Private Bones, Bones, Bones

Fox Tarts

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Oz had a secret joy for teaching. He played teacher, and that was enough for him. If he would ever allow himself to fantasize, then he might find the career of a teacher to be a promising one. Oz did not allow himself to fantasize, however, nor entertain ideas that were not apart of the plan he mapped for himself years ago. To do so would feel like he had lost, and given up. Not that anyone could ever explain it to him otherwise. Still, it was obvious he had a talent for it, and the school happily gave him access to spare rooms for lectures and talks.

The advantage lecturing at the school had over the community center was that students often signed up in advance, and Oz could seek advice from school staff on the best means of lecturing each group. For today's lesson he was told to bring snack-sized bones and lots. A puzzling hint, but Oz purchased a baggie of bones from a local butcher and brought them to lecture.

The spare room he set up in was one of the nicer ones, with mostly intact desks and posters on the wall that were from the current decade. Oz knew for a fact that some rooms still had books and charts from the late 1900s. Students filed in, and when everyone was present he jumped into lecture. A quick one he's long since memorized about budgeting and saving money, but no less passionately given. Oz knew finance, and it showed. All in all a half hour lecture with the promise of one on one time afterward for those who wished for a deeper understanding. To those who stayed, Oz handed out work sheets of questions for students to puzzle over. "Any one still confused?" He asked to the room at whole.

@Kathinja
 

Kathinja

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Dezzie did not know finance. She barely understood the concept of money.

The school has been supplying her with necessities, but she had to learn about money eventually. So she was told to come to this class, and that if she paid attention and took good notes then she would be rewarded. So she was trying, really, but as she looked down at her messy notes and the little bone doodles in the margins when her mind would wander, she still felt like she was missing something. Some vital piece of information that would tie everything together.

She raised her hand, and asked: "Why is money even a thing?"

Right away, she could feel the eyes on her and hear the stifled laughs. Now she regretted opening her mouth a little, but she had already asked, so she clarified:

"I mean...um...what I mean is, why was it decided that these pieces of paper and coins would be made and...you know...given value to exchange for stuff? Instead of just trading stuff for other stuff?"
 

Fox Tarts

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"Why is money even a thing?"

Oz silenced his class with a stern glare. That got the students to shut up. He was not known for being nice, nor tolerant of ignorance. His face softened when he turned to address Dezzie. "Let's use an example." He began and from his briefcase pulled his bag of bone pieces and several pens. Oz pulled a chair beside her desk and set the bag of bones before her, and the pens before himself.

"In this example we'll say that these bones are yours to trade for what you need, and these pens are what I have to trade for what I need." He said, speaking loud enough for the rest of the class to follow along. "And let's say that in this example you have no pens and need them to perform your school work.

"I have pens you need, so you offer your bones in trade for my pens." Oz paused, letting Dezzie digest what he said. "However, I do not want bones. Let's say I want fruit in return for my pens. You do not have fruit, only bones. So, you would have to find someone else with pens, but they may not want bones either."

Another pause, then he brought the example home. "Now, let's introduce money." He pulled several bills from his wallet and placed them next to the bones. "Money has a set value. A dollar has a specific value wherever you go. Bones have a greater worth to you, but less worth to me. A dollar, however, has the same worth for both of us.

"This is why we have coins and paper bills. By using money you can purchase what you need, without taking time to find people to trade with." It was a very simple explaination, and did not account for the varying prices of things, but one step at a time.
 

Kathinja

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He set a bag of bones in front of her, and expected her to pay attention? Was this a test? Maybe this was a test. She squinted a bit at Oz, focusing her full attention on him as he went through his explanation. She would not think of the bones, she would not smell the bones, she would not acknowledge the bones.

And, actually, she did absorb his explanation. The purpose of money had clicked.

"I think I get it now! If there is one set thing that is valuable to everyone, then the problem of someone not wanting what you have is eliminated. So, how are prices decided on different things? That part seems kinda complicated..."

She leaned over, then added to Oz in a whisper.

"Can I have one? Please?" She pointed to the bag of bones on her desk.
 

Fox Tarts

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Dezzie's excitement pulled a rare, small, smile from Oz. Not only did she comprehend what he explained, but had taken that and applied it forward. He felt genuine pride for her and nodded when she asked for a bone. Miss Dezzie must be his bones student. Oz pushed a bone towards her, "Of course. I have plenty."

Oz glanced around the room, and saw another student waiting with their hand raised. He gathered up the bones and said, "I'll be back in a moment to explain your question." If he left a second bone for her to enjoy, well, it must have been by mistake. The waiting student had only one question, and it was simple to answer. Everyone else seemed content for the moment, quietly working on the problem sheets he provided. No more than three minutes had passed before he returned to Dezzie.

"You asked how prices are determined, and it is not so complicated as you might think." He sat down across from her once again and pulled out the bones. "We now have a system where we trade for goods we want with money. So how is the price of goods determined? By a system called supply and demand. Let's say a lot of people want bones, but few people sell them. There is high demand, but low supply. So, what happens is that the bones will sell for a high price." Oz paused there to let Dezzie digest this new info.
 

Kathinja

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With a big ol' grin, Dezzie took the bone and crunched into it like it was as delicate as a potato chip. She nodded as Oz went to answer another student's question. Then she noticed the bone left behind. Was that a mistake? She wasn't sure but being a gluttony demon, she didn't exactly have much self-control. So she grabbed it and quickly ate that one as well.

Once Oz came back, she sat up straight and refocused her attention on not-food money stuff.

"Supply and demand..." she jots down in her notes.

"That makes sense. Bones from rare animals cost more than ones that are from common animals."
 

Fox Tarts

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Oz looked proud that she was taking notes. It meant she was a good student and taking this seriously. "Exactly, the limited supply of rare bones means they are worth more than easily available common ones. You're learning fast, I'm impressed." He said to give her encouragement. "Was there anything else you wished to know about money?"
 

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