Today was a day which events were unexpected and unforgettable. The plan was to get the kids off to school and make my way into work for a few hours. Typical blah day. Well, that isn’t what went down. 

Let’s rewind to the midterm election mere months ago. (car break noise) WAIT. No. Let’s go back even further. When I started my blog on MSN 5 years ago, I started writing a lot about politics – local and national. Nothing in depth or ground breaking, I am no expert in…well, anything. It was just a lay chic’s take on issues which interested me. I would sometimes interview municipal and state nominees before elections. And I even one time got into it with an alderman hopeful…that was ugly. Well, he got kinda ugly and I won’t say my blog had anything to do with it…but he lost. So, I have had a pretty active interest in politics for years now. And I will go through periods when I am often writing about these issues and others when I do not write about them for a long time.

After the last midterms, I was depressed and felt hopeless. As I saw Ron Johnson and Scott Walker become leaders of our state, I predicted bad things to come. I knew that my sensibilities and fundamental beliefs were opposite of the men who were now representing me in most facets of our government. I wanted to become apathetic like most of the other people I know. It seems so much easier and happier to live in blind apathy and ignorance. Especially now. I have still voted in every election that affected me…I will write the occasional blog…and of course I was thrilled to volunteer for President Obama’s visit to Racine last year. But I have been watching less news and taking less of an interest because when I did read or listen, it was upsetting.

When the news of this Collective Bargaining Bill came about, it was a story which was unignorable in my home. My husband is a proud Union member and is currently a Union Steward for CWA. And when the protests started in Madison, I had an itchin’ to go and support what I believed in. But it didn’t feel like it was worth it because it was a lost cause. The Republicans had the votes and it seemed like a futile fight. But at the end of each day I saw a growing momentum. Last night, I watched a video of a speech given by WEAC President, Mary Bell. I was moved. Not because the words she delivered were different from those I heard before. But because I could feel her passion and I could sense the electricity in the crowd. But still, I thought to myself that this will likely be the first of many protestable issues now that Walker is Governor. We would have more chances to participate I was quite sure.

This morning I woke up too early and was about to go back to sleep. But first I decided to check my email. “Racine Unified Closed”. Wha…What??? Totally unexpected. I knew Madison schools had been canceled, but I never thought it would have trickled down to Racine. As it had turned out, Milwaukee and Kenosha schools were still in session today. But Racine did not have enough subs to cover the absent teachers. Well, as surprised as I was, I just figured I would go back to sleep until Cassidy woke me up and I would just call in to work. When I was hired, I made it clear that I would always need to be home when the kids were home…be it snow days, vacations or early releases. I don’t have sitters and even if I did, making 7 bucks an hour (average these days) would never be worth paying for one.

But then I decided, if I have to call in anyway, why not make it worth it and go to Madison??!! So sure enough we packed up some shit, showered and were headed on our way. And it was one of the best decisions I have made in a long time. It was interesting, educational, emotional, fun, fascinating, inspiring…it was truly a neat day.

Normally I do not agree with forcing kids into adult situations. When I see the little kids holding up anti abortion signs on the highway, I want to barf and scream at those psycho parents. When I see teenagers protesting at rallies when it is clear they have NO idea what they are  protesting about, I want to tell them to go home and read. And was Cassidy super into the whole experience today? No. I think she is still a little too young. But it was just as much (if not more) of a learning experience than what she would have been doing in that single day. So, why the hell not. And again, I do not regret it. She got to see the Capitol, meet our Representative, Cory Mason and witness what many will never see in their lifetimes.

We are now tired and relaxing in bed after so much excitement and walking. After all the sadness lately with losing Bob, it was a needed distraction. It was also a nice little fire to put under my approachingly apathetic ass.

I am uploading pictures and videos as we speak. And I will be writing about the politics of it all in a separate blog. See ya over there 😉


2 thoughts on “An Experience of a Lifetime

  1. I have been watching your blog for the past few days waiting for your response/opinion to all of this hoopla going on at the capital…. I thought your husband was a union worker and know how strongly you feel about Obama. I did go to work to teach in KUSD to teach because I knew my fellow colleagues were supporting me by being there but I was supporting them by being at school and keeping the schools open and not having to work another day at the end of the year! It put a smile on my face to see your blog and know that you were a part of it. I am sorry about Bob, but I am glad you had a “happy” day and am thrilled someone like you was there supporting the cause!

    1. Thank you so much. You know, I never met you, but your support and kindness to me has really meant more than you probably know. Seriously. And I you as an educator will always have my deepest respect!!!!! Today was incredible and I am SO glad we decided to go. It made me almost wish I had been born in the 50s. ALMOST.

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