Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Time Time Time

I have a confession. I regularly struggle with my time. I look at my “to do” list and freak out. I’m guessing I’m not alone.

Finding time to blog is rough and takes determination.

Lately, despite my conviction that blogging is a terrific and necessary tool to put my thoughts down, I've discovered that in the real world daily grind, blogging often ends up way at the bottom of the priority list. I realized it's less an issue of having the time and more an issue of prioritizing my time. I'm having a hard time with this, so this Saturday I'm going to make the time. I have also realized that I'm exhausted.

If you don’t remember, I’m a special education teacher. After what seemed to be a long school year, I couldn’t afford to take any time off and I waited tabled all summer. The school year began again without me taking a break and I think that I’m going to fall on my face. Two weeks into the school year I was transferred to another school. Starting over with new student that I don’t know and that don’t know me is not so hard but it is when I was put into a classroom with another teacher to team teach. After two weeks the students have come to know me and things have been good. I still have two holdouts but I have let them know that they can either come around or I’ll have to exercise my options. This new assignment has made me re-evaluate why I became a teacher.

Why I Teach

Our modern world has created many areas where one can enter and have an impact on the society in which we live. You can pursue fame, fortune, or just the piece of mind that comes from knowing that you have made an important contribution to society.

Teaching is one area where your impact can have the most far-reaching effect. A teacher is in a position to inspire students to be all that they can be. I can envision myself as a teacher with the power to unlock the hidden potential of any and all students. I personally believe that all students can be turned on to learn and succeed if the teacher is determined and persistent in his or her efforts to find that one spark that all students need to ignite their genuine thirst for knowledge.

I am not naive enough to think that the task of a teacher is easy or that every case will result in immediate success. I do know that the opportunity to find and develop the desire for learning will pay off by making better students and ultimately a better society. A teacher can have this kind of effect by taking advantage of the opportunity with some while attempting to inspire all.
Yes, I became a teacher, not for the great pay, or for the praise of my students, but for the opportunity to do something that would enable others the opportunity to as the army says, "be all that they can be." For I strongly believe in the slogan of the United Negro College Fund; "A mind is a terrible thing to waste."

Finding Time to Knit

With everything that I have going on at the moment, I still have to find time to knit. The last project that I completed with the Center Square hat found in Knitty. I still have that Branching Out Scarf, Central Park Hoodie, and a Baby sweater on the needles (I have a lot of needles).
I have a younger cousin that is having a baby. Now, she is not my favorite cousin but I’m using the opportunity to knit. I decided to knit the baby a sweater, hat, and blanket. Now, at the speed that I have been knitting lately, the baby may be a two years old before I send it.

I like to learn a new technique or stitch whenever I start a new project. In this project I learned to do corrugated ribbing. After a few twists and turns I finally got the hang of it. I think that it is cool.
The pattern is from Silver Creek Classics pattern number C-461. I got the pattern for my LYS.
Now I have to stop blogging and start knitting.

Saturday, August 18, 2007


I’ve begun another knitting milestone; I’ve started my first adult garment. Now, I’ve made lots of items (hats, scarves, and shrugs) the friends and family wear but this is my first real garment. The garment is the Central Park Hoodie.

The pattern comes from the Fall 2006 Knitscene magazine. My yarn is Plymouth Tweed 100% virgin lambs wool. The yarn is two ply and splits quit a bit so I’ve had to watch my stitches closely. I’ve only completed the back so far. I was so excited when I got the shaping of the armholes and shoulders. *doing a little dance* I DID IT.

The sweater is a Christmas gift for my daughter.

