Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Inauguration Party Time on Campus!

Four and eight years ago, I don't recall campuses — or the nation for that matter — treating the inauguration of George W. Bush as a national holiday.

One reason might be that many of us doubted that W. actually won.

Nor do I recall campus partying and rearranged class schedules for William Jefferson Clinton's inaugurations, even though there was no doubt that he won.

No, Barack Obama's victory is something else again. It was more than an election win, so that his inauguration is being treated as a liberation, a cleansing of our national collective psyche. It is the awakening from an eight-year nightmare haunted by Dick Cheney and his minion in the oval office.

So it's celebration time for the inauguration of Barack Obama.

I'm loving it but it does seems odd. Remember this is a country where we don't even get the day off to vote.

I happen to be teaching two classes next Tuesday, a day which the campus president has declared a day of "fun," "exciting" and "educational" celebration. Would she have done as much for W? For Bubba?

I'm adjusting. For one class, "Introduction to Media Writing," the day's events, particularly the speech, is a perfect fit. The class also happens to be at just the time of the speech.

For the second class, "Introduction to Information Gathering," it's a stretch, but we'll probably manage, particularly because the campus president's invitation to enjoy the day's events, somehow lumping them in with Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which, lest we forget, is Monday, not Tuesday.

How dental hygiene, auto repair and calculus classes adapt is a mystery.

Here, for the record, is the president's memo regarding campus activities on Tuesday.

Dear Faculty and Staff,

As you well know, Inauguration Day is right around the corner, and thanks to the efforts of ... Sylvania’s ASPCC Programs team, a variety of activities are planned for the Sylvania campus to celebrate this historic moment, as well as Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

I encourage faculty to bring their classes and urge students and staff to participate in what is sure to be an exciting, fun, educational day....

Look forward to seeing you next Tuesday at one or all of the many events ... !

Linda Gerber, Ed. D.
Campus President
Portland Community College, Sylvania

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