My Next Two Years

It’s frightening thinking about post-college life. Today, on Black Friday, I just made the beginning of my transition to “adulthood” when I clicked the “I Commit” button on the Teach for America website. From 2009-2011, I will be teaching in Eastern North Carolina as a middle or high school social studies/history teacher (maybe coaching basketball and baseball too). It’s exciting to consider myself part of the Teach for America corps, but also nerve-wracking and humbling knowing that this is not going to be an easy job. Nonetheless, I now know what I will be doing for the next two years of my life…helping to bridge the gap of America’s 21st century civil rights injustice: educational inequality.

Any Person, Any Study

That’s the motto Ezra Cornell gave this University. Apparently the School of Industrial and Labor Relations thinks differently. Last semester senior year is approaching and I plan on enrolling in the courses I’ve always wanted to take since I got to Cornell: Economics of Collective Bargaining in Sports and Essential Desktop Applications (you learn all the ins and outs of Microsoft Office, have class once a week, and, get this, average grade is an A+!). Both of these courses are in the ILR School. But somewhere on some sheet of paper never to be read because it doesn’t exist there’s this policy that says unless you’re an ILR student you can’t take any ILR course!

Well first off, nowhere on the courses of study roster does it say I can’t take an ILR course. Second, Ezra Cornell says I can take any study I want to. Third, if you’re going to deny me my dream course at least tell me before I wake up at 6:30am and try to enroll only to see an error message saying this course has enrollment restrictions and you do not qualify to pass them. If you properly disseminated this information at least I would’ve been able to adjust, and find another interesting course that happened to be at the same time as these (History of Rock music) and enroll in that one instead. But no, this information is apparently secret and I am left scratching my head as what to do, and somewhat depressed because this class that I’ve wanted to take for four years and finally have the opportunity to segregates students based on their college. And it just so happens I’m in the group that gets shafted! ILR you’re dead to me.

Oops

With all my excitement about the election, Nebraska, the senate recounts and run-offs I forgot to post my picture with President-elect Barack Obama. It was taken in Zanesville, OH at a closed press event that we helped to set up on July 1, 2008. My friends in the picture were also Obama Organizing Fellows and we all agreed this was an out of body experience.

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Icing on the Cake

If Obama’s election as President-elect couldn’t get any better, Nebraska said otherwise. For the first time in the history of the United States, one of the two states who could split their electoral votes for President (Maine and Nebraska), chose to do so. Nebraska’s second congressional district, which includes Omaha and its surrounding areas as well as Warren Buffet’s favorite steakhouse, voted in favor of Barack Obama resulting in Nebraska’s 5 electoral votes being split between McCain and Obama; 4 for McCain, 1 for Obama. The election final tally is 365-173. What a perfect cap to the presidential election finale.

On another note, if you want to read/see the reactions from Chile and Italy check out Matt and Tim’s blogs.

What an Historic Night!

I got text messaging…finally! But in all seriousness we all know the feeling of what happened Tuesday night of how, as Thomas Friedman of the NY Times put it, ” The Civil War started in Virginia, tonight ended in Virginia, and now Reconstruction begins.” What made the night so much more historic and inspiring was the reaction of the world. The excitement in Kenya needs no description nor explanation, my friend in Denmark explained that the Danes cared more about our election than their’s, Obama’s elementary school in Indonesia did nothing else but watch the election throughout the day, the city of Obama, Japan celebrated with any American they could find, London, France, and Germany all ran special edition newspapers, in DC people were singing outside the White House “na-na-na-na hey hey hey goodbye,” television coverage of the election was rated at 84 million people watching, and here at Cornell students ran into the streets shouting, “Yes we can!” then marched up to the libraries on the arts quad and stormed the buildings still chanting the various Obama slogans.

I thought the Giants winning the Super Bowl was the emotional highlight of my life, but that turned out to be false. Tuesday night will be near impossible to top.