- Kevin O'Leary
Childhood is a time filled with wonder and imagination. For some of us it is filled with inspiration and motivation. In 4th grade Ms. Pizzo (now Mrs. Fitzgerald) fostered an environment for our developing minds to learn and to explore. A prime example of this occurred one Fall morning when we were just a new class. Some kids had made paper money and were pretending to buy and sell stuff with it. Soon some other kids saw the paper currency and made their own. Soon there were 11 kinds of currency being used for 16 kids. As you could probably guess this created all kinds of chaos, despite most of them being used jokingly. Being the literal miniature economist fourth grader that I was, I took this very seriously.
One day, the chaos built and built up until the quiet hubbub of our classroom had turned into a roaring inferno of shouting and trading.
"10,000 bigernie's for 3 sambucks!" Someone shouted.
"No! That's such a ripoff! I need 5 sambucks!"
The hubbub kept building and building until my little mind couldn't contain it any longer.
"WE NEED A CLASS CURRENCY!!!" I shouted at the top of my lungs. The room went silent. I didn't think it was that bad of an idea. After about five seconds of dead silence, Sam Farley agreed with me.
"That wouldn't be such a bad idea..." He said wishfully. The next day he came in with a prototype. It was a 5 Pizzo bill, this was my first experience with centralized banking (I was 10). Soon everyone was given 20 Pizzos and our economy had begun.
It was not long before Liam Tasker had opened up his own Casino and Black Market Candy Dealings. He was amassing wealth fairly quickly. In order to counter his grab for power I attempted to find my own poker chips (which I had some of) and make smart investments. I bought a bunch of candies from Kevin Gao for five Pizzos so that I could resell them and possibly rival Liam's amassed wealth. Unfortunately for me, ten minutes later Ms. Pizzo closed the candy market leaving me with six pieces of candy worth nothing and a mere 20 Pizzos in the bank. Thinking quickly I attempted to save myself from bankruptcy by combining my assets with Kevin. A few days later Kevin and I bonded with David creating about 120 pizzos between the three of us.
The class economy continued through the end of the year with no major developments besides a few pizzos gained and lost through gambling at either Liam's or my casino (both were hosted on the same table). The climax of the year occurred during the final poker tournament. Connor Whitley and Liam Tasker were in the finals and the winner won the pot of 120 Pizzos. Just before the tournament ended however, we received news that James Bernene wanted to leave Liam and join our trifecta. Soon the deal was done and we had between the four of us some six hundred Pizzos.
This in-class economy was an educational experience for all of us involved as well as quite a lot of fun. I doubt that I will ever be able to experience anything like it, and if I do it certainly won't be with the same people. For this reason I will always cherish this truly unique experience.