Parker for President
“Parker for President” is episode #802 of the Adventures in Odyssey audio series. It was written by Kathy Buchanan, was originally released in the Adventures in Odyssey Club on July 21, 2016, and originally aired on November 5, 2016.
It's another school day at Odyssey Middle School. Zoe Grant runs up to Olivia, Emily, and Matthew. Excitedly, she tells them that the school is receiving a sizable grant. The school will use it for improvements. Emily points out the money will probably go to the athletes; it always does.
A new kid approaches the four. He introduces himself as Morrie Rydell, a newcomer to town. Olivia goes to help Morrie find the room he is searching for.
Emily and Matthew leave to go to class. Principal Vogler greets them. Matthew recommends using the grant for the computer club. Principal Vogler says that the school board and student body president will decide what the money will be used for. He reminds the two that election for student body president is coming up and encourages Matthew to consider running. Although Matthew is surprised by the idea, Emily encourages him, volunteering to be his campaign manager.
It's later in the day in Odyssey Middle School. "I can't believe I just signed up to run for student body president," Matthew says incredulously to Emily. She reassures him he is doing a service to his school. Emily sees Olivia and calls her over to tell her the good news. But Olivia has news of her own. . . she is running for student body president, too!
Late at night in the Parker household, both Olivia and Matthew are still awake. Matthew is nervous about the school election. He is second-guessing his decision to run. He says he does not have the leadership skills it takes. "Being a leader is easy! Most people like being told what to do so they don't have to think for themselves," Olivia says. "...But mostly, it's about having people skills." Olivia tells Matthew that he'd be a good school president and tells him that if she had to lose to one person, she would want it to be him.
The next day, Olivia receives news from Zoe. As the 'official media person' for the election, Zoe cannot be Olivia's campaign manager. However, Morrie Rydell, the new student, was a campaign manager twice at his previous overseas school. Both of his candidates won by landslides.
When Olivia asks Morrie to be her campaign manager, he declines. He claims he has retired from politics. However, with enough persisting, Olivia gets him to come out of retirement so he can be her campaign manager. Meanwhile, Emily tells Matthew that she thinks he should be more relatable and more friendly. She convinces him to go by 'Matt', which she claims is more personable.
Morrie and Olivia are strategizing about how to win the election. Olivia has won over the drama club while Matthew has won over the computer club. Morrie thinks it would be a good idea to convince the band members to vote for her. She agrees. Morrie knows what he is doing when it comes to school elections. Later, she speaks to the band members, winning them over.
Zoe is disappointed that no one cares about her reports on the election anymore. Nearly the entire school is voting for Olivia and moving on with their lives. Her reports are insignificant. She asks Morrie what she could write about that would interest people, to which he replies, "People love drama and drama is all about conflict. We're just lucky Matthew and Olivia don't act like some of the real politicians out there."
Matthew is worried about the election. Emily encourages him to do what he does best; come up with ways to make the school better.
Zoe tells Olivia that some of the drama club members are planning on voting for Matthew because he introduced new plans to them, including one for a theatre expansion. Olivia confronts him, but Matthew tells her that it's not personal, it's politics. Olivia is horrified her brother would do that and decides to fight fire with fire, even though Morrie advises her against it.
Someone broke into Emily's locker and put a note there. The suspicious note tells her and Matthew to go to the computer lab. Upon arriving at the computer club, they find Olivia talking to the club. Olivia and Matthew begin debating, insulting each other and accusing each other of backstabbing. When things between Matthew and Olivia start to get out of hand, Emily stops the situation from escalating.
It's the official debate. Olivia and Matthew are on Kid's Radio, with Zoe as the debate monitor. Although the debate starts respectfully, things begin to become ugly rather quickly when Matthew quotes Olivia inaccurately on one of her more unflattering comments. When Olivia starts embarrassing Matthew about his stuffed animals, Emily bursts into the studio. She reprimands the siblings for immaturity and Zoe, as debate monitor, for allowing this behavior to continue. "We're Odyssey Middle School, we pride ourselves in being an intelligent, unified student body! We're better than this!" she says passionately.
The next day, Principal Vogler calls Olivia, Emily, and Matthew into his office. The election results are in. The kid who received the most votes was neither Olivia nor Matthew. It was Emily. Even though she did not run, someone anonymously started a write-in Emily campaign, texting and emailing students, encouraging them to vote for Emily. Despite initial hesitation, Emily accepts the job of student body president.
Later, walking home, Olivia and Matthew apologize to each other for the way they acted towards each other. They see Morrie and call him over. With a subtle chuckle, Morrie tells them that he is not upset with the results and believes everything ended up the way it should. He leaves to meet up with his sister.
- There are no discussion questions listed for this episode. »
Heard in episode
|Matthew Parker||Justin Felbinger|
|Olivia Parker||Kelly Stables|
|Emily Jones||Cristina Pucelli|
|Zoe Grant||Natalie Lander|
|Morrie Rydell||Atticus Shaffer|
|Henry Vogler||John Rubinow|
|Mr. Redekop||Bob Hoose|
- Curiously, this episode first aired on the radio just 3 days before the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election.
- During Matthew and Olivia's debate, they quote each other from earlier in the episode, but do it inaccurately. Where Olivia said, “This year, the soccer team made more catches than the football team,” Matthew quotes, “The soccer team made more catches than the football team, which is why they both deserve their losing record.” When asked if she said that, Olivia says yes. However, she did not say the second half of the quote, which Matthew emphasized.
Olivia Parker: So what do the band members want?
Morrie Rydell: Well, their number one concern is getting new uniforms.
Olivia Parker: You mean those hats with the giant feather dusters in them?
Morrie Rydell: I wouldn't refer to them as that, but yes.
Olivia Parker: Oh. Okay, well, anything else?
Morrie Rydell: They want more respect.
Olivia Parker: Well, then, maybe they should rethink the giant feather dusters.