“Hey, Lori, we saved a seat for you!” Shane waved to me as soon I arrived in bio class.
“Thanks, Shane.” I was a little disappointed that it was in the first row again. But I gladly took it since I barely made it on time and most of the seats on the ground floor were already taken.
“Don’t thank me. It was Jody and Susan who came early and grabbed the seats.”
“Thanks, girls!” I sat down next to Jody, who was sitting next to Susan who sat next to Shane.
“Lori, you like our new top?” Jody showed off her new uniform jacket with a girly pose.
“Wow, it looks really good on you.” I wondered how much it costed.
“Susan and I got it yesterday from the bookstore. They had a few other styles we missed the last time we were there. We also got some super cute skirts. We’ll show you when we were them.”
“Sure, I would love to see them.” As I was taking out my notebooks from my backpack, I saw Professor Halls sprinting to the podium.
“Good morning, class!” Professor Halls huffed to catch his breath. “I apologize for my lateness today. There was an emergency situation I had to take care of. For those of you who are not rushing to another class afterwards, I will extend this lecture for 5 minutes for any questions you may have.” This was clearly an emergency since he had already set up the equipment earlier.
“Does anyone have any questions?” Prof. Halls nervously brushed back his messy hair which partly covered his glasses. “Yes, the student in the balcony seat on the right. Well, your left, my right.” He pointed with his palm.
“Professor, since you were late for 5 minutes today, does that mean we can be late for 5 minutes tomorrow?” A boy asked in such a mocking tone that the whole class was shocked.
“Ah-hem!” Professor Halls cleared his throat. His face had turned completely blue. “Are there any other questions related to the topic we’re going to discuss today?”
I looked around to see if there was anyone else brave enough to ask questions in such a huge class. The same guy waved his hand in the air. I couldn’t make out his face clearly from where I was sitting, all I could see was that he wore a black top and his hair was dark red. The professor ignored him this time and called on a student sitting in the front row.
“Professor Halls, could you explain the difference between RNA and DNA again? I think I understood most of it. But I didn’t really understand the transcription part. How does a cell know when to make DNA and when to make RNA?” The voice was low and shaky, and barely audible.
“That’s a very good question.” Professor Halls repeated the question to the whole class and said, “this is an important concept that many first-year students find confusing with. I will explain it again more thoroughly in today’s lecture.” He went on to the slides and explained DNA and RNA production in detail and all the processes and proteins involved.
I tried my best to understand and take good notes, but it was not easy in such a big classroom. I was still shocked at the question asked by that guy and the fact that Professor Halls didn’t say anything in response! Is this normal in University these days? I think the Professors deserve more respect for the hard work they do.
“Come on, Lori, let’s hurry!” Jody reminded me that we finished 5 minutes late.
“Coming! Coming!” I stuffed everything in my backpack and dashed out of the room.
“Let’s go!” Shane led the way with a funny anime pose. “Is everyone ready for the birth of a new class president?”
“We’re electing our class president in Professor White’s class!”
“Right!” I had completely forgotten about it.
“Good morning, lad and lassies!” Professor White greeted us when we arrived in the classroom. “Let’s all take a seat quickly since we have an important event scheduled! Aren’t you all excited to get started?” He helped push people in and shut the door behind the last student.
Soon, there was a knock on the door. Professor White glanced at the clock and said to the class, “I’m afraid the seats are full, you’re the lucky ones who have it made it to the show! Too bad for the late comers!”
“Do you guys know who the candidates are?” Susan whispered to Shane in their seats.
Prof. White cupped one hand as a gesture to listen to their conversation. “This young lady is eager to find out our candidates for the election. How about we get started right away?”
Professor White read from a piece of paper on his desk. “Today, we are running the election for the class president. And I am your official host. First of all, I would like to announce the candidates, Mr. Chihu Sumun, Ms. Thenusha Jayadeva, and Mr. Mark Winfield. Could you all come to the front of the class please? Everyone clap! Clap!”
The three candidates made their way to the front of the room and stood in a line in the order that their names were read.
“Now, I would like you ladies and gents to introduce yourselves and state three reasons why you should be elected as the class president. Now, each of you only has 2 minutes, so choose your words carefully.” Professor White pulled out a stopwatch and showed it to class. “I shall use this device to ensure fairness. Mr. Chihu, are you ready?”
“It’s nice to meet you once again. My name is Chihu Sumun.” Chihu stood with his back straight and hands clasped in front of his body. “I’m 18 years old and I come from south Korean. The three reasons you should elect me are 1. I’ve been a top student my whole life, 2. I care a lot about my peers, and 3. I want to make student life as great as possible for everyone. Now please allow to be expand.”
Chihu relaxed his body and started gesturing with his hands as he spoke. “First of all, ever since kindergarten, I’ve gotten straight A+ and never had a grade less than 95 %. And ever since grade one, I’ve been the class president who has successfully planned and organized various student activities. You can place your confidence in my competence.
