At this very moment I am on a break from a quest to find where the algebra textbook is. It is packed, somewhere.
I am angry about not being able to find this text? Why?
First, my son is enrolled in an online math class that begins in exactly five days. I knew this deadline was looming so I'd been looking for it but I was not going as crazy about it as I am today.
Second, I am angry with myself as I had a hand in this problem, and thirdly, it not being packed in the most logical place is my son's fault in the first place. So I'm mad.
One of the first things we packed up back in June was the current homeschooling materials. I am very organized with those books and papers so they were easy to pack up. Each kid has a bin with their current work in it. All their work fit neatly into one small box. So, I had one box for each kid and one box for my teacher manuals and documentation from last year. I marked those boxes carefully and purposefully so they'd be easy to find once we were unpacking in August. I both needed to organize and put away last year's work and also to plan the current year.
My older son had begun working on the algebra text at home last year, but he'd not finished the course. I decided that perhaps enrolling him into the online class would be best as it would keep him to a schedule and he'd not be able to slack off. I am much better about overseeing deadlines imposed by others who I pay to teach my kids than I always am about me teaching lessons on a very consistent basis.
So, after the homeschool papers were all packed away, my son was working on packing up his bedroom. He wanted to do it independently. He was angry about moving and he wanted to control his stuff for the move, that was fine with me. I saw slow prorgress but we still had time, until the deadline was looming. He kept declaring he was finished but one look at his room showed that many items still were not yet packed. I kept offering to help him but he declined until finally one day he said yes. The first thing I found in his room was his algebra text, the calculator, a pencil and his notebook. They probably sat right there since he last worked on them. Oh, great. He is a disorganized kid and apparently weeks prior, he'd not put the darned book away where it belonged so it was not nicely packed up with the homeschool papers.
I looked at that book and thought, "If I let him pack this with all this other junk who knows if we'll ever be able to find it." So I took the book out of his room and said to myself, "We will need this soon after arriving in Texas especially if I do enroll him in that online class that starts in August. I had better put this in a box that I know will get opened soon after arriving. I can't put it with homeschool papers as those are packed and sealed up already, but I'll put it somewhere that will be one of the important boxes that I'll open first." Where exactly that was I do not recall.
So here I am unable to find that text....
I have opened literally hundreds of seemingly important boxes and the book has not shown up. I am kicking myself trying to recall which box I could have put it in. It's not with the various books that were on my nightstand. It is not with my important papers that were on the top of my desk at moving time. It was not with the kitchen stuff, the living room stuff, the master bedroom stuff, or even, the bathroom stuff. It was not with the boxes of books that I felt I may need soon: some photography how to books, the select few knitting books, or the favorite cookbooks I chose to bring to this short-term rental house.
I am wracking my brain trying to make it recall where it could be...and I have no idea.
It kills me to re-buy a text that costs $50, as to me that is a waste of money, but worse, it is not an easy book to find so I can't quickly put my hands on a copy.
If I had homeschool friends here I could ask who might have one that we could borrow, but I don't have connections yet. It's not a popular text either, so I am doubtful that a bunch of people have copies lying around. I do have two homeschool supply stores here but this text is usually just bought direct from the publisher so I am doubtful that it will be available. Those two stores also sell used curriculum, maybe I'd get lucky and they'd have a used copy on hand (but I'd need to check to see the publication date and make sure it is the right edition).
I have the teacher manual here but not the student manual. I wonder if my son can get away with knowing the problem sets from the teacher manual?
One thing I hate about myself is when I am dealing with a problem like this I tend to overly focus on it and get mad about it. This anger crowds out the ability to feel good about whatever many good things are happening in my life at that time. I want to resolve the problem and get on with regular living so what happens is I work hard to solve it which means doing things like making the finding of the book top priority and spend many hours of my day(s) on it until it is found.
Further maddening to me, is that often others such as my husband and kids do not share my drive to fix this so I'm alone doing the work. My husband doesn't want to re-buy the book either, he wants it found. As I write this my husband and kids are at the nice cold movie theatre and I'm home alone in the hot house. It is over 100 degrees outside and humid and the best this air conditioning can do in this rental home is keep it at 78 stuffy degrees. What's worse is now that I've gone through all the boxes in the house I am forced to start going through more boxes in the 100 degree plus garage to try to find it.
Oh and the text I need is Art of Problem Solving Introduction to Algebra so if you have an extra copy you don't want drop me a comment with the price you want to sell it to me for and maybe we can work a deal and get it to my son before Friday night...
Update 8/22/11: see this blog post if you want to know how this turned out.