Inauguration Day was a big one for St. Columbkille. Most classes postponed their normal activities to at least watch President Obama be sworn in, and sometimes more. I was in Ms. Boegel’s seventh grade math class at the time, and she did a cool compare/contrast activity with the class to draw a backdrop for the inauguration.
Ms. Boegel had three children’s books – one about Abraham Lincoln, one about Martin Luther King Jr., and one about Barack Obama. The students were split into three groups, and each group was given one of the books. The class was also given worksheets that had a three-way Venn diagram. Ms. Boegel taught them how to use a Venn diagram, and then the students were given time to read their children’s book and write down facts about these great men in American history. They had spent time on Friday talking about Martin Luther King, Jr., so they already had some backstory there.
After the activity, we turned on the TV in time to see Aretha Franklin sing “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee”. We saw Joe Biden sworn in as Vice-President and the performance of “Air and Simple Gifts” by Itzhak Perlman, Yo Yo Ma, Gabriela Montero and Anthony McGill. The students seemed stirred by the beauty of that composition, and then the rock star hit the stage – President Obama himself, being sworn in as the 44th president of the United States.
The students at St. Columbkille love Obama, as well as the promise he represents for all Americans. I’ve heard about the hope Obama gives to nonwhite Americans and the pride they have in him, but this was the first time I’d really seen it firsthand. Although I don’t agree with all of his political ideas, I am glad that we have an inspirational president. If he does a good job over the next four years (and I think he has that potential), it will go a long way toward rebuilding our country’s image – not just internationally, but domestically as well.