Callooh! Callay! we chortled in our joy! Obama is safely elected 45th president of the United States! I do not have the proper words (beyond Carroll) to express the amazement, satisfaction, and delight I am feeling right now. What a long strange trip it's been to get us to this point, and this morning was no exception.
This morning, it was still dark as night when I left the house. Fog was rolling over everything, but you could still see a huge bright crescent moon looming overhead. I thought it set a very interesting tone for the rest of the day. When I got to school I discovered there was no heat in my classroom, or in our building as a whole. The gauge in my room read 52 degrees F. It was so cold that the overhead lights were not working properly, and the classroom was left in a sort of dim shadow.
I assumed that the heat would come on eventually, so I went about trying to make sure that the computer/vcr/cable (no, I don't know why it has to be so complicated) connection was working. I wanted to show the kids at least 30 minutes of the event if not more. The media system had other plans though, and I couldn't get anything besides static on the screen. I asked permission to stream it from the internet, but this was denied. It was really looking as though we might not get to watch the inauguration at all. Meanwhile, the heat still was not on, and the bell began to ring.
You would think that a class full of freezing kids would be most concerned about the freezing part, but this was not the case. They were very upset at the thought that they might not get to see the new president! I'm not kidding, this was their main concern, and several of them spent quite a while trying to get the TV to work. We played "Simon Says" to stay warm, and I served hot cocoa in little paper cups. When the game was over, I showed historic photos and info about past inaugurations. Then Ms. S swept into the room. She did not have any students in her room first period, and she wondered if we would like to come and visit? We made the switch in two minutes flat.
Ms. S. already had the TV on when we arrived in her room, and there he was, Barack Obama, larger than life on the big screen. We were enthralled. Most of the students in my low skill block were silent and attentive during the ceremony. This is a pretty impressive performance for a group of students like them. A few boys had some trouble being quiet, but even they settled down when the actual swearing began. We heard Aretha Franklin, we heard Itzak Perlman and Yo Yo Ma (that was the hardest part for the difficult boys), and we watched Obama put his hand on the Lincoln bible and become our new president. The whole scene gave me chills. There was a spontaneous round of applause from all the students.
I told the kids to really pay attention today because this is one moment in history that they will want to remember. I'm hoping that as the next eight years go by, the inauguration of Barack Obama can begin to eclipse 9/11 as the most important historical event in my memory. It all depends on what he does from this day forward. Best of luck Barack.