Posted in Sparks at work

Buona Pasqua (and The Sticker Economy)

This is the card that my niece Fox made this week in her Italian class (in her first year at high school), presumably to reassure the parents that the girls are at least covering the key festivities in their Italian lessons. The teacher (known as the mysterious “Prof C”) sounds like a truly eccentric Italian lady and it’s great to witness Fox’s Italian vocab and accent improving so quickly.

Prof C also appears to be running her classroom as a sort of alternate State, with its own currency – scratch ‘n’ sniff stickers. I didn’t even know that they made such things anymore, so perhaps the State is like a former Soviet territory, with slightly out-of-date music, fashion and stationery items. Anyhoo, the way the State economy works is thus: if you perform well in a test (8/10), then you are awarded one sticker to add to your workbook; if you perform really well in a test (10/10), then you are awarded two stickers to add to your workbook. At the end of the year, the person with the most stickers will receive a prize (very practically, a sticker book and a pencil case).

The first of four school terms has just finished and as yet it sounds as though there is no black market for scratch ‘n’ sniff stickers after class in the school hallways. But I like to think that by Term 3, some enterprising regazza will have worked out a way to trade stickers, upgrade stickers and possibly even forge stickers to supplement the workbooks of students who haven’t scored so well.

Or perhaps – like so many other economies built on big dreams – Prof C’s State will collapse in a dramatic meltdown by the year’s end. The market will be flooded with stickers, devaluing them and causing the weaker students to dance on the desktops with glee, while the advanced students shred their workbooks (neatly) into the bin of broken promises. Now that’s an education.


Finding those everyday sparks - the ones that make life funnier, scarier, happier, nicer, weirder...

3 thoughts on “Buona Pasqua (and The Sticker Economy)

  1. Ah Fox……I think she may just take over her auntie in the stakes of wit! Scratch ‘n sniff seems a little primary to me but maybe when spoken in a foreign language is can breach the cool radar of the blossoming teen. What is ‘scratch-n-sniff’ in Italian?

  2. I thought Scatch-n-sniffs went the way of the Hypercolour T. Kids these days have no clue as to how good a Scratch-n-sniff was for the self esteem.

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