I am going to inauguration. In a little over two months, I'll be standing on the grounds of the US Capitol watching Barack Obama take the Oath of Office.
It won't be my first inauguration. I was there in 2001 when George W. Bush was first sworn in. It was my second week of work as a Program Instructor with a civic education organization. Kids came in from all over the country for a week-long program on civics, government, and history. We took them all over DC, teaching, organizing activities, facilitating debates, and generally encouraging these kids to become actively engaged citizens.
Inauguration is the granddaddy of all programs, with exponentially bigger numbers than any other week, meaning that a lot more staff is needed. They put out a call for anybody who has ever worked there to come back and work a week. Last time, in 2004, I declined. I will say that, no matter whether the president-elect is the person you voted for, an inauguration is a thing to behold and I was more than happy to stand in the sleet to watch it happen in 2001. But I didn't feel any need to see another Bush inauguration. I decided I'd go back when it was someone I really wanted to see take office.
It has looked clear for quite some time now, since the credit crisis broke, that Obama would be sworn in this January. I held off though on signing up to work because I thought I should wait and see if I got a job and if they were ok with giving me the week off. Then they called Ohio for Obama last night and I sent the email. "I'm in. Sign me up and fly me out of San Antonio."
I'd never forgive myself if I missed this, particularly if I passed due to the off chance that I might get a job that may not want to give me four days off to be gone. I am going to be a part of this and if somebody offers me a job, I will explain that I am very sorry, but they will have to do without me for four days in January. I have a previous engagement with the President-Elect.
I will also get a paid trip to DC, a student outlet for my civics geekiness, a chance to work with and visit old friends, an opportunity to meet a long-time blog friend, an excuse to wear a certain cocktail dress that doesn't get out nearly enough, and I'll earn some money all at the same time. And see history happen, right in front of me.
I'm in. Sign me up. I can't wait.