Bribing the children

I’m introducing a new reward system for good behavior and class participation. I printed up about a kajillion little slips that say “REWARD TICKET — for doing a great job in Ms. Priddy’s class,” and I hand them out randomly to students who are on-task, participating well, going out of their way to be helpful, etc. The kids write their names on the back, and the tickets go in a plastic bowl I picked up at the dollar store. At the end of the month, I’ll draw one name, and that student will receive a fabulous prize.

I explained to the kids that by “fabulous,” I meant “completely ridiculous” and assured them that the prize in question would be some one-of-a-kind, handmade monstrosity I’d come up with on a whim.

Sixth and eighth hours insisted that I post a picture this month’s fabulous prize online once I finished making it. Here it is:

Because, really, what sophomore doesn’t need a tie-dyed sock monkey?

This one looked sort of unfinished when I got done sewing him together, so I added a bowtie made from some bright blue ribbon with green peace signs and the word “LOVE” printed on it.

Ridiculous, yes, but look: I’ve seen sophomores fight over glow-in-the-dark plastic ants, so a tie-dyed sock monkey ought to provide plenty of motivation.

If this goes over well, I might do a drawing every two weeks. I’ve already got a ridiculous idea for the next prize….

Emily

Wrapping up a long weekend

Because I was a very good girl and took care of most of my responsibilities yesterday, I had today free to do whatever I wanted … so I woke up early, spent a couple of hours brainstorming ideas for my classroom and sketching stuff I wanted to make, and then took a shower and headed out to take advantage of the absolutely perfect weather.

We haven’t really had winter yet. I’m expecting it at any moment, but I’m enjoying the warmth and sunshine while they last. The temperature today was in the 70s, so I put on sturdy clothes, grabbed my iPad and my GPS, and went out to play. I started my morning by finding my 66th cache (not on Route 66, although I wound up there before the day was out) and ended the afternoon with my 77th — an FTF (first-to-find) I snagged in a cemetery on Route 66 right at dusk.

I wouldn’t normally follow the coordinates into a cemetery that close to dark, because most cemeteries have rules against visitors after sunset, and I don’t want to give the authorities any reason to order someone to remove a cache, but I was less than 100 yards from the cemetery entrance and had about five minutes of rapidly fading daylight left when I realized there was a new listing nearby. Luckily, the hint made it a fairly quick park-and-grab, so I was back in the car and on my way out the front entrance as darkness fell over the Mother Road.

Emily

Productivity

I accomplished all of the following on Sunday:

1. Sketched a rough blueprint for the herb garden I plan to put in the front yard this spring.
2. Went to lunch at the Rock Cafe. Came in to find them slammed, so I wound up busing a couple of tables, getting our drinks, and bringing an extra fork to a customer who mistook me for a waitress. Love those only-on-66 moments. 🙂
3. Downloaded the geocaching app from Groundspeak and used it to find two caches while we were in Stroud.
4. Took Song and Riggy to the dog park. We had gorgeous weather this weekend, so they made lots of new friends.
5. Cleaned the bathroom.
6. Laid out the paper.
7. Made a valance out of burlap to go above that Roman shade I installed the other day at Brews & Bytes.
8. Blogged.
9. Fixed myself a pan of alphabet soup.
10. Graded math papers.
11. Recorded grades.
12. Planned lessons for next week.
13. Scanned and sorted Trip Guide ads.
14. Posted a review of a new record store on Indie Tulsa.
15. Scheduled three weeks’ worth of tweets and Facebook posts for church.

The goal — which I met — was to clear my schedule enough to be able to spend today geocaching. This unseasonably gorgeous weather can’t last forever, and I want to take advantage of it as much as I can.

Emily

Daybook for Jan. 15

Meme’s as good as anything on a Sunday evening, right?

For today…

Outside my window… a mild evening in Red Fork.
I am thinking… this long weekend is just what I needed.
From the classroom… math papers to grade and a couple of lesson plans to write.
I am thankful for… the dog park. Our guys love running around out there.
From the kitchen… leftover breakfast casserole made from locally produced corn tortillas, half a bag of Mexican quesadilla cheese, a dozen eggs harvested from our hens, and a jar of Herdez green salsa, all layered in a dish and baked like lasagna.
I am wearing… jeans from Drysdales, my beat-up old Justin boots, and a hoodie I bought at the feed store.
I am reading… nothing at the moment, but I just finished editing newspaper articles, and I’m thinking about some quality time with Lt. Joe Leaphorn tomorrow evening.
I am hoping… to get through my whole to-do list this evening.
I am creating… a burlap valance to go above the Roman shade I made for Brews and Bytes.
I am praying… with gratitude for a recent healing.
Around the house… the usual clutter and a packet full of Trip Guide ads that need to be sorted and scanned.
One of my favorite things… warm afternoons in January.
A few plans for the rest of the week… geocaching and working on the new edition of Route 66 for Kids.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you…

Sunset over Red Fork this evening.

Emily

I can has Milk-Bone?

I was talking to someone on Facebook this evening when I heard a commotion in the kitchen. Ron was yelling at Walter to get out of something. Based on the scraping, rustling sounds, I assumed the charge against Walter would be vandalism, but he was actually engaging in an act of petty larceny:

This isn't the cookie you're looking for. You can go about your business. Move along.

Rat terrier in cat's clothing. (I see you in there, Scout....)

This is not the first time Walter has helped himself to a Milk-Bone. Probably won’t be the last, either. I’m not sure it’s ever occurred to him that he isn’t a dog.

He did revert to more appropriate feline behavior a few minutes later:

You're not gonna make me move, are you, Dad?

Of course, what you can’t see in the picture is the hole he chewed in that lid so he could remove it from the box.

I have become increasingly convinced that Walter is Scout’s last and greatest prank on Ron. When she ran out of rotten tricks to play on him, she went for the coup de grace of all practical jokes: She died and came back as the one species he claimed to hate more than any other.

Emily

Spelunking

I was out gallivanting around town on a geocaching excursion the other day when it occurred to me that I had never photographed the Cave House.

I couldn’t resist the opportunity to get a picture of the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcar next to it — art car in front of art house, or something like that.

I love oddball architecture. I secretly dream of building a strange and mysterious house to live in, so people driving by will look at it and say, “That place is so weird. I wonder what sort of person lives there?”

Emily