This post is a week late, but I hope nobody finds that ironic.

Since my previous failures on Jan 3rd, I was really good about not being late.  I always got to things early or just on time, and it almost got pretty easy!  The 1 week reward of a bag of gummy bears was figuratively within sight…

It was the evening of Jan 10th, when I had 2 scheduled tutoring sessions: one 5:30PM-6:30PM and another 7:00PM-9:00PM.  I purposely put 30 minutes between the two sessions, which was plenty of time!  I was doing this so well!

On my way to my first tutoring session at 5:15PM, I got a phone call from the student’s mother saying they’re hitting traffic so she wanted to start 10 minutes later.  Hmm, that meant tutoring 5:40PM-6:40PM, but 20 minutes was still enough time to get to my second student.  Okay!  This was still going to work because I had planned for plenty of extra time like a boss.

However, we finished a few minutes later than 6:40PM because I wanted to finish this problem and the student was losing focus.  Uh-oh.  I was now rushed for time, trying to keep calm while driving quickly and efficiently… then I hit the traffic (ahh foreshadowing!).  Many calculations went through my head and it was evidently clear that I wasn’t going to make it on time.  This was my last hurdle before my 1-week milestone!  I was going to stop by Target after tutoring to celebrate my 1-week of punctuality with a bag of gummy bears!  I sighed in despair as the gummy bears figuratively vanished into the deep deep night sky.

I ended up 2 minutes 57 seconds late.

Punishment:  Time Out

My Ti-83 random integer function generated 8, which maps to “Time out – ear plugs and eye mask – sitting alone for 1 hour straight.”

I did this cruel punishment in the evening when there would be negligible probability of my family members entering my room and being extremely confused and disturbed.

I set my phone timer to 1 hr, plugged in ear plugs (relics from college when I lived in Harvey Mudd’s North Dorm), put on an eye mask, turned off the light, and sat on the cold hardwood floor in loneliness.

Being deprived of sight and hearing was strangely weird and uncomfortable.  I should have had a sweater on because it got cold and the hard floor felt harder than I remembered.  Thank goodness I still retained the sense of touch because holding myself for warmth and comfort was nice.  I dozed off quite a bit during that hour so I lost sense of time too and I kept wondering, “What if I sleep through the alarm and end up staying like this for hours and hours?”  Thankfully the alarm rang eventually and I ripped out my prison quickly then jumped into bed.  Whew.

It seems like gummy bears are going to be pretty hard to come by this year.

Simeon Koh