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  • Writer's pictureBenjamin Schilaty

My Only Hope


Last Wednesday I was nominated for a position in SLATSA, my program’s student association.  I don’t know who nominated me or why, but it was a flattering surprise.  The position mostly involved fundraising and writing grant proposal which not only do I have zero experience in, but they don’t seem very fun either.  I emailed the SLATSA president and told him that I didn’t think I was the ideal candidate due to my lack of experience, but he told me to accept the nomination anyway.  So I did, but mostly because I don’t have a job and I need some way to support Thai food eating habit. 


Now that I was nominated I just had to win the election to get the position.  On Thursday I got the same email that everyone in my program received telling us how to vote.  The voting process involved six steps (including making a login name and password) and I wasn’t feeling up to the complicated voting procedure at the time so I put the email in my procrastination file (that means that I starred it for later). 


On Friday mornings I have a three hour long class with all the first years in my program.  We have a break in the middle of class that usually involves cookies.  As soon as the break started I stood up and exclaimed, “I love cookies so much!” as I walked to the cookie table.  While chomping down on my second or third cookie Hope walked up to me and said, “So I guess this is where we both wish each other luck on the election.”  I said, “Oh, you’re running, too?”  (I would have figured that out if I had already voted).  We chatted briefly about the position and it turns out that she didn’t feel super-qualified for it either. 


One of my friends in the class overheard my conversation with Hope and asked me why I was applying for the position.  I said, “I just need a way to earn some money,” to which he replied, “You do realize that it isn’t a paid job?”  No, actually, I hadn’t realized that.  You see, there was a different position on a different student council that was paid and I had gotten the two mixed up and had somehow agreed to do something that I didn’t want to do for free (and I wasn’t really that thrilled to do it for $12 an hour either).  I allowed myself to briefly feel like an idiot.


Newly infused with the power of three cookies and worried that I might have to do extra work for free, I came up with a plan to not win the election.  In all honesty, I probably didn’t need a plan because Hope is a phenomenal student and well liked by everyone and probably would have won anyway, but I came up with a plan nonetheless.  Hope was now my only hope of getting out of doing more work for zero dollars.  Our program isn’t super-big and considering the cumbersome voting process I assumed that few people would vote.  This meant that not winning would be easy.  Instead of giving my full attention to the lecture I took a few minutes to vote for Hope and then emailed Josh and told him to vote for Hope, too, which he did.  I assumed (and hoped) that those two votes would be enough to lose.  Later that night I received the following the email: “CONGRATULATIONS to HOPE for winning the position and thank you all for your support and participation." I was relieved, very relieved.  And plus, Hope will do a great job and it will look great on her resume and I can spend more time watching House Hunters International.  There was Hope for me.  Indeed, there is Hope for us all.  

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