Thursday, February 4, 2010

Is Tennessee Worth $8.86?

I'm sure it is to some people, but here's our situation. This is the time of year when I do our income taxes and plan curriculum and therapies for the next 12 months. When our refund comes, I order materials for the year. (We don't follow the PS calendar.) If I don't buy something now, but decide we need it later, we might be able to afford it, but it will be a stretch. Trying to get everything we might need, but still stay within our budget, I stretch every penny until it looks like it's been through one of those pressed penny machines found at tourist sites.

I was planning to order a U.S. Map Puzzle. I remember putting one of these together as a kid. It helped me learn to locate the states on a map, recognize them by their outlines, and begin to memorize their capitals. Fitting together pieces shaped like the states just made sense to me. But then I thought I remembered we already had one. People who know we home school will often pass on anything remotely "educational" to us, in hopes we can use it. We've gotten a lot of neat stuff, some things we just passed on to others, and a few bits of absolute junk this way. The good stuff makes it all worth accepting and sorting through later. The problem comes with the stuff that looks promising but we aren't ready to use yet. If I leave it out, it may be worn out before we need it, but if I put it in storage, I may forget it's there.

I found it. The box was worse for wear, but the pieces were in good shape. I wondered if we had them all. One way to find out. I had BB put the puzzle together. It took him a while because he had never done it before, but he managed to fit all the states together by himself. I had to give him a few hints on the ocean pieces. Turns out we're only missing three pieces (all water) plus Tennessee. Now as much as l like having things complete, I can't help asking myself if this is a case where 98% is good enough. Assuming he learns all the other states, what is he really missing? Location? Right there, where the hole in the map is. Outline? Same shape as the hole. Kinda stands out, doesn't it? Principal industries? Yeah, like you know the principal industries of all fifty states and Puerto Rico. I'll just have to make sure he knows that the captial isn't Memphis.

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Blogger Arby said...

Tennesse is not worth $8.98. At least, not as long as Al Gore still lives there!

February 5, 2010 at 7:15 AM  
Blogger Bob Wingate said...

Not sure what kind of material you're dealing with, but I'd guess some kind of thick paste board. For $8.98 I think I might try scrounging some material of similar thickness, carefully cut out to fill the Tennessee-shaped hole (take your time), maybe glue a sheet of white paper to the same shape on top, and artfully write Tennessee to match the rest of the pieces.

I had one of those map puzzles when I was a kid, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

February 5, 2010 at 7:50 PM  

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