Monday, May 16, 2022

The Cup O' Nickels

At one point during my teaching days, I was in my apartment pondering the prizes for my occasional writing competition, the CA (Communication Arts) Olympics.

An Associated Press cup I had picked up years earlier while attending the Missouri Press Association's annual conference caught my eye and an idea hit me.

I left the apartment, drove to my bank and asked for two rolls of nickels. Returning to the apartment, I opened the rolls and poured them into the AP cup, except that it was no longer an AP cup.

Despite the letters on the cup, it would forevermore be known as the Cup O' Nickels (a play on Cup O' Noodles).

I thought of it as a one-time thing, but the students took to the nickels quickly and the cup became a regular feature in my classroom.

When I returned to my room at East Middle School after the May 22, 2011 tornado, I quickly located the Cup O' Nickels, caked in dirt, but a survivor and a welcome sight.

My thoughts turned to the Cup O'Nickels when Facebook posted one of its memories. I thought about sharing it, but Facebook wouldn't allow me to add the photo, so allow me to add it to this post.
This was from 10 years ago today.

"Productive day at school- I have finished all but a few grades, have my awards ready to present on Friday at the assembly, and wrote my thank-you cards for my 130 or so students (presented complete with a shiny nickel to prove that education pays, of course) . Three more days to go."

That was the last time I had the chance to follow my tradition of giving thank-you cards to my students and reaching into the Cup O'Nickels to provide them with a reminder of my class.

I miss those traditions and teaching, but I have a pleasant reminder of those days in my apartment- that former Associated Press cup, much cleaner than in the photo and filled to the brim, now and forever, the Cup O'Nickels.

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