Posts Tagged ‘cards’
One of the hazards from being a school photographer is that one must deal with the students.
For the most part, it’s fine — Mr. McCholo hates having his picture taken, so he’s usually pretty cooperative. Kids whose parents want to buy pictures are well-behaved, because their parents want to buy pictures. Potheads would rather be ditching class, and if they don’t get through the line soon, the yard duties will catch them, instead.
What gets me are the giddily, giggling girls. I had a whole gaggle of gigglers today, and, by the nature of gaggles of gigglers, none of them could stop moving, talking or bickering loudly at each other.
I try to get her posed, without success. She says, loudly so that her friends could hear and caustically enough that it annoys me:
I hate pictures.
Nothing plastic surgery can’t fix.
Nothing. Oh, and if you really want to go back to talk to your friends before the end of lunch, maybe you should sit still.
The combination of confusing banter and a stern warning worked. She sat still, and I could take her picture. She went on her way, to have many interesting conversations about dress codes, flavors of lip gloss and Clay Aiken.
After the rush dispersed, both the vice principal and the activities director complimented me on the banter. Even better, they had heard the bit about “plastic surgery” — they had laughed.
As I gave them my card, I smiled.
Memorial Day was my day of work. I didn’t get much work done.
However much I racked my brains, I had tried and failed to brainstorm good multiple-choice questions. However long I stared at Microsoft Word, satisfactory test items just didn’t come. Then, an idea.
Inspired by a faint memory of one of my high school teachers, I decided to let my seniors write their own test questions for this semester’s pass-the-class-in-order-to-graduate cumulative final. Having students write hypothetical questions about course content is an excellent review activity — that’s the main impetus behind a local iteration of Cornell Notes, at least.
I gave them a short primer on effective test questions — make the question a complete sentence, have all the answers about the same length, no silly answers — and a list of a few topics I’d like questions written about. I warned that only the very best questions would make the cut.
At the very least, it was an excellent way to gauge which students needed help understanding the content, and who was doing just fine. I could then intercede on their behalf and give them a little nudge in the right direction.
There was a range of questions, including fact-recall:
22. What are the names of three major Federalists?
a. Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, Thomas Jefferson.
b. Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, Patrick Henry.
c. John Jay, James Madison, George Washington.
d. James Madison, John Jay, Alexander Hamilton.
There were some questions with a little bit of higher thinking:
5. In which system of government do states have more power than a national government?
I rewrote most of the rest to make them a little bit more challenging, or edited them for style errors.
Of course, I had a few questions that certainly didn’t make the cut.
xii. What are names of the two houses of Congress?
a. Executive, judicial.
b. Legislative, Supreme Court.
c. Judicial, executive.
d. White House, Pentagon.
In case you don’t know American government, this doesn’t even include the correct answers. Considering who giggled as I read that question, it’s safe to say that this was a joke, but just to be sure, I walked that whole section of the class through the names of each house in our bicameral duplex of a legislature.
Just plain silly made an appearance, also.
vi. Why am I so sexy?
a. My style.
b. My looks.
c. My hair.
d. The way I talk.
The student who wrote this question made sure to ask me the next day what I thought of it. I hesitated a bit, and then told him, jokingly.
I’m not going to put it on the test. It had a false premise.
After two minutes with a dictionary, he laughed out loud.
Rather than buy that Zoot suit I’ve always wanted, I used my last paycheck on cheap business cards. I had figured that having a cards would play better at my job fair than being extravagantly and colorfully ostentatious.
I had decided some time ago that I wanted to get some cards, if only to ape my master teacher. The way she saw it:
When I go to conferences, there are always companies giving out free samples of textbooks. I know some teachers will come with empty bags and on the first day have them filled with textbooks and free stuff.
I don’t like lugging all that around. Instead, I’ll give those companies my business card and say, “Why, I’d love to have a copy of this book, but I don’t have the room for it. Why don’t you just ship it to this address?”
So I decided to get some business cards, and that once I got them that I would spread them around the faculty and staff at my school, interviews and job fair. I turned to Google.
Google, in turn, landed me at VistaPrint, the first site first in the search results for “free business cards.” These cards weren’t all that free — they tack on $10 shipping and handling — but I didn’t know that at first.
Designing the card was a breeze and inputting information was easy to figure out. While I was able to choose between a wide variety of templates, only one looked all that professional. I accepted it as the trade-off for getting free business cards.
Though I was given the choice, I opted for the my cards to come with an unreasonably tacky advertisement on the back. There’s an option to upgrade your cards to get rid of this it, but I decided against such a marginally pricier-than-free option; I couldn’t afford it. Of course, I might have been able to afford it — if I had a job.
I can’t stress this enough: Though this Web site and others advertise their “free business cards,” it turns out that they really mean “free except for inordinately pricey shipping and handling.”
My first set of 500 cards cost, all told, nearly $10 including all appropriate surcharges. For a small trial run of business cards like that, I decided that $10 was probably worth it.
Once you place your order and have it finalized, you have the option of participating in a number of silly, annoying promotions. You do not have to participate these promotions once you’ve paid, so ignore them and go on with your life. I did, and I still got my cards.
Within three weeks, the cards came. My first order was printed on not-too-shabby cardstock and without a misprint in sight — overall, I consider this acceptable quality for cards from the business community’s equivalent of a dollar discount store.
I imagine other Web sites work just the same way. This business model seems to work: suckering wanna-be professionals into buying what’s advertised as free.
Take these business cards for what they’re worth. Apparently, that’s $10.