Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Taylor's election video

Tay's Election Speech

Update Your Status!!!

My absence over the last few weeks can be accounted for by 3 words: Junior High Elections.

Holy freak, when did junior high elections become a high stakes, frenzied production of videos, speeches and my favorite, the carnival wrist band? I remember school elections being a popularity contest where you felt cool if you were asked to carry a campaign sign between classes. Long gone are those days. Now, you really have to campaign. It's a multi-step process: first you have to get names on a petition supporting your right to become a candidate; second comes the awfully complex process of deciding on a campaign slogan- the all-important mantra that will grace your posters, campaign t-shirts (only 2 shirts, one for the candidate and the other for the "campaign manager") and wristbands (The kids are not allowed to hand out any "bribes" like candy, so instead they can give out carnival wrist bands with your slogan emblazon on with black sharpie). Tay's slogan was all about Facebook: "Update Your Status- Vote Cella for 9th Grade Officer!! Then there's primary elections. Because there were 9 candidates for the 3 ninth grade offices, they decided at the last minute to cancel primaries, which was both good and bad. It was good because all the students running got an opportunity to move on to the finals, but bad because it made the election process from start to finish almost 4 weeks long. The week of Spring
Break was spent filming the 3 minute election video, and writing the election speech. Then it was one more agonizing week of campaigning before Taylor was finally able to give her speech and video at the election assembly last Friday. The assembly was a mess. Every year they have horrible technological issues. This year was worse than most. I felt so bad for the kids running for 8th grade officers; their videos were first and so the teachers had to work out all the computer glitches on their videos. It took an hour longer than anticipated, and by the time they were finished I think the kids were just sick of the whole thing. Then they still had the SBO & 9th grade electorates to go. Tay decided to run for 9th grade officer because 2 of her best friends were running for SBO, and she didn't want to have any bad feelings between them from competing against each other. It was a good decision because she could support both of them, as they could her. Tay's speech was great. She tied in her "Update Your Status" slogan, and she even sang/played guitar. She really stood out with her originality. Her video was hilarious. I'll try to post her video and the speech on the blog later. After the assembly, they were supposed to go back to class and vote but the ballots got all messed up so they had to wait until Monday to vote. It was a looooong weekend. Again, I felt bad for the kids. They have spent so much time and energy in this process, only to have mistakes make the results agonizingly longer. But it all turned out well in the end, as Tay found out at the end of the school day on Monday that she had won. Her two friends also won, so they'll have a blast next year in Student Gov. Tay is really excited to plan great activities next year, and get the students more involved. We are so proud of her for running a great campaign, and are really, really glad it's over and done with!!

Our candidate, showing off her shrine on Grandma's fridge.

Proud Grandma and Grandpa came over for a post-election celebration. Tay had so much support from her family and friends.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Whatever Happened to Civil Discourse?

I know I should be updating our adventures for the last few weeks instead of going on a rant, but this is my blog and I just need to get some feelings out. So please don't be offended- in fact, feel free to bypass the rest of this and catch me next time when I'm in a better mood.

If you're still reading, I warned you.....

So I have never been the type of person who is comfortable talking/debating politics with friends, associates, people at church,......you get my drift I'm sure. Part of the reason is based on my political beliefs, and the other is that I've seen too many people get into unnecessary and heated arguments on what boils down to a matter or opinion. So I'll just come out of the closet and say I'm a democrat, and have been since I entered my first poly sci class in high school. Now, for clarification, I consider myself a DEMOCRAT, not a LIBERAL. They are two very different things, and too often the party is defined by that one adjective. I'm not going to go into all the reasons why I am a democrat, but please know that I have examined both parties and their platforms, I am well educated, and feel that the democratic party aligns best with my opinions and politics. It's such a weird dichotomy being a democrat in a mostly republican state. When I have, on rare occasions over the years, expressed my view points on issues, I have been berated and ridiculed, and my dedication to and belief in my church has been questioned and doubted (not by any church leaders, but by mean spirited associates). I had to let go of a long friendship because the friend kept badgering me and berating me, trying to set me up for contentious debates. I decided that I don't need that kind of spirit in my life. It drives me nuts when fellow members go on the attack because our church is politically neutral; the leaders stay out of politics unless an issue directly affects the church. I love the stand our leaders have taken. It tells us that the Lord trusts us to make personal, prayerful and guided decisions on who we want to lead us. They do not endorse one party over the other, but far too often the members do. They draw a line of good vs. evil, and insist that one must "right" and "true". For these reasons, I never discuss my beliefs publicly. I just go to the voting booth and let the punch card do the talking. But the more I think about it, the more ridiculous I think these judgments are. If I lived on the west or east coasts, I would be considered too moderate or "not democrat enough". See the stupidity of it all? So I've decided that I'm done with labels. I am nothing. I am Mindi. I believe the government is there to serve and aid the people. I will vote for those who hold the same values. When my church comes out and asks me to support a measure, I will because I believe our church leaders are Apostles of the Lord and are guided by Him. I will respect the President whether he be republican, democrat, independent, white, black, male, female, because that's what having the office of President of the United States deserves, respect. How can he succeed without our support and prayers? It doesn't mean we have to agree with him all the time, but we have to let the world know that the office of president is important, valued, and one we trust in. Teasing in good fun is always okay, but mean spirited and cruel attacks are never appropriate.

Anyway, that's my opinion. I've been holding it in for a while. Hopefully you all still love me after this, but I suspect that if you know me well in "real life" this comes as no surprise and you already decided long ago to stick by me in spite of my crazy ideas :)

Oh, and as clarification, I did not become a democrat because I attended that bastion of free thinking known as the U. As already stated, I knew which way I leaned before I could even vote. But I did find at the U a lot more openness and willingness to accept differing and even contrary opinions than I ever had before. That just one of 1,000,000 reasons I love my Utes :)