Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Time To Rebuild

6:30 a.m this morning: Mr. President Trump, the nation, the world, and little ol' me are in shock.

Yesterday morning 6:30-8:30 a.m.: I'm collecting and putting together the final ideas of my election day celebration. I will be careful to focus on the power and privilege of free elections and the history of voting. Oh...and I'm also frosting two cakes, each with an American flag.

Yesterday 11:30 a.m: We start talking about the election in my first Socratic class. We take a poll in which students are asked to predict 1. Whom will be the next president, 2. Whom will our state elect, and 3. Will the loser graciously concede? The last question was posed because I erroneously assumed the loser would be Trump.

We study past campaign ads, messages and television commercials. The students identify immediately that past ads lack the logical fallacy of ad hominem--personal, vitriolic attacks on the other candidate--unlike today's debates, ads and rhetoric.

Yesterday 1:00 p.m.: The first class overwhelmingly predicts Clinton will be the next POTUS and the loser will not bow out with grace.

At the end of the first Socratic and throughout the second class I am thinking Clinton has the election wrapped up; knowing I have both Trump supporters and haters in class, knowing I have Clinton advocates and can't-trust-Clinton believers, I focus the end of class on the strength of America and the government's checks and balances. We've been through the Cold War, Vietnam, presidential impeachments, the depression, terrorist attacks, racism that lingers. We've lost John F Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, Martin Luther King, all through violent means and hatred. We can move forward and we will. To infuse the class with optimism, I show Hillary Clinton's video on the glass ceiling and challenge my students, "Even if you're not for Clinton, you can acknowledge this historic moment that you may be a part of."

Interestingly, the second class predicts a Trump win--by a very small margin.

We eat cake and decorated Vote cookies brought by classmates and celebrate the fact that we have a free election and the right to vote.

November 8, 3:30 p.m: I hurry home from school to meet Tony. We have plans to vote and both are nervous it may take awhile. A friend from Arizona waited two hours!!!

No lines for us! We hustle in, sign up, show ID, receive our voting card and step up to the voting machine.  The vote for President is the first decision after a straight party option. NO thanks.

While contemplating my contribution to our nation, I give each issue a chance. I decide on the issues or the judges for which I lack information to make a formed decision. Those are left blank.

Less than fifteen minutes later, we sit in the car and admit to one another for whom we voted. Yes, I am surprised by my husband's decision. He congratulates me on my mine. It hits me how grateful I am this is all over!  It has been months of reading, digesting, revulsion, re-thinking, researching, contemplating...and it's over. Let the best candidate win. I've done my part. I did my best.

Tacos. We're hungry. Even a kind of mental exhaustion and relief settles around us. Maria Dona is just the place to restore our beleaguered souls.We're ready to return home and watch the returns.

At 12:11 last night, I couldn't stay awake any longer and figuring the next president would be named whether or not I stayed up--I slumbered away, until I was awakened by fireworks! It's over!!! I zombie-walked my way to the television and saw the almost unmistakable possibility. The nation had spoken...

Or half the nation...

This morning 6:10 a.m.: I awake to the first thought: We have a new president and one I didn't expect. I need to prepare and analyze how this happened. I open my emails to find a student's message.

Mrs. Martinez!!! HOw I wish we were all together to discuss this!!!

My work is cu tout for this morning. How foolish to think it was over... we have a lot more to learn. But we'll look at it in different ways this morning--through Saki's Interlopers and Paul Fleshman's Seedfolks. We've seen a nation torn down and apart; we need to learn how to rebuild.