Fitz English 9
I stand at the front of the meeting hall. People stare at me with dark, looming, judging eyes. My palms are sweating, my knees are weak, and my arms feel heavy. My hands shake, eager to be doing anything except what's happening now. I stutter into the microphone, while still thinking about the question asked. What do these people want from me? What is the correct answer to the question? Eventually, I grow the courage to speak the answer to the fourth grader's terrifying question:
Yes, this is the answer, and yes, this is one of the essential questions of the Fenn School presidential debate. Every year, some young boy asks "What is your favorite color?" And the candidates have to answer, even though their main issue is... The lack of a panini press in the dining hall. Ok, the elections may not be the most serious of events, but running for Vice President changed the way I look at life.
When Matt Kirkman and I decided to run for office, we immediately started planning. I was incredibly excited for all of the opportunities. We started by looking up cool, customizable bulk items. Everybody loves the campaign "stuff" that is handed around before Fenn elections, and we wanted to outdo all of the other candidates. We only had a budget of $100, so supplies were limited. After hours of research and surveys of the school on what people would want, we decided to pour most of our efforts into blue and gold stylus pens. As most of the school was now using iPads, and most lower schoolers had iPhones, we thought that it was a cheap, but cool way to get people to appreciate us. The first delivery was of the gold stylus pens, and they were a huge hit. We promised about fifty boys who weren't able to get the pens that they would have some from the next delivery. Unfortunately, the stupid, awful, terrible UPS lost the blue ones. So now we had some unfulfilled promises as well as wasted money. This experience taught me that luck is not always on our side, and sometimes we have to adjust to meet the problems.
We then focused on getting people to like us. This was the hard part, because most lower schoolers have no idea who we are. One of the ways we tried to win the appreciation of fellow students was by making an Instagram account for our campaign, which attracted a few people, but didn't turn out the way we had a hoped. The candidates are only given two speeches, and that isn't a lot of time to really convince people that you are the right choice. One of the main issues is the questions asked. They're always relatively, well, stupid. But, they give you a chance to put your personalities out there; to make the audience really like you and figure out who you are. While the candidates think about making Fenn a better place and having fun as a school, the voters want a leader with a bright personality and who can make them laugh, and in a way, that's an even better reason to have a president.
When the time for voting results came, I was excited, nervous, and scared all at once. In a way, I knew we weren't going to win, but obviously I still wanted to. I had learned many things from my time running, and above all, I had become a better person. I expected a runoff between the two favored pairs: Max and Tyler, and Andrew and Colin. But when I learned that there would be no runoff, and that Andrew and cooling had won, I was a little disappointed. I thought that our speech would influence the students more. We had some really good ideas, and while I don't want to be salty about losing to Andrew and Colin, their ideas seemed a little vanilla to me. However, they were easily the funniest and most charming pair of us all, and for that, they deserved to win. All of our efforts seemed to go to a waste, but we realized that we still provided an exciting, fun, and interesting campaign to everybody. And besides, the official Fenn people ended up using our idea to have field day points for manpower month and lightbulb baseball, so that's cool.
Although our efforts were fruitless, running for president was one of the best decisions I ever made. I learned to adjust to difficult situations, be a leader, and accept failure when it is present.