Wednesday, May 30, 2012

And Who Are You Today?

Subbing and Such

Substitute teaching is one of the few jobs offering a daily identity crisis. I have been subbing a lot lately, and each time I go in to the school, my first question in the main office is, "Who am I today?"  Most certainly, I will be asked by fellow faculty members a similar question during the day, "Who are you today?" 

Obviously, I am still me, but I will answer, "Oh, I'm Mr. Jones."  People will then nod knowingly and that's the end of the discussion. Fortunately, most of the students in the school know my real name, so that makes it a bit easier, but I do have to laugh inside about the indentity "crisis."  It is kind of fun taking over different classes, especially, since as a substitute teacher, I don't really have any responsibility to grade papers or do the harder work a regular teacher handles. I do teach classes now and then, if I know enough about the subject matter. And, I try my best to help students with any assignments the teacher may have left for them to do, but subbing is a far cry from regular teaching. 

And each time I go in, I get to be somebody else! *G*

In case you haven't heard, it's been very hot here in New Jersey over the last few days.  The Boys have been spending most of the day inside the barn, away from the flies and mosquitoes.  With all the rain we've had the little bugs are breeding like crazy and horseflesh seems to be a favorite menu item.

So far the fly sheets are holding up, but I won't brag too much. It's only been a couple weeks.  I've used minimal fly spray so far, and so far, as well, the fly predators may be keeping the barn fly population down.

I just bought some Equitrol feed through fly control for the Boys and am considering one of the garlic supplements as well.  I'm not sure which one is best or whether it's wise to spend the extra money to get a name brand. 

I also looked into the new Fly Armor products. These are browbands, cheekpieces, tags for manes and tails, and leg bands with citronella inserts that claim to do a wonderful job of repelling flies and mosquitoes.  They are moderately expensive, but if they work, they would be about equal to the bottles of fly spray I use every season. 

Anyone out there try them yet?  Just wondering if they are worth the investment.

Meantime, the Boys seem fairly content to stand in the stalls with the floor fans blowing on them, offering at least a little comfort from the heat and certainly relief from the flying pests. 

The heat is supposed to ease off by the end of the week.  But heaven knows what the rest of summer will bring.


  1. gaynor and i are using citronella impregnated tags from NAF, which i think is UK only, but no doubt hte same principal. They can be plaited into the mane (which we have done) or fixed to the bridle if you are riding, and we are very pleased with them. Working particularly well on Monf as, not having cut a bridle path into the mane, i have it at the top so when he is grazing it is between his ears. perfect. so far very pleased.
    not quite so good on Charlie as he has a bridle path and Gaynor plaited it farther back this time, so the effect round the ears isn't so good. but when it was more forward, she was very pleased as Charlie then had no issued with midges in his ears, which he usually gets.

  2. I find the fly sheets to be the most effective "bug repellent". I tried a magnetic card plaited into his mane but didn't think it worked. Last year I also tried garlic (part of Smart Pak's bug supplement) and that didn't seem to work either. In reserve for this season is a fly sheet with repellent in it and I also have fly armor strip to attach to his bridle or halter to try when the bugs get really bad. I am sure you will hear about that when I use it.

  3. I haven't actually tried any of these products but I'd like to know if they do work before spending the money on them. We mostly use fly masks with ears and fly spray.

    Sounds like you have fun subbing at school, I hope you're getting to use the pool too.