President Obama came to visit Colorado State University on August 28th. He was here in 2008 and I just barely missed him. He was a senator running for president back then. I was a scared freshman, and the Oval was outside of the comfortable bubble I had created for myself (dorm room, classes, Lory Student Center, and Corbett dining hall).
This time around I was determined to see him. My President Obama adventures began around 10:30 am on August 27th. That’s when I just happened to walk by a girl handing out tickets on my way to carry out a completely different mission (Print flyers for the first meeting for the CSU Range Club). She was just setting up so I didn’t even have to wait in line to get this shiny blue ticket.
Behind the scenes photos:
The next stages of this adventure to see President Obama’s speech did not quite go according to plan. First off, I should have realized that the people I passed at 10:00am (some people camped out all night) were clever, instead of scoffing at their time-wasting ways.
Secondly, I should have brought my ticket to school with me this morning instead of leaving it in my lunch box (yes, I am such a logical thinker). My poor boyfriend, Reid, was napping (he works nights now), and I woke him up to bring my ticket between classes.
Third, I should have brought sunscreen and a hat and a parasol and a sunshade and a fan and about 8 gallons of water! It was approximately 5,000 degrees and standing in line in direct sunlight in that kind of heat is probably what death feels like (if you died in the desert of heat stroke and dehydration), especially if your not even sure if it will all pay off.
Fourth, I should have left my backpack with Reid when he brought the ticket instead of lugging it with me to the back of the loooooooong line (My estimates say it was at least a mile long).
Map courtesy of Google Maps
- Blue box indicates location of speakers
- Red box indicates security
- Black line indicates direction of line (Where it ends on East dr. is not necessarily the end, this is just where I lost track of it.)
- Yellow star indicates where I got into the line
- Orange star indicates where I left it
*Please Note: Colors have no correlation to party.
After 30 minutes of waiting in line (I moved probably 20 feet in that time, at least I made it to some shade), I was told that IF I made it to the front they would probably send me to a separate line to check my bag before sending me BACK to the back of the line.
I had nowhere to take my backpack AND my phone was dead. The extremely nice woman in front of me in line told me she would save my place in line if I wanted to run home to drop it off. She gave me her phone number and told me to call when I returned in order to find her. She joked that she would be hard to find, about 10 feet away from our current position in the 45 minutes it would take for me to return.
So I left my place…
…chugged a bottle of the free H2Obama (witty)…
… snapped this photo of the Elvis selling Obama buttons. I also saw a man selling Baronco shirts (Barack + Broncos = Baronco?)… and rode my bike home.
I was so hot when I got home that I felt defeated and like I never wanted to return to that horrible line. I resigned my self to homework for the night.
My sister, Erica then told me that she had green priority tickets, which gave me a second wind (with priority tickets you don’t have to wait as long in line). I called my friend that was saving my spot in line to tell her that I wouldn’t be returning and thanked her for her kindness. We decided to meet up at Wild Boar Coffee, a coffee shop across the street from campus.
Images inside the Quad:
A few highlights from the speeches:
John Hickenlooper, Governor for Colorado, states, “Barack Obama has your back. Do we have his back?” He then goes on to say “President Obama has more emotional depth than anyone I have ever known, and we are lucky to have him as our president.”
Ken Salazar, Secretary of the Interior, asks, “ Who will be the champion for the middle class? Obama, or the other guy who stands for the top 2%.” He also informs us, “It’s Barack Obama that helped you get into higher education.”
CSU Sophomore Haley Damm-Hamblin introduces the president. Her speech represented her background as a young woman going to university and why this election is important to her.
Finally, Obama takes the stage, and he got me just a jazzed as he always does when I hear him speak. One of his major points throughout the speech was the importance of voting. He encourages us to vote saying, “Your vote will decide where we go from here,” and “You choose the path to get to the future.”
When he says that in the next few weeks his opponent will share his agenda, the crowd boos, to which he says, “Don’t boo. Vote. That’s the best response. Vote, and get some of your friends to vote.” He mentions an online voter registry, GottaVote.com, which he emphasizes the spelling and apologizes to English professors 😉 . He then says, “Young people came out in record numbers four years ago.” and “Understand your power. If you’re going to get cynical, wait till you’re older.” (hahahaha)
A great moment was when Obama listed all the things WE accomplished in the last four years and a guy yells, “You helped!” to which Obama replies, “I helped a little bit” Hahaha Classic.
