Monday, April 02, 2007

If I were President

Student Body Officer grassroots today. The potential officers visited our English classes and we got to ask them all sorts of questions. It was cool, I just wish there had been more time to talk about stuff.

Events like this always make me want to run, to be the guy in charge. It's not something that's realistic of course, but it makes me think of what I'd do if I were the man wearing the pants.

So, here we go. The totally un-thought out list of things I'd do if I were the president. Go go.

Step 1. 5 v 5 student body basketball tournament.

Have a march madness tournament here at the school. Exclude anybody that was on the basketball team for obvious reasons.

Basically, we announce we're going to have a 5v5 competition. The winner gets something cool, haven't figured that out yet. But it's not about the prize, it's about the glory.

So, Bill wants to get into the tournament with his friends, so he grabs the papers from the office and gets his friends to sign up. They practice after school at Fred's house, and play Saturday mornings in the preliminaries.

Eventually you boil the tournament down to the final four guys teams and final four girls teams. (That is, assuming you get enough teams to sign up)

And then you do a battle of the sexes style assembly. At the end of the day, you've got the last three games. Quick 15 minute games with a little break between them all. The champion team is crowned at the end, yeehaw.

What does it accomplish? It let's people that want to play ball play some cool ball. It gets people involved, and helps school spirit. It's an opportunity to show what you've got. I'd kill for 5v5 basketball tournament.

Practical? Yeah, not impossible to pull off. I could see it happening. It's almost like battle-of-the-bands, except this time with basketball. w00t.

Step 2. Lunchroom competitions like mad.

Step one: get a sound system in the lunch room.

Step two: run at least one competition a week in there. Maybe more.

It doesn't matter what the competition is. Play Twister. Arm wrestle. Play Chess. Have them sing a love ballad to a teacher. Have a mock presidential debate on the merits of Mr. Rogers. Hold a cole-slow-eating king of the world showdown. Shake it up, appeal to the masses. Play DDR, play guitar hero. Play Halo. Have an obstacle course. Have a hand stand competition. Have a race to climb the rope. Break dance competitions. Tell them the first person to come back with MJ's right shoe wins the prize. Ribbon Dance. Simple addition, simple multiplication. Draw a really really really big smiley face with your toes.

So there are competitions. We know that. They're fun.

But why not take it a step farther?

Battle of the sexes was a good idea, it just faced a few giant hurdles. Step one was the whole "guys vs. girls thing" Guys are stronger, all that business. I don't wanna get in a fight here, let's just establish it wasn't exactly balanced.

I do however like the concept of a civil war. You can split it up two ways. You can play Class wars, where it's senior vs. junior vs. sophomore, or you can play it civil wars, where it's Eric Vs. Myself.

Yeah, I wanna see a Frisbee-Handstand battle to the death. We'll both campaign for people to join our side of the conflict. The common man will be compelled to choose a side. It won't just be restricted to our immediate circle of influence either. Everybody will jump in on it, because we'll be campaigning.

We'll coordinate our plans. We know when DDR day is coming up, so I'll sign my most amazing DDR'r up. Points for winning, points for playing along.

I'll use my propaganda ridden blog to promote our ideals, and we'll coordinate through the magic of Email. At the end of the month of conflict we'll have a giant capture the flag match, a giant everything.

It's conflict. It's a competition, and it gets everybody involved. We'll make T-shirts that say "Eric 4 President" or "Eric smells".

The best part is, it'd totally work, at least in my mind. I can see me running a giant competition. I can see people getting behind it. It'd take a lot of work to get the people that are totally unrelated to me or Eric to play along, but it's not impossible.

4 square battle to the death.

It'd be epic. I want a giant competition. I don't even care if it's civil war. I just want a cause to rally behind. There was nothing like "doing it for the sevies" back in the day. I wanted my grade to win, I wanted my comrades to have the glory. It wasn't just about me, it was about the brotherhood. We need a uniting power that's gonna help us compete.

Competitions. I really really like them.

And why don't we have a Taylorsville Egg drop like we had in elementary? Why don't we have everybody that wants to play build a little device that is going to keep an egg from dying at the bottom? Point subtracted for however much more mass it has.

Competitions that are just for the heck of it. Stuff like the egg drop. That's an engineering challenge, we can do stuff that relates back to school.

Why competitions? They serve several valuable purposes. They let people go above and beyond school. It's not just about the math assignment anymore, they're something else for you to dream about. It lets the people that care but don't go to games do something they care about. I don't expect too many kids that are failing to play along with the competitions. We'll have to get to them later. You've got a bunch of people that would totally play along with this stuff if they were there that aren't currently going to games and all that.

Let's get to the willing folks first. We'll worry about the others later.

For reals. I love competitions. And maybe i just do this for me. This is my dream. This is what I want to do. I want competitions, I want to drop an egg.

Step 3: Get the Committees back.

I've honestly never been to school when the committees were there as far as I know. But they are in the constitution, and they sound great. What could it hurt? The idea of a student council sounds really really awesome to me. I'd love to go yell at the SBO's every once in a while. Dooooo it.

Step 4: Have a Kaelin Dance.

Kaelin is an amazing rock star. If I were president, I'd do everything in my power to make sure we've got a Kaelin dance. Not only would have play music we could dance to, but he'd be super cool while he's doing it anyways. It'd be like a region dance, except without the ties, and with my math teacher playing the bass. The fact that there hasn't been a Kaelin dance yet makes me upset. We need more Kaelin!