I completed the
Center Square hat. It’s not my favorite but I’ll still make a scarf to go with it and give it out as a gift.
The Branching Out scarf is coming along.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Restaurant Staff Pet Peeves about Customers

Before I began teaching I went to college and completed a BS in Food Service Management. I worked in that field for a few years and decided to leave when I realized that I had not seen my daughter in a week (unless she was sleep). I left management and began waiting tables. I was able to spend time with my daughter and make a decent living. I went back to school and received my teaching degree and recently completed my masters. I have been a restaurant server off and on for years. I’m working at one now to pay for that masters (they don’t give them for free). I work at a restaurant that is family oriented; the servers wear white shirts, ties, and black pants. This is a place that has linens on the tables and linen napkins. The wine and food can range from reasonable prices (8.99) to the expensive (25.99). There is a price for everyone and a kid menu. Most of my nights are good and run smoothly. However, this has been the week from hell. I have waited on every server’s nightmare this week. Last night I thought I was going to scream. I would not have made it if I had not visualized my two days off starting the next day. Here are a few of my and other server’s pet peeves about customers. Please don’t be offended if you recognize yourself in any of the pet peeves. And if you should happen to feel insulted because you recognize yourself, well, let this be your wake-up call. It's high time to begin acting like ladies and gentlemen.

Cell Phones
Cell phones, cell phones, cell phones! Contrary to popular belief, there is no such thing as 'normal conversation levels' while using a cell phone in a nice restaurant. Respect other diners, and please take your cell phone conversations outside.

If you are on the phone, I will not greet you or wait on you until you are off the phone. And do not act miffed if you had to wait for me because you were on the phone.

Any quality piece of meat or fish ordered 'well done. Hamburgers are fine well done; sushi-grade tuna or prime beef is not. Also, 'a little bit of pink' is not medium-rare.

If the cooks are going to have to reinvent the wheel just to make your meal, order something else, or do not be mad when it takes longer to get your food. And, if your foods can't touch each other on the plate, stay home until you can be grown-up enough to be served like an adult.

Hands down, biggest pet peeve ever: customers who sit at a table for two hours and don't tip adequately. Customers should realize that each table is only as valuable as the amount of time a server turns it over. That is two hours that I can’t make money with that table. A customer should never feel rushed; however, they should be considerate.

You are expecting a big party to arrive at your section on a busy night. The three tables you set up are taking up all of your section since they placed a reservation for 10 people. They arrive 20 minutes late and, instead of 10, only 6 people show up, and it’s too late to change the table setting because they’re “waiting for the rest of the party to show up,” which they never do, [thus] taking up the extra table you could have used for somebody else.

Separate Checks
You have a large party and they tell you at the end of the meal that they want separate checks. I have to go back and try to remember what couple or family had what. They usually say, 'I did not order this,' 'We only ordered two instead of five,' or 'We never got this,' after they ate it all. Meanwhile, your restaurant is in a 50-minute wait, and they're at the table after three hours, still talking. ... By the time they leave, the wait is over and your section is closed, and you only made $30 when everybody else made over $200. Also it takes time to make 5 or more (up to 22 to date) separate checks.


Don't talk down to me. Do not assume that all wait staff are morons who cannot get a job elsewhere. I guarantee most of us have more college than most of our customers. Also, some could be waiting tables as extra income. My waiting tables is enabling me to continue my education.

Customers, who shake their glass, whistle or snap to get their server's attention, it is rude. A simple nod or casual wave will do the trick.

Here is a Tip
Tip appropriately. Industry standard is 18 to 20 percent. If you ran the legs off your server, tip accordingly. If your bill is $100, tip $18 to $20, or more if your server went above and beyond. I do not cook the food, and I do not control how much it costs. I serve the food. Tip on the service. Example. A friend last night has a table with a $163.82 bill and left the customers $12.00 after she also had to separate their checks.

People who earn $50,000 or more a year may have no qualms about stiffing someone making $2.65 an hour plus tips, sometimes just because a third refill of iced tea didn't arrive for one diner at a table for 12.

Sweetener packages, napkins, lemon slices, etc., left on the floor. Would you throw these items on your floor at home? Have some couth and at least put them on top of the table.
Parents that let their little darlings play with the sugar packets and have the nerve to get angry with me when I pick them up and remove them. The sugar packets are not there to keep your child from screaming. Remember that the sugar is a consumable item. Have you ever picked up sugar packets that don’t look new? Now you know why.

