Yes, you can teach a finance class in a bowling alley

Yes, you can teach a finance class in a bowling alley
Eileen St. Pierre, The Everyday Financial Planner

I have been teaching finance since 1992, starting off in the typical college classroom but soon yearning for something more. The more off the wall and unpredictable the location, the better. Yeah, sometimes you wonder if you’re getting through – like the time I taught in the basement of military barracks with intermittent electricity and no air conditioning on a 100 degree day. But most of the time it does work, making for a truly memorable experience for both the students and the teacher.

I was recently asked by an Army Captain to teach a financial class to his soldiers at the bowling alley on a Friday afternoon. He wanted the full spread – PowerPoint presentation and everything. We were expecting 80 + soldiers and some family members. Oh boy, this definitely called for a scouting trip down to the bowling alley to figure out where the heck I was going to hold this.

Our only doable option was to take over the pool room:

Bowling Alley Class

As you can see, there were not a lot of chairs. We placed our financial resources on one of the pool tables. The room was packed full. There was no room for a PowerPoint presentation – just me using my teacher voice. The Captain gave a short speech about how important this subject was, and his own experience managing money.

Then an amazing thing happened. For about 90 minutes we covered budgeting, managing credit, deployment financial issues, and saving for retirement (including the military’s new Blended Retirement System ). No one left the room. Almost all the financial resources were taken. There were lots of questions afterwards.

Wow, I felt like I bowled a perfect 300 game.