Political Uproar in Room A307

Sydney

Working hard, students Leah Raczynski (far left), Samantha Lee, Sarah Randall, and Emily Day (far right) organize and prepare for the upcoming political debate. Photo by Sydney Lauro

By Sydney Lauro
Competition is heating up in Mr. Franchock’s AP English class as his legendary Franchonia simulation winds down. The simulation has been running for about three weeks, and students are racing to boost their polls and win the election.

The simulation starts off by students splitting up into three teams per class. Each team represents one of three presidential candidates and their party, and over the course of the next few weeks each party avidly campaigns for President of Franchonia by creating ads, writing speeches, and making media productions.

Mr. Franchock first created the Franchonia simulation eight years ago. “At first it was very basic,” he explained, “There were no states, and the country had no background…Later, I added the historical background and the different states…now we have twelve states, stump speeches, media celebrities and many more things that I never thought of when I first created the activity.”

One of last year’s winners, Max Vumbaca, stated, “It was designed with incredible attention to detail. In a lot of ways, the simulation is very real.”

Max believes it is all what you make of it and how much time you put into it. “There is no doubt in my mind that my team won because we worked harder than everybody else. Our strategy was to use in a ‘flash flood’ advertisement to overwhelm our opponents and get the message out. It was a lot of work but everybody pitched in and it was very successful,” he said.

Many students enjoy the simulation while others dislike the extra stress it imposes on their lives.

“It’s always entertaining and sparks some pretty funny moments even outside of class,” said junior Alexis Stefano.

Junior Alexandra Graham stated, “I have a real life that needs tending to…but [our polls suffer] if we don’t produce enough ads or ‘work hard enough’…I’m doing as much as I can without going crazy.”

Staying engaged in such a rigorous event can be exhausting, and Mr. Franchock believes this is what his students struggle with most. “Everyone has a role, but some people get lost in the shuffle…for others, it’s the opposite problem. They get so into it, that I’m afraid they’re never going to leave Franchonia,” he said.

“When I first heard about Franchonia I was confused as to why everyone was so enthusiastic about it, after all it is just a school project,” said junior Danielle Hoyt, “But after participating in it, I completely understand all the hype surrounding Franchonia. In fact, I’m now a part of that hype.”

Each year the simulation has gotten bigger and better, and many students wonder if there is more to be added to the complex world of Franchonia. “It’s always possible,” stated Mr. Franchock, “But I’m starting to think it’s getting to be as big as it can get.”

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