Sunday, May 13, 2012


Friday was finally the day!  Fifth graders from my son's school went to Junior Achievement BizTown.

Me rocking the volunteer smock

Dominic applied for CFO of Sports Northwest... hmmm... sensing a family lineage.  He was proud to get hired, almost like a real job.  He planned out his clothes, and fretted and worried about this day.  I haven't seen him this excited all year.

CFO boy

 Those of you that know me well know that I sit on the fence about Junior Achievement.  Among my peers, I often refer to it as capitalist training.  When you dissect the program, it kinda is.  In a complete function in society way.  Still, I have my reservations about students not having the option to participate if their class is signed up.  I totally support programs such as DECA, but they certainly shouldn't be mandatory.

There is another side to this program.  They do teach about philanthropy and community.  These are important in my book.  However, words like product, customer, net and gross come up a lot, too.

So here's my dilemma.  I absolutely want my children to be responsible in the work place.  I want them to know how to write a check and fill in a bank deposit.  I want them to understand the elaborate process involved in starting a business, the risks one must take, and the community involvement decisions.  So I should clearly want my student in Junior Achievement.

Ahh... but that bohemian side of me thinks about how we are all driven by money and success in the business eye.  I work in a service job.  I could never work in the business world. 

Watching fifth graders simulate a four hour real world experience was... well... like the real world.  These students broke down in exactly the demographics my adult self has become accustom to.  Some jumped in and took it seriously.  Some screwed around the whole time.  Some just stared at the clock until their break.
My group.  My sweet boys Sam and Kye

I hope my children find a balance.  Embrace your community and give selflessly.  But please don't bounce checks while you do this.

The moral of this story:
My son worked his butt off.  He was not one of the offending screw offs.  He sat at a computer and inputted numbers.  He printed paychecks, handled invoices, and billed other companies.  He managed his crew while the CEO was on break.  And Dominic, while on his break, walked by my business to say hi. *smile*  He also told me the 'real world' was not fun.  *bigger smile*

They could spend their paychecks at the various businesses to buy small trinkets.  Pencils, small toys, frisbees.  They could also spend their money on pop and snacks at the cafe.

Dominic came over with an orange pop and bag of popcorn.  He told me, "I'm not going to bother spending my money on these little crap things that will just end up in a land fill."  That's my boy.

At the end of the day, our BizTown mayor made a presentation for the two good citizen awards.  Strong, successful, dedicated workers in their simulated community.  Of course, Dominic won.  Hmm.  There's Chris' boy.

Acting oh so happy about the award

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