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Poisson d’avril!


Poisson d'avril

Today is April Fools' Day in the US. In France they also pull pranks on people by trying to tape a paper fish to other people's backs without their knowing it. A fish in French is un poisson. When the victim has discovered the fish, the people around him yell out "Poisson d'avril!" (April Fish!) They also pull other pranks, just as Americans do, but this is a traditional French prank that's cheap and totally inoffensive.

I thought it would be fun to post some ideas of ways to prank friends or family on April Fools' Day.

You can paint a bar of soap with clear nail polish, let it dry, and then put it where someone is likely to try to use it.

Clear Nail Polish Soap

Here are several food-related pranks. You can replace the cream filling in some Oreos.

Crest Oreos

You can shoot some mustard into the end of a toothpaste tube for a little surprise when the next person gives the tube a squeeze.
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Yet More One-liner Puns


This week is our annual Bible Conference at school. Can we already be this far along in the semester?! Five more weeks of classes, exams, and it's the end of another school year!

A longtime reader sent me a list of puns earlier this week. I tried to remove ones I have already posted and added some others I've found along the way. Prepare to groan and laugh.

When deep cuts were made in the guillotine industry, heads rolled.

When fish are in schools, they sometimes take debate.

The batteries were given out free of charge.

I heard the new auto body shop that opened comes highly wreck-a-mended.

The president of the Ennui Club was also chairman of the bored.

The tarantula found his partner online. He spider on the web.

I decided not to go to Pisa, but I was leaning towards it.

Broken puppets for sale. No strings attached.

The historian loves reading about bobcats. They are lynx to the past.

Drivers who speed in the snow often find themselves adrift.

I asked a librarian if she was free this afternoon, but she said she was all booked up.

When you purchase stuff south of the border, you don't peso much.

The termite wanted to lose weight, so he started eating more lattice.

I tried reading a book about mazes, but I got lost.

If you have ever tried to eat a clock, you know it's time consuming.

The other day a clown held the door open for me. I thought it was a nice jester.
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Spring is in the air


Spring Wet Plants

If spring isn't in the air where you are, it is in our garage. I'll explain in a post that's not typical for this blog. If you persist to the end of the post, you'll be rewarded with some of my usual humor, though it is also sprinkled throughout. :-)

For many years I have started seedlings in our garage on a shelf in a window that faces south. Last gardening season I ran across a tool I had heard of, but had never seen. It's called Secrets du potager — Paper Pot Maker, by Esschert Design USA. Here's the picture from amazon.com

Paper Pot Maker

Every year, in true pack rat fashion, I have saved the little plastic pots in which I have bought seedlings for our garden. My usual spring routine is to get out some in the best condition and soak them in bleach water to kill any pathogens that might infect the young seedlings. After allowing them to dry, I fill them with potting soil and plant the seeds in them. Once the seedlings are planted out in the garden later in the spring, I toss the plastic pots in a tub and store them till the next year's planting.

I liked the idea of the paper pots. No more bleach water ritual. It would put to use some of the newspaper that has piled up in our garage. And the paper pots would also make planting easier and less disruptive to the tender roots of the seedlings. In the past some of my seedlings have been rather small and have gotten a bit battered in the planting process. With the paper pots you just put the whole thing into the hole, and the paper will rot in the ground and even provide at least a tiny bit of organic material. (EDITORIAL COMMENT: In regards to that, see the comments to this post — some info I didn't know when I wrote this post.)

Here's a picture of the supplies I used to make our paper pots. In the upper left you can see the first 4 pots I made this year.
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Why Women Live Longer than Men, Take 6


Last month on this date I published Why Women Live Longer than Men, Take 5. That post has links to the four earlier posts with similar pictures, so I won't put them in this post.

Anyway, I hope you will be amazed and amused at the innovativeness of some of the men on planet earth.

We men love to work with various forms of heavy equipment, like this brush chipper.

Brush Chipper

And we know that when working with sparks and welding, we need to be careful, as seen in the next two pictures.

Sparks Flying
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Changing Times in Teaching


This is my 42nd year of teaching, which means I started sometime back in the last century (also back in the last millennium)! I have seen many changes during those years — changes in methodologies, changes in technology, and changes in students. I hasten to add that I have changed a lot as a teacher.

I have tried to adapt and readjust to the times and to my students' needs and interests. Attending conferences related to language teaching has been helpful along the way. In early November I attended the annual conference of the South Carolina chapter of the AATF in Columbia, SC, affiliated with the national AATF. The SC AATF conferences are generally more helpful since everything is related to the teaching of French.

Many years I attend the SCFLTA conference in February. This year's conference was especially good for several reasons. First of all the emphasis was on the use of technology that our students use routinely. We learned some ways to make use of it to draw our students into the material, using all sorts of innovative means. There was one workshop that pointed us to free materials that others have developed and made available. Why not use these freebies?! Who knew you can find all sorts of great things for French class on Pinterest?!

Another reason that SCFLTA conference was special was the awarding of the Lifetime Achievement Award to my colleague Dr. Bruce Byers.

Here's a picture of him receiving his award.
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