The Joys Of Life, Issue 11

The 2020 Francis W. Parker Student Government Presidential Race

Before we dive into my final column, I just wanted to say how incredible it has been that I’ve had a place to place my voice for the last year. The honorary Joy this week is “The Weekly” itself. Parker students are so lucky that we, even in a private institution, get to express our voices and, while it’s a shame and a problem that we aren’t able to say everything we want to say, it’s fantastic that we have a consistent place where student voices can be expressed. 

This week, as the year comes to a close, I want to talk about a big part of the end of my junior year at Parker. It really showed just how special Parker can be and made me incredibly grateful to go to a school where incredible people are able to be openly incredible and where a mutual respect for all students is obvious and collaboration is encouraged. Without further ado: the 2020 Francis W. Parker Student Government presidential race.

So, if you didn’t know, I ran for Student Government president this year. If you didn’t read the last “Weekly,” it was Bodie Florsheim, Ava Ori, Rohan Dhingra, and Carter Wagner and I. Spoiler alert: Carter won. CONGRATS CARTER, OH MY GOD, I LOVE YOU, YOU ARE GOING TO DO INCREDIBLE. and I actually cannot wait for next year.

I had a really, really good time running, and I learned a ton about just how wonderful the Parker students are. More importantly, I learned how INCREDIBLE all of us running were and how much fun we could have, even if we didn’t necessarily win.

I’ll start with my favorite part: our group chat. I don’t know if other presidential candidates have started a group chat, but I think it may be a necessity for all future races. For me, the group chat symbolized a mutual understanding that the point of this race was not to demean or create division, but to have a great time, together, trying in our own ways to make the school better. 

There was no animosity between us as candidates, and we all had a mutual respect for each other’s ideas, approaches, campaigns, and goals. And when I’d heard that Carter won, while I was a little disappointed that I hadn’t won, I was ELATED that someone with the passion, the drive, the grit and the ideas that Carter has would be leading SG next year.

We also all had a bunch of fun campaigning. Bodie made a piece of videographic art, Ava hosted a cooking show, Rohan got professional endorsements and cold called people—which, like, ROHAN I LOVE YOU! Like, I’m not really, super-close friends with my opponents, but we all have just the right level of incredible-ness that, for me, led to an overwhelming, globular feeling of joy. 

And, while doing it in the virtual format made it hard to campaign and stay on student’s minds, there was pretty good voter turnout and a lot of engagement at debates and speeches (at which we did such a good job of distinguishing ourselves without belittling or “throwing punches” at each other).

Not to mention, our breakout room post-speeches was filled to the brim with love and optimism, and I feel that we were all on the same page that, at the end of the day, win or lose, we had a great time running for President, and we all should feel proud of what we did. Those speeches, by the way, WOW! Ava, Bodie, Rohan, Carter all did SUCH good jobs, I was super impressed and, frankly, they floored me with how good of a job they did. And the debates were handled with grace, class, impeccable awareness and acceptance, and I was really impressed with how great of a job everyone I ran against did.

VIRTUAL DEMOCRAFEST! Basically, instead of candidates campaigning in person, they each set up a different Zoom meeting where anybody could hop on and ask candidates questions. Ok, shout out to Benjamin Kagan for going to every room, essentially lobbying candidates about how they would include eighth graders, I was really impressed and, frankly, it just made me smile. Also, Mr. Brandon and Dr. Frank, I know, JUMPED AROUND THE DIFFERENT ROOMS! BLAAAAA! Really good stuff. I had a lot of fun 🙂

Conclusion: (one time, I left “Conclusion:” on an in-class essay, and *unnamed teacher* took twenty-five points off (that’s a joke)) 

In a really poopy 2020, the SG presidential race was a beacon of light, hope, fun and beauty. I didn’t even go into the other races, as I didn’t run for them, but I can assure you, all of the candidates did, like, “Wow, Grayson is sobbing” levels of beauty, for both speeches, debates, campaigning, and virtual Democrafest. 

And, like how I’ll remember 2020 not because of the pandemic, but because of the INCREDIBLE 2020 Francis W. Parker Student Government Presidential Race, 2020 should be remembered for more than just Coronavirus, the bonkers 2020 real-life American presidential election, Australia being on fire, Indonesia being underwater, Kobe, locusts swarming East Africa, Lagos being covered in noxious gas, or Turkey and Cuba shaking because of earthquakes. 2020 should be remembered for all of the incredible things that it represents. 2020 is the Year of the Nurse and Midwife! It’s also the International Year of Plant Health! 2020 is the Year of Sound, as declared by the International Commission for Acoustics (see Column 10 for more about PITCH!) Even though a bunch of people have died, on May 10th, Prince Charles of Luxembourg was born. Now he’s a prince! Frankly, Luxembourg is a close second to Liechtenstein on a list of my favorite countries that start with L and are small (Lesotho and Lebanon are also on that list (see Column 3 for more about LIECHTENSTEIN!)

Or what about the ALBUMS? “20:20” by Ryan Adams, “Twenty Twenty” by The Essential T Bone Burnett (that’s a real life artists name), “20 Twenty” by F.T. Island, “20/20” by The Beach Boys, “20/20” by George Benson, “20/20” by Dilated Peoples (like pupils, but peoples), “20/20” by Trip Lee, and another “20/20” by Saga, and another “20/20” by Spyro Gyra, and another “20/20” by the band, surprisingly called 20/20. There’s almost as many 20/20s as there are caganers.

So. That was it. That’s my column. Thank you for sticking with me and my ramblings. I hope you had a great time. There’s a bunch of jokes that run all the way through, SEE IF YOU CAN SPOT THEM! Thank you all so much for reading all of my columns, or one of my columns. 

Good-bye, good-bye, good friends, good-bye!