January 20, 2009

When I dropped off my daughter at school this morning, the classroom television was on, showing a live broadcast of the inauguration events.  While I was there, the teacher of a neighboring classroom came in to show my daughter’s teacher the craft that she had planned for that day… paper plates colored to look like the Obama “O” logo.

I’m not sure, but I think I might have rolled my eyes at her.

I think it’s fabulous that the country is collectively excited about the incoming administration.  Goodness knows, I am happy to be saying goodbye to W’s reign of error.  Change can be exciting.  As we are seeing, the promise of change can bring hope for the future… hope that has been dead or dormant for a very long time.

However, this inauguration hullabaloo is bothering me.  I believe  it’s a mistake to inundate our children with talk of The Man rather than talk of The Civic Process.  We are taking what should be a lesson about how our government works and turning it into idol worship.

For the sake of this country, I hope that Obama turns out to be every bit as wonderful as his fans expect him to be. But more than that, I want my children to come away from their classrooms today having learned at least some of the following:

  • The Oath of Office is mandated by the Constitution.  No one may become President without taking the oath.
  • The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court is the one who administers the oath to the president-elect.
  • Up until 1937, the inauguration took place in March.  The date was changed to January 20 under the 20th Amendment to the Constitution
  • The military takes part in the inauguration ceremonies because the President is Commander-in-Chief of the aramed forces.
  • Inaugural ceremonies are organized by a joint Congressional committee
  • The Vice President takes an oath of office before the President.
  • The President takes the oath of office at noon.


UPDATE: Conversation with my daughter after school today:

ME: So, what did you learn about the inauguration today?

HER: What’s that?



  1. We watched it today, and it was a good learning time. No crafts though. 🙂

    I love the new look of your blog!

  2. You summed up my thoughts exactly!

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