Everyone is gathered in a classroom to hear the announcements.
Mr Stevens: “As you all know, it is that time of year when we hold elections for the student representative council…”
“There will be one representative from each year level. Any volunteers?”
Emily puts her hand up. She hasn’t been involved in any school activities before, so now is her chance.
Catrina puts her hand up, too. Oh-uh.
At lunch, Neko helps Emily figure out her campaign. The speeches will be held after lunch, so she needs to think quickly.
“I really want to make this school a better place, ya know?” Emily says. “How about improving the physical education program? We don’t have any sports equipment!”
Neko isn’t so sure. “I don’t think you’ll have the power to do that…”
Emily sighs. “Honestly, it’s Catrina I’m worried about. Why is she running against me? She doesn’t care about the school!”
“She’s just petty.” Neko says. “She won’t win, anyway. Nobody will vote for her.”
Aimee spots Neko and Emily in the hallway on the way back to class.
“Hi guys! I didn’t see you at lunch. What’s happening?”
“We were just preparing for the speeches today.” Neko explains. “Did you know that Emily is running for a student council position? You’ll vote for her, right?”
“Yeah, for sure!” Aimee says. “Good luck!”
Everyone is packed into one classroom for the speeches. It’s so crowded!
“Alright, everyone, settle down…” Mr Stevens says. “Let’s get started. First up -Emily!”
“Hi everyone!” Emily says. “I arrived to this school last year, and straight away I noticed that there are some major changes we need here… Firstly, why is there only one working toilet in the bathrooms? Why don’t we have any whiteboards? Why isn’t there a cafeteria? If you vote for me, I promise to address this issues in order to create a productive and peaceful school environment. Thank you.”
“Do you really think that’s going to work?” Hisses Catrina as she takes the stand. Emily pretends not to hear and takes a seat.
“So Emily says this school needs whiteboards and more toilets. That’s fair enough. But is that actually helping our education? Will that helps us memorise all the countries of Europe? Will that help us learn French? No, it won’t!”
“Look at this here!” Catrina points to the blackboard. “How many of us actually understand what this is?” There is silence in the audience. Nobody does. “I can’t rework the whole education system, but if you vote for me, I promise to rework the education system at this school.”
“We need better teachers! More resources! We need-”
Steven runs over and covers up the microphone. “Catrina! That’s enough! Go back to your seat!”
It’s difficult, because part of me wants to make my Barbieland a reflection of real life, but another part of me wants to make it a utopia, where school councils have power and teachers are actually respectful.
Random Thought: Why do we say ‘a utopia’ instead of ‘an utopia?’ It starts with a vowel! Man, it must be difficult for people to learn English…