3 Brilliant New Ways to Text in Class

Are you tired of the challenges that go along with texting in class? Are you tired of experiencing back-pains from leaning down and reaching in your bag, pretending to grab a pencil for four minutes, thinking no one can tell that you are texting? If you are done with all that hassle, then try “Ted’s New Ways to Text in Class!”

1. “Just Grabbing Some Soup”

They’re innocent, they’re hot, and nobody would every suspect them. Yes, they are the awesome insulated Thermos Cups. And nothing goes better with those cups than some Alphabet Soup. So you are in class, and your teacher sees you reaching into a steamy cup of soup. When she asks what you are doing, you simply say that you are searching for a letter ‘W’ in your alphabet soup. But secretly, your phone is inside the cup, hidden by the cover of soup. Unfortunately, there are some side-effects.* Don’t let that stop you! Ted’s “Just Grabbing Some Soup” method is a genius choice.

*Approximately 100% percent of users experience burns on the hand, and 98% of the users’ cell phones experience fatal injuries.

2. “Time To Play Some Darts”

What does everyone have at school? What could you carry around and go completely unnoticed? In fact, there is one amazing answer for both amazing questions: darts! While darts make a fun game and effective weapons, let’s not underestimate their potential uses. Instead of texting in class behind the cover of a textbook, let darts do the work. First, slide your cell phone on the ground to a strategic location outside the door. Then, throw your darts precisely through the crack of the door onto your cell phone keyboard. With your phenomenal dart-throwing abilities, I’m sure you will type an accurate text. Be careful though! In the past, some users have been charged for first degree murder, but don’t let that stop you! Ted’s “Time To Play Some Darts” method is a genius choice.

3. “New Chewing Gum”

It tastes good, it comes in packs, and high schoolers love chewing on it very obnoxiously. It’s gum! But aren’t we all tired of 5 and Trident and all those other brands. Why don’t we instead chew on our cell phones? Yes, I said it! It is a simple process. All you have to do is chew with your mouth wide open, and make loud noises that all the class can hear. Then, you’ll blend right in. But wait, there’s more! When you are obnoxiously chewing on you cell phone, carefully use your teeth and tongue to text your buddies. While this texting method has lead to multiple choking deaths, it has also lead to the discovery that the human body can digest a Blackberry Pearl. Therefore, Ted’s “My New Chewing Gum” method is a genius choice.

Future Career Options

Do you have your dream job? What’s that you said-is the sky green? No of course not-oh, I get it.

See, now that I’m in high school, I, along with many other teens, am supposed to start figuring out what interests me.  The only problem is that I have no idea.  But that, of course, is the reason there are these things called ‘career surveys’.  Apparently, you take a ‘career survey’ and it tells you what to do with your life.  There are even rumors that you can take ‘Personality Surveys’, ‘Leadership Surveys’, and ‘What-Color-is-the-Sky Surveys’ (which the imaginary being that I was talking to at the beginning of the post should definitely take).

A sample question (with my thought process) is something along the lines of:Computer SurveyTeen ExpressionNervous TeenWorried Teen

My thought process goes: How should I know?  What kind of people?  People-people, or just normal people?  I have to be famous-will this make me famous?  Can I work with famous people? Are there good dental plans? Can I work with dogs instead?  If I lie, how much bad karma will I receive?  WHAT SHOULD I CHOOSE?

I recently took one of these surveys (I consider myself someone who embraces new technology.  In fact, that’s the reason I doubt the results, because one question I was asked was: Do you know how to use a floppy disk?  Regardless, I must be getting old for a freshman, because the answer was yes).

By the way, if you didn’t already know, I like to write (either that or I am being forced to do so by an evil overlord who is using me to melt your brains.  Even if that’s true, though, I won’t tell you.  I will tell you, though, that overlord guy probably doesn’t enjoy working with people, and he is a sworn archenemy of floppy disks).  So, naturally, I looked for the results in the writing section.  There was one.

Apparently, my survey so baffled the survey-thing that, in my results, I learned I would be a good technical writer.  What’s that, you ask? Only someone who would: write technical materials, such as equipment manuals, appendices, or operating and maintenance instructions, and may assist in layout work.  I could come up with any number of jokes, but I think it’s best if I give you a scenario focused on take your child to work day:

Kid: Daddy, who’s that?

Me: Oh, just some high-ranking engineer.

Kid: What does he do?

Me: He creates new products for us to sell.

Kid: What is it you do again, daddy?

Me: I write the instructions for those products.  Think of it this way: if that guy wrote Sesame Street, I’d be the guy whose hand controls one of the minor characters.

Kid: So you’re really important?

Me: Yeah.  Without me, no one would know that a battery-powered laptop actually needs to be plugged in once in a while.

Kid: Do your instructions have pictures?

Me: Yes, but I don’t get to do those.

Kid: So you write the words in the big books that come with new things?

Me: Pretty much, yeah.  I write the instruction manuals for the products of this company.

Kid: Are those the same books Mommy uses to start fires in the winter?

Me: Well, uh-yes.

Now, I’d expect this to be a blow to any writer’s ego, but for me, the consequences are greater.  The type of person who actually reads all of those manuals wouldn’t know when I was being sarcastic, and this would probably lead to numerous lawsuits (if you, dear reader, do actually read those manuals, it turns out that this only applies to people with no sense of humor.  You read this blog, so I hope you have a sense of humor).  Imagine reading this:

Next, you push the two previously installed dowels into the drawer opening until pigs fly.  Then, take the assembled mess of what you hope will turn into a desk and drop it out a second-story window.  (I would also need the bribe the illustration guy to go along with my descriptions.  Surprisingly, technical illustrators aren’t all that good at drawing farm animals).Pigs FlyTechnical Diagram

I don’t think this is a viable career option for me, so this leads me back to my dilemma-what do I want to be when I grow up?  I’d love to do this blog for the rest of my life, but unless you tell everybody you know about this blog, and they tell everybody they know, who then tell everybody they know, who then tell any remaining humans who don’t already visit this blog a gazillion times a day, it looks like I’ll have to figure this out eventually (in the age of technology, it only takes 4 cycles of ‘everybody’ to reach the world’s population).

