I'm going to open this up by saying that this isn't a political post. I voted about 2 weeks ago while wandering through the mall. I encourage my students and friends to vote... Don't forget to vote!