My husband, my son and I all attend the same college. We've even taken a few classes together so we're known by some of the staff there. We have fun with it and I enjoy the fact that we're giving our boys strong examples that learning is a lifelong adventure.
But I digress...
We got a call from the White House Volunteer Ticket People this past Sunday...No that's not their official title but I forgot what they said on the phone just after the "White House" part. My mind must have shut off after that part because this is what I remember.
"Hello Mrs M, this is The White House..blah blah...tickets...blah blah...Obama Speech...would you like to attend?"
I don't think it's a secret that I didn't vote for President Obama, however, I've never seen a sitting President in person so my answer was yes to the ticket question. I was given instruction about where to get the tickets. I went the next day to grab them.
I held 6 tickets in my hand. Brian couldn't get off work to go so I called my dad in Kentucky. He came up the next day so he could go with Kazz and me. The other 3 tickets went to a friend of mine who works with teen foster children. She took 2 teens who have lived through the foster care system.
The person who gave me the ticket told us to arrive by 12:30 because that is when the "doors" would open. We thought we were being given special treatment because the ticket said that the doors would open at 1:30.
That night, however, we were all watching the news and found out that the President's plane would not even be in our state until 2:30!! What was worse was that he wasn't going to speak until 3:30!!
When we took into account that we weren't allowed to bring anything into the speech other than a camera and our car key, all of our minds started to question whether this was going to be fun or not.
THEN we found out that the speech would be given outdoors. Well, that's about the time my dad decided this was not the place for him. He went to visit his mother, my grandma, while Kazz and I mapped out our plan of attack for the day.
Kazz and I hit the road at 11:00 a.m. We went to Wendy's and ran through the drive thru. We still had an extra ticket to see Obama Speak. While we were waiting at the Wendy's Drive Thru the young man at the window made a little small talk with us and smiled a lot. He seemed like the nicest guy...so I gave him the ticket. He was flabbergasted and took it with much thanks and wow's. He was going to have to feign illness to get off work but that's what has to be done to see the President now and then.
Kazz and I arrived at the College Campus at 11:30. By the time we walked the half mile to the entrance we could see that about 200 people were already waiting in line to get in. We made small talk and chatted. We waited in line, got interviewed by the Detroit Newspaper and made small talk with others about under wire bras, metal detectors and pocket change.
The sun was so bright. I should have brought sunglasses.
At 12:30 we were ushered up to the metal detectors. I put my cell phone, camera and car key on the table, walked through the metal detector and was told I was all clear.
NOW MAY I REMIND YOU PLEASE that I was NOT "All Clear." That metal detector should have gone off. Why? Hellooo... Click Here That metal detector didn't make a peep! So much for security. If anyone knows the president, please let him know HIS metal detectors don't catch 10" plates of metal...but the airport's DO!
After that interesting development, Kazz and I walked around the building to see that there were rows of black chairs placed on the street in front of the stage area. There were 2 bleachers alongside the area also. We were ushered into seats on the ground in front of the stage. Fifth row back, isle seat.
Then we waited. We were told that there was water available so Kazz went to get some.
There were about 8 water coolers full of water that was warm and tasted like a brand new water hose smells. That delicious taste had to sustain us for 3 hours in the hot sun with no shade. We were sitting there in mid-day heat, seats tied together at the bottom and no other means of food or drink.
Needless to say, people were getting a little uncomfortable. Sweat was glistening in the sunlight. It was a beautiful sight. People chatted and texted at will. We looked for secret service agents and found them.
We faked sightings of famous people...until I actually saw some.
The Mayor of Detroit, Dave Bing arrived in the crowd.
There were other politicians there but I only recognized faces. Their names escaped me.
Three hours we waited. My face is sun burned to say the least. THEN...a helicopter flew overhead. People stood and ooohh-ed and aaaahhhh-ed like they had never seen one before.
The voice on the intercom came on to ask everybody to sit down. They sat.
A secret service man came to the front..."Ladies and Gentlemen in the front row. If the President decides to walk along this outer edge you may place your hand out in front of you to shake his hand. PEOPLE BEHIND THE FRONT ROW STAY IN YOUR SEATS! IF the President WANTS to shake your hand, he will. If he does not want to shake your hand he won't. If he shakes your hand, shake it and let it go. DO NOT hold on to the President or try to hug him. If you hold on to him, WE WILL HOLD ON TO YOU!"
We got the idea.
We saw our Governor, Senator and other politicians walk by and sit. A man came up to say the Pledge of Allegiance, a young woman sang the Star Spangled Banner, a MCC graduate told his story and then the President was announced. Here is the video of his arrival to the stage...
We snapped a few photos. He talked about 15 minutes and it was all over. We had waited in line 1 hour and waited in seats, in the heat, with "hose" water for 3 hours to witness a 30 minute program of which the president "may" have talked fifteen.
It was an experience. I don't think I would want to wait in the sun that long for this type of event again, but now I can say I and my son have witnessed a Presidential speech. Good day, all said.
Now for the run-down of the speech.
I'm going to school to earn a Counseling Psychology degree. Kazz will graduate this year with a business degree. The college we picked to get our degree pioneered a program where they work with 4 year Universities so that students can actually earn a Bachelors, Master and even a Doctorate by attending their Community College!
Many community colleges throughout the country now use this type of partnership but Our college started it.
I believe that is why President Obama picked Macomb Community College to deliver his speech today. This is where he introduced The American Education Initiative. Billions of dollars are going to be spent on American Community Colleges so that more men and women will be able to earn an associate degree. This plan will make America Number One in the world for college graduates! We will be able to compete with other countries and rise to the top of educational standards in the world again.
The plan sounds great since the money that would have been given to banks will now be given to the people so it will pay for itself and create jobs in the process. Basically the Community Colleges will get more money so they can serve more people.
Yes, that's it. What did you expect for a 15 minute speech? See how we felt?