Monday, July 20, 2009

I smell smoke!

I'm not a teacher, but I'm guessing that they prefer a class full of honor students versus the alternative, but sometimes those smart kids use their big brains for evil instead of good.

When I was a senior in high school I took a Calculus class. The students in that class consisted entirely of the top 20-30 in that grade. The teacher was a very nice woman, although she had a tendency to go off on tangents. She had a clock sitting on her desk, and she once mentioned that the alarm on it sounded very similar to the fire alarm our school used.

A few months later we had a substitute teacher. Before the class started (and before the teacher was in the room), someone came up with the idea to set the alarm to go off during class. (I would credit the person who came up with the idea if I could remember who it was. No, it wasn't me.) When the alarm went off, the substitute asked what it was, and we innocently replied that we thought it was a fire drill. And one of the students, who had a very prominent nose, started sniffing the air and shouted, "I smell smoke!"

The substitute wasn't sure of the fire alarm process, so she told us to do what we normally do. We hadn't really thought that far ahead, so we just went outside. While we were heading out the teacher in the room next to ours told our teacher that there hadn't really been a fire drill, so those of us who had made it out of the room were sent to the office.

We didn't do anything too terrible, so we weren't going to get in a lot of trouble. But it was even less of a problem since both the principal and assistant principal were out of the office that day. The only two staff members working at that time were the secretaries, my mom and Mrs. Biddy, who also had a son in that class. When they were told what had happened, they both just rolled their eyes and sent us all back to class.

Of course, there were other consequences. When our regular teacher returned the next day she gave us a 1 question pop quiz. You either made a 100 or a 0. But I think most of us in the class thought it was worth it.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Let me help you fix that Bible

As you might have noticed, I'm a bit anal retentive. (That's like saying a woman is a bit pregnant.) And obsessive compulsive. And a nerd. I'm fortunate that the work I do (testing software) is made for people like me, but it also means that I like to fix everyone and everything. Even the Bible.

I have a study Bible, also jokingly known as a cheater's Bible, and I gave myself a goal of reading the entire Bible since it's something I've never done before. I started with the New Testament (because it's shorter). When I finish I plan to go back to the Old Testament for more of the historical information.

One of the things I like about the study Bible is the section before each book that describes who the author was, who it was written to or for, and the major themes of that book. Last week I was reading 1 Peter when I see a small typo ... nothing major, and it didn't hinder the meaning of the passage in any way.

But, I couldn't let it go, so I e-mailed the publisher Zondervan this following tidbit:

On the Megathemes section of 1 Peter (pg. 2100), in the Importance portion of the Salvation theme the last sentence spells "should" as "shuld".

I included that I was pretty sure that it had already been corrected for future printings, and I expressed my gratitude for a wonderful Bible.

But now I can rest easy knowing that this version will be fixed for future readers. You're welcome!

EPILOGUE: I got a reply from Carrie Colter in Customer Care (a nice bit of alliteration) saying that the information had been passed on to the Bible department for advisement. In other words, "Thanks, nerd boy. Go have that OCD looked at." :)