Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Professor Obama

Like many yesterday, I took the time to watch inauguration ceremonies.

The location: From the seat of my Magazine Journalism class. For me, it seemed different not sitting @ home watching something like this, rather @ school. But I don't think it's that unusual nowadays that technology has allowed us access to pretty much whatever we want, wherever we are.

Nonetheless, our entire class was fixated towards the overhead screen at the front of the class and with several others were right outside our class watching off an even bigger screen in the main atrium of the HP Campus @ Centennial College. Having President Obama in a sense "give us lecture" with his inauguration speech was fun to watch.

Things that stood out from yesterday's proceedings:

1) Rick Warren reciting the Shema: Talk about catching me off guard... I was sitting @ my desk working on an in-class assignment meanwhile the CNN feed is being shown on the overhead because our Prof wanted to watch it. I wasn't constantly watching, but I heard everything loud and clear. All of sudden I hear the words "Hear O Israel..." and I'm thinking What? I turn to look and yes indeed, Rick Warren was reciting the Shema. For those who don't know, the Shema is the most important verse in Judaism. Written in the Torah, it's recitation represents a fulfilment of the paramount commandment of acceptance of G-d's absolute sovereignty (Artscroll Siddur). Good for Warren, who's also a pastor, for reciting the holy words. Jews all around the world watching must have felt special @ that moment...

2) Wow did Chief Justice John Roberts screw up reciting the words for Obama during the swearing in. He said way too much for him to repeat afterwards and spoke way to fast. To be honest, Obama did look a little nervous. And @ one point I actually thought he said one of the words wrong... And every time I watched a replay on the news, you didn't hear the mistakes, rather a quick snippet of Obama reciting a line or two. Wonder if anyone else noticed it?

3) My mom asked this one: "What if Obama has to go to the washroom?"
It's not like he can't go during the speeches, parades, balls, or whatever event that requires him to be on television. They probably snuck him out in between proceedings.

4) How much bloody coverage Michelle Obama's dresses get: Okay, I maybe conservative in this case but honestly, is it really that important to know every single detail about the clothes worn by the First Lady? Maybe it's because I'm a guy too... At one point when discussing the dress, I actually learned something interesting about the dress - it had to do with the tradition of these balls and the likeness of Michelle Obama towards Jackie Kennedy and what they both symbolize to the American public. Fine. But they still went overboard with the coverage...

5) The balls: 10 Balls? He had to go to 10? And dance @ them all? The same dance? Talk about patience... It's actually quite admirable to see someone who genuinely seems to enjoy and care about all the places and things he saw and heard. Must be gratitude. Michelle Obama on the other hand... you could tell her attention span was dwindling @ times...

6) CNN's Live Feed + Facebook Statuses: How cool was that? In addition to watching the inauguration, you could also check your friend's Facebook statuses too. In fact, most of them were probably watching the inauguration the same way you were too. I was very impressed.

So January 20th, will be a day history will never forget.
They better not forget it. I had my Bar Mitzvah on January 20th (2001).

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