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Happy New President Day

First off, let me acknowledge that I realize that there are people who may read my blog who are not matched up with my politics, as it is their right.  What I post and write here is not meant to be offensive or demeaning just a smattering of myself.  That being said…


I have always hated watching early results of an election, they always start off skewed.  When I watched Kerry/Gore, Kerry would start off with a lead in a state and then it would shift.  Last night was the opposite, thankfully.  Jess and I went over to the house of one of our friends to watch the results and have some good food (of both I did plenty).  The East Coast results were coming in as planned but when I started to be reassured was when Ohio turned blue.  This was reinforced by Pratt’s text message saying that with the 207 electoral votes that Obama had, when the West Coast closes it is over.

And boy-howdy, was it over.  I was surprised how quickly the networks called the election for Obama.  I would have thought that they would string it out some more, lead us on a bit to boost up their ratings and their time to air ads.  I was wrong.  It wasn’t even a minute into eight o’clock that they had put the check mark onto Obama’s picture.  Wow.

After a round of campaign and fireworks, Jess and I went home.  While she got ready for bed I listened to McCain’s concession speech and then Obama’s victory speech.  I thought John McCain was humble and honorable in his speech, even to the point where he was telling his supporters to stop booing at the mention of Obama’s name.  (Thank goodness they didn’t let Palin speak, like she wanted to.)  The thought that got me was that if McCain had run a campaign based on principles like that, I think it would have been a much closer race.  Yet, he took the Roveian path of character assassination, mud-slinging, and avoidance of issues, which I think doomed his push for the White House.

Honestly (and even though I may take some grief for saying so), I don’t believe that the McCain that ran this campaign was the same McCain that ran eight years ago.  The person who I saw running again Bush had more Maverick leanings, was resolute on issues and ran a positive campaign even in the face of the outrageous and horrible things that were said about him.  But McCain sold out, he gave up what he appeared to be eight years ago for something that he thought the Republican base wanted… and he might have been right.  However, that’s not what the country wanted.  As cliche as it has become, the country did want change, almost to the point of a blood lust for change.  After the wrecking ball effect of this current administration, how could most people be happy with where we have ended up?

For me, this has been a remarkable experience.  Not only did I get to vote someone through the primary and then into the election (sorry Gore; sorry Kerry, I didn’t vote for you in the Primaries), but to see them win the presidency was astounding.

This all goes back to when I was a kid.  I remember sitting in the kitchen watching Clinton win, but even more powerful, I remember being seven and my mom taking me to see Dukakis speak in Portland.  I remember her trying to hold me up so I could see but she could only do it for so long, a Dukakis supporter lifted me on to his shoulders.  As well, I have an equally distinct memory of the Bush Sr. supporter who was behind us, smoking his cigarette with anti-Dukakis sign, yelling out during the speech.  It came full circle when I took my mom to the Obama rally on the Waterfront in Portland.  To be a part of the movement, that energy… it is nice to see a dividend.

For me, Obama and his campaign has felt different than any of the others.  Never before have I felt so enthusiastic for a candidate.  As well, I have never been motivated to donate to a candidate, let alone three times.  I hope that Obama can hold up to my feelings and the apparent feelings of those who voted for him.  There is a lot of expectation for the new president and there are a lot of hardships awaiting his swearing in… a lot of things to correct.  I hope that President Obama makes me proud for my vote and disproves all of the slanderous claims he’s had to face, and I hope he continues to do so with class.

I also hope that he survives his stint as President.  I have a firm belief that there are lot of racist wackos and nuts out there who would fondly talk of assassination.  The numbers that scare me too, it only takes one of those wackos.  And this plays into my theory that Obama seems like another Kennedy (yes, I realize I wasn’t around when Kennedy was) in our midst.  His ideas, his way of speaking maybe this could be a Kennedy for my generation… hopefully without the shortened life and womanizing.  Even his wife, strong, well education, holds herself well seems like another Jackie Kennedy.

This is a pivotal point in our history, I’m excited to be firmly seated in front for the view.  What does it say to our nation and to the world that we as a nation can move past our horrid, intolerant, and bloody racial past.  Maybe we can reestablish good standing within the world, it will take time and effort but it could happen.  I hope that we have a movement of young people stirred to action for their country and their world, even if it is for assistance with college tuition, they will go out and work for the nation, doing positive and worthwhile actions.  Maybe we can move on past the harm and the mistrust between the differing cultures of people that live here.

