Childhood Memories of Money Assignment

The Goals:

• To practice personal, creative, non-fiction writing
• To practice self-reflective thinking about your own experiences of money

The Assignment:

• Choose a childhood memory that has anything to do with money. Ideally, it will be a memory that
somehow shaped you or your attitude toward wealth, poverty, spending, saving, power, security,
vulnerability, or justice, etc.

• In your first 250-500 words, d e s c r i b e your memory. Tell the story of what happened, how old you
were, where you were, etc. Try to use evocative detail, and feel free to be creative in your retelling,
but keep it real.

• With your remaining words, a n a l y z e the meaning that you made from this experience.

Ask yourself (or have someone else ask you) questions: What did you think money was? What could it do? What messages were given to you (by the people in the memory and/or the situation) about what money represented? It doesn’t matter if what you thought money was or did was “wrong” or if what you learned was not what the others around you “intended” you to learn. What messages about you, your relationship to money, about the world, or anything else, were encoded in this experience from your past?

The Technical Details & Helpful Tips:

• Write 1000 words, in 12-point font (equivalent to Times New Roman), print on double-spaced
pages, i.e. 4 pages.
• Make sure to put your name, your student number, and your TAs name on your paper
• Hand it in to your TA in Tutorial
• The assignment is worth 10% of the course grade
• It might be helpful to have a friend (or new classmate) ask you the question “What are your
childhood memories that have anything to do with money whatsoever?,” then sit back for 15 minutes and give you their attention while you talk around your thoughts and memories. Hearing yourself think with a witness is often a good way to get your ideas flowing.

• It might be helpful to refer to the readings for the course that have been assigned for Unit 1, though you are not required to reference them in your assignment.

• You do not need to answer all the questions above, nor do you need to answer them in any particular order… just write an essay that describes and analyzes one way that you made money meaningful as a child.

• Edit and re-edit your written work. Nothing degrades interesting and compelling ideas more than poor writing.

• Feel free to trade editing services with a friend or classmate. I’d strongly encourage everyone (no matter how good your writing already is) to make an appointment with a writing centre. Improving writing is a life-long task – an extremely valuable one at that.

• Please save drafts of your work. If your TA suspect anything less than academic honesty, they will as you to show them how you arrived at your final submission.

Last Updated on April 15, 2020