He puts the power in our hands, “If we win Colorado, we will win this election. If we win Fort Collins, we will win Colorado.” and “America is counting on you and I’m counting on you.” Pressure’s on! President Obama is counting on ME!
Another key point in President Obama’s speech was the power of education. He tells us that Mitt Romeny calls us the lost generation but we are not because Obama believes in us: “I believe in you. I believe in the American people. I’ve seen the passion of this generation.”
He goes on to say that he and First Lady, Michelle paid off their student loans about 8 years ago. He says, “We know what its like.” He emphasizes his commitment to higher education saying that we shouldn’t be making it harder for students to pay off loans than it already is. My question for you: Should we keep college affordable or borrow money from our parents (as Romney suggests)?
A third point emphasized in his speech was ObamaCare, Obama explains that “We passed this law because I care.” ObamaCare has provided 7,000,000 young people with healthcare, given woman access to health care such as birth control, mammograms and pap smears, and has made medicine more accessible to the elderly. “Some of us can’t afford the healthcare we need sometimes, no matter how well we plan.”
A particularly funny moment in my opinion was the reference to the “Romney-Doesn’t-Care plan,” the health care system we will be left with should Romney be elected.
President Obama also discusses the economy and jobs. Obama says that tax cuts should not be given to those who have already succeeded (if success is measured monetarily) saying, “Tax cuts should be given to the middle-class, small business and students not to those who have already made it.” He wants to “build the economy from the inside out.” “It’s about the middle class and students.” (Hey that’s me!)
Obama tells us that his opponent believes, “Renewable sources of energy are imaginary,” Obama asks, “Do we want to be forever dependent on foreign oil or do we want to pursue renewable, clean energy sources?” and that “Renewable energy is the future.”
Obama explains, “Here’s the bottom line, Colorado. If the other side has their way … it wont create jobs.” and “I want to make sure taxes are not raised a single dime on first $250k of income.”
A few other great points from Obama include, “Help every American have a chance to better themselves.” “We don’t need to refight the battles of the past, we are moving forward, we don’t go backward!” Obama is not going to leave any Americans out in the cold, that’s what we’re fighting for.
He questions why people who love each other can’t get married. His response, “The history of our country is not about how many people we can exclude.” and “Ignoring inequality doesn’t make it go away.”
Obama on veterans: “We’re going to have to serve them just as well as they’ve served us.”
He includes some inspirational ideas such as: “You gotta get on board. Its time for change!” (which was responded to by the crowd with a resounding, “Yes we can!”) One of his themes was that he hasn’t finished what’s he’s started, “We’ve got more work to do!” (To which the crowd began chanting, “Four more years!”). And he tells us, “We are greater together than we are on our own.”
He exited to a little Bruce Springsteen, “We take care of our own.”
(My dumb ole video of the motorcade from Wild Boar Coffee after the speech. Sorry I didn’t follow the limo. I was looking at it but my hands didn’t cooperate.)
“Will this be an America where no matter where no matter what you look like, no matter where you come from, no matter who you love, no matter what your last name is, you can pursue happiness?”
As a young person, I feel that Obama understands me. As a student, I believe that Obama appreciate me. As a Natural Resources student specifically, I recognize that Obama values me. As a woman, I know that Obama supports me. I am grateful that I can look back on today as a piece of history that I participated in, and I hope one day this piece of history will be considered the day everything changed.
*UPDATE: Today is a new day and the Rocky Mountain Collegian (CSU’s student newspaper) has some interesting articles and things to say about Obama’s visit, that I would like to address.
This article compares Obama’s 2012 campaign with FDR’s campaign in which he has re-elected for four terms due to the creation of the New Deal. These government programs forced Americans to rely on the government for their basic needs. I disagree with this comparison. While Obama did mention that he wants to finish the work he’s started, the programs he has introduced are not forced on every American, they give chances to every American. The choice to take these opportunities is left up to the individual.