Step 5: Assign someone to exploit the myspace deal.

I'm not a myspace kind of guy myself. We don't get along. But, I figure it's got a lot of social power, so why not assign someone to push your ideas through myspace? Who wouldn't want Taylorsville High School as one of your friends? It'd be a quick way to get announcements out to people. It wouldn't reach everybody obviously, but it'd hit a large demographic, that's for sure. It'd make coordinating events much easier. We could pimp out the page, have some music from the local bands, have all sorts of stuff going on. Why not? It's a useful tool (...sorta) that we can use to further our purposes. Easy easy, japanesey. Of course, you'd need someone who's not an idiot to do it. Still, totally possible.

Step 6: Enlist the teachers in getting the word out.

I've stated it in the past, but a big problem with school spirit is a lack of communication. If students watched TVTV and listened to announcements, things would be better. So, we ask for teacher's help in making that a reality. In addition, we send teachers an email once a week or maybe once daily that details everything that's going on these days. Upcoming competitions, football games, all that jazz. We tell them to mention it to the kids if they can, talk about it. I mean honestly, let's say the egg drop is coming up. Olsen knows it's coming because he got the email about it. He's like "Hey Kyle, why don't you do this?" and then Kyle'd be like "Dude, I'm so gonna do it cause Olsen talked about it!" It'd so work.

Because really, teachers know by the end of first term how their kids are. Most of them are fairly buddy buddy with them all. Hansen knows what I'm in to, Harward knows what I'm good at. If they got the email saying "We're having a school wide Haiku competition, the winner gets whatever. Teachers, please encourage students that you'd think would be good at it to play along." Harward would totally say "Hey, Chris, do this." And I'd totally be there.

Use the teachers. Some would choose not to play along, but some would be good at it. The key would be to not be obnoxious, and to scratch the teacher's backs too. Good relations with the teachers, they're useful.

Step 7: video announcements on the website

They're not hard to make, and some of them could be pretty fun. The important thing would be to have a cool website that could be the source of information for the competitions and all that. "We're gonna be having the Ugly Beard Growing competition throughout the whole month of February!" is a great announcement to have on the web site. It's a good one, that's for sure.

Step 8: Good relations with TVTV and Journalism

Few people (As far as I know) watch TVTV. Everybody reads the newspaper. If you want to talk about the Ugly Beard Growing month coming up, talk to Wessman about it. Send him a little article about it. See if he'll let you have an SBO section in the paper where the president would get to say what they have to say. Same deal with TVTV. Communicate with the masses. Even if you have great plans, it doesn't do any good if nobody knows the deal about them.

Step 9: Reward Spirit

I'm not talking about free T-shirts here. Recognize the people that are going out there. Recognize the man who dropped a hundred eggs and didn't break any. Find good ways to do it. Make it socially acceptable to go all out for spirit.

Step 10: Work to make Prom Cheaper

I don't think that Prom should cost as much as it does. A lot of us don't have jobs, and a lot of us don't have the bravery to tell girls "Look, I can't afford a stupid corsage, is that alright with you?" Perfect example: Jose. He's a good kid, but he's a sophomore. We love him anyways.

He asked a girl to Prom, she's a cool girl. Jose doesn't have a job, and he doesn't have unlimited funds to throw around. We were on a run in the recent past where we talked about his plan for Prom. I pointed out to him all the things that I had done for homecoming to cut costs, and he was totally shocked. He had never thought of these things, and in fact, had been told that they were social taboo by everyone's favorite undervalued ultimate player. Jose had the impression that he "had" to do the flower thing. That he "had" to do the pictures at school.

Now, maybe there are some people that think you do. I don't think it's necessary. Call me a terrorist, call me whatever you want. I don't want to see people spending so much money on dances, it's ridiculous.

So, how do we convince the student body that it's socially acceptable to be a cheapskate? Use the methods of communication we've establish above. Use your internet resources to publish the tale of your cheap homecoming you had, and how much fun it was. Encourage teachers to encourage students to go cheap. Take a poll with the newspaper, and have them publish the percentage of girls that wouldn't be offended if the guy asked if they could skip the flower business. Maybe encourage some teachers to offer extra credit to anybody that can account for all the money they spent for Prom, and have it total less than 75 bucks.

It's not for everybody. But this whole school dance thing is ridiculous. If I was in a position of power, I'd do my best to make it socially acceptable for me to be a cheap skate. Making the world a better place, one step at a time.

Step 11: Push the Litmag

The Litmag is really really cool. The idea behind it is golden. I wish it was encouraged more by English and art teachers though. It's got so much potential. I've grown the love the idea behind lit mag, so why not help it out as President? Use the tools we've already got, it's cool.


That's all I've got for now. I'm sure more will come in the near future. How much of it is possible? I'm thinking all of it, with the possible exception of the Me vs. Eric brawl for world supremacy. The big factor is communication and competitions. Make an ordinary week special by having a Friday afternoon egg drop, or basketball game, or basic math speed competition. Use your resources, break into the internet.

Break out of the ordinary routine and push the limits. Take it to the next level.

What does the president need to give the students? I can't speak for every student, but what do I want from the president? I want an opportunity to do something amazing. I want an opportunity to go beyond school. I get a 4.o, that's as far as I can go. I want to build the best egg dropper. I want to play on the best 5 man basketball team. Give me a chance to play with the high school community. Give me something to look forward to on Friday. I thrive on competition. Let's have some competition.

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