A penny for them

Chris teaches at a Catholic high school, and Mass attendance is obligatory for him and for his students. Nevertheless, apparently, his students try to wheedle him into letting them skip the services every week. A few weeks ago they were even offering him money -- pulling dollar bills out of their wallets as if this would convince someone who earns a high-paying salary as a Catholic school teacher. (Ha! and Ha! again) One kid took out a dime, rubbed it between his fingers, and said, "Could I interest you in my friend Grover Cleveland here?"

Chris told me this story and we laughed and laughed. "Grover Cleveland!" I snorted.

"I know!" Chris said. "Who doesn't know that it's Teddy Roosevelt on the dime!"

I stopped laughing. "Wait a minute. It's not Teddy Roosevelt."

"It's not?"

"No, of course not."

"Well then who is it, smarty?"

"It's, um," I said. I fished around in our coin jar for a dime. "It's...isn't this...isn't it Lyndon Johnson?"

"Lyndon Johnson? No." He took the dime from me. "It's Franklin Roosevelt, then."

"I don't think that's any kind of Roosevelt."

"Well then..it's Woodrow Wilson, maybe?"

And the lesson of this story is not that Chris was (eventually) correct that FDR is on the dime; it's that you shouldn't laugh too hard at high school students, no matter how dumb you think they are.

Speaking of coins...I read a fascinating article a few months ago about the cost of coin production. Did you know that it takes five cents to make one penny? And ten cents to make one nickel? Doesn't it seem that there's something really wrong with that math? Apparently there's a movement to do away with the penny, although doing away with the nickel would seem to make more fiscal sense. I was startled to find, in my coin jar, about five different versions of the nickel. I somehow missed the news about the "Westward Journey" nickel updates of the past few years. I haven't even kept up with the state quarters. Are those done yet? I have a vague memory of being pleased that the North Carolina quarter came out the same year as Mallory's birth, but I think that's the last time I paid attention. Clearly I'm a bit coinage-oblivious.


Anonymous said...

You know, I have to give the kid some credit for even knowing that Grover Cleveland was a president!


aimee said...

I agree with mom. But that was still funny.

I think the state quarters are done (or almost) and I don't remember anything about nickel updates either. But I do like looking at them.