of coffee relative to the decreased amount of sleep. I mean, I know that the longer I haven't slept, the more one cup of coffee here and there does wonders.

Third, what about additives? The more milk I put in coffee, the more I can drink (the thicker the lining of my stomach, thus the more acids I can feed it).

And what about coffee taken in conjunction with food? Does that increase or decrease the efficacy?

So, I guess all my factors relate to efficacy of coffee. But you know, having worked many, many years on and off in bakeries, I can attest to the fact that not all coffee cups are created equal. No matter what the government may say.

your I'm-sitting-at-HDC-because-I-don't-have-internet-at-home-and-this-probably-could-have-been-a-longer-post-but-I-want-to-go-home-and-go-to-sleep-and-thus-decrease-the-number-of-cups-of-coffee-I-drink-tomorrow sister

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


Dear Sister,

I've been thinking...

Adults need 7-9 hours of sleep a night, so lets go with 8 as an average.

Most adults drink a cup of coffee in the morning, right? (Limit the subject pool to those who do because people who don't need coffee are freaks and ought to be weeded out of society, or at the very least my group of friends.)

So it's basically 8 hours of sleep and 1 cup of coffee, on a normal day.

8hours:1cup. It follows that 1hour:8cups.

Let x= 8-actual amount of sleep, or the lack of sleep based on an 8 hour sleep requirement.

Then, c=(1+x)(t-1) where c is coffee intake, t is time, and x is the lack of sleep.

If you slept for 7 hours:

the second day it would be c=(2)(1)= 2 cups, because lets be honest, two days of 7 hours would be GLORIOUS.
the third day it would be c=(2)(2)=4 cups.

Originally I had (t-1) as an exponent, but even Koshka the caffeine addict says 16 cups of coffee in one day is unreasonable. There are some other kinks to be worked out. It probably should also be the total amount of coffee you should have, in cups, over the time period, t, but that only works for t>2.

In short, it is totally acceptable for me to have 4 cups of coffee today.

your someone-give-me-a-caffiene-IV-drip-please sister

Saturday, October 1, 2011

query: does this crack us both up?

Dear sister,

I overheard the following conversation yesterday, when we were on a field trip to Goodwill Park. (Don't get me started on the merits-v-losses of a day-long field trip to play tag football and eat hamburgers instead of spending more productive time in the classroom and yes I know it's team building but the idea that that can only be done outside of the classroom is one with which I vehemently disagree and while I do find it enormously helpful for us teachers to see our students outside of the usual context from time to time because yes it does help us remember they are full human beings and not just "struggling readers" or "strong writers" nevertheless my predominant problem with this kind of thing can best be summed up by one of my fellow team teachers saying to me at the end of the day, "hey, this is way better than a day spent teaching" ... oh. Wait. Sorry. Um ... hand me a chair.)

Anyway, I overheard this conversation, and I found it hilarious but had trouble conveying why I thought it was so funny to my fellow teachers. So I thought I should check with you and see what you thought. Because generally, you know, we crack us up.

8th grade girl: Oooh, look, I found a grasshopper! He's my new friend.
8th grade boy: Cool.
girl: What should I name you, little grasshopper?
boy: Barry.
girl: (stares at him in disbelief) Barry is the name of my dead grandfather.
boy: Um, I didn't say Barry. Gary. I said Gary.
girl: Oh, ok! Hello, little Gary ...

I mean ... right? The number of things that is funny about that just overwhelms me.

Also, yesterday we played duck-duck-goose with the 8th graders, but when it was our newly-arrived-doesn't-speak-English-yet student's turn, we played duck ... duck ... duck ... SHOES!

I almost fell over laughing.

Much love,
your I-made-every-class-take-a-unit-test-first-period-before-they-could-go-on-the-field-trip-because-I'm-a-mean-teacher-who-refuses-to-lose-an-entire-day-to-duck-duck-goose-and-hot-dogs sister