October 10: Ten Out of Ten Day

Today, the tenth day of the tenth month, is the perfect day to do some evaluations on a scale of one to ten, with ten out of ten being the top of the traditional scale, unless of course you’re prone to hyperbole. In that case you can go to eleven.

Before we begin, however, we should address the fact that October’s position on the calendar has not been a permanent fixture of history. The name of our tenth month retains vestiges from its Roman past. In Latin octo means eight, as in octagon and octopus. When the Romans inserted the months January and February, they pushed October forward from the eighth to the tenth position. They did not, however, change its name. So today, the last four months of our calendar, the four months that were formerly months seven through ten (September, October, November, and December) are all numerical misnomers.

Today’s Challenge: The Rating Game
We live in an age of evaluations, surveys, and ratings. The internet has given us access to unlimited opportunities to read ratings written by others as well as provided us the opportunity to write ratings ourselves. Whether it’s books, music, teachers, or dog food, somewhere, someone is writing a review. What is a category of things you know enough about to evaluate? How would you rate each of five things in your category on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being outstanding?

Begin by selecting a general category. It can be anything as long as the category contains at least five members and as long as you know enough about each each item to rate it. Here are some examples of categories:

Letter of the Alphabet   

Movie Sequels

Carbonated Beverages

Fairy Tales


Pixar Films

Aspects of Camping

Poetic Forms

Halloween Traditions

Animal Farm Characters

Hall of Fame First Basemen

Greek Gods

Next, list the members of the category, and rate each of the members on a scale of 1 to 10. Beside the name of each member and its score, write a rationale for your rating, explaining why you scored it the way you did. This may be subjective, but it should also be specific. (Common Core Writing 1 – Argument)

Quotation of the Day: My strength is as the strength of ten, because my heart is pure. -Alfred Lord Tennyson