Level Two. At Halloween.
By Michelle Lloyd.
It was Halloween and a certain student had moved to their school from another and what came with him was a reputation. He was scary but not in the horrific sense, more because he carried with him an impression of intimidation.
Smart and sociable, it has been reputed that the new student had won in several literature competitions. Everybody liked him and wanted to be his friend. This was why many of the class had formed a bit of a circle around him and quite quickly those who he liked best became affiliated members of his inner group.
It was all fairly acceptable to New One, Little Herbert and RV. None of them had much to say about it, other than this was social school politics. The problems that arose as school went on to rather define the three friends’ stance and all of a sudden a shift in the class dynamics meant that social politics was not such a commonplace idea anymore.
In the example of their particular school, New One watched on in horror as the newest member of their class started to take up residence as the go to guy on social matters ranging from where to sit, who to be friends with and even what to do at break times. Slowly this elite popular group had converged into a mouthpiece for the one lead member and all that could be noticed about this development was how similar but strange their class behaviour had become. New One, RV and Little Herbert kept thinking that maybe this phenomena was temporary and a consequence of the newest member in the class settling in.
As time went on, slowly but surely events only grew worse. In their rush to join in with the popularity of the few, the majority of the class had all grown more alike to the newest class member in interests and activities. Everybody fell into line and awaited news on what they would be doing or where they would be sitting, and New One, RV and Little Herbert decided that this particular settling in period was over.
Where was the individuality? Previously creative members of their class seemed to have fallen prey to the new class member’s leadership and even they had started exhibiting signs of docile and incredibly follower on behaviour. It was never worse than when RV, New One and Little Herbert were made to feel uncomfortable for simply choosing to do their own thing at one class break.
School had become significant but for all of the wrong reasons. The three friends got together to talk politics of their own. Strategic and simple, the three knew that they had to work within the constraints of the new class politics whereby popularity appeared to drive decisions. Finding this information invaluable, the friends set about making a political point on popularity.
The school had not seen anything like it before and New One proudly set up phase one of their political ambitions. Tackling each sector separately the three broke off and New One, RV and Little Herbert set about talking to the groups of classmates who had once before been involved in their own subject interests. There were artistic, sporty and literary divisions that had at one time all been engaged in their own ideas.
Phase two was focused on sparking up the class liking for their own chosen subjects and asking if they could help to improve ideas for them getting back into what they knew best. It meant that many students started to think about the interests they had once been involved in, before joining into the one mass of popularity. At break fewer individuals hurried over to do what everybody else happened to be doing. Much to New One, RV and Little Herbert’s delight, school started to feel like it should again as the class became busy with the separate and unique ideas, games and discussions.
There was a phase three to the political plan and it allowed for the newest member of the class to find his feet and settle in with the varied and vividly displayed class. It was not as frightening anymore as the collective class slowly regained their own sense of interest again, so too the former lead became less and less inclined to take up a prominent position. In approaching the newer member, the three friends found him to be a total asset for several of the subjects that they loved themselves and quickly they all settled into a far less popular but passion led, pursuit based pattern.