Students go to Obama’s inauguration

Zoë Newcomb

As President Barack Obama spoke to the country and the world with the words “let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come,” his words were taken quite literally by CSH students and faculty standing in the 20 degree weather on the Mall.

Thirty-five students and six faculty traveled to Washington D.C. for five days in January to attend the inauguration of Sen. Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States.

“It was freezing but it was worth it,” said senior Kat Eanmen. “I started crying because it was such an historic moment. Fifty years after African-Americans couldn’t even eat in some restaurants we are electing a mixed-race president.”

Students had risen at 3:15 a.m. on Jan. 20 to beat the crowd of 1.8 million people to find a spot on the Mall close behind where ticket holders were seated.

Street vendors were among the masses taking advantage of the crowds by selling Obama merchandise. Ranging from pins to t-shirts to Obama air fresheners, the widespread fixation made for quick cash.

“There was an Obama-craze that had never before been seen during a presidential election,” said sophomore Katie Shulman. “People are fascinated with Obama.”

Students began the trip by attending the California Democratic Inaugural Bash at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum on Jan. 18 where they were able to speak with other Californians who were in the capital for the inauguration.

Highlights of the evening included remarks by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and an original song about President Obama by musician Peter Yarrow of the 1960’s folk group Peter, Paul & Mary.

“I enjoyed the event because I like Obama and everyone else there was really excited as well,” said senior Rosie Keehan.

Throughout the trip, students were given opportunities to tour the monuments and explore around D.C.

“I knew that this was going to be a trip that made history,” said Head of School Andrea Shurley. “But the best part of the trip was just walking around, exploring, and getting to know the girls better.”

The masses of people in the capital who were trying to take in the sights made exploring difficult.

“It was so hard to get anywhere,” said freshman Katie Ghotbi. “We spent an hour trying to get on the Metro, and then when we got off we realized we had only traveled one block.”

Despite the crowds and cold weather, the trip was something students said they would never forget.

“The best part of the trip for me was dancing with the woman from New Orleans while standing on the Mall,” said Keehan. “The trip was great because I was apart of history.”

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