By Noelle Smith
I’m eager to attend the inauguration because it means witnessing history. It’s not often our everyday lives involve watching history happen. I’m hoping President Obama’s inaugural speech will give some indication of the legislation he hopes to pass in his second term. It will be telling of the times to hear his goals. I’m guessing gun control and immigration reform will be two of them. I want to hear the President address the gun violence our nation has experienced recently and console, again, those who have been affected by it. I would also like to hear President Obama encourage Americans to “reach across the aisle” to their neighbors, friends, and family with opposing views. Politicians often tout bipartisan efforts, but I think Americans should to do the same. It’s scary that our nation is so politically divided. Perhaps one thing that could help is a fostering of more civil conversations about politics with one another.
I expect to be inspired by not only the President but also all those in attendance at the inauguration. We will be standing there for hours in the cold with hundreds of thousands of people, all from different backgrounds, with different aspirations in life, but for one common reason: we all have hope and confidence in America’s future.
Through our coursework, I am looking forward to exploring how history will treat President Barack Obama. Obviously he’s the first African American president, but I want to talk about what he will be remembered for, both as an individual and the platforms he championed. It’s impossible to fully assess given he has another four years, but we should have some idea.
In terms of the city, I am looking forward to learning a little of its historical development, but mostly about the city’s make up. What are the demographics of the city? I’ve heard that D.C. is pretty socio-economically divided, and I’m curious how it developed that way. How is this situation maintained? I’ve also seen the “Taxation Without Representation” license plates. I want to know why the city has such little representation and what steps they could take to change it. Finally, I know there are a lot of young people living in the D.C. Metro area. I would like to learn what is so attractive for them about this city, especially those who don’t work in politics.
I have many expectations for this trip, but I think they’re reasonable. I’m really excited about all the opportunities for learning and meeting new people!