America the Beautiful

Today — Election Day, 2012 — Nobles faculty members were encouraged to share their thoughts and reflections around the Democratic process and how engagement in that process and the right to vote has affected their lives in some way.

“Today, I opened up an email from our service partner in Cambodia. The note contained info in an ongoing conversation about the service work we will do together when we were there in March. The final line of the note was ‘We are especially thinking to you in this election day.’ How incredible is it that people in a small village in one of the poorest countries in the world — 6,000+ miles from here — know and care about our election, yet many of us take this process for granted? It’s an education for us all.”
-Head of Upper School Ben Snyder

“I still get goose bumps every time I walk into a voting booth.  Whether at the local or the national level, I have never missed a vote and I always feel the same way.  It is simply a gift to participate in the process.  I just missed being old enough to vote in 1976 so my first national vote was in 1980.  Since I was a student in Wisconsin, I voted at the Turtle Creek Middle School in Beloit, Wisconsin.  I remember feeling emboldened and wanted my vote to count.  I did not, however, end up voting for one of the candidates of the two major parties.  Instead I voted for the  independent candidate, a white haired congressman from Illinois, John Anderson.  I can recall walking out, convinced he was going to win because I knew that others would have the same reasonable change of mind as I did. ”
-Modern Language teacher Mark Sheeran

“After more than 50 years in this country, several years ago my Mom finally got her U.S. citizenship.  After witnessing countless elections from the sidelines, she was finally able to participate in her first ever presidential election and she was elated…she said it made her ‘feel powerful.’ ”
-Dean of Students Erika Guy

“I stood in line at 6:50 this morning at my polling place in Somerville — out on the street, actually, in the cold. The guy behind me in line had recently moved to Massachusetts and was surprised that we couldn’t vote early or absentee. I said yes, Massachusetts is pretty traditional that way. But I pointed out that he and I were having a nice conversation and we wouldn’t have met if we didn’t have to vote together. Most years, inconvenient as it is, I’m glad to get the chance to rub shoulders with my fellow citizens of Ward 6, Precinct 2 as I have every November for nearly twenty years.”
-Science teacher David Strasburger

“This is an anecdote from before I could vote, but it is one of my most poignant election memories. I was in 8th grade for the 2000 election and had an assignment from my social studies class to follow the election results and color in each state on the map as it had voted (red or blue). If you remember, that was the election with the Florida recount, when news outlets called the state for Gore, then retracted, then called for Bush, etc. Anyways, I remember staying up well into the night, and bursting into tears when I realized my assignment was going to be incomplete…I couldn’t color in Florida! I was much more concerned with my homework grade than I was with the election results…which makes me wonder what a lot of our students are thinking about today!”
-Modern Language teacher Laura Yamartino

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