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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Entrepreneurial Spirit

Elementary school children love money but have very few opportunities to earn it. Sure, they might earn a little allowance for cleaning their room, doing the dishes, or they might find loose change under the couch, but this does not always satisfy their need for cold, hard cash. I distinctly remember seeing a huge container of lollipops at Costco when I was younger, and having the realization that I could SELL them for MORE MONEY than I paid, thus achieving instant wealth. I set them up as a stand in my front yard, and had fairly decent sales until neighborhood parents started wondering where their children were getting all of this candy.

One year, I busted a similar scheme in my classroom by the cubbies. I found Landon selling the baggie of watermelon his mom had packed him to Kyron for the rather inflated price of five dollars. I explained to the price-gouging Landon that we don’t run a black market fruit stand in this class and also threw in a few basic economic tips for Kyron—namely that just because you have five dollars doesn’t mean that five dollars is automatically a bargain price for four melon slices.

Another year, Daniel and Rafael inexplicably began collecting leads that had broken off of pencils. They brought in first a small glass jar, and then a larger, much fancier tin container decorated like a treasure chest to house their goods. They planned to have an auction for said pencil leads, and posted an auction notice on Daniel’s cubby.

Meanwhile, we were having trouble finding enough pencils to write with that hadn’t been cannibalized for lead. We had to put a ban on collecting pencil leads in class.

The next year, no longer in my class, Daniel and Rafael continued collecting pencil leads and trying to turn a profit. They even drew up a contract to establish rules of governance for the pencil lead organization, now known as the P.D.W.C. Rafael’s mom emailed me the contract, which is written in sufficiently convoluted and contracty-sounding terms such as “hereby” and “amongst.”
Apparently, perhaps due to the down economy or perhaps after a retooling of their business plan, Rafael and Daniel have decided to add color to their pencil leads, as well as scent. They painted them green, and crushed mint into the leads.

This blog does not generally advertise for products, but if you are in need of any painted, minty-smelling pencil leads, I strongly urge you to purchase from P.D.W.C.

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