“Secondly, ever since grade 1, I’ve organzied small study groups with my peers and helped them succeed in school. Many of them have become good friends with me and are attending some of the best Universities in the world, such as MIT, Cambridge and Harvard. And lastly, I’m prepared to give my absolute best to ensure that student life is as enjoyable as possible for every student in this class. You can count on me to voice your concerns to the administration so good changes can happen! So please elect me if you wish to be led by a and experienced and competent leader. Thank you for your time!” He did a deep bow.
“Let’s give Mr. Chihu a round of applause.” Professor White clapped with the class. “Next, let’s welcome Ms. Thenusha. Ms. Thenusha is from India, a place full of ancient wisdom and mysteries. She graduated from the famous Winston Churchill High school with the highest average.”
“Hi everyone, my name is Thenusha Jayadeva.” Thenusha was a small girl with fair skin and big brown eyes. Her voice was rather high pitched and shook slightly from nervousness. “Um…I come from India and I feel very privileged to study at Felix Martin University.” She spoke English with a rather thick, but understandable Indian accent.
“I would like to be the class president because I want to help everyone succeed in their future. I think everyone deserves an equal opportunity to succeed in their lives, so they can in turn help others to succeed. Please allow me to give you a hand so we can succeed together! Thank you very much for this opportunity.” She finished with a bow.
“Thank you Ms. Thenusha. That was ONE excellent reason.” Professor White laughed with the class. “Now, let’s welcome Mr. Mark Winfield. The stage is yours.”
“Hello, my name is Mark Winfield. It’s nice to meet you all.” Mark spoke with composure and a big smile. “So why should you elect me as the president? First of all, I’m a student just like all of you. So I understand how tough a student’s life is. Secondly, I didn’t graduate as a top student in high school, so I’m easy to relate and talk to. And lastly, I’m an international student, I understand the struggles of every international student. I can’t make promises, but I will try my best to make our lives here good at Felix Martin. Thank you for your time.” Mark bowed and stepped to the side.
“Thank you, Mr. Winfield.” Professor White clapped with a surprised look on his face. “Now, let fate determine our winner! I would like to ask the three candidates to face the black board. No peaking, please.”
The results of the vote were very close for all three candidates: 26, 22, 26. “What should we do with a tie?” Prof. White scratched his head. “Come on, don’t let your old professor do all the thinking. You’re all intellectuals, young, but intellectuals nonetheless.”
“Professor White, as someone who’s highly experienced with voting activities, may I suggest something?” Chihu eagerly volunteered. “We could run the vote again with the whole class with only the candidates who were tied. Thenusha should vote too, so that the total number of voters is odd and a tie won’t happen again.”
“Mr. Chihu, what a brilliant idea! Let’s give your suggestion a try.” Professor White had Thenusha go back to her seat and join the class for a final vote. Everyone went to the front of the class and placed a mark on the person they wanted to vote for on a piece of paper. After tallying, Professor White announced eagerly, “and the winner is, drum roll… Mr…, wait a minute, it looks like we have another tie. How is this possible?” Professor White counted the votes again. “There are 74 votes but 75 people. Who is it that didn’t vote?”
“Professor, it would be too embarrassing for that one person to come up to cast a vote now.” Mark answered. “May I cast a vote for him or her?”
“What?! That’s a dirty way to win, Mark Winfield!” Chihu was angry. “If you cast a vote, then I should also have the right to cast a vote.”
“If you both cast a vote, it would make the vote a tie again, won’t it? Chihu, what we need now is a solution now to break the tie.” Professor White was concerned.
“Professor White, I wasn’t planning to vote for myself.” Mark mumbled under his breath.
“Mark, are you trying to insult me?” Chihu glared at Mark with hostility.
“No, not at all. Personally, I think you would more suited for this role than me.” Mark bowed towards Chihu.
“What? Is this a trick or something?” Chihu was incredulous.
“Mr. Chihu, trickery and deceit are not allowed in my class. I believe you have just been elected the class president. Congratulations, Mr. Chihu Sumun!” Prof. White shook Chihu’s hand.
“Woohoo! Congratulations to Chihu!” Mark cheered and clapped with the rest of the class.
“Lori, who did you vote for?” Shane asked me as we headed over to the cafeteria for lunch.
“Thenusha.” The truth is, I was the one who didn’t vote. I didn’t think any of them was the ideal candidate so decided to let the rest of the class decide. Besides, I’m not interested in extracurricular activities anyway.
“I voted for Chihu.” Shane volunteered.
“I can’t believe Chihu won with that kind of attitude?” Susan exclaimed.
“Who did you vote for?” Shane asked.
“Mark.” Susan answered.
“Mark?” Shane’s jaws dropped. “Are you serious?”
“Uh-huh.” Susan nodded.
“What’s wrong with Mark? I voted for him too.” Jody replied. “His speech was more interesting than Chihu’s.”
“But Chihu’s way more qualified than Mark.” Shane answered.
“Qualification isn’t everything in life though. I would prefer someone who doesn’t have his nose up in the air all the time.” Jody explained.
“Me too.” Susan added.
“I think Chihu will proof himself over time. You’ll see.” Shane was insistent.
“Yeah, let’s give it time and see if Chihu’s gonna be a good class rep.” Jody agreed.