Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Agony of Defeat

Katie is very involved in Deca, the student marketing and management organization. Last year, she and her partner won 1st place at Districts and 1st place at state, which entitled them to compete at Internationals in Atlanta. I have never seen anyone prepare the way these two did. From the beautiful posters they designed to the trial runs they did of their presentation in front of local business groups, they came across as knowledgeable and polished. Their judge in Atlanta was a 20 something guy from a shoe store. To say he was not interested in their presentation regarding the "greening" of a local cookie company is an understatement. They did not win or even place. I was afraid they would be discouraged and not want to do the big competition this year, but they came home from Atlanta with fire in their eyes and a determination to win this year. At any rate, Katie decided to run for the office of VP for her district so that she could represent this area at the state level. Her campaign slogan was "No pigs. No lipstick. Just business." Competing against her was the son of the district coordinator, who made it a point to introduce him to the judges as her son. It sounds like the whole thing was not handled well, including the fact that this kid obviously spent over the allotted amount of money on his campaign and the fact that Katie's teacher was the only one not allowed in the room for a review of the scores, which were based on delegate votes (our school has the most delegates), a written test, an interview with the judges and a speech in front of the delegates as well as the judges. Now if this kid had a bigger total score than Katie, then good for him. But if the judges were swayed by the butt kissing antics of his mother, then shame on them! Because the students and teachers at our school who are involved in this program are beginning to wonder if it is all worth it.

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