After lunch, time moved a little more quickly for Serena. And soon, it was homeroom. Teacher Grace dismissed everyone in class early so that she can talk to her alone. The girls of their class all left, but not before cheering for her, calling her Miss representative as they said their goodbyes, as if knowing that the talk between her and their teacher will be about that. Of course, everyone, save for Emily, loved that idea. They would pick Serena any day over Emily.

"I see that everyone already expects you to take on the mantle." Grace began.

Serena chuckled, "I'm not sure Teacher, I don't think I'm up for the responsibility." she honestly replied.

"hmm… that does sound a bit troubling. It has always been our tradition to give the position to the top scorer. However, it would still depend on you. I understand that the position does entail a certain responsibility, but I do believe that you can do it."

"Well… I'm a little afraid that it would affect my performance…"

Grace raised he left brow, "Are you being serious? Honestly speaking, your result in the exams, at least for my subject, was beyond expectations. I don't even think that I can teach you anything new. Before reading your essay, I personally thought that Adam's Smith invisible hand was the best theory in any case as it will always lead to market equilibrium. However, when you discussed the loopholes and market failures that may still occur, well it made me think otherwise. If I could give you a higher score than 100, I would have."

Serena blushed. It's not really her idea. It was John Maynard Keynes who talked about regulated Capitalism. She just expounded on his idea, as she haven't seen his name in the archives here. Then she combined her knowledge in economics of the public sector. Because inevitably, pareto efficiency can not be reached without the help of the government.

"I believe that the student council will be a good training ground for you. I don't want to include politics in this but, I believe that if a woman can be part of the house of the lords someday, you will be a great addition. Even in this one paper, I can already see that the range of your views and beliefs are far and wide. If it were any other female student, I would not be as persistent. But you, you will be a queen someday. So even if you can't be part of the house of the lords, you have a say. You will be the voice of all the women of this empire."

Serena can only gape at Grace. What was this talk all about? Was she trying to brain wash a student for her cause of women empowerment? Was she seeing firsthand the birth of Feminism as a political ideology? Well, truthfully speaking, she was kind of convinced.

Initially, she already thought of the possibility of her getting the top score and being offered said position. However, she always thought of declining it, not only because of the responsibility, but largely because of her consideration for Charlton's feelings. She also didn't want to have too much encounter with Geoffrey. Not that she thinks that he will fall in love with her, but just because.

Now, when her musings became a reality, there was some part of her that wanted to accept the challenge. All her life, she never has been part of a student council and she was a little curious as to what was there to it. Then there was also a little part of her that wants to join as revenge for what Charlton did. As petty as it sounds, she did have the sadistic impulse to make her boyfriend jealous. Or at least make him see that what he does, she can return to him tenfold.

Anyway, thinking it through, why should she place Charlton's feelings first over herself? It was not like she's going to join the council to dally with another man. She's joining because she wanted to experience being in a position she never got to be in before. Besides, some part of her was proud of this achievement. She wanted to boast amongst her friends, to her brother, and to her parents. What? Even with her cheats and her age, she is still a normal human being. And regarding the responsibility it entails? That was just an excuse because, how tough can a student council member's responsibility be?

"Serena, I really think that you should consider this. Don't think too much and just join for the experience at the very least. Besides, I see that all the students here look up to you. Even I, myself, can't help but admit that you, more than anyone else, deserve it." Grace tried to convince her further.

What else can Serena say? Of course, she agreed.

"Then teacher Grace, I hope not to disappoint." She said with a smile.

"That's good to hear. Please, sign this form here. The student council have Meetings on Saturdays at 9 am at the annex building. I would have wanted to guide you there and tell you what is expected of you, but I guess it would just be redundant. You and the male representative Mr. Douglas Sheeran, I believe, will be oriented by the council members themselves on your first Meeting."

Serena took a pen and signed the form. Already a little excited. This was something new to her, an experience she wanted to have in her previous life if she were to be more honest.

"It's alright Miss Grace. Thank you for the opportunity." Serena said as she handed her signed form back.

Grace smiled at her, liking her attitude very much. "You're welcome. And if you were to find any problem, please feel free to inform me."

Serena nodded as she smiled. "Yes Ma'am."

"Come on, you can call me Sis Grace, I'm not that much older than you. You know, I honestly want to talk to you about how we can address the issues you talked about in your exam. Like the problem of externalities. I don't get to discuss a lot of these things with anyone. The boys are just so full of themselves and the girls, well, I tried, but I don't really think that we have the same interests."

Serena laughed. She is really starting to like this Grace. "Okay Sister Grace. Actually, the simplest answer to that which I can think of is taxation. For example, cigarette smoking is a negative externality. If we were to impose a certain tax on cigarettes, then the smokers get to pay for some of the damage that they cause, then we can use that money for let's say building a lung center or something. Well, that is not a fool proof plan but…"

"I get what you mean. Wow, you're really good at this. Now I feel embarrassed teaching you in class."

"don't be, I think that you're doing great." Serena said honestly. Grace was good at teaching and she was very passionate about the subject. It's just that Serena was also a professor of economics with a post graduate degree.

Grace laughed. She honestly felt like Serena IS better than her. It does make her a little insecure, but to be honest, she was just glad that she now has someone to talk to about her passion. Books doesn't really make for a good conversation.

Serena and Grace talked some more about economic related theories and did not notice the passing of the time. Soon, it was already quarter to 5.

"Well, I hope we can discuss about these nerdy economic theories more in the future." Grace ended as she stood ready to leave.

"Sure! I would love that." Serena said as she smiled and stood up too.

"Then, please don't stand on ceremony. I need to go to the office now and submit this." Grace said as she directed her eyes at the form.

Serena nodded and thanked her again one more time.

--

TBC

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