By Jean Rover
Spring had come to the campus of Riley Institute, a small Lutheran college tucked safely in the blue foothills of the Pacific Northwest. Cream-colored spikes covered the huge chestnut trees that lined the sidewalk to the commons area and the gigantic rhododendron by the library was again ablaze in bright peach-colored blooms. The staid little campus bustled with the sounds of singing birds, humming insects, student chatter, and campaign speeches. Awkward election signs spouted alongside purple lilacs and white, fluffy trees; together they swayed in the fragrant air.
Mary, a junior, rehearsed a speech that she hoped would get her elected student body president. She’d taken a public speaking class her sophomore year and had gotten that part in a play last semester. After that, she headed a campus food drive, which set a collection record. These accomplishments surprised even her. Who’d of ever thought a quiet, small town girl, once so afraid to talk in class, could not only stand up before a group, but could also move it to action.
Once Mary learned the power of words and tasted success in the limelight, she could not step back into the shadows. Winning the presidential election, could open all kinds of doors. She saw herself working on some local politician’s campaign or maybe heading off to Washington D.C.