University of Southern California (Emily)



Aug '08 - Jul '09

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    4.2 :: History / Learning outside the classroom

    Emily Kemper
    Jan 20, '09 2:20 PM EST
    Where were you when Barack Obama became the 44th President of the United States?

    A lot of people in the media and news have been saying this over the past couple of days, as an indication that we should take stock of this day, and remember this moment in our country's history. I couldn't agree more, and it's one of the reasons I love blogging so much. Generally speaking, my long-term memory is horrible; so, if I get to blog about this day, and share it with everyone, perhaps I will remember a little better.

    So, in answer to my own question, I was sitting on the living room couch at 9:05 am PST, in my loft apartment in Downtown Los Angeles, drinking water out of my Obama mug, and fighting back tears of pride.

    view on my TV

    Perhaps it's because I relate to this person so much, perhaps it's because since our introduction to him over 4 years ago, I really got what he was trying to say; and perhaps it's because not only did I get it, but I agreed with him, and I decided to trust him ... perhaps that's why I teared up and laughed at the same time as I watched the formality of the ceremony, the slightly mangled oath, and the "redman can get ahead, man" man. Here he is, OUR president - not only is he smart and competent and fair and capable, he's inspired all of us to stand behind him, and with this wind at his back, he's moved so many of us to service. Like the 30 or so people with rubber gloves and bags, many of whom showed up sporting Obama t-shirts, in Echo Park yesterday ... the people who, like me, came to clean up the park, but who ran out of work in about an hour with so many helping hands around.

    a family helps to clean up Echo Park

    It's a really special moment in our nation's history, and I hope that everyone got a chance to breathe, and take it all in. This is as valuable a learning experience as any design charette, or competition entry, or 10-page paper, or 3D model that you may be embroiled in currently. Because it begs the question, why do you do those things? Why did you go to architecture school, or any type of school, and why are you taking out those loans? What do you hope to accomplish in your life, with your skills, for your fellow human beings?

    Downtown Los Angeles from Echo Park

    I have answers to those questions, too; but today I'll ask for your patience, and soon, I'll ask for your participation.

    Happy Inauguration Day, everyone!

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