Stylized line drawing of mark playing the flute

Amanda Grimes, I'm sorry

I ran for Student Council in my Sophomore year of high school.

I mostly did it as a joke, as evidenced by my campaign slogan.

There’s a brain behind the birkenstocks and a heart behind the hair.

I ran for the office of Publicity which seemed like it would be pretty low key in the event that I won. There was a bulletin board in the hallway at school. My job was to find newspaper articles about Mercy High students and post them on the board. I would also be called upon to make posters for the occasional school event.

This was the same year I got my first digital camera. I made all of my campaign posters on our Macintosh LC. Each poster featured the fabulous digital picture shown above. Custom printed posters! I was cutting edge.

My opponent was Amanda Grimes, a lovely girl that I sat next to in Pre-Calculus. We never hung out outside of school but we were on good terms. Her posters, while very nice, were poster board and magic marker.

I saw my opening.

We had speech day just before elections. Every candidate was required to get up and give a short speech extolling their virtues.

In true high school form, I wrote my speech on the bus on the way to school the morning of speech day. I was terrified getting up in front of the entire school but I covered it with an extra helping of bravado.

I only remember one line from the speech, the closing.

It’s time to put down our magic markers and move on. Into the 20th century!

I pounded the podium with both fists as I said it and the entire gym went nuts. People jumped up screaming.

I won by a landslide.

And I hated the entire thing. I neglected my duties in keeping the news board up to date and I was unhelpful during Student Council meetings.

Amanda would’ve been so much better at it.

Amanda Grimes, I’m sorry.