Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Obama countdown completed!
I'm sitting in the UW bookstore coffee shop, after a packed day that kicked off--like many people on the West Coast's day did--with the inauguration.
Against all of my natural instincts to avoid crowds and early morning activities I made my way to a public screening (7:45 AM!) nursing a really bad cup of coffee with soy milk to meet Jake's cousins and aunt. We ended up in pew-like seating with two giant screens and an excited, earnest, flag-waving, teary-eyed, standing up and sitting down whenever the moderator in DC said to, really happy bunch of Seattleites.
I remained pretty groggy and blase about the whole thing until I 1) saw Sasha and Malia's purple and pink coats and then 2) heard the announcer say that Aretha Franklin would be singing and saw her now world-famous and really spectacular hat. In all seriousness, I think that hat sparked an internal slide show of the whole story of the past and the future and everything in between. Did you know she sang at MLK's funeral? What a great moment and the perfect hat. And look at her here in 1960.
In an odd turn of events, both Jake and I ended up interviewed on tv! Jake about the budget cuts and tuition increases on local TV. And his aunt Maggie, cousins Courtenay and Kristen and I were interviewed by a Canadian TV station about how Americans feel about the inauguration and future of the country ("Do you all really feel hope?"). Apparently TV Global Canada BC figured we were a good representation of America. They snagged us because Jake's aunt Maggie was taking a picture of his cousins pointing to today's Seattle Times while standing in front of a Pike Market sign. I am trying to dig up the footage on line. Although it should probably stay buried.
I did manage to meet with a professor to talk about dissertation stuff today. I won't bore you with the details, but the biggest take away for me was the general assurance that Yes, at a certain point you need to just go ahead and dive in and collect data and see what you get. And No, you never quite feel ready to do that. This particular professor is young and a freshly-minted PhD, so is very close to the process. I'm finding out that, as with nearly everything, there's a confidence game involved. At a certain point I have to be secure and trust (convince?) yourself that you have thought through things enough, done enough leg work and vetted things enough to pull the trigger and get what you need out of it. I have work to do, as always, but I am getting to that point.
Anyway -- happy inauguration day! Things are a little better today than they were yesterday. Which is exactly what I told TV Global Canada BC.