Education Opinion

What’s Around the Bend?

By Susan Graham — November 09, 2008 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

In my community, our schools are our polling places, so Tuesday was a teacher workday. I had just arrived when Gheorge came by my room. Gheorge is a new citizen, and the week he took his oath of allegiance, we all celebrated with him. Back in Romania, Gheorge taught violin at the school where he worked. In our school he empties the trash and sweeps.

Mrs. Graham, I am here to tell you, today I am a real American. Today I vote for President of my new country, because here in America we are free and we are not afraid. God bless America, Mrs. Graham!

This election was destined to change history, regardless of the outcome. A man of mixed race born in Hawaii, and a mother of five living in Alaska, ran for President and Vice President of the United States of America. Alaska and Hawaii weren’t states when I started school. I don’t divulge my politics, but I suppose I just gave away my age; so it won’t surprise you when I share the song that has been stuck in my head this week. Back in the ‘60s Momma Cass Elliott sang:

There’s a new world coming
And it’s just around the bend
There’s a new world coming
This one’s coming to an end

There’s a new voice calling
You can hear it if you try
And it’s growing stronger
With each day that passes by....

Some good people I know hear those words and celebrate the fulfillment of a dream.

Some other good people I know hear those words and worry that we’ve lost our bearings.

Like Gheorge, they are all real Americans -- whether they see a new day as a challenge to be overcome or an opportunity to be seized. America was built on the belief that the world we live should and can be changed in an orderly and civil manner. We have common goals even when we differ on how to accomplish those goals. It is inevitable that a “new world is coming,” and aren’t we privileged to have the opportunity to help shape it?

As Gheorge puts it each day when he arrives to clean up my room: “God Bless America!”

The opinions expressed in A Place at the Table are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.