It's going to be a tad out of order chronologically... I'm waiting to get some pictures from when my mother came up for my voice recital and our subsequent trip to Detroit.
NOW: for the Presidential run-in!!! This past Saturday was my last ever day as a student *insert parent's applause here* and I had the great pleasure of getting to see President Barack Obama's commencement speech at The Big House *insert parent's boo's here*!!!! Whatever your political leanings, I think we can all agree that getting to see a sitting president speak is still a pretty cool thing, so keep it clean in your comments.
We had been getting e-mail after e-mail giving us a detailed list of things we could not bring (guns, bags, umbrellas, etc) and informing us that the gates would open at 6:30 am and no one would be allowed in after 9:00 am. Mind you, the actual ceremony didn't start until 11:00 am. Luckily, my friend Maureen lives two blocks from the stadium and I was able to park there and miss all of the kuh-raziness of catching the bus (in the pouring rain, might I add).
Me and the General. If you know me, then you understand how big of a deal it was to get up before
8 10 noon on a Saturday
The line goes back and back and back and back until about Ypsilanti
At this point one of the presidential motorcades came through and in the confusion some of us were able to cut through the other side of the line and get around the other entrance very very quickly!!
Ooooh, pretty lights! (P.S. The girl in the pink hoodie does NOT seem pleased)
Annnyway... we then found our seats and only had to wait about thirty minutes before the ceremony started.
The arrival of Marine One!
Besides getting to see President Obama speak, the next amazing thing was that my friend and colleague Mary Martin got to sing the national anthem for the President, the thousands of people in the stadium, and the even more thousands of people watching on television. Some of you may remember Mary from my previous post about Armide several weeks ago, and I couldn't have been more proud to see her sing!!!!
An AMAZING screen capture of Mary after meeting Obama
One of the other special guests in attendance at the speaker's podium was Michigan's governor, Jennifer Granholm. For those of who you didn't know, she was chosen to be Joe Biden's sparring partner during his practice for the Vice Presidential debate because she's kind of the anti-Sarah Palin. So.. you know... she's okay in my book. [Jan, take it out on your blog... not on my comments :) ]
After all the other speeches it was finally time for President Obama's. Of course it was amazing to hear one of the greatest, if not THE greatest speaker of our time dispensing word after word of wisdom. I was a bit surprised, I'll admit, to hear later that ours was the largest crowd he had spoken to since his becoming the president.
Look! Presidential port-a-potties!!!
The crowd went kuh-razy... I mean, this is Ann Arbor after all... it's not like he gave the speech in Waco
Now... I'll admit that I chose not to participate with the graduates on the field and there is a small part of me that regrets not taking place in the camaraderie with my fellow graduates. However, the other, much larger part of me was quite glad to be able to leave directly after the speech, as did around 10,000 other people from what I later heard. I did make sure to get one last picture with the statue of the Wolverine right outside of the stadium because I knew my mother would want a graduation photo!
I'm ONCE... TWICE...THREE times a graduate!
"The men and women who sat in your chairs ten years ago and fifty years ago and one hundred years ago - they made America possible. And there is no guarantee that the graduates who will sit here in ten or fifty or one hundred years from now will enjoy the same freedoms and opportunities that we do. America's success has never been a given. Our nation's destiny has never been certain.
What is certain - what has always been certain - is our ability to shape that destiny. That is what makes us different. That is what makes us American - our ability at the end of the day to look past all of our differences and all of our disagreements and still forge a common future. That task is now in your hands..."
~ President Barack Obama
May 1, 2010
click here for a full copy of the speech
click here for a full copy of the speech
Artist: Stephen Sondheim/ Album: Assassins