A Kid’s View: My First Campaign
It started with an announcement at lunchtime, where my Language Arts teacher from last year, Tamara, had a whiteboard and a bunch of those poster-size sticky notes with ideas and information about the 2013-2014 student council. Tamara told us to look at our handouts, which listed different roles. She directed us to the 5th/6th grade officer roles which are treasurer and secretary. Even though she moved on, that’s where my eyes stayed.
After that announcement, I kept thinking about it. I had decided that I wanted to run because I love my school and I’m very proud of being one of its students. I wasn’t sure though, if I wanted to run for treasurer or secretary. After some careful thinking, I decided upon treasurer because I love keeping things in order and I’m very responsible. Also, I didn’t want the added pressure of keeping notes and delivering them to everyone. Thus started my campaign.
My first step was to get 10 signatures on my form that would allow me to start my campaign as treasurer. Having never done this before, I wasn’t sure how to approach this task. I approached the first person somewhat awkwardly and nervously. Luckily, he was more than happy to do it and had signed people for several other positions, so he recognized my paper almost at once.
It was much easier after that first person, and from there I quickly got my nine remaining signatures. Then, it was the weekend, and I had some campaigning to prepare for.
Much credit must go to my mom and dad, as they supported me and listened and were very honest about my plans. I made them listen to a whole lot of slogans and most of them were incredibly cheesy, but sometimes cheesy is better since it sticks in people’s mind.
We ended up agreeing on the slogan It just makes ¢ent$! as my main one and the longer slogan $pend your vote wisely and ¢ount on Josh – it just makes ¢ent$! for my posters.
Then, it was time to create some campaign materials. I only knew what I’d seen of campaigns during the last few elections (town, state and country) and I wasn’t sure what was within my capabilities. This forced me to be flexible which some people tell me is not my best quality! I started with stickers and using computer labels, made a very simple sticker that said “Vote Josh Leffler for Treasurer”, along with my slogan.
At this point, I was jazzed up about getting ready for the election and all that, but at the same time anxious – I didn’t know what was going to happen.
Next came posters and bookmarks. I used the same kind of simple design, but by this time I was getting butterflies in my stomach. I had no idea what the campaigning would be like.
Finally, Monday arrived. I realized just then that I had no idea what I should do or say to give people a sticker. But then my reasoning that I had learned in school kicked in – even if I got it wrong on the first person, or even the first three, I would learn from those mistakes and do better next time.
That calmed my butterflies, at least somewhat. I went in, and prepared to start, when…
“Josh! Josh! Can I have a sticker? Please please please please please?” Several people came up to me at once and begged me for a sticker. I guess that all my worrying about how to get people to wear a sticker was for nothing.
As the week went on, I learned several things – such as the fact that bookmarks don’t work as well as wearable items like stickers, because people couldn’t see other people supporting me. I made several types of stickers, and passed them out every day of the week except for Tuesday, when I tried the bookmarks.
Finally, the election day (Monday of the following week) dawned, and I woke with all of the original butterflies fluttering around in my stomach, as well as their babies! We voted first thing in the morning, but then, that afternoon, they announced it – I won!
From this experience, I learned many important life lessons, such as the need to believe in yourself before others can too, among many others. It was a race of tension and enjoyment, sometimes both at the same time.
When you were in school, did you ever run for student council? Or perhaps you remember one of the elections? Tell me about it in the comments below.