An article by Caleb Hendrich with the title, “Don’t Boo Get Out and Vote,” discusses why Obama is focused on getting more votes. Apparently, historically the greater the turn-out of voters the more likely the Democratic party has been to have a victory in both the executive and legislative branches. An interesting point.
While the editorial rejoices in the 13,000 people showing up to support the democratic process, their view is that the fate of the nation does not ride on one day in history or the results of the election in November. They want to encourage people to monitor the government in order to ensure that what is promised also is put into effect.
At the time of Obama’s speech there was a smallish (comparatively) gathering of Mitt Romney supporters who met at the corner of University and Meridian Avenues. A report in the collegian quotes one of their number in response to the idea of repealing ObamaCare, ” The idea that the government can force you to buy something scares me.” My response to you sir: “Where do you think roads and highways, public schools, wildlife protection, national monuments, public transportation, public libraries, open space protection, wetland protection, etc. etc. come from? Your tax dollars, that’s where. You’ve been forced to “buy” things your whole life. Even if you don’t use these things every day or they will not benefit you directly, you have to pay for them. ObamaCare simply creates an opportunity for some people in the same way all the other public service we know and love do.
Did you catch President Obama’s speech? What do you like, or dislike, about Obama’s campaign? Romney’s? Are you registered to vote? (Register here)
The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling has been a big part of my life ever since I read the first books in third grade. I have devoured the series more times than I can count, soaked in the movies (which I love however disappointed I was in most of them), and researched every drop of information I can sponge up. You can imagine that something that I can still honestly say I adore, more than 13 years later must have given something to my soul. Harry, Ron and Hermione are my family, Dumbledore, Ginny, Luna, Neville, Snape, McGonagall, Hagrid, Dobby, Fang, Sirius, Lupin, Fred, George, Seamus, Dean, Lavender, Parvati, Molly, Arthur, Bill, Charlie, Percy, Fleur, Victor, Lee, Cedric, Tonks, Mad-Eye, Angelina, Katie, Alicia, etc. etc. etc. They’re all are my friends. They will live in my heart. After all this time. Always.
So the list begins…
1. Don’t Fear the Reaper
Death is a theme, particularly emphasized in the Harry Potter books. Harry, who was orphaned as a baby, has led a life that has been considerably influenced by Death. Gradually as Harry grows and evolves into a man his journey takes him to a place where death is not something to be feared. After all, a fear of death is what led to the Hogwarts ghosts, something Harry realizes when Sirius Black dies.
In the great words of Albus Dumbledore, two quotes:
“To the well organized mind, death is but the next great adventure.”
“Do not pity the dead, Harry. Pity the living, and, above all, those who live without love.”
2. Don’t Judge a Book by its Cover
Severus Snape, the Potions Master at Hogwarts is the best example of this; he is presented as the sneering, bullying villain with a vendetta against Harry. When his motivations are revealed in the Deathly Hallows we learn that his actions were born out of love rather than hate (or mostly love).
Dumbledore: “After all this time?” (Referring to his love for Lily Evans, later Lily Potter)
“Always.” said Snape.
3. Good Things Come to Those Who Wait
After six books of bickering, pining, sulking and pretending to be indifferent toward each other, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger finally share a passionate kiss in the Deathly Hallows.
There was a clatter as the basilisk fangs cascaded out of Hermione’s arms. Running at Ron, she flung them around his neck and kissed him full on the mouth. Ron threw away the fangs and broomstick he was holding and responded with such enthusiasm that he lifted Hermione off her feet.
“Is this the moment?” Harry asked weakly, and when nothing happened except that Ron and Hermione gripped each other still more firmly and swayed on the spot, he raised his voice. “OI! There’s a war going on here!”
Ron and Hermione broke apart, their arms still around each other.
“I know, mate,” said Ron… “so it’s now or never, isn’t it?”
4. Sometimes You Can’t Make it On Your Own
Harry, throughout the series, continually feels (sometimes aggravatingly) that he must face his destiny alone, only to have his friends prove invaluable. In the Sorceror’s Stone, Ron and Hermione use their respective abilities of chess-playing and logic to help Harry through to the stone. And how can we forget Ron and Hermione’s defiance about helping Harry collect and destroy Horcruxes?
