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Commentary: Senate page's experience reveals inner drive

Hot Ink Columnist Lillie Roney recalls her experience as an Oklahoma State Senate page.
BY LILLIE RONEY Edmond North High School Published: May 1, 2011

The worst job of all was senate roll call.

Lucky me, I got it twice.

The job consisted of walking up and down a hallway where the senators' offices are, yelling “Senate roll call!” until all of the senators are in the chamber.

During this time, which usually lasted about 15 minutes, an annoying bell rang. However, it provided me with a good rhythm to yell to. I attempted to make the best of the embarrassing situation.

I was teased countless times by lobbyists and passing senators who would say “Senate what?” or “I can't hear you that well. Can you say it louder?”

The best night out of the entire experience for me when we had Senate Pageville, a mock session.

The day before the event, we were presented with four bills. Four pages were authors of the bills, one page was the majority floor leader and another page was the presiding officer.

I served as the author of Senate Bill 63, which was about head injuries. That night I researched the topic, prepared my argument and thought of any questions or debate that might be thrown at me.

My bill passed by a landslide with 10 ayes and only one nay.

When we presented our bills, some arguments got heated. But we were mostly tired from power-walking back and forth across the Capitol for 12 hours.

The night before the last day, I couldn't sleep. Even though I only spent a few days with the other pages, we became a family.

On the van ride back to the hotel, everyone exchanged phone numbers so we could stay in touch.

When I saw my dad already waiting for me upon our arrival my heart dropped into my stomach.

As I watched the hotel fade away, I realized exactly how much the week had taught me, not only about the stressful job politicians have to go through, but about myself and what I wanted to do in my future.

I have always planned on majoring in journalism and political science and then attending law school. Having talked with senators about their lives and what they accomplished in their years as college students, I left the program with a passion to do my best.


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