Thoughts, links & ideas from the 2008 National Teacher of the Year

Each time I've taken off in a plane since May (which is a lot), I've been writing in my journal, then adding these journal entries on this blog.

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(Note: the blue posted dates are actually the dates I wrote the journal entries, not when I posted them online.)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Roll ‘Em if You Got ‘Em

White Plains, NY

Yesterday was a big day.  After eight long years, we have a new President of the United States.  For most children, all they can recall are the Bush years.  That’s all they've really known!  For them, this truly is change.


As someone who tends to be mildly cynical, especially when it comes to politics, I have been inspired by Barack Obama and his historic rise to the Presidency.  I don’t think I am alone, as I have heard countless individuals (from disheartened and forgotten members of society to jaded political pundits) say things like “Even though it may sound hokey, those words, coming from this man, seem to carry an incredible amount of weight,” or “On paper it might look like rhetoric, but Obama breathes new life, energy and hope into the words he speaks.”  He is a symbol of hope for so many.


President Obama has inspired in me a new love for my country, a pride that I have never felt before.  I’m not a generally patriotic guy, but the symbolism and hope of the past year’s events have inspired me.  I’m not going to hang plastic flags from my car, sing “Proud to Be An American,” or blindly follow the U.S. and it's every policy, but I have been changed at a deeper level.  A level of optimism, a level of service, a level of hope.


In the next few days and months, we will see what kind of power is behind those words.  The power will not come from President Obama, though.  It will come from us, and our willingness to roll up our sleeves and work beside him, and work together, to make this world a more beautiful place for our children and grandchildren.


(Okay, that sounds pretty hokey on paper.  But I really mean it.)


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