Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Today is a good day to be an American. For the first time in 8 long, difficult years, I am not embarrassed by my president. More importantly, I now notice, he is MY president. I voted for him, I believe in him, and I claim him. He is also the first president of my adult life that I trust and respect-- I believed in the last democrat, but I did not trust him, and lost respect for him as a person (but not as a leader) by the end of his term. This man, Barack Obama, I trust to lead us out of this mess, and I respect his integrity, his honesty, and his leadership style. Yes, a good day all around.

The first inauguration I remember is 1980. I knew there was something hokey about the Hostage Crisis resolution: why were the Iranians waiting until Regan took office to release those hostages? What did it really matter? Now I understand the deep slap in the face that was to Carter, probably the most humanitarian leader the world has seen. I remember sitting in Mr. Spenard's fifth grade class, and Tammy Jo Macomber counting down to noon and cheering loudly. I knew that she was just repeating her parent's views-- I was for Anderson because my mom was. But I also remember feeling awkward at that moment, and knowing there was a bigger piece to the puzzle that I just didn't get yet, and that moment has stuck with me. I don't know what it says that it would be 29 years and 6 major elections before January 20 at noon would matter to me again.

Today all the schools in our district were encouraged (commanded?) to show the inauguration to all students. Boy was grateful to get to see the whole speech, even if most of the kids in his lunch didn't care about it. "My eyes got a bit watery after he said it." How many other kids will remember this moment 30 years from now and have been impacted by what they saw?

Later today I had a meeting to talk about the future of AltEd in our new RSU. I left that meeting with hope: administrators believe in our programs and are committed to keeping them, and to making them better. I left feeling secure in my future, but also valued as an important piece of the success story. We even talked about how it's not only the AltEducators responsibility to connect with kids, but all teachers. How do we fall back on connections made in elementary school to help disconnected middle or high schoolers? How do we help transitions between grade levels? We left the AltEd world for a bit and talked about impacting all students. Saying I left that meeting hopeful is an understatement.

So I have hope: hope for the future success of this RSU transition (even though I still think our governor lost his mind), hope for my sunshines, and all the other sunshines out there needing a connection, hope for Boy and Girly's future, and hope for America. It sounds hokey, but today the promise of America doesn't sound so crazy. Hope. Such a breath of fresh air. The first step to getting something done is to believe it can be. My sunshines start earning credits and moving towards graduation when they believe they can do it. The same holds true for countries on the brink of disaster: I believe that this person is what our country needs to generate enough hope for us to make a change. That his background is what it is only adds to the story: he did not grow up easy, he was not expected to ever become president, but he believed, and here we are. Hope.

1 comment:

Wendy said...

Yes. Hope. That's what I felt after hearing the Inaugural Address, too, and like Boy, I was a little misty eyed. I don't even know why. It was bizarre.

I hope he'll be the leader he seems to want to be, but I do have concerns about some of the people he's chosen to "support" him.

But, I hope.

As for the RSU, I think our governor has lost his mind, as well. It's a mistake, in my opinion. I watched a recent town council meeting on public access and the gentleman addressing the council said, in essence, bigger does not mean better, and if the council doesn't take care of the school NOW, while the RSU is still pending, we're going to lose our school. I agree. And while I homeschool, and could really care less about the "school", it's a huge part of our community, and it would be a great loss. I've lived in communities where schools are "consolidated" and something of the community identity is lost. In a community where we struggle to be a "community", because so many of our residents are transients, it would be a death blow.