Schedule (and some thoughts) for Inauguration Day

Today is a historic day in the US. It is a time to reflect for a moment about what we are doing here (not just in school, but always and everywhere) and what it means to be a citizen of the United States. For me, the beauty of being an American is that it is a story of constant change and awesome possibilities. No matter where your family is from, or where in the story you get in, it becomes your story; and it becomes your choice as to how you add to that story. You get to be the villain or the hero that you choose to become here.posterone1

With that in mind, we will be setting up viewing areas for those interested in seeing the inauguration of Barack Obama today. We will have projectors and screens set up in the LMC and in the auditorium. The LMC is reserved for classes who signed up with Ms. Sasso-Flanagan. I am not sure who is supervising the sign-up for the auditorium – please check with the main office for more information.

For students and teachers who are interested in knowing what the Inauguration Day agenda looks like, it goes as follows:

Time        Event

8 am        Gates open for ticketed attendees

10 am     Preliminary festivities begin, including music by

                 The United States Marine Band, The San Francisco Boys Chorus

                 the San Francisco Girls Chorus

11 am     Internet broadcast begins at the Inaugural Committee web site.

11:30    Call to Order and Welcoming Remarks: Senator Dianne Feinstein

               Invocation: Dr. Rick Warren

               Aretha Franklin will sing

               Vice President-elect Joe Biden will be sworn into office

               Music composed by John Williams

Noon    As specified by the U.S. Constitution (20th Amendment), presidential terms of office begin and end at 12:00 noon on January 20.

12:05 pm President Barack Obama will give his inaugural address, speaking to the nation and world, for the first time, as President of the United States, followed by:

  • Poem: Elizabeth Alexander
  • Benediction: The Reverend Dr. Joseph E. Lowery
  • National Anthem: The United States Navy Band “Sea Chanters”

Thank you for stopping by and I hope you all have a great day.

Copyright © henry toromoreno, 2009. All rights reserved.
 

 

Opening Thought for 2009

Yes … it has been a long time since my last real post. You must think that I had given up on this site. Nothing could be further from the truth. Instead, I have used the nearly month away from posting on this site to gather my thoughts, write down ideas, and hopefully come back with another twelve months worthy of your attention.

Surely by now you have noticed that there is a new filter on our network. Interestingly, in my Nov. 21st post I ruminated about my frustrations with how I see students using school computers, but concluded by saying, “Blocking YouTube is not the answer.” Many students and teachers have shared their opinions about the new filters with me , and I have advised them to be patient and send the technology department a letter expressing their views.

For me, the new filters were a discouraging blow as they blocked access to two blogs that I maintain here at WordPress.com. Over the past thirteen months, I have dedicated myself to creating a useful (and hopefully entertaining) LMC blog that had a modest but consistent readership … many of whom logged in at school. The new filters altered (destroyed is probably more appropriate) the look of the blog, as it removed all design elements and left behind a bland list of text links. The new filters also completely blocked the student Lit Mag site that showcases the work of student writers and artists.

This is of course, frustrating, but it is fixable. Technology is like that sometimes, and it pays to remember how much we depend on the people who repair and deliver that technology for many of the things we take for granted.

I was reminded of that when we were hit with the ice storms in mid-December and was left without power for eighteen hours. I was reminded again, just a week later, the day after Christmas, on my son’s ninth birthday, when I was lucky enough to be vacationing in Hawaii, and the whole island of Oahu suffered a loss of power because of a lightning storm. I am reminded daily of the power of people when I drive to work and I see the piles of snow cradling the road cleared for me to get to where I need to be.

This is important stuff that these people are all doing. Connecting wires, clearing roads, powering the world we all know. Every day, each of us is involved in participating in this global network that we take for granted. Even if you don’t have a cell phone, a computer or a television, you depend on the great cooperative force of the world around you. Unless you grow your own food, make your own clothes, and live completely off of the grid, then you depend, to some greater or lesser degree, on the people of this planet to get those things that seem to happen magically around you, done.

Which is my way of saying, I guess, to not take for granted all that we have. So often, especially in our society, we get to focus on the things that we don’t have, the things we lack, the shortcomings of life, because we have so much already. We become blinded so easily, by the luxuries and excesses, the conveniences and extras, that we forget how much work it takes to keep it all going. And we also forget how little it takes to make us feel good.

All it really takes is the warmth of a smile. A gentle and genuine, “good morning, how are you”. A small reminder from someone nearby, that despite the vastness, craziness and unpredictability of it all, that we are in it together. That ice storms and lightning storms and internet filters will sometimes get in the way of life, but that they too shall pass, and we will have come through it together, and in some strange way, be better for it also.

Copyright © henry toromoreno, 2009. All rights reserved.