The political energy in this country has affected everybody, including the students at Norton Elementary school where the third grade class was asked to write and deliver campaign speeches for class president. Lucy’s class had a week to write, memorize, and deliver the speech in front of their class (classroom only – not the entire third grade). Lucy was at a wedding this past weekend and so she did a rush job writing the speech on Monday. The speech wasn’t very good and lacked specifics. At one point she said she was a “lover of all things” and that she “wouldn’t fix things that didn’t need fixing”. She didn’t want to practice the speech. I finally forced her to spend 10 minutes on Wednesday memorizing the speech. After nine minutes she came out of the bathroom and declared she was finished. I didn’t push it. I figured this would be a great lesson in consequences. Having not worked very hard on the speech she wouldn’t win her election, and therefore learn that little effort leads to poor results.
Speech day arrived. Lucy gave her speech. David said she did “okay”.
Her peers brought in posters, props, handouts for the other students, promises of less homework, slogans like “Don’t by shy, vote for Rye”.
The students voted.
Lucy was a finalist – one of four.
The class was given the chance to ask the candidates questions. Lucy was asked “what are you going to do about homework”. She replied, “I’m not going to increase homework or decrease homework, but I do promise that we will get it done faster.”
The class voted again.
The students that worked hard, including one who had stayed in from recess to work on his speech, burst into tears. Her vice president, a boy named Tanner, explained to his mother that he wasn’t surprised Lucy won because “Lucy is a better friend than me. She really makes a point of being nice to everybody.”
Lucy is ecstatic and the lesson in consequences will have to wait for another day.