“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

A few times every year in elementary school, a bunch of students would get suckered into selling candy for a school fundraiser.

Each kid was aggressively encouraged to sell a minimum number of candies at fifty cents per piece. If students met their sales goal, they would be adorned with a kitschy trinket.

I bought my own candy from the store with a $10 loan from my parents and started selling them at a quarter each – undercutting the monopolistic school fundraiser. Sales were great and I couldn't keep up with demand. I was exhilarated… until the school told me to stop.

I was heartbroken by my school's flagrant violation of a free-market system. I didn't actually articulate it that way back then, but I did know how it felt.

Treacherous. Unfair.

This was especially ironic for a kid who escaped to the States as a refugee from the former Soviet Union. I remember that once my visceral feelings evaporated, I felt this sort of funny gratification. I shook the system – I threatened an entity that in my child eyes was the establishment.

I will always shake up the establishment.

— David Askaryan