I don’t know.

Maybe I am naive; maybe I’ve been swept up and this is just yet another politician who will turn out to be another form of degenerate human leech to bleed the nation dry for his own political and financial gain.  I sure hope this isn’t the case and I don’t feel that it is… but still, feelings are easily wrong.

I have hope, I pray it materializes quickly.  We’ll see.

ps. Thank you for those of you Oregon voters who voted down both Education based Sizemore ballot measures.  I can’t tell you how scary the Merit pay measure was.  How would that have looked for me, as a special education teacher with students who have a documented disability, who have shown to not do well in relation to their peers… how would I have been handled.   Thanks again.

“My fellow prisoners…”

At least now he’s being honest.

I think I’m dumb… maybe just happy

Well, it’s official, the state of Oregon has entrusted me with the fragile, sponge-like minds of tomorrow’s generations. As of today, I am an officially licensed teacher. Scary, ain’t it?Eugene Moment:
While waiting to see John Edwards on Campus, this guy walks up in front of me, wearing a dark green sweatpants, with a light green sweatshirt wrapped around his waste, topped off with sandals and socks. After two minutes, he turns to me and asks why I’m at the rally. I said, to hear John Edwards. He says, “hmmm. ok ok. hmm.” turns back around, tapping all ten of his finders on his jaw. At this point, I knew this was going to be another memorable interaction. Thirty seconds later, he turns around and asks, “so… you support this guy.” I said that I do. He said, “oh, ok… support him, support him.” This is the mode of conversation for the next fifteen minutes, ranging in topics from my degree (he was repeated tens of times that I was in my second year of grad school) and to my family. He correctly discerned that I was originally from Oregon–to which he repeated in a Rainman-ish way, “definitely not from Germany”… thought, I assure you, this man was not Autistic. Eventually, he was trying to figure out what I was going to school for, he said, “I’m just trying… trying… to…” I chimed in, “compute?” He lit up, “Ah ha! Are you a Bill Gates?” and added, “don’t worry, I’m not the CIA, but I like puzzles.” I made the mistake of saying that I would hope that I was more of an enigma–which sent him on more of a World War II, Deutschland rant.

Luckily Meagan showed up and I had a good reason to move away from “Michael” which he openly said was a pseudonym, stating that I should think of his last name as “Anonymous”.

I’m really going to miss this town.


there must be some way outta here said the joker to the thief

hmm… well, I don’t know things are different; not always for the best. Good: residents are back, more people to meet, RA job has started. Bad: my friend Geoff got deployed with the Air Force.
I was a little bit nervous about the new group of residents I was about to receive, other than one small incident I am pretty hopeful about this up coming year. This group (sans alcohol) seems more mature and respectful of not only me and my job, but also of each other. It will be interesting to see how this year turns out; for the better I hope. There is a major contrast to this year’s group compared to the group I had last go-around. Last year the residents were, well, to generalize: hippies, or at least of the hippy tendencies. Whereas this year it is more of main-stream almost Greek type of residents. This is neither good nor bad, I just feel that at the beginning I had more of a connection with my group last year, as I am more hippy than I am fratboy. Like I said before, we’ll see.

I like this new group of RAs, they seem more responsible and willing to help. I think that maybe the tragedy we experienced on the 11th, some how bonded us a little bit more closely. New classes also begin in a couple of days, most of my classes I am not worried about; German on the other hand should be a brand new experience for me. Nervous would be a good word to use about how i feel.

Geoff: well, I can’t say that this was unexpected though still unpleasant. I know he won’t be flying fighter jets, but still the chances of violence still makes it an uneasy situation. To round out this update, I’ll say another little piece about what took place in NYC. I keep on hearing about how we are going to rebuild the Trade Center. Yes, I realize that this is a big sign of defiance; but still, wouldn’t it be more of a defiant and humanitarian response to build a massive park there in remembrance of the tragedy and lives lost in the act that took place on Sept. 11th. Maybe a park would help us remember our mistakes in the past and guide us in the future.I hope I’m not drafted.