8 months ago

Inspiring teenagers

Riccardo was more

Riccardo was more careful with his next question. "And parents have been calling you." "Yes, they certainly have," the actor allowed. Riccardo turned to his audience. "Did you hear that? I got three clear yesses. Now I can ask for what I want," he stage-whispered conspiratorially. Riccardo faced the ‘headteacher’. "Would it be a good idea to keep everyone in school during lunchtime?" "Yes it would," agreed the actor. Riccardo eyed the imaginary headteacher. "My idea is to sell sweets at lunchtime. Then nobody has to go to the corner shop." The actor, not fully sure, but playing along with the scene tested with, "Okaaaay." Looking over his shoulder, Riccardo turned to the audience and grinned. "Sometimes it’s as easy as that." Riccardo turned back and shook the headteacher/actor’s hand in appreciation, and with a flourish invited him to leave the stage. The audience applauded. Riccardo cast another question towards the audience. "You can guess what happened next can’t you?" He smiled, remembering. "Yes, I bought sweets. Lots of them. "Riccardo invited his audience to start calculating numbers again. "You know how much pocket money you get in half a year. How many kilos of sweets could you buy?" Barely pausing, he replied, "Loads! And how would you get them home?" He wrinkled his nose at the logistics question. "We didn’t have a car. I borrowed my dad’s wheelbarrow." 44

Riccardo now mimed pushing a wheelbarrow across the stage to a supermarket, buying sweets with the money from his back pocket, loading up the wheelbarrow, and struggling back across the stage with a loaded wheelbarrow to the school. With a grand wave of the hand, Riccardo said, "At school, I opened a shop. With some help from one of the teachers, we had a small kiosk." His eyes narrowed. "How long do you think it takes eight hundred children to buy all the sweets I had bought with half a year’s pocket money?" His audience waited with bated breath. "One month," he said, holding up one finger. "So at the end of the month, I went back to the supermarket." Riccardo mimed wheeling the empty wheelbarrow to the supermarket, loading it up with another half year’s sweets supply, paying for it with cash from his back pocket, and stumbling back to school with the heavily laden barrow. Riccardo demonstrated the effect of repetition. "Every month. Month after month." He mimed counting money. Inviting the audience to do still more calculating, Riccardo offered some more information, "Did you know there’s a 25% profit on sweets? Well you do now. Every month I gained 25% of six month’s pocket money. How much is that? Recall your half year pocket money and divide it by four." Riccardo mimed in an exaggerated manner, stuffing a wad of cash into his pocket at the end of each word. "Every. Month. In. My. Pocket," once again demonstrating the effect of repetition. Riccardo had one more question for his audience, "There was one more thing I had to do. What do you think that was?" Grinning at the blank faces looking up at him, he said, "I had to open a bank account. I needed somewhere to put all the money." Riccardo realized some things had changed since he was a teenager. He asked the audience, "How many of you have a bank account?" Several hands shot up. 45

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