Thursday, September 6, 2012

More about Sudoku (Alas)

You may remember that I started doing Sudoku puzzles last summer as part of my research for writing Annika Riz, Math Whiz. Alas, despite my being terrible at Suduko, despite my not even liking it, I almost instantly became addicted to it, as years ago I became addicted to solitaire. Tense, stressed, I'd tell myself, "I'll just do ONE puzzle to relax a bit." Hours later, I'd stagger away from my I-pad, bleary-eyed and drained. I'd delete the Sudoku app, pledging never to play it ever again - and then upload the app again a few hours later.

This was very bad.

When I returned to Indiana, I vowed that Sudoku would be a Colorado summertime vice, left behind as I flew a thousand miles to my other life in the Midwest. I made good on this vow for two weeks. But then one night, I was feeling tense and stressed. "I'll just do ONE puzzle to relax a bit. . . " And you can guess the rest.

But now I have a new weapon in my fight against this addiction: Disney princess stickers.

I'm sharing a house right with a DePauw colleague and her adorable three-and-a-half year old son. He agreed to share with me one of the many sheets of stickers he had been given at preschool; he said I could have "the girl ones." Now each day that I don't play Sudoku, I get one of these tiny Disney princess stickers. I haven't made myself a chart to post on the refrigerator, but I put the sticker on the day's page in my academic-year planner.

I have earned two Disney princess stickers so far. I love looking at them, rewarding me for Tuesday, and for Wednesday. Tonight, if I'm successful (and I know I will be, I will, I will!), I'll get my Thursday sticker.

I think I have this one licked. Or will have it licked very soon. And now I know that the same behavior modification strategies that work on three-year-olds work on me.

No comments:

Post a Comment