Sunday, October 28, 2012

Running For Political Office

Day #28 of 31 Days of Storytelling

Before you click off of this story at the fear of a political rant,

this is about 5th grade student council.

There are 4 different classes of 5th grade in Ellie's grade.

Two representatives are elected from each class.

There were specific rules to run:

•They had to write out their campaign "platform" and reasons why they wanted the position.

•They had to write a speech which they would give in front of their class.

•They could not "campaign" by giving out buttons or fliers or candy or bribes of any kind.

Ellie was excited and filled out her form with her platform with ease.

Her campaign promises included:

•Getting a microwave in the cafeteria that the students could use.

•Increasing the size of the sub sandwiches 
(this is a real hot topic with Ellie that caused her to make an appointment with the vice-principal last year. I guess the VP said she "appreciated Ellie's willingness to share her thoughts on the matter." But the sub sandwiches remained minuscule in size.)

•Bringing back the option of getting a salad for lunch.
(It became an "adult only" entree after years of allowing kids to buy it.)

Yep, Ellie's issues were all food related.

The night before the election, she wrote out her speech on index cards and asked if she could practice in front of Monte and I.

This is the kind of stuff Monte LIVES FOR!

He loves politics, government and debating the issues.

About 5 index cards into her speech, I eyed her stack and realized we probably had 15 more cards of points to listen to.

Monte stopped her and said something along the lines of:

We love you and we are bored to tears. 
What are the kids in your class going to think?

She received the information well and they began to work on rewrites of the speech.

The next day I picked Ellie up from school. 

I couldn't read her expression if she was a newly elected student council member or not.

She handed me a folded up piece of paper.

When I opened it, I saw a large version of a 20-dollar bill photocopied with the face of one of her classmate's replacing Andrew Jackson's.

Handwritten on top of the paper was, 
"Vote for Will. He fits the bill."

And there was a chocolate foil wrapped coin taped in the corner.

Whoa, the campaign trail is ugly even in the 5th grade!

"I didn't win, Mom," she said softly.

As I tried to encourage her, she admitted that she voted for Will too.


"He gave us chocolate, Mom."

She said that his speech consisted of one sentence:

"Please vote for me because I told my mom I already won."

Maybe Obama and Romney have it wrong.

Don't debate.

Or give endless speeches.

Give us chocolate.

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