Monday, November 17, 2008


History in the making?

The recognition of the importance of the outcome?

Acknowledging and demanding that our collective voice be heard?

What was it that made this election the family affair that it was?

I do not recall, in recent memory, the level of interest in an election that I witnessed during the McCain/Obama run for the presidency of the United States.

Mothers and fathers brought their children into the voting booths with them. They explained the process in broad terms (the role of the president and what is at stake this election) and in more immediate terms (this lever shuts the curtain, this button casts the vote). Including their children in the voting process seemed to be an important undertaking for many parents on November 4th.

I was witness to it as I patiently stood on line to vote in Trenton, N.J.

It was brought to my attention the day after the election as my New York City students spontaneously engaged in a conversation to share their experiences at the voting booth with their moms and/or dads.

It was evident in their writing...

I went with my daddy to vote. Obama or McCain? And my daddy voted Obama and I have fun with daddy.

in their involvement...
I see Obama on the stage.

in their reasoning...

Obama is best because he is nice and he supports Deaf people.

and in their visions...

This one sums it up:


LadrĂ³n de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

I knew those kids were smart and in the know about politics when I met them. How fitting that they'd be Obama-ettes.

Lynda said...

Hi Gary,

I am so happy to see parents educating their children on the importance of voting. There are so many important issues with the past election, the economy, loss of jobs, health care and a war that still continues.

One of my favorite teachers in ninth grade did an Election History Unit. Loved the class and I still recall the report that we were all required to turn it.

Have a Good Week!


Squirrel said...

The schools here had the kids make a polling place and vote in it , and Obama won by a landslide at every school.

Dumdad said...

What wonderful drawings and sentiments. Thanks for sharing all that. Children are special and can often make us oldsters view things from a different angle.

J. David Zacko-Smith said...

Gary - as usual, this is a GREAT post.

I truly think it's a combination of 8 horrid years under Bush/Cheney and the magic that is the man - Barack Obama. All of my students were happy - crying even - the day after the election, and these are 18 and 19 year olds. It truly was magical. I cried myself when Obama came out on stage with his family and the Biden's.

Thanks for your comment on my recent post too. There's a great article (I think in Businessweek) about the fact that, as a result of so many hovering "helicopter" parents in recent years, that students are just getting more needy and used to having their hands held. I am seeing evidence of this every day, at both the graduate and undergraduate level. It's scary.

One of these days I'm going to come into NYC - and we must go for a beer (or coffee). ;-)

Squirrel said...

I sure wish i could go and vizie Obama in his new house

Barbara said...

Did you give extra credit if they got their parents to vote for Obama? :)

Gary said...

Gregg - We had a little election in class and everyone voted for Obama except for one little girl who put her tally mark down for McCain. When questioned on her choice (in a very nice manner) she broke down and cried because she had no idea why she voted for McCain. When the other kids started informing her on the issues and each canditates stance she promptly changed her vote. Now she is a strong Obama supporter who actually produced more Obama writing than anyone else. Amazing.

Lynda - The first election I remember following, or caring about, was between Carter and Ford. Back then I wrote all about my support of Ford and critique of
Carter (he smiles too much). It is good to get kids in on the talking even if the understanding is somewhat surface.

Squirrel - Let's take a road trip to vizie Obama in his new house. You bring the nuts!

Dumdad - True dat. I am constantly learning from the little ones. Thank goodness.

J.DZ-S - That is a great visual; helicopter parents. There must be a balance somewhere between those who are totally out of the picture and those who control everything. I suppose it is a difficult thing to let go when you simply want to do your best for your child. But some 'kids' nowadays need to grow up a bit and take responsibility.

Barbara - Of course! All 'excellents' and gold stars. :)

mouse (aka kimy) said...

oh my god how did I miss this most wonderful post!!! priceless.

you need to send pics of some of this art to obama!!

obama, obama, obama....

WAT said...

I like dem kids' drawings. They make me chuckle every time and kind of tug at my bitter cold heart just a bit I tells ya.

Thanks for the post handsome baseball player. I got the hots for u.



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