Wednesday, June 1, 2016

My TeenPact Experience, Part 2

Hey, y'all!  Hope you enjoyed my previous post in this series!  Here's Part 2!

I knew a lot of the students this year.  Some of them were staffers now.  I smiled, shook their hands, gave them hugs if I knew them well enough.  Our PD seemed familiar to me.  Turns out, through a slightly awkward conversation, I realized I'd seen him on TeenPact Memes.  He's famous there, I guess. ;)

After catching up with my TeenPact buddies, I met a few new people...Most of them were first-timers.  I told them that, if they liked the first year, the Alumni Track would be even more fun.

I spent months writing up my essay (the previous year, you had to write two 500-word essays on interventionism.  This year, it was one 1,500 word essay on the American Criminal Justice System), planning my bill topic, and coming up with the slogan.  No more dumb agrarian slogan.  This year, I'd be myself.  This would be my slogan.  Well, not quite because...

See, every student knows Taw's name.  So, they also know that I'm his little sister.  If I had a dollar for every time I met a student or staffer who said, "Hey, you must be Taw's little sister!"  I can't tell you how rich I'd be.  But connections are good.  Especially when you have a big brother who's been elected to every position.

So, this year, my slogan was "Vote For Me.  I'm Taw's Little Sister!"  Yup, that was my slogan.  I loved it.  It was funny because everyone knew who Taw was.  And, oh, the laughs I got when I said it!  A candidate standing next to me when we were in the primaries liked it a lot.  Every time after that, when we started talking to each other, he'd say "Vote for me.  I'm Taw's little sister!"  And I laughed too.  Pretty good slogan compared to my agrarian tree hugger slogan two years before.

Primaries...Students nominate others and/or themselves.  Every candidate in your party stands in a line.  You all get asked questions, like "What would you do ( giving it to charity) with a million dollars?"  And then you get really deep questions, like "What kind of fish would you be and why?"

I said I'd be the humuhumunukunukuāpua'a.  More laughing (mind you, I was laughing too).  One of my friends, a staffer, exclaimed, "Say that again!"  One of the students said, "I can't fit that many syllables into my mouth!"  Ah, it was a good feeling.  Being myself and loving it.  It's nice to have a good laugh with everyone when you say you'd like to be the Hawaiian state fish. And humuhumunukunukuāpua'a sounds so much more impressive than simply saying Reef Triggerfish. :D

Another part of being myself was reassuring other students - first-timers and alumni alike - that they should run, or that they'd do great, or that it'd be lots of fun.  I like to focus on helping other people feel comfortable, especially when I'm feeling just the same.  Those butterflies I told you about in my previous post?  Well, I'm not the only one who gets them.  One girl, she got elected Senator.  She sat next to me the last day, fretting about her speech, telling me she'd probably make a mistake, or just stand there and freeze.  I told her she'd do great, that I knew she would.  She gave a little laugh and said she'd totally campaign for me next year - do anything to help me out since she didn't want to run again.  She delivered her speech, and sat down next to me, breathing out a sigh.  I complimented her and she grinned.  I like that feeling of making people feel good about themselves.

So, as you can probably guess, I didn't get elected this year either.  But there's something I have to tell you.  For the first time as a TeenPacter, I got voted out of the primaries!  I made it to the General elections!  I was so, so happy!  I could hardly believe it.  I finally got to stand where my friends - and big brother - had stood.  I got to answer questions about which donut I'd be, and what our party stance was!  And there I was, more content than I'd ever been at TeenPact, standing in front of all the other students.  Lined up with all the other Senatorial candidates, answering every question with a huge smile on my face.

And, yeah, the other students laughed with me when I announced my slogan.

Have you been to TeenPact?  Did you get into the elections?  Tell me about your TP experience in the comments below!  

I hope you enjoy this series of posts about my experiences at TeenPact!  Thanks for reading!

Other Parts Of This Series:
Part 1
Part 3
Part 4

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