Election Eve

Four years and four months ago, I arrived in Rome, Italy with my Girl Scout troop.  I was seventeen years old, had never been out of the country before, and was suddenly being led from terminal to terminal by my troop leaders, flanked by my equally bewildered friends.  What stands out in the blur of sensible rolling suitcases and duty-free shops is a certain train station we spent an hour in, waiting for our hotel bus to arrive.  We leaned against the grimy tile, too tired to gush or take pictures.  Suddenly, a passerby, hearing our accents, flung both arms into the air:  “Barack Obama!  Barack Obama!”  he shouted, his Italian accent thick, his voice jubilant and echoing.

Four years and one day ago, I was a senior in high school.  I was old enough to vote by two months, and did so early in the morning, just after the polls opened.  Although my small town was (and is) primarily conservative, I wore my Obama t-shirt to school, and tried to ignore the raised eyebrows aimed at me throughout the day.  I watched the election on TV that night, watched the blue spread across the country.  And then I wrote the following blog post:

HOPE is a Four Letter Word

A quote I heard on the news right after Obama was announced as the winner, “Tonight I am forever proud of my country.” That’s how I feel. I’m just very proud to be an American (cue in patriotic theme music).

These results are especially cool because I voted. For Obama. About three and a half hours ago. I remember back in fifth grade when I went to this tiny private school, my friend Mara figured out that for the 2008 election I would be the only one in the class old enough to vote. I remember feeling really special, but not really understanding what it meant to vote. It’s just a very strange feeling to have an event predicted when you were eleven actually coming to pass.

Already on facebook the bashings have started. I’m not really surprised, but I just think it’s so sad. You know, if McCain had won, I would have been disappointed, but I wouldn’t have sat there and pouted about it and insulted him. I (hopefully) would have learned to respect him as the leader of my country and I would have prayed that he bring about the change America desperately needs.

Anyway, I guess that there are always Debbie Downers, and some of them will probably come around, or at least keep their negative crap to themselves. We can only hope.

Not very well-written, but the sentiment is one I hope will repeat in my post tomorrow: I want to be proud of my country and my state.  I want to enter the workforce a committed, protected citizen.  I want to run through train stations yelling, “Barack Obama!  Barack Obama!”   I want my LGBTQ friends to be shown acceptance and justice, not hatred and discrimination.  I want Voter I.D., which will spend excessive amounts of money battling a ‘problem’ that doesn’t actually exist, to be off the docket forever.

I also wouldn’t mind going back to Italy.

It’s Out of My Hands

Voting begins at midnight.  At the same time, coincidently, that this blog post is due.

I’m feeling rather peaceful, sitting in my apartment with a blanket around my shoulders (because darn it, I just don’t want to get up and shut the window).

My running mate and I have done everything we could think of.  We’ve gone to dorms, we’ve spammed Facebook, we’ve had dozens of face-to-face meetings with dozens of students.  We’ve put up posters, we’ve made videos, we’ve debated, we’ve brainstormed.

The time has come, I think, for the students to decide who they want leading their student government next year.

Democracy is officially at work, and in the meantime, I’m going to do some statistics and go to bed.

And because I’ve taken to ending each day with a poetry reading from my new books, I’ll let you in on some too.  Here’s Ilya reading from “Dancing in Odessa” (the book I have).  I have to say, he is the most unique reader I’ve ever heard, and not just because of his accent.  You’ll see:

The Madness Begins

And so the madness begins.  This week is debate week.  It’s election week.  It’s also culmination-of-two-weeks-of-stress-week.  On one hand, I’m happy that the elections will soon be over, and that I’ll be able to relax.  On the other hand, I don’t think I’ll ever feel like I’ve done enough campaigning, or reached out to enough people.

The three presidential/vice presidential teams gathered at UMM’s radio station this evening for our first official debate.  It wasn’t a debate, really; more like an interview.  I could tell the DJ wanted us to be more contentious, but I think we all wanted to save it for the real (podium) debate, which is tomorrow night.

It was interesting, being on the radio.  Mostly because it didn’t feel like anything.  We all just sat in a room together and talked into microphones; we couldn’t hear ourselves, nor could we know if anyone was listening.

In other news, here are my classes for next year:

Senior Seminar: Renaissance Romance

20th Century British Literature

Grammar and Language

East Asian History

Can you believe that I’ll be finishing up my English major?  Then next spring, I’ll just have my Honors final project, a science gen. ed., the last class for my history minor, and SHAKESPEARE (which I’ve been wanted to take since freshman year; it’s about time I got some comprehensive insight into the dear man’s work.)

The Rest for Rest

What I want to say tonight is that I loved The Hunger Games last night/this morning.

In all honesty (and you won’t hear me say this often), the movie was everything I’d hoped for.  It stuck to the book as much as it possibly could have.  The casting was magnificent.  The acting superb.  The special effects were nice, although I don’t talk about that.

It’s been a long week, as I’m sure you’ve noticed (given the increasing desperation/decreasing length of my posts).  My running mate and I (sometimes alone, sometimes together) went to a total of fifty meetings this week.  Meetings with faculty, staff, students, etc.  And they’ve all been enjoyable, of course, but there have been many of them, and I’m so grateful for the weekend, which features one afternoon of campaign stuff and the rest for rest.

Sorry about all this election talk.  It’ll be over April 6.

Story Departing

Besides pitching our platform to so very many fine people, guess what I did today?

I finally turned in the darn story.

12 pages long.

Officially the longest (by far) story I’ve ever written.  Actually, the longest anything I’ve ever written.

I have yet to reach the 20 page research paper stage of college, but oh my, it’s coming.

Now to bed.  I really should start studying for Friday’s quiz, but sleep is much more important; I’m still recovering from Monday’s almost-all-nighter, and it’s difficult to be charming and persuasive whilst campaigning when one is only half-conscious.

P.S. Hunger Games premiere tomorrow night (technically Friday morning).  Who’s excited?

The Ball Has Been Dropped

Well, I’ve done it.  I really thought I was going to make it, but I skipped a post for poor March 20th.  Not on purpose, mind you.  I was planning on writing a post before going to work (I work 10-midnight), but I completely forgot.

In my defense, this is the busiest my life has ever been.  When I’m not in class or at work, I’m campaigning.  I’m meeting with students, student groups, faculty, staff, etc.  If I’m not doing that, I’m sitting in the student government office brainstorming with my running mate. This campaign has gotten personal, quite suddenly; I’ve started to think about how much it will mean for me to win this position, and how I’ll feel should we lose.  (I’ll feel terrible)

I want this, you guys, and I believe in our platform and our goals and I truly think that we’re the best people for the positions.  I also believe that should this election go to the team that wants it the most, we would win.  And what a terrible, wonderful thought that is.

Anyway, to continue my defense, I’ve been stressed with the above, and overtired because I was up until 5 am studying for the darn statistics midterm.  And I forgot.

I’m a little mad at myself for this one, but I will certainly not let it happen again.

I WILL talk to you tomorrow.



To Do

To Do:

1.  Run a legitimate/impressive/hard-hitting campaign

2.  Figure out where I’m going to live this summer

3.  Figure out what classes I’m going to take this summer

4.  Figure out what work/research I’m going to do this summer

5.  Choose classes for Fall 2012 Registration next week

6.  Study for Statistics Midterm

7.  Finish Story

8.  Write Politics and Film Paper

9.  Do other general studying

10.  Help plan Support the U Day

11.  Volunteer for the literary festival

12.  Attend Hunger Games premiere (not optional)

13.  Live to see the weekend