Educational Philosophy

Education is a social process. Education is growth. Education is not a preparation for life; education is life itself.

~ John Dewey

Our simple educational philosphy: we learn as we live and we celebrate what we learn!

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Monday, September 22, 2008

The Power of Politics

Yes, I know many of you who follow this blog either a) don't engage in politics, or b) disagree with my political views. But, indulge me. The beauty of our country is that we can agree to disagree and still reside in this awesome country -- the United States of America.

I don't think anyone can be part of a crowd of 20,000-30,000 and not be inspired.
Yesterday, we were part of such a crowd. We left the house at 8:00, reported to our volunteer locations at 9:00, and proceeded to meet thousands of people from all walks of life as we handed out tickets to get in to see Barack Obama's Change We Need Rally in Charlotte.

When we arrived, there were several hundred eager attendees in line already. As we awaited our volunteer instructions, a quiet unassuming woman approached my mother. She was wearing a pink shirt with some lesser known words that MLK spoke in Washington in 1963. She spoke softly to my mother and said that she felt that this day was a day to be remembered at that it reminded her of the March on Washington. Slowly, a tear dripped down her face. As I listened and watched, I was moved by the power of her feelings. My mother chatted with this stranger about the March and how she had been lucky to be there to witness history. It was as though they were best friends sharing a story over coffee. They were comfortable with each other despite never having spoken before. Quietly, we all nodded our heads in understanding, for it was clear that we all pondered the opportunity to witness history ourselves.

From 9-1, we walked the lines that formed for admission to Obama's speech that would be given outdoors on a beautiful 80 degree sunny day under Carolina blue skies. We distributed tickets, gathered volunteer forms, and registered new voters (17 of them!). We split up. And, all 6 of us (the girls, my parents and D and I) had different conversations with different people about all sorts of things, not just politics. The diversity of the group was striking. There were single fathers with young children, old women with walkers, disabled people in motorized wheelchairs, babies in strollers, student volunteers, black people, white people, fat people, skinny people, toddlers with signs, sick people, citizens, non-citizens, Hillary supporters, McCain converts, churchgoers, gay people, Hispanic people, Asian people, Muslims, Jews, Christians and atheists. On several corners, opponents gathered and hollered at the crowd. Soon, some college students moved in next to them and shouted their message of HOPE. Everyone was respectful. Some tried to persuade the dissenters. Others just ignored them. But, in the end, everyone had the freedom of choice.

What was abundantly clear yesterday was that Obama was right when he said, "there is not a liberal America and a conservative America -- there is the United States of America. There is not a Black America and a White America and Latino America and Asian America -- there’s the United States of America .. We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America."

The crowd at the Obama event was not selected. People from all walks of life got up Sunday morning and made their way to see a man in America speak about his HOPE for our country. Some drove hours to get to the event and many were left standing outside the gates. But they all came. They came because they believe. Like Obama, "they believe in the things unseen. They believe in the better days ahead. They believe that we can give our middle class relief and provide working families with a road to opportunity. They believe we can provide jobs to the jobless, homes to the homeless, and reclaim young people in cities across America from violence and despair. They believe that we have a righteous wind at our backs and that as we stand on the crossroads of history, we can make the right choices, and meet the challenges that face us."

When the girls and I were discussing what moved us most during the day, each of us had a story of someone who touched our heart like the autistic 12 year old girl who begged her mom for money so that she could buy a ticket (the tickets were free) to meet Mr. Obama. All of us have been moved by a "skinny kid with a funny name" who grew up to lead America. That is what America is all about. I am happy that I got to shake Obama's hand yesterday, but I am thankful that my children witnessed firsthand America's greatest asset -- our diverse hopeful patriotic people.

1 comment:

  1. You are so fortunate to have had the opportunity to hear Obama speak in person. Thanks for this post, and thanks for those great Palin links in your sidebar. I just added them to my post. Roger Ebert sums it up beautifully! Just as my friend Amy says: Why do people want a president they could sit down and have a beer with? Personally, I want someone who is SMARTER than me!"


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