May 14, 2009
Obama's ASU Commencement speech
President Obama's commencement speech at Arizona State last night had me glued to the tube. He is amazingly inspirational - whenever I hear him speak, it feels like he's talking directly to me.
ASU had the bad taste not to present him with an honorary degree. Yahoo news reported the following: "His body of work is yet to come. That's why we're not recognizing him with a degree at the beginning of his presidency," university spokeswoman Sharon Keeler said after the school's student newspaper first reported the decision.
Obama turned this lemon into lemonade by telling the graduates that their "body of work" would ALWAYS be in progress and that they should never rest on their laurels or their titles, even if the title was POTUS. Here is the first part of his speech. The 2nd and 3rd installments are available on YouTube.
January 29, 2009
My Kinda Guy
U.S. / Politics
White House Unbuttons Formal Dress Code
By SHERYL GAY STOLBERG
Published: January 29, 2009
Pictures of a jacketless President Obama at the White House last week may signal a discreet culture shift.
Today's NYT ran this story about the informality Obama has brought to the White House -- what a breath of fresh air! Imagine this ... He actually walks around the White House and visits colleagues' offices rather than summon them to appear in a suit. And staff can wear "business casual" on Saturdays. I could deal with that. I couldn't deal with wearing a suit every day, I confess. During and after college, I worked in downtown banks in Austin and Dallas. Austin was less formal, but Dallas required a suit every day. I felt like I was choking most of the time. I'm convinced that ties cut off the blood supply to the brain, and your IQ goes up 5 points just for loosening your tie.
January 21, 2009
Parsing the Inaugural Speech
I thought Obama's inaugural speech was amazing, on many levels. Today, the Chicago Tribune posted an article, "Obama's Inauguration Speech, Annotated," which parses a number of the significant phrases in the speech and delves into the associated literary devices and significant word choices that were made.
The article was re-printed in full on The Periodic Table Too blog today. I'm linking directly to it HERE, since there are no ads or distracting sidebars. HERE is the link directly to the Chicago Tribune story. For anyone who loves words, that speech was a treasure trove.
January 18, 2009
The Audacity of Hope
I've been watching the Obama specials on TV (including the NBC special called The Audacity of Hope and the HBO special of the Lincoln Memorial celebration), and I know that anything I could say at this point would be trite. Nevertheless, I must say, this is an incredible time in history and I feel privileged to be a part of it. Something amazing is stirring throughout the country. Despite all our woes, there is a sense of hope... but even more importantly, a sense of being united. What an amazing leader, and what an amazing time!
Category "Choral Music"
December 7, 2008
Hope in the Bleak Mid-Winter
I read in the most recent BBC Music Magazine that "In the Bleak Mid-Winter" was voted the most popular Christmas carol by a panel of famous choral directors and composers from the UK and US. As I look out my window at the gently falling snow, the song certainly fits in with the mood of the day.
But a little while ago, I watched Tom Brokaw's interview with Barack Obama on Meet the Press. Obama is so impressive. His thoughtfulness, presence of mind, breadth of knowledge, and ability to inspire have helped transform this terribly glum time (economy, unemployment, etc.) into a time when there is hope. Hope is a good thing.
November 4, 2008
History in the Making - Signed Sealed & Delivered
Such an exciting evening! I wish I were in Grant Park celebrating this history-making event. After that acceptance speech, my heart is full of optimism I haven't felt in a long time.
October 21, 2008
Colin Powell's Endorsement
Last Sunday was General Colin Powell's extraordinary endorsement of Sen. Barak Obama for President on Meet the Press. In a space of about 15 minutes, he nailed a whole variety of reasons for his decision -- it knocked my socks off. Now here is an American hero.