Yes, We Can!

January 20, 2009

We can now officially say that Barack Obama is the 44th president of the United States!

Regardless of party lines, I think we can agree that today is one of those days that future generations will be reading about in history textbooks for years to come. The amount of change happening within the last 24 hours is indescribable. Much like everyone down in Washington waiting for the election, I awoke early this morning, however, I was awoken by fire alarm number two of this week and not the need to get on a 4 am bus to downtown DC. J What a great way to wake up; strobe lights and loud buzzing noises. Anyway, it didn’t much matter because I was able to fall back asleep and by the time I woke up at 8 the official festivities of inauguration day were just beginning on TV. By the looks of the TV coverage, there are a few million people on the mall. As I found out last night, not everyone here knows what the mall is? In case you fall into this category, the mall is an open space in Washington DC between the Lincoln Memorial and the Capitol.

On campus are a number of student groups that have organized an inauguration party for the swearing in and speech at noon. I’m watching the speech from the comfort of my dorm room (while my roommate sleeps) so I can be somewhat productive since I’m missing a class today. Yeah, I know what a horrible student. But to tell the truth I’ve never skipped a class in over 12 years of school and I felt that this was one of those times that I just couldn’t miss out on.

Politics in Rochester are much different than in Washington. I’ve grown up in the DC metro area for my entire life (as mentioned in other posts). Politics are a huge deal in DC, not to say that every person is obsessed but definitely a large majority. In my neighborhood alone, it would be safe to say that over a third of adults work for the government. DC is roughly 40 minutes away by car or just a few metro stops away. Here in Rochester, I feel far removed from DC yet strangely close at the same time. It’s so hard to wrap my mind around the idea that while I’m sitting here in my comfy dorm room watching history unfold on TV, this is actually happening just 7 hours away. Despite the distance, the excitement for Obama here is in no shortage. I’m remembering back to when he was officially announced as the democratic president elect in November when there was cheering in the quads and lounges. I can only imagine what the next four years will bring.

On a completely unrelated note, Animal Collective’s new album Merriweather Post Pavillion comes out today! The extra neat thing about this is that the album is actually named after a pavilion about 10 minutes from my house in Maryland and it’s also the location where I graduated almost nine months ago. But you know, that’s such a small piece of news compared to Obama!

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