Just how hard will a kid work for some random bit of electronic widgetry? Say, one of the new shiny polychrome 4G iPods that His Steveness just showed off to us yesterday? It turns out, *really* hard. Especially when Engadget and everyone else starts leaking pictures of the brand new goods right before the deadline.
The oldest and I signed a contract a few weeks ago delineating exactly what she would need to do in order to score said gadget (we’re getting a little contract law education mixed in here, too.) To wit, the requirements included:

- 30 Pages in the
*Math Made Easy Fourth Grade Workbook* - The last half of the
*Scholastic 3rd Grade Math Practice Book* - Read
*Molly Moon’s Incredible Book of Hypnotism* - Read the first 10 chapters of
*Story of the World Volume 2* - Pass a 14 minute timed test for Rocket Math Subtraction Levels N - Z
- Pass a 14 minute timed test for Rocket Math Multiplication Levels A - M
We set a goal of six weeks to get this all accomplished. This was definitely a stretch goal… A swing-for-the-fences, “Well, if you really want that you’re going to work hard for it” sort of task. I actually thought this might be the object lesson about over committing and
*not*crossing the finish line, especially once school started and we hadn’t completed the last two items. Little did I realize, what was about to happen was a serious test of my ability to grade Rocket Math tests. The stack of tests pictured here is 22mm high when compressed. A ream of the paper we use here is just over 50mm, so that would be around 220 pages. And if only that were all of them. That’s just the stack of tests from*Saturday and Sunday*. While that was definitely the big push before the deadline, there were at least that many in the previous weeks… Actually, I think I may have graded close to 600 pages of Rocket Math in the last month or so. Go ahead and quiz me on some basic subtraction. I dare you. And yes, we’re headed for the Apple Store. Thanks a lot, Steve.