Tuesday, February 21, 2012


When I was in 8th grade, our social studies teacher taught us about something called "TINSTAAFL"(rhymes with "thin waffle").

A (just "a." yeah that's right- I'm using a single-letter word in an acronym)

TINSTAAFL was an illustration of the economical concept that, if you get something for so-called "free," you'll pay extra for something else later to make up for it.  For example, if you're in a clothing store and there's a one-day sale on sweaters (only $15.95!!!!!), pants and bathing suits will probably cost a little more that day...or next week, so it's not so obvious.

I'm learning the most literal definition of TINSTAAFL during my adventure in LA.  It's kind of fun to see how many free meals I can get while I'm out here.  Well, it's always fun to see how many free meals I can get, but now that I'm actually buying all of my own food, I'm much more appreciative and aware of it.

At my various internships, my bosses will sometimes buy me a coffee or lunch and it's great.  But TINSTAAFL comes into play with the fact that I'm not getting paid for any of them.  That's not meant to sound bitter; I didn't expect to get paid by my internships (although it would've been nice).

Anyway, I never really thought a concept that I learned in middle school would stay with me this long and actually apply to me in the most literal way so many years later.  (another concept from the same teacher that stuck with me: Baby Socialism- a naked baby doll with an 'S' drawn on her in sharpie.  The teacher would smash her head against a desk repeatedly to make the point that socialism is BAD and only leads to COMMUNISM.  In retrospect, that, and a number of other things he did in class made it transparently obvious that he was a conservative republican- but also a wonderful teacher.)


  1. Wait. Who the hell was this teacher? He sounds AWFUL.