Archive for vice presidency

PTO does prepare you for U.S. vice presidency — Not!

Posted in Politics, Ranting with tags , , , on October 15, 2008 by bloggingmom67

When Sarah Palin was named John McCain’s running mate, she pointed to her tenure as a PTA president as part of her qualifications for the U.S. vice presidency.

That got me thinking. I’m PTO president at my kids’ 900-student school in a district of about 25,000 children in a city of roughly 150,000 people. What have I learned as PTO leader that might prepare one to be second in command to the leader of the free world?

  • Fund-raising: I spend much of my PTO time organizing and executing fundraisers. So far this fall, I’ve organized a fundraiser where the kids get catalogs full of candles, candy, wrapping paper and whatnot to sell to their family and friends. We’re thinking we’ll raise about $3,000. In the spring, we’ll sell Gertrude Hawk candy, just in time for Easter. Perhaps, as VP this knowledge could come in handy — especially if the economy doesn’t revive. The VP may be in charge of fund raising to keep our way of life from collapsing even more than it already has.
  • Making important decisions: So far this year, as president, I’ve made key executive decisions such as: to send a thank you note to the art teacher who helped with a project and a parent who donated $100. Also, I decided that we need to have a budget report at each meeting, and that we need to ask two parents to help with fund raising and after-school activities. Under my leadership, we’ve started sending our meeting agendas to the officers before the meeting, so they can review them.  This experience making split-second important decisions could help me as I help the president decide such things as whether to attack another country where weapons of mass destruction have not been found.
  • Negotiating to reach a resolution: There’s quite a bit of politics in the PTO, you know. There’s the principal, who has her own agenda and would probably prefer to squash me like a bug. There’s my co-president, whose main focus is setting up after-school programs such as Karate and Soccer, so she doesn’t really care about my main bugaboo, fund raising. One member likes to bring up complicated projects, but not offer to lead them. Then there’s the secretary, who sometimes is just a pain in the caboose. Working with them, however, has taught me how to deal with people I don’t always agree with. Could come in handy in the area of foreign policy.
  • Organizing events: One of our main goals as PTO is to throw the teachers a “welcome back to school breakfast” and an “end of year lunch.” Both are complicated projects, especially when the person who organized the event the previous didn’t keep copious notes of such things as how much lunch meat, rolls, bagels, coffee to buy. That happened last year, and what a bitch it was. We had to start from scratch and figure out how much 125 teachers would really eat. (Who knew, they loved mayonnaise so much.) We just made it, with a few hard rolls to spare at the luncheon. But at this year’s back-to-school breakfast we faced a major calamity. We didn’t realize we had to ask the janitor to set up the huge coffee maker hours before the event, so it would have time to brew. What a mess. We had to make coffee quickly in small pots and carry it into the cafeteria. People actually had to wait for their coffee. It was almost as bad as the previous year when we forgot the cream and sugar, and I made the executive decision to send a PTO member to the store to get some. This kind of training of thinking on my feet will make me aptly ready to handle a confusing crisis, such as a cataclysmic hurricane or other natural disaster.

So there you have it. Being PTO president really is a great preparation for the vice presidency of the United States. Palin really doesn’t even need that experience as Wasilla mayor and Alaska governor, does she?

What do you think? Post a comment.

By they way, I am being very sarcastic here, folks.

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