The Dollar Section at Target had some good stuff yesterday:
  • Plastic animals
  • Finger puppets
  • A fairy wand
  • Bug-eyed stress balls

15 items for $13.00

Subtotal (year so far) - $440.32

Six new foods for a Tasting this week, plus a jar of Nutella-like paste for an upcoming peanut butter tasting:
  • Tuzlu Kurabiye (Turkish Cookies)
  • Soğuk İçiniz ( hot, fermented carrot juice)
  • Extra Hot Hot Mix (Indian snack food)
  • Pickled Shanklesh (Lebanese pickled yogurt balls)
  • Peda (Indian sweet)
  • Stuffed Peppers from Turkey
Subtotal - $29.23

Subtotal (year so far) - $427.32
8 1-inch Paint Brushes @ $1.00 each = $8.00

Subtotal (year so far) - $398.09

If you have brothers or sisters, your mother probably did this:

"Okay, Timmy - you can slice this delectable slab of delicious snack cake in half, but Trixie gets to pick which half she gets."

If you were like every child ever born, you probably cut the snack cake in half with a fairness and precision that would intimidate a Hasidic diamond merchant.

I use this demonstration to illustrate the system of checks and balances on which our government is based. The Founding Fathers knew better than to trust people to act against their interest for Society's greater good, so they arranged the Constitution in such a way that it is impossible to do ANYTHING on a national level without two or more branches of government working in concert - for their own reasons.

Anyway, my 8th graders like this lesson, because they get to eat snack cakes.

Three snack cakes @ $1.79 = $5.37

Subtotal (year so far) - $390.09
A lesson learned.

NEVER count on the neatness of twelve year-olds, when making something out of papier-mâché.

For Day Two of the Make Your Own Globe Project:

Ten shower curtain liners @ $1.00 = $10.00

Also, prizes for the Prize Bucket.

Five plaster figurines @$1.00 = $5.00

SubTotal at the Dollar Store = $15.00

Subtotal (year so far) - $384.72

State testing is coming up in a couple of weeks. At a grade-level meeting yesterday we all agreed to play low-volume Baroque music during the testing to help our students concentrate.

After making several poorly received puns (may favorite was "Baroque-Back Mountain"), I was told to shut up and just play the music, already.

So I downloaded this from iTunes.

Baroque! by the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and Folger Consort - $9.99 on iTunes

Subtotal (year so far) - $369.72
Another item for my Magnet's upcoming peanut butter tasting.

Nutella - $3.18

Subtotal (year so far) - $359.73

In an effort to do more hands-on learning with my 7th graders, I've just started a project with them to make their own globes out of papier-mâché. (More on that later.)

Balloons - $4.50
Clothesline - $1.50
Clothespins - $.97
Three dishpans @ $1.97 = $5.91

Subtotal = $12.88

Subtotal (year so far) - $356.55
The door to my classroom has absurdly strong springs. There is virtually nothing you can put in front of my door to prop it open. It shoves a two-gallon bucket of sand out of the way without a thought or care in the world.

This year, I decided to get serious. I've brought a couple of exercise kettle-bells in to school with the optimistic-to-the-point-of-fantasy goal of using them during my lunch break each day. That clearly hasn't happened, but they DO do an excellent job of actually propping the stupid door open.

Unfortunately, they also leave black marks on the floor that don't come off. So, in an effort to buy some good will with our hard-working maintenance staff, I picked up a doormat to keep the place spiffy.

Doormat - $6.97

Subtotal (year so far) - $343.67

For the first Food of the Month this year, I decided to go with jackfruit.

When I went to my favorite Vietnamese grocery store to buy six or seven cans of jackfruit, I was shocked - absolutely flabbergasted - to see that they had a small amount of fresh jackfruit on hand. 

For those of you who don't spend a lot of time shopping for jackfruit, let me assure you that this is a Very Big Deal. The fruit - which can grow as large as 80 lbs. - isn't grown in the continental United States and rarely shows up in its fresh form here in the NorthEast, outside of New York's Chinatown. I had hear rumors about a market in Massachusetts that apparently stocks it from time to time, but this, THIS is unprecedented.

Anyway, I bought it.

It doesn't come cheap.

(And I was so excited, I forgot to take a picture of it. Sorry)

Fresh Jackfruit for 70 - $26.74

Subtotal (year so far) - $336.70