“Well Alice, you may or may not be aware that each year the school selects two students to represent us at the National Convention of Schools. One boy and one girl. Last year, we took two Year Twelves. This year, we would like to take two year Tens. Alice, we are considering whether you might be one of those girls privileged to be selected.”
Miss Roberts, the Head Teacher sat bolt upright, behind her large desk, as she addressed the Year Ten girl. Alice listened as her Head Teacher spoke to her about the opportunity of representing the school. She was not expecting this when we she had been called to the school office that morning. She feared she was in some kind of trouble (Miss Roberts had a fearsome reputation and was not afraid to use Blue Footprints to ‘teach’ a child a lesson and remind them of the benefits of obeying authority). However, on this occasion the Head was interested in Alice because she had shown the capacity to use Green Footprints to perform her very best.
Miss Roberts explained that three girls were being interviewed for the role of School Representative and that, by half term in six weeks time, a final selection would be made for one of three girls to go to the Convention. Between now and then, the three girls would be observed and expected to write an essay about their qualities that would best reflect the qualities of the school. The most scary thing was that they also had to give a final presentation to the Chairman of the Governors. They really were being tested on their Green Footprints.
“So, what did the old bag want this time then?” quizzed her friend Sal when she finally emerged. Sal had little time for the Head Teacher, or any of the teachers for that matter, having had several run-ins over the years, mostly because Sal had a real problem with any adult using Blue Footprints at all.
“She’s asked me to go for the school representation at the National Convention,” replied Alice.
“You what? Reeally? You’re not going to though are you?”
Alice’s friend looked at her, daring her almost, to give any other answer than a flat ‘No!’
But Alice couldn’t.... Inside her, there was something that said she shouldn’t turn this opportunity down.
“Well, I’m thinking about it,” she replied. “Sal, I’ve got to consider it...It’s, well, it’s a big honour!”
“Pah,” snorted Sal and turned away. “You know what? When you won that talent show I sat there just feeling rubbish about myself. You should be careful how you use Green Footprints, stamping around.... They might get you liked by the ‘teachers’ but they certainly won’t get you liked by me!”
Over the next few days, Alice turned the opportunity over in her head. She knew she had it in her to go to the Convention. She had, after all, used Green Footprints in the concert and in the dance group. In fact, she loved the challenge of really producing her best. She liked rising to the occasion, pushing herself and going beyond what she thought she could produce. But at the same time, she knew Sal would really take it out on her if she went. What should she use? The Green Footprints to try and go the Convention, or the Yellow ones to stay in with Sal and her gang?
Later that week Alice caught up with her friend in the canteen.
“Sal! I’ve made a decision. I’m not going for the Convention place.”
“Hehhh! Good girrrl! I knew you had it in you to stick it to the system! One of us now, isn’t she girls?” The others in Sal’s gang slapped her back and they swaggered out of the canteen together. Despite being accepted as one of the gang, almost immediately, Alice felt wretched inside. She knew she’d chosen Yellow Footprints just to be ‘in’ rather than because it was right thing to do.
She knew she’d bottled it.
Click on Alice needs some Orange Footprints to find out what happens next...