“We’ll be there, Harry,” said Ron…
“No—“ said Harry quickly…he was undertaking this dangerous journey alone.
“You said to us once before,” said Hermione quietly, “that there was a time to turn back if we wanted to. We’ve had time, haven’t we?”
“We’re with you whatever happens,” said Ron.
5. Decisions, Decisions
Harry and Tom Riddle, both extraordinarily proficient wizards, led different lives not based on their skills but rather on the various choices they made along the way. Harry makes the choice to become a Gryffindor (rather than a Slytherin) when he puts on the sorting hat because he trusts his new friendship with Ron. Tom uses the Slytherin house, his irresistible charm, and his desire for power, which led him down a dark path.
Harry gripped the edges of the stool and thought, Not Slytherin, not Slytherin.
“Not Slytherin, eh?” said the small voice. “Are you sure? You could be great, you know, it’s all here in your head, and Slytherin will help you on the way to greatness, no doubt about that— no? Well if you’re sure—better be GRYFFINDOR!”
Also a quote from Dumbledore: “It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”
6. The Power of Love
His inability either to love or to fathom its power is what prevents Voldemort from killing Harry from the beginning. Harry’s father, James, died in a fight while his mother, Lily, died protecting baby Harry.
Yet another quote from our favorite wizard, Dumbledore: “If there is one thing Voldemort cannot understand, it is love. He didn’t realize that love as powerful as your mother’s for you leaves its own mark.”
7. The Easy Way Out
Choices are an integral part of any good story. In Harry Potter we find that the more difficult choice are inevitably the right choice, which must be made. Voldemort’s rise to power is the result of those facing him choosing the easy option (to live under his rule, rather than fight or perish). Cornelius Fudge’s refusal to admit the return of Voldemort was easier than preparing for the first stages of war.
Another wise Dumbledore quote “We must all face the choice between what is right and what is easy.”
8. Hell Hath No Fury, Like a Woman Scorned
This is made perfectly evident by the reaction Hermione has to Lavender Brown and Ron’s (short-lived) romance.
The door behind them burst open. To Harry’s horror, Ron came in, laughing, pulling Lavender by the hand…
“Oops!” said Lavender, and she backed out of the room, giggling…
Hermione slid off the desk. The little flock of golden birds continued to twitter in circles around her head…
“You shouldn’t leave Lavender waiting outside,” she said quietly…
She walked very slowly and erectly toward the door. Harry glanced at Ron who looked relieved that nothing worse had happened.
“Oppugno!” came a shriek from the doorway.
Harry spun around to see Hermione pointing her wand at Ron, her expression wild: The little flock of bird speeding like a hail of fat golden bullets toward Ron, who yelped and covered his face with his hands, but the birds attacked, pecking and clawing at every bit of flesh they could reach.
9. Heart’s Desire
The Mirror of Erised shows those who look upon it the “deepest and most desperate desires of one’s heart. It is presented as a device with a destructive, almost maddening influence on the beholder. While when Harry’s sees his parents at first it is a comfort to him, he begins to become obsessed with the mirror, until Dumbledore is forced to step in.
One more quote from Dumbledore, that sage old wizard: “It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live, remember, that.”
10. Money Can’t Buy Me Love
The Weasley family has hardly two knuts to rub together, and yet Rowling presents them as the happiest and most loving of all her characters. The Malfoys on the other hand are rolling in galleons, and yet they spend much of the saga wracked with guilt, worry and anxiety.
“…my name is Malfoy, Draco Malfoy.”
Ron gave a slight cough, which might have been hiding a snigger. Draco Malfoy looked at him.
“Think my name’s funny, do you? No need to ask who you are. My father told me all the Weasleys have red hair, freckles, and more children than they can afford.”
11. Fear Can Be Conquered
During Remus Lupin’s time as Defence Against The Dark Arts teacher, he explains that the reason Harry suffers so much in the presence of the Dementors is because of his fear of fear. In time, Harry masters his fear, and the art of the Patronus charm, using focus and determination (and a memory he isn’t even sure is real).
