Tuesday, November 4 will be historic.
I think schools, teachers, students, and parents have an obligation to pay attention to this election like never before (we should pay attention to every election… but, it just gets so tiring listening to politicians run their big yaps…).
Schools spend a great deal of time teaching history, but this is one of those times where a historic event can be recognized before it happens. This is a unique opportunity for students to watch history unfold instead of just reading about it.
In my lifetime, I can only remember 2 events that were as big as this election. I believe this because if something is truly historic you can remember the exact spot you were standing when it happened.
For my grandparents it was the Stock Market Crash and the two World Wars. For my parents it was President Kennedy getting assassinated and President Nixon resigning.
And depending on who wins this Presidential election, I think I will have this same type of feeling on Tuesday night (or Wednesday morning… or in a month depending on how close the election is and how many lawyers get involved).
Plus, there is the Google factor. If something is important enough I don’t need to Google it (and I do love Google, so I don’t say this lightly).
Up to this point the 2 biggest events in my lifetime are the Space Shuttle crashing and 9/11 (you may recall others, as my memory isn’t what it used to be).
I distinctly remember where I was and what I was doing when the Space Shuttle Challenger crashed in January 1986. To this day, I could show you the exact spot I was standing when someone walked up and told me about the crash.
I was coming out of English class during my 2nd semester at junior college (yes, it’s true I wasn’t allowed in a fully-accredited 4 year school).
There were probably 40 people standing around a TV watching the news reports of the crash. And I can still remember the quiet. 40 college students and the quiet was deafening.
9/11 is the second historic event that had this effect on me.
It was my prep period and I was sitting at my desk checking my email (which was unusual because normally I would have been doing lesson plans ) when I read a report online about a plane crashing into the World Trade Towers.
Details were sketchy at first, but as we know the news in the next several days got steadily worse.
So if an event is historic you can remember your location without even thinking about it (or Googling it).
I think this election will be one of those historic events.
If Obama wins, America has its first African American President. If McCain wins, we have the biggest upset since Truman defeated Dewey in 1948 and the first woman in the White House.
Either way we are going to experience history.
This only happens 2 or 3 times in a lifetime, so I think we should all pay close attention.
And talk about it with our students and our own children.
That is why when I vote on Tuesday, November 4, I won’t be alone.
My 7 year old daughter wants to tag along.
She would like to vote, but she is going to have to wait until the Presidential election in 2020.
If you are eligible to vote, you should. While she is going to have to settle for being a spectator to history, you can be a part of it.
And this is better than reading about it in a textbook.