Charlie: Well this thing should be called “Students of the Month” not “Student of the Month.” Look! There’s a ton of kids up there, Mom. This is going to take forever. (Charlie starts to groan.)
Cassie: Yea. I guess more than one student receives the honor each month…then it’s also broken down by grade….so that adds up. There certainly are a lot of students on the stage.
Charlie: After we see Chloe get her award, can we just go?
Genevieve: We have to stay and see the whole show, Charlie!
Charlie: Oh. My. God. There’s no show, Genevieve. It’s awards. Pieces of paper. They hand them out. Then, clap, clap, clap. This is going to be deadly boring.
Cassie: Alright. Button it, Bud. We need to give all the students the accolades they deserve. There’s probably a future President of the United States sitting right up there on that stage.
Charlie: I doubt it. The future presidents will be some guys we never heard of.
Cassie: Or girls. Women. One of the next presidents will very likely be a woman.
Charlie: Yea. Whatever.
Genevieve: There’s no show? Chloe’s not going to sing? There’s gonna be clapping but no show?
Genevieve: Then what are we watching? How come we’re in the audience? Why are some kids up on the stage?
Charlie: My point exactly.
Cassie: (To Genevieve) They’re going to receive awards….all those kids. When they get their awards, we’ll congratulate them by clapping.
Charlie: Yep, every single one of them. How long do you think this is going to take? One hour? Two?
Cassie: Wouldn’t YOU want to receive an award like this, Charlie?
Charlie: I don’t care about grades. I just like knowledge for the sake of knowledge. And jokes.
Cassie: Knowledge and jokes. Yes. Actually, I think this award has very little to do with the highest grades. It’s about how well some of these hard working students have treated OTHER students, how they’ve made the student experience at this school better for everyone as a whole. It’s a pretty big deal. You should feel very proud of your big sister.
Genevieve: I’m very proud of Chloe. Very proud.
Cassie: Me too, Gigi.
Charlie: (Eye roll) Why didn’t you make Max come to this?
Cassie: He was otherwise engaged.
Charlie: With what?
Cassie: With a boatload of homework. He has to write an entire journal tonight and then write a speech for his lacrosse coaches for the lacrosse awards luncheon on Saturday.
Charlie: So he’s gonna be a super crank for the rest of the day.
Cassie: Probably so. Best to stay out of his way.
Genevieve: There isn’t going to be any singing? There isn’t gonna be a show today?
Charlie: Do we have to go to that, the lacrosse ceremony or whatever?
Cassie: No. Just Dad is going. It’s at a country club and it’s pretty expensive so just one parent is going with Max. Dad really wanted to go.
Charlie: Phew! Thank God.
Cassie: There are quite a few musical concerts coming up, though, over the next couple of weeks…for both Max and Chloe. We’re going to have to go to those.
Charlie: Not a problem. I actually like the concerts. I enjoy the music.
Cassie: Don’t you want to be President some day, Charlie?
Charlie: The President of the United States?
Charlie: Are you kidding?! No way. Too boring sitting at the desk in the Oval Office. Every day the same thing. I wouldn’t want to live in that White House, either. I definitely don’t like the style or design of that place.
Cassie: It’s historic.
Charlie: Well, I wouldn’t feel comfortable. And it’s probably haunted by Lincoln or one of the real old ones. Even though you would be rich, there’s too much pressure with that job.
Cassie: Actually, in the final analysis, I don’t think the President makes all that much money, you know. It’s not really a huge salary or anything.
Charlie: Yea. But he gets a lot of luxuries. Air Force One. Some vacations on Martha’s Vineyard and Hawaii. Nice suits and ties.
Cassie: You do like a nice suit and tie.
Charlie: But the President probably doesn’t really get to enjoy all those luxuries to the full amount because he’s working so hard all the time. That’s not a fun life. It’s too much of a strain. You only live once. You need to have fun.
Genevieve: When’s it going to start? I don’t want to wait any more. Can we just go home?
Cassie: Shh. Soon, Gigi. First the sixth graders are going to start, then the seventh graders. We’ll see Chloe get her award soon, okay?
Charlie: (Loud sighing.)
Cassie: Well, if you were the President, you’d go down in history. You’d be famous forever, Char.
Charlie: Yea, well I’m still going to be famous, just not as the President of the United States.
Genevieve: Shhh. It’s starting! The show is starting!
(The microphone is turned on and the principal, clad in a red dress, has entered, stage left. She begins the awards presentation and all eyes, including those of the two youngest Bollinger children, are focused on the stage, on the award winners, on pieces of our collective future, on potential fame, on history yet to be.)