This Picture hangs in the School's foyer and Lunchroom. It announces the Candidacy ofAlexander Mulligan Lords announced his candidacy for Confederacy Elementary School’s Student Body President for school year 2009-2010. He is a sixth grade honor student in Ms. Abigail Martin’s class and Chairman of the school's Young Republicans Club. His announcement was made yesterday during morning recess. In his speech, Alexander spoke on the theme of Change. Several times during his two minute speech he used the catch phrase of the American President Barrack Obama “Yes We Can!” The chant was quickly picked up by his audience of 19 fifth and sixth graders. Mysteriously there were few boys in the gathering. Most of the boys were found on the school’s lawn playing soccer and flag football.
Alexander Mulligan Lords for Student Body President.
Alexander Mulligan Lords for Student Body President.
“Yes We Can take back our school from an administration that doesn’t care about us kids,” Alexander was quoted as saying. “Yes We Can push for a four day school week with longer lunch time and extra recesses. Yes We Can put a cap on spending. Here we are spending a fortune on textbooks when the school governors could buy us all laptops. Think of the savings. Think of the paper saved. Think of the rain forests. Think of the little furry animals that run around in those forests.” The girls all clapped. A few standing closest to him screamed. It appeared Alexander had won over their minds, and more importantly, their hearts.
“He’s hot,” Emmileea Boones said when asked why she supported young Alexander’s quest for the presidency. All the girls in her circle near the tether ball court agreed.
“He’s the cutest boy in the whole school,” Kim Chun added. When asked if she understood what he stood for, she replied,”I just like looking at him. He sits opposite me during math. I’m failing because I can’t pay attention to Miss Blotchman. How can I concentration on math with him right in front of me?” Again, the girls in this unorganized Alexander Mulligan Lord’s Fan Club agreed that it would be impossible for them to focus on school if he sat beside them.
I was able to arrange a one on one interview with Alexander through his press secretary, sixth grader Daintha Pipplewhite. It cost me a sheet of unicorn stickers as a bribe. It seems bribery and education go hand in hand at Confederacy Elementary. Many of these children work hard in school only for the increase in allowance the Headmistress recommends to the parents. She believes schools should mimic the real world. She reasons that if adults get paid to go to work then children should be paid to go to school.
“To the workers go the spoils,” she says every morning during announcements.
“What do you think about the controversy regarding pay for grades at Confederacy Elementary,” I asked Mr. Lords during my interview during lunch. It was hard to hear his answer because of the ever present noise of a school lunch room.
He put his corndog down and thought for a moment. Then he pulled out an ipod touch from his jacket pocket.
“I bought this because of my straight A’s,” he said. “Now, take away the money and I take away my interest. Money talks in this world and bullcrap walks.”
A sixth grade boy sitting next to him corrected him, saying the world wasn’t bullcrap but bull...... I won’t include the word because it could offend our gentle readers. I’ll just say I was shocked to hear it come from the lips of the Lutheran pastor’s son.
“You see, education is all mixed up,” Alexander continued. “I just want to make money. Show me what I need to do to make money and I’ll do it. You can keep your social studies and math and english and everything else.”
“Except PE and recess,” Freckled face Tubby Moresby chimed in. Of course it brought a full round of laughter from the table. One boy laughed so hard milk poured out of his nose. That brought another hard fit of laughter. It got so bad the custodian shut off the cafeteria lights to try to regain discipline. it was useless. Things were spiraling out of control.
“Quiet!” came a strong shout from the dark. The room fell silent. The lights came back on. Alexander stood on the table before me staring at the other students. I was amazed at the power he seemed to have over the children.
“They really listen to you,” I said after he sat back down to continue eating his red jello crowned with artificial whipped cream.
“I’ve got ‘em. Kids don’t like to think. They’re naturally stupid. They follow me because they want me to become their friend and friends become more important than parents as kids get older. This gives me more power than their parents. Scary isn’t it?” he said as he stood to take his leave for recess.
The second he stood up two fourth graders were at his side wanting to take and empty his tray. He thanked them and produced a Tootsie Roll for each from his pocket. He went to the outside door and waited. He whistled, The migration started. Nearly one fourth of the children (mostly girls) in the cafeteria stood to leave, some had just sat down to eat their lunch. I noticed most of them wore a badge made of red construction paper pinned to their shirts. The badge said “Yes We Can” followed by a picture of a broken chain drawn by crayon.
Alexander smiled as he exited the lunchroom for his appointments outdoors. His campaign manager arranged for a tour of the playground with stops at the Big Toy to take questions and hand out Tootsie Rolls to the kindergartners through third graders. Another stop was organized on the north lawn. His schedule called for seven minutes of flag football with the other sixth grade boys. Recent polls taken by the sixth grade advanced math class indicated Alexander was slipping in his support from the average sixth grade boy. A few minutes with the boys should reestablished his athletic reputation (he was the quarterback on the Confederacy Hawks Flag Football Team). Once his position as the Alpha Male was back in place, Alexander could spend the rest of the recess in talks with the playground monitors arranging for a couple extra minutes of recess.
Alexander seems ready to take the helm at Confederacy Elementary. The teachers seem oblivious to this rising challenge to their authority. They paid no notice to his call for lay offs and the savings diverted to the Pay for Grades Scheme for the kids. The teachers see him as a harmless fly they wave away if his path comes too close. Alexander is fine with that. His campaign strategy expects apathy - until of course its too late and he is elected. Only then will they experience the full force of Cloverdale’s Alexander Mulligan Lords.