Tuesday, January 20, 2009
. . . and a sad one too . . . .
I was thrilled that my third-grade son got a chance to view a portion of the inaugural ceremonies today at his school, but completely distraught that my 7th-grade daughter did not get the same opportunity. Of course, I have more recordings of today's events than Hannah will ever be interested in watching, but I was truly saddened to know that not one single teacher whose class she attended today made any mention of the inauguration. HELLO?! This is history in the making. We are living in an historic time. What a shame for those who may some day read about it in the history books and only then become aware that they were here, living in the midst of it. If only their teachers had discussed it, or at the very least, mentioned it. I've long known that I live smack in the middle of a community whose political views differ from mine. The fact that Barack Obama did not win the majority of the vote in this community does not support any educator's decision to ignore today's inauguration. I am truly unhappy to learn that my daughter has a history teacher who chose to not take full advantage of such an unbelievable opportunity to not only TEACH history, but to live it with his students. How sad I am for my daughter, and other students in this community who seem to be shielded from this monumental occasion. Not only has the first ever African-American taken the oath of the highest office in the land, this dignified, well-spoken individual is from our own state. Did the teachers not know that? Ironically, Mahomet schools are considered outstanding . . . . and yet this moment in history went "unmentioned" on the very day that it happened in a school full of young learners. How is that possible? I regret that I have no explanation for my children as to why this community that aspires to be progressive, can't escape its conservatism. I am grateful, however, that my parents exposed me to the world of politics at a very young age. I'm grateful that while my daughter moans when I launch in to my political editorial of the day, that she does hear some of what I say and later gives it thoughtful consideration. And I'm grateful in knowing that she and Riley both might some day appreciate their early exposure to real-world issues. And even if the day comes that we don't share the same political views, I will be grateful that they have some views of their own, developed from awareness, encouragement and knowledge that begins at a very young age. At least it begins at a young age in our household.