The assignment was simple, but we were all much too nervous to appreciate that fact. The classroom was a buzz of talk throughout the hour and a half lesson as we discussed one theory after another, dissecting one paragraph after the next. The discussion was real and intense, ideas tossed back and forth, shouts of “I agree” and “No, I don’t think so” flying around the room as tongues loosened as we all bathed in the liquor that is shared knowledge and differed opinions.
It was an hour and a half that was free of the normal constraints of time and space. The very walls seemed to change dimensions as the air heated or cooled with the passion of the students, and the time zipped past in a fashion most unlike the normal “classroom time.” Shared craving of healthy discussion and conversation made us all comrades, part of an entity – until our opinions differed and we changed sides in an instant, becoming enemies in a war where the sides respect each other but are each completely adamant about triumphing.
We were working with our essays in front of us, and when my turn came to discuss my passages, I felt like the very air I was breathing was heady – I don’t do that normally, I don’t charge into an opinionated speech based on examples and analysis of a situation – but I did it then, my mind being freed from bonds of shyness or intimidation.
At the end of the lesson after I handed my paper to the professor, I lingered, as I do, to write down the assignments for next lesson in my weekly-planner and to pack up my bag just right. As I got up to leave, I found myself the last one in the room besides my professor, who casually turned to me as he packed up his own bag and said to me “That was very good.” I didn’t understand, so I said “What?” and he replied “That was a very good presentation.”
I stammered some sort of thanks and rushed out of the room. My first week of classes officially ended, and I did something right. Good start.
My brother claims to vaguely remember sitting on the floor of the living room when he was very small and watching the Berlin Wall falling down on television. My parents obviously had the TV on that whole day in 1989, and as my brother was three years old, there’s every chance that he really remembers this historic event, however vaguely.
Tonight I had the pleasure to watch history being made as I watched President Obama, the first African American president of the United States and a man in whom I have more belief than in any other president I’ve witnessed in my short life, being inaugurated. As a cynic and often a pessimist, I know that things will not necessarily change for the better immediately, that Obama isn’t the sole ruler and that much depends on the Congress’s decisions – and yet I cannot help but be uplifted this evening, as I take in the fact that the “reign of Bush” has ended. A man who speaks in complete sentences is now in the Oval Office, and I am glad.
I don’t want to start any political arguments with this post. Mostly, I just want to point out how glad I am that I was able to watch and witness this great event – I know I will remember the swearing in of this 44th president always: sitting in the living room with my mother and my boyfriend, sighing at the wonderful speech Barack H. Obama gave, and feeling a ray of hope and sunshine filter through the television from that cold Washington D.C. morning.
I’m not a great patriot, not when it comes to Israel, nor when it comes to the US. However, it’s an incredible feeling, knowing that when I go to college I’ll be able to actually support my government and take an acitve interest in its doings, instead of cringing whenever I hear the President’s voice- as I’ve been doing for the past eight years.
Eight is definitely enough. The United States do need change. And I am thrilled that Barack Obama is now in a position to help achieve such change. He is such an inspiring man, full of charisma and, despite his being a politician, what seems to be a genuine belief that he can make things better. Who knows? Maybe in eight years, instead of invading another country, the United States will have public health care! Maybe even gay-marriage rights. Perhaps even tax-cuts going to the right places and not to humongous corporations and people who really don’t need their money.
Let me just vent some emotion for a moment: THANK *INSERT-WHATEVER-YOU-BELIEVE-IN-HERE* THAT PALIN WON’T BE ANYWHERE NEAR THE WHITE HOUSE.
Although I will forever maintain that the US has never and will never see a president as good as Jed Bartlet, I think Obama might be really really close behind. If you don’t know who I’m talking about, LOOK IT UP. *stupidgiggle*