“I assumed that if the Boggart faced you, it would assume the shape of Lord Voldemort.”
“Clearly, I was wrong,” said Lupin, still frowning at Harry. “But I didn’t think it a good idea for Lord Voldemort to materialise in the staff room. I imagined that people would panic.”
“I did think of Voldemort first,” said Harry honestly. “But then I – I remembered those Dementors.”
“I see,” said Lupin thoughtfully. “Well, well… I’m impressed.” He smiled slightly at the look of surprise on Harry’s face. “That suggests that what you fear most of all is – fear. Very wise, Harry.”
12. Protect the Nest
Even with her evil reputation, Bellatrix Lestrange makes a critical error when she threatens to kill Ginny Weasley. Molly Weasley might have seen one child die at the battle of Hogwarts, but when threatened again she proves that she won’t let ANYONE repeat that trick.
“NOT MY DAUGHTER, YOU BITCH!”…”OUT OF MY WAY!” Shouted Mrs. Weasley… “No!!” Mrs. Weasley cried as a few students ran forward, trying to come to her aid. “Get back! Get back! She is mine!”
“What will happen to your children when I’ve killed you?” taunted Bellatrix… capering as Molly’s curses danced around her. “When Mummy’s gone the same way as Freddie?”
“You — will — never — touch — our — children — again!” screamed Mrs. Weasley…
Molly’s curse soared beneath Bellatrix’s outstretched arm and hit her squarely in the chest, directly over her heart… and then she toppled…
13. Diversity is Might
Where Voldemort might tell you “Magic is Might,” I say “Diversity is Might.” Throughout the saga, Harry finds himself befriending society’s outcasts, again and again. There’s Rubeus Hagrid the half-giant, Dobby a house-elf, Firenze a centaur, and “Loony” Luna Lovegood who lives by her own rules. Even Griphook, a goblin who might not be considered a friend, helps Harry because of his reputation for loving all beings. These are the characters who often dig Harry and his friends out of the tightest situations.
“You dirty little monkey!” bawled Bellatrix. “How dare you take a witch’s wand, how dare you defy your masters?”
“Dobby has no master!” squealed the elf. “Dobby is a free elf, and Dobby has come to save Harry Potter and his friends!”
14. Treat All With Kindness
Along the same lines as number thirteen, Harry treated every being he met with the same kindness no matter their social standing, when they deserved it. (Dolores Umbridge, and Draco Malfoy are notable exceptions, also, Voldemort, of course). Kreacher, the Black family house elf, helps Harry because Harry was kind to him, Sirius’s mistreatment of Kreacher led ultimately to his death.
“I warned Sirius when we adopted twelve Grimmauld Place as our headquarters that Kreacher must be treated with kindness and respect. I also told him that Kreacher could be dangerous to us. I do not think that Sirius took me very seriously, or that he ever saw Kreacher as a being with feelings as acute as a human’s.” (One last Dumbledore quote)
15. When You Believe
Self-confidence is presented as a key component in magical prophecy. We watch Neville Longbottom’s journey from the very first book, in which he is a hopeless wizard due to low self-esteem brought on from his grandmother. As he grows older and begins to be self-assured he matures into one of the most important figures in the story.
Voldemort: “You show spirit and bravery, and you come of noble stock. You will make a very valuable Death Eater. We need your kind, Neville Longbottom.”
“I’ll join you when hell freezes over,” said Neville. “Dumbledore’s Army!” he shouted, and there was an answering cheer from the crowd…
How has Harry Potter changed your life? What themes that I didn’t share are important to you?
pro·cras·ti·na·tion [proh-kras-tuh–ney-shuhn, pruh‐]
the act or habit of procrastination, or putting something off or delaying, especially something requiring immediate attention: She was smart, but her constant procrastination led her to be late with almost every assignment.
