I definitely wanted to watch the inauguration today – mostly the swearing-in and Obama’s speech. Our IT department had set up the CNN feed on our in-house broadcast system, and one of the computer classrooms in the library was set up for it. I had decided to stay in my office to watch it, though – but I got signed on too late, and the video wouldn’t come up. So, I went downstairs to the classroom to watch. As it turned out, I was glad I did.
A group of our students slowly filtered in – all ages and races – and mostly stood at the back of the room. The ceremony was running a little late, and at 12:00 noon, CNN announced that Obama was officially the president, even though he hadn’t taken the oath yet. The students cheered. A few minutes later when he did take the oath, they cheered again. They stayed and listened to his speech, and clapped at a couple of places during it, as well as at the end.
It was great to see and hear the students’ response. Sometimes it can seem to us like it’s hard to get the students fired up about anything, especially the younger ones. I hope this sticks – that this gives them a sense of involvement to the point that they care about politics and feel that they can make a difference, and keep voting!