Posted by: jeannineatkins | November 5, 2008


Many many years ago I was teaching sixth grade when Geraldine Ferraro ran as vice presidential candidate. I don’t remember much from decades past, but I’ve always carried within me the smile of one of my students, an African American girl, who was so revved up by news of that election that might put a woman in high office. “Anything can happen in America,” this girl used to say. And looking at all the hope on her face, I believed her.

Then kind of forgot, though I’ve read a lot of yes-we-can sort of books and have written some, too.

My daughter, calling a friend across the country last night, said she could hardly hear him on the phone, so surrounded was he by revelers, most of them first time voters. The world is really changing. Today I am that sixth grader I remember, her face brimming with hope. And it’s a very very good feeling, this pride in our country.



  1. That pride has been too long gone. Felt so good to wake up this a.m.

  2. I was so moved last night and today. I’m so hopeful now.

  3. Don’t you just know your former student got out and voted this year?
    It is good to be able to feel proud again.

  4. It’s not every day we get to walk around grinning like fools.
    My daughter warned me about CA’s question eight, which she cares a lot about, but I’m trying not to go there for a while. Mass. did well with our questions, and an important town vote passed. I’m going to grin for a while.

  5. It’s a good good feeling. Way to go, your generation!!!

  6. I was thinking of that, and hope she felt as giddy as she did then. My bet is yes.
    I must admit that back in those days of saying the pledge at the beginning of every school day, I never felt like I do today. Walking to class I saw a flag hung from a porch and almost stopped. But just did a silent mumble.

  7. Definitely grin. I’m grinning big and feeling light-hearted and light-shouldered. I know things would have been SO much worse for EVERYBODY if things had gone the other way, nationally.
    My commitment is to see what I can do next/now on the Prop 8 issue, knowing how many people who care about that helped Obama get elected. So I have a next step to figure out, but I get to rejoice, too! 🙂

  8. Yes, I felt so good to see my students get so inspired, and feel hopeful rather than jaded.

  9. I’ve got tears in my eyes thinking of that young girl and now you, brimming with hope. I feel the same, and so do millions and millions of others. What a glorious feeling.

  10. We first time voters are an extremely enthused bunch! While casting my ballot, my hands were so shaky that I felt I had to carefully concentrate in order to connect those arrows. I double and triple checked my answers before giddily feeding my giant paper into the ballot box machine. And then the waiting and watching game. I imagine that this is what the Super Bowl feels like to some people. But wasn’t it wonderful how there was a moment when the clashing teams didn’t matter as much as the greater victory? I felt a pride I’ve never felt before. I was so proud of McCain’s grace and poise in delivering his speech. And I was so so proud of Obama’s bravery in agreeing to take on all the challenges ahead.

  11. and as you said in your post, there will be struggles ahead, but at least we can believe they’ll be handled from a place of heart.

  12. Yes, it seemed some were almost skipping around! That itself can change the world.

  13. One of the heartening things was seeing the huge voter turnout, people realizing I have a voice and using it. Yay for your generation — the leaders have got to feel accountable to you and that will make a difference.
    And yes, eloquence at the moments of loss and victory and eyes on the greater good. Wow.

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