Other Peoples Children
Please, please, please do not let your children run through the restaurant unless the sign outside says Chuck E. Cheese's. If your baby is crying loud enough to cause a scene, take the little darling outside so everyone around can continue to enjoy their dinner.

Parents who take the whole soccer team out and spend the night at one end of the table, drinking wine, while their children run wild – leaving the servers with no choice but to ask them to stay seated and stop blowing spit wads. Then the parents get offended. Please! Servers are not sitters.

Moms who would let their little darlings run amok in the restaurant while servers try to dodge them so they don't drop the trays of food they're carrying, and the other diners try to tune out little your little sweetie's singing-and- dancing routine. One night a child was knocked to the floor because the server (carrying a large tray and a tray holder) didn’t see the child. The parent was angry at the server and complained to the manager.

In short, way too many people think the fact that they're paying for a meal entitles them to act like jerks when they enter a restaurant.

It is the golden rule, a timeless piece of wisdom espoused by every major religion. This one, simple directive, if followed by all mankind, would lead not only to more pleasant dining experiences for everyone, but to world peace. Treat other people the way you would like to be treated. Do unto others, etc. Yes, even unto restaurant servers who forget your iced-tea refill.

Remember, civilized behavior never goes out of style.
Boorishness, unfortunately, goes out all too often. Why can't it just stay home?

Now the Knitting

Today I hope and pray that I can complete my Center Square hat from Knitty. I'm want to send it in to the calender contest. The yarn is Cascade Indulgence.

Friday, July 20, 2007

My Introduction to Lace Knitting

I am fairly new to lace knitting. In fact my first successful lace project was a shrug that I made for my daughter to wear at her wedding reception. The pattern that was designed by my LYS owner was designed to be a stole but with a bit of seaming it became a shrug. The shrug consists of columns of lace made by combining decreases and yarn overs and columns of stitches knitted out of order to make cables. The lace and cable groupings alternated in easy to learn repeats. The columns of lace stitches, known historically as “faggotting,” are a two row repeat. The cable twists are six row repeats. The six stitch wide cables at the edges created scallops (when I seamed, it could only be seen on the inside). Once I seamed the piece, I added petite open points (from Nicky Epstein’s “Knitting on the Edge”) along the wrist of the shrug so that it wouldn’t be so plain. This project provided me with the perfect opportunity to learn to “read” the pattern.

The yarn is String of Pearls by Muench Yarns.

I’m currently working on my second lace piece. I decided to join a KAL on knittinghelp.com. The July challenge was to knit a lace project. After a lot of searching and going back and forth, I decided to make the “Branching Out” scarf from Knitty.com. I haven’t gotten far but it’s coming along. I don’t think that I’ll be done with it by the end of July.

The yarn is Misty Alpaca

I am further along with this project then what is in the picture.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Welcome to my blog

Yes, yet another blog entering the web world. What the heck, why shouldn't I have my own voice and space on the web?

Anyways, I don't promise to post everyday, but hopefully somewhat.

Anyhoo, welcome to my blog! Having one makes me feel like I'm one of the "cool kids". I have a blog! Why am I doing a blog? I asked myself that one, because with everything else I'm involved in right now, teaching special ed, waiting tables (part-time), and continually taking classes online, and such, it is near ridiculous for me to be blogging. But I also said to myself, why not? A blog felt like a natural progression for me, a place for me to RELEASE and vent and share my love of knitting, sewing, what's going on with the world, and whatever else I want to share about.

So before we go another further, I'd just like you to remember a few things if you read my blog:

  1. This is my blog, my opinion, I'll write what I want to.

  2. Just as I am entitled to my opinion, you are certainly entitled to yours, so you are welcome to comment on anything I write about, just note: severe comment drama will be deleted. (see #1)