Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Continuing Saga of Emily Money

Well, as you may have noticed, the world did not end last week. That`s because there was some controversy surrounding Emily money. One of the teachers didn`t like the idea of Emily money. We`ll call her Teacher A. Teacher A was supposed to announce at a teachers` meeting that we were giving out prizes. That was what Teacher B (the enthusiastic teacher who really likes the idea of bribing kids with prizes) and I thought she was going to do. Instead, Teacher A asked all the teachers if they thought it was a good idea. Most of them thought it was.

The koucho-sensei (principal) wasn`t at school on the day of the big teachers` meeting to give his approval, so we weren`t allowed to sell anything last week until he had come back to school, had a secret meeting with Teacher A, and then debated for a few hours in solitude.

Meanwhile, Teacher B was telling students in her classes that soon they would be able to buy prizes with their fake money. Teacher A gave no such announcements in her classes. I had to turn a few students away last week because I was waiting on the koucho-sensei to give us his decision. When he finally said that it was okay, Teacher A came to me with a strangely written list of `cautions` to keep in mind when using such a reward system. But I was allowed to give out the prizes, and as far as I know, I will still get reinbursed for what I bought. On Friday, I put the prizes into boxes and typed up some price sheets. I thought that this saga was going to have a happy ending after all.

Well, now it`s Monday, and I am allowed to sell the prizes during a 15-minute break today, tomorrow, and Wednesday. That`s it. I also found out that this will the only semester that we can use the Emily money and that not all the students will know about the prizes (according to Teacher B, we have to keep it kind of secretive). So maybe the world will end right before I`m supposed to go to Bali, when some of the students realize that they can`t get prizes, and that all their hard work and cheating during Bingo games were in vain. The wages they have received mean nothing in this cold, beaurocratic world.

I didn`t mean for any of this to happen. After my initial terror at the thought of middle schoolers hunting me down all day, I accepted my fate and was actually excited about showing the kids the kawaii stationary, stickers, and pencils that we picked out for them.

So basically, I feel really awful for ever printing that first sheet of seemingly innocent $100 bills with my face in the middle. This must be what it felt like when the inventor of money, the guy who first used kaori shells or whatever to buy food, realized that he had unleashed a great evil on the world.

I`m thinking of writing a children`s story called If You Give a Kid Some Money in the vein of
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, except that it will end with the apocalypse.

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