Today I Witnessed History in the Making

I will always remember what I was doing today at 12:00 PM.

I was teaching my AP English Language/Period 6 class. They had just finished a timed essay and I turned the volume of the television up so we could hear President-Elect Obama (now President Obama!) begin the inauguration.

When my students (barely) stifled their giggles over Obama's apparent stumble over the presidential oath, I shushed them, telling them that it showed Obama as human. Nobody is perfect, I reminded them. Then I added, "How would you feel if you had to do this in front of millions of people? Hmm...?" Yeah, they pretty much shut up after that. Later it was revealed that Chief Justice John Roberts was the one who botched the presidential oath, changing some of the words and thus throwing Obama off. I still feel the same way about this stumble - nobody's perfect. I'm not upset with Chief Justice Roberts like some over-zealous Obama fans are. It was still a momentous occasion. From now on, when parents tell their children, "Yes, dear, you can be anything you want to be when you grow up, " they will really mean it, regardless of the color of their skin. It took 400 years, but at last the principles of the Constitution, the belief that all men are created equal, is one that can finally be truly upheld.

I thought President Obama's inaugural address was one of his best speeches to date. Some may not think it was celebratory enough, but to that I say that our nation is in crisis right now. Our nation is in need of guidance, guidance that our new president can and will provide. His tone struck the right chord, and his solemnity matched the seriousness of our situation. As Obama said:
"What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility - a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task."
Things might look bleak right now, but I am hopeful for the future. There is a light at the end of the proverbial tunnel, and for once I feel I can look forward to my future with optimism, not fear and uncertainty.

Yes, I will always remember what I was doing on January 20th, 2009 at 12:00 PM. What were you doing?



5 comment(s):

Hannahkin said...

i was sitting in front of our family TV with an omelette :) it was 7 PM here in South Africa. we taped the whole thing! it was truly amazing... plus, i got to wear my awesome "OBAMA IS A LEFTY" shirt!

Ana Cristina said...

Haha, great. :-)

Indyeah said...

Congratulations!!:)
I too taped it and was sitting in front of the TV at 10 in the night having finished dinner early for this..:)
Truly historic...
and yeah wondered a bit more at our politicians ..and wondered when we'll have this momnet too.

And I can soo identify with this..
''When my students (barely) stifled their giggles over Obama's apparent stumble over the presidential oath, I shushed them, telling them that it showed Obama as human. Nobody is perfect, I reminded them. Then I added, "How would you feel if you had to do this in front of millions of people? Hmm...?" Yeah, they pretty much shut up after that.''
:D ..yeah ,if I had been in class ,mine would have done that too...and I would have told them the exact same thing..:)

Ana Cristina said...

Great teacher minds think alike, Indyeah! :)

Abel said...

I was watching it with thousands of other supporters at the Arsht Center. It was like friggin New Years all over again! The energy in the room was amazing.

I hope you'll see my reasoning for missing class just one measly school daY!