The definition according to Dictionary.com ^^^
I am a procrastinator. Fortunately, for me (and for my grades) I am not like the girl in the use-it-in-a-sentence portion of this definition and I work well under pressure. A typical weekend in my humble abode looks something like the following.
|That’s my boyfriend Reid looking in the empty fridge.|
|Our couch is actually tan.|
|Fortunately he puts up with my crazy.|
|The continual conflict between my past, present and future selves is how the world will end this year. True story: ask the Mayans.|
And now, presenting the 10 reasons I procrastinate:
- I will get back to this tomorrow.
The other day I was on Facebook having a conversation with one of my friends. Full-blown conversations online have always bothered me for some reason. Continually commenting on some status back and forth until one of you finally decides to just stop saying things. It seems silly to formally end it by saying something like “Well I have to go now,” because it’s a comment. Anyway that’s beside the point.
My point is that while I didn’t enjoy the media for having the conversation I did enjoy the topic (and I hope to continue the discussion when I see my friend next). We were discussing, of all things, weight. As in size: fat or thin, big or small, whale or mermaid etc. The conversation was started from a post I shared from a friend on Facebook. This post to be exact:
“A while back, at the entrance of a gym, there was a picture of a very thin and beautiful woman. The caption was “This summer, do you want to be a mermaid or a whale?”
The story goes, a woman (of clothing size unknown) answered the following way:
“Dear people, whales are always surrounded by friends (dolphins, seals, curious humans), they are sexually active and raise their children with great tenderness.
They entertain like crazy with dolphins and eat lots of prawns. They swim all day and travel to fantastic places like Patagonia, the Barents Sea or the coral reefs of Polynesia.
They sing incredibly well and sometimes even are on CDs. They are impressive and dearly loved animals, which everyone defend and admires.
Mermaids do not exist.
But if they existed, they would line up to see a psychologist because of a problem of split personality: woman or fish?
They would have no sex life and could not bear children. Yes, they would be lovely, but lonely and sad. And, who wants a girl that smells like fish by his side?
Without a doubt, I’d rather be a whale.
At a time when the media tells us that only thin is beautiful, I prefer to eat ice cream with my kids, to have dinner with my husband, to eat and drink and have fun with my friends.
We women, we gain weight because we accumulate so much wisdom and knowledge that there isn’t enough space in our heads, and it spreads all over our bodies. We are not fat, we are greatly cultivated.
Every time I see my curves in the mirror, I tell myself: “How amazing am I ?! “
(The girl on the picture is French model Tara Lynn)”
My friend commented that first, humans should be neither whales nor mermaids but humans and second, that he doesn’t like “polarized arguments on either side glorifying either ideal to the extent of unhealthy life habits.” Both of which are good points. In responding to him (in the Facebook conversation way that I so enjoy) I started talking about the reasons I shared this particular post: “I prefer to eat ice cream with my kids, to have dinner with my husband, to eat and drink and have fun with my friends.” I also realized that I have a lot to say about being healthy and my whole life is very focused on size.
The people who surround me spend a lot of time talking about what not to eat and how to stay thin. The TV shows I watch show “perfect” women. The magazines I read talk about how best to cut calories and the best workout plan for a flat stomach. I know I’m guilty of thinking my thighs are too big but I’m also guilty of thinking I’m smokin’ hot within the same day. And I know I’m not alone.
And all of this, and the realization that all my writing from the past are basically blog posts, led me to decide that I wanted to start a blog. I want to write about all the things that go into living a healthy life (as far as I know). I want to share recipes that are healthful, yoga routines that help to balance and a general lifestyle that refreshes. I want to share the things that happen in my brain and in return I want to discover what others will share with me.
So to begin I’ll introduce myself. My name is Maggie Haseman. I am 21 years old. I currently study restoration ecology in rangeland ecosystems at Colorado State University in Fort Collins Colorado. My interests include, healthful cooking, practicing yoga, nurturing and collecting plants, playing board and card games, learning as much as I can, teaching others about what I know, reading and getting lost in stories, writing about what I think, laughing a lot, singing to my favorite songs, dancing like a crazy person, listening to music and to what others have to say, talking about things that do matter and things that don’t matter, tasting delicious food, entertaining friends and family, making and viewing art. I could go on; But I won’t.
This is me. I would love to hear from you; who are you? What do you think about the mermaid vs. whale discussion? How do you live happily and healthfully?