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Posted on I'm kicking the habit

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nomercadies

512 posts in 1006 days


#1 posted 11-20-2012 01:13 PM

(Hope this helps, written in 2006)

Smokin’ the Stock Market

High school students smoke you know. Not all of them, but lots of them do, especially the ones that are trying to show everyone they aren’t afraid of looking defiantly at danger and authority.

My students smoke. Not all of them, but most of them do. My students are with me because they have turned a regular high school upside down with inappropriate, violent behavior.

My students are labeled “Severely Emotionally Impaired.” The names for that impairment on the street are very much more rude and some argue more accurately descriptive.

We teach and learn appropriate behavior as well as the regular academics. The goal of our program is to return the students to their home school successfully. We don’t always succeed. Some of our kids stay on with us and graduate from high school through our program. Some of our kids talk rotten and angrily about my mother (a really sweet and wonderful woman, by the way, whom they have never even met) and drop out of school altogether.

I used to smoke. I quit in 1982. I had smoked for 22 years and at the time I quit I was doing two packs of Kool Filter Kings a day. I think I had lots to prove too. It didn’t occur to me until a year and a half ago that I should set aside the money I spent on cigarettes for something worthwhile instead of just allowing it to drift back into the money I spent every day. I chose the stock market.

I have a direct deposit set up for the money I don’t spend on smokes. I tell the kids not to bother me on smoke break and check my portfolio on the computer. Funny, if I really smoked, I would have to walk across the street onto the public sidewalk to smoke. Neighbors to school property all across the country love that. Clusters of teachers, staff, and bus drivers all standing, huddled in the snow or rain to grab a quick hit before they have to return to their duties isn’t modeling the best behavior, but I would get time away from work if I joined them . nah!

These days, I take my smokin’ time without leaving the classroom. The kids are respectful of my break time too. They often ask, “Are you on smoke break Mr. Thayer?” “I’ll check back in a couple of minutes if you are.” “How’s the market going by the way?” “Will we have time to check our practice portfolios later today?”

We can set up a practice portfolio easily by assigning a dollar figure to their addiction (not just smoking by the way) and doing regular deposits to the practice account, then investing the money.

I have done quite well in the market, especially if you consider that the money I have accumulated was going to be spent lining my lungs instead of my pockets.

I often ask the students, “Where is your smoking money?” Then I show them mine.

-- Chance Four "Not Just a Second Chance"


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