I guess I could always fall back on the one result of the survey that involves only “some preparation”, but I’d imagine any lyrics I’d write as a singer would only make sense to myself and technical writers (who, surprisingly, don’t attend many pop-culture concerts).

Readers: This is the first illustrated post of this blog.  I’d love to know your thoughts on the illustrations (were they funny, did they add or detract from the post, would you like or dislike to see more illustrated posts, am I the next Picasso, etc.) in the comments, so please feel free to share your opinion.

Parent Initials: the Failed Attempt at Stopping ‘Rebs’

If you have a kid, then I’m sure you’ve gotten good at signing your initials.  The teachers want them on everything: grade checks, reading time log, class syllabi, the individual crackers of snack, and your forehead, to name a few.  Here’s a business idea that sounds cool and original but is one that I am sure is already taken: a customized stamp that stamps your initials.

The DMV has also jumped onto the ‘initials bandwagon’ (or ‘initials four-wheel crossover, roomy yet compact, electric energy wagon that gives birth to young sparrows when driven’, to be politically correct).  They require parents to initial their teens’ driving logs, so that the teens will truthfully record their hours (although you would think that someone would notice if you managed to drive 25 hours in a day).

Here’s a conversation (that was edited for the view of all audiences) I had with somebody who will be referred to only as “Other” to protect him from angry DMV secretaries, the guy who runs the coffee shop down the street, and the overall population of Egypt.

Me (to a different person than Other, known in this script for the reason stated above as Another): Dude, how do you have time to drive that much?

Another: I don’t know, why?

Me: I barely have time to drive at all.  I don’t know how I’ll ever get my 50 hours of required time in.

Another: Too bad.

Other (butting in): You know, you don’t have to get 50 hours, you know.

Me: Yah, actually, you need that many.

Other: Yeah, but you can just write them down.

Me: But then my parents won’t sign it.

Other: Oh, that’s too bad.  My parents will.

Me: Yeah, I know, right?

Seems pretty normal, right?  What if I re-wrote the last few lines:

Me: Yah, actually, you need that many.

Other: Yeah, but you could just lie and write them down.

Me: But then my parents won’t sign it, and I haven’t taken AP Forgery yet.

Other: Oh, that’s too bad.  My parents even signed the Declaration of Independence, and they didn’t write it.  Isn’t that a riot?

Me: Yeah, I know, right? Isn’t it awful how I have law-abiding parents?

While some of that may not have occurred to me at the time of the conversation, the point I am trying to make is that it is hip’ for teenagers to become ‘rebs’ (the shortened version of ‘rebels’, which was a shortened version of rebellious; next up is ‘re’).  In the future, it appears that politicians will have to pass laws banning citizens from following the law.  This way, it will be ‘hip’ to ignore that law and obey the rest of the laws (at least for those whose heads don’t explode after pondering that paradox).  If you don’t know what paradox I’m talking about, don’t worry; your head is in no danger of combustion.

Attack of the Metaphors

I’ll bet you find lots of things that confuse you.  I find plenty.  For instance, I never did understand why this blog still has under a million hits, because its already been on the web for more than three hours.  I guess I’m just out-of-touch with America these days.

Remember that poetry unit? I decided that poetry is summed up perfectly by this: If something is difficult to understand, it is a metaphor.  So, if the poet was writing about the ocean and then talked about a horse, you know there is a metaphor about.  My inability to connect to my future million-person reader-base is actually a metaphor showing either that ‘when times change, get a new watch’ or ‘just be yourself’.

This is helpful for daily life as well.  Don’t understand why the sky is blue? It’s a metaphor.  Why’s the airplane flight always late? It’s just a metaphor.

Here’s a situation where it could be helpful:

Teacher: After that, you take the cube-root of x to the 1/3 and add i.

You (possible response 1): What? [Brain climbs out of head and hops across desks to the window.]

OR

You (possible response 2): Oh, I get it.  X is a metaphor for the struggle between light and dark in regards to the morals of i.

Which would you choose?  Personally, I think it would be cool to see what your brain looks like.

Honestly, though, there must be somewhere to draw the line (which is, ironically, a metaphoric line).  Everything can’t be metaphoric; something must be taken at face value.  The real truth, though, seems to be the fact that there isn’t a defined line.

I know people who find metaphors everywhere, and others who refuse to believe in metaphors.  I think the place to draw the line depends on comprehension level.  I can understand how a caged bird can be a metaphor.  I don’t understand how the Cheerios I had for breakfast this morning were, so that’s where I draw the line.

Actually, that’s probably because, in the morning, I resemble one of those Cheerios that isn’t quite very soggy yet but is just soggy enough not to yield a satisfying crunch.  There: I just managed to explain my level of awareness in the morning by comparing it to the crunchiness of a Cheerio; the crunch level is a metaphor for awareness.

I’m starting to freak myself out now (metaphors are EVERYWHERE!) so I am going to stop before I discover that my left leg doesn’t actually exist, but rather that it is a metaphor for the support I receive in life from compassionate peopl-my leg is gone!-never mind, too late.