Skip to main content

A penny for them

Chris teaches at a Catholic high school, and Mass attendance is obligatory for him and for his students. Nevertheless, apparently, his students try to wheedle him into letting them skip the services every week. A few weeks ago they were even offering him money -- pulling dollar bills out of their wallets as if this would convince someone who earns a high-paying salary as a Catholic school teacher. (Ha! and Ha! again) One kid took out a dime, rubbed it between his fingers, and said, "Could I interest you in my friend Grover Cleveland here?"

Chris told me this story and we laughed and laughed. "Grover Cleveland!" I snorted.

"I know!" Chris said. "Who doesn't know that it's Teddy Roosevelt on the dime!"

I stopped laughing. "Wait a minute. It's not Teddy Roosevelt."

"It's not?"

"No, of course not."

"Well then who is it, smarty?"

"It's, um," I said. I fished around in our coin jar for a dime. "It's...isn't this...isn't it Lyndon Johnson?"

"Lyndon Johnson? No." He took the dime from me. "It's Franklin Roosevelt, then."

"I don't think that's any kind of Roosevelt."

"Well then..it's Woodrow Wilson, maybe?"

And the lesson of this story is not that Chris was (eventually) correct that FDR is on the dime; it's that you shouldn't laugh too hard at high school students, no matter how dumb you think they are.




Speaking of coins...I read a fascinating article a few months ago about the cost of coin production. Did you know that it takes five cents to make one penny? And ten cents to make one nickel? Doesn't it seem that there's something really wrong with that math? Apparently there's a movement to do away with the penny, although doing away with the nickel would seem to make more fiscal sense. I was startled to find, in my coin jar, about five different versions of the nickel. I somehow missed the news about the "Westward Journey" nickel updates of the past few years. I haven't even kept up with the state quarters. Are those done yet? I have a vague memory of being pleased that the North Carolina quarter came out the same year as Mallory's birth, but I think that's the last time I paid attention. Clearly I'm a bit coinage-oblivious.

Comments

Anonymous said…
You know, I have to give the kid some credit for even knowing that Grover Cleveland was a president!

Mom
aimee said…
I agree with mom. But that was still funny.

I think the state quarters are done (or almost) and I don't remember anything about nickel updates either. But I do like looking at them.

Popular posts from this blog

New Math

This word problem was on Mallory's math homework last week:

Lesia has 32 stickers. Diana has a few stickers. Lesia adds their stickers. She has to regroup when she adds. How many stickers does Lesia have? Circle the number.
3
5
6
8

We puzzled til our puzzlers were sore, but we still couldn't figure out the answer. I wrote a note beside the problem: "Mrs. G., this problem didn't make sense to either Mallory or her parents."

The next day the paper came back with a note from Mrs. G. She circled the last line of the problem and wrote:

"Misprint! This should have said Diana."

Okay! Whew! I was relieved to know that I wasn't, in fact, dumber than a second grader.

Except then I realized that I still didn't understand how the answer could be 3, 5, 6, or 8.*

I can't wait til she gets to algebra.



*Unless what they're calling "regrouping" is what we used to call "carrying the ones." In which case the answer would be 8. I think. Maybe.

Yard Sale. YARD SALE!

Anyone who doesn’t hear Tom-Hanks-as-Woody-the-Cowboy screaming that line…hasn’t spent much time around small children. Or at least around small children who like to watch Disney movies.

We had a yard sale this weekend – we being me, Chris, his sister Amy, and his mom. Yikes, it was exhausting. There was much hauling of boxes and furniture and standing around and chasing Mallory and Phoebe about the driveway all Saturday long. I made a hundred bucks – not too shabby, I guess. Chris made about $75 selling the “dregs” of his toy collection. The main point, however, was to sell our old living room furniture because we’re getting a new sofa and chair today (it’s being delivered as we speak!). We did sell our beat-up love seat for $25, but there were no takers for the beat-up sofa sleeper or the recliner. Alas, but that’s the way it goes.

Most of what I sold was baby stuff – clothes, bouncy seats, playmats, and so forth. It was a relief to see it go. Right after Phoebe was born I had the urg…

Confederation, confederation, confederation

Mallory has a big Social Studies test today. She’s not doing well in Social Studies, this year. When I asked her why her grades were so low, she said, “I don’t like Social Studies. Besides, no one can be good at everything.” I thought this was a fair point, but let her know that it was not acceptable for her to do quite so poorly, whether she liked it or not.

We studied for hours for this test. We read the chapter twice, summarized main points, went over vocabulary words, filled in blanks and did true/false quizzes. There were moments when I despaired – as when I asked, “The villages of the Cherokee people came together to form a...” and she said, “Um...bison?” But I think she knows the material pretty well; honestly I’m not even sure what else we could have done to get her prepared. I told her we would like for her to get at least a B.

I know she’s nervous. I’m nervous for her. I slept poorly all night.

But, I also know more than I really wanted to know about the early peoples of …