The Politics.

September 17, 2008

I have had two of the most amazing days of my entire life.

I’ll actually start with today, rather than yesterday, because it is so extremely fresh in my mind. (Fresh as in the height of amazement ended about five minutes ago.)

Today, Governor Michael Dukakis came to Swarthmore, his alma mater, in order to deliver the Constitution Day speech. I got up, finished  my project with Anna, and then quickly ran back to Willets so I could change before Econ, to look nice for Dukakis’s speech. I checked my email before I left and saw, in my Swat inbox, a message from Professor Reeves entitled, “Dukakis Dinner”. I somehow had the insane luck to be chosen to be one of eight students from my American Elections class to have dinner with Dukakis.

The rest of my day pretty much sailed by, because I was on a poli-sci euphoria cloud for the rest of it. The presentation in Our Therapeutic Culture went great, and I actually had to leave the class early in order to go to the pre-speech Q&A session with Dukakis that was available to political science majors. I sat next to this very liberal old lady, and then Greg came in, so I was able to actually see him for the first time in numerous days. Apparently my absence will result in a “grade penalty”, but I’m a political science/economics major, not a soc/anth major, and this definitely took precedent.

The session was great. He answered one of my questions at length, and was very passionate, especially on the topic of grassroots campaigning. Also, he gave us the advice to go into public service, but warned us to have “good but conventional” sex lives. Pretty hilarious.

Then it was off to LPAC for the Constitution Day speech. It was a very good address, I thought he touched upon a lot of very important issues, including the various points in history that the Constitution has been “shredded” under the guise of national security. I also liked that he discussed the need to abolish the electoral college, a system I am vehemently opposed to. All in all, it was extremely enjoyable.

And then…dinner! It was a lot fancier than Sharples, I will tell you that. We had actual courses, salad, a main dish (salmon, my god!), and a strawberry tart dessert. But the best part was, of course, the surreal experience of eating across the table from a former Democrat presidential nominee. He had so much insight to offer, and he was so genuine and candid. I cannot fathom why he lost to Bush. (Which he apologized for twice.)

It was an incredible day. I have never before been inspired to enter public office, but after today I am definitely keeping it in my mind as a possibility.

Yesterday was great, albeit less amazing. I went with Ted to the Biden speech in Media. It was pretty much exactly what I expected, to the point where I recited some of his key lines with him. (“I could walk from here to Wilmington and not meet a single person who thought our economy was in good shape…unless I ran into John McCain.”) Call me a cynic, and maybe it’s just the fact that I’m not behind the Obama/Biden ticket with even half of my heart, but it just seemed like such a contrived, transparent, and obvious speech. He had a thousand anecdotes featuring people named “Charlie” and “Billy”, he mentioned his dad about ninety times, he pimped out his adorable three year old granddaughter Natalie. They are trying so hard to make him marketable, to make him likable, and he just isn’t. Anyway, I was glad I went, it was a good experience.

Until, of course, I wanted to get back. Ted, Rich, and I got stranded in Media for hours…alone with twenty-seven other people. Apparently sending vans to get us was less important than the Target shuttles that run on Tuesday nights are more important than picking up students marooned in a cornfield after dusk.

But all in all, these last two days were fantastic, especially given my nature. I actually just sat down in a lecture for my other major, econ, with a really world class economist, Nada Eissa. So I’m going to turn my full attention to that now.

Prospective students, I leave you with this: apply. I just ate dinner with Michael Dukakis, less than 24 hours after seeing Joe Biden speak. This is an incredible place, and I am in election year heaven.

Elatedly yours,
The Transfer Student


One Response to “The Politics.”

  1. lisetteder Says:

    after THAT first sentence, i was almost certain you’d mention those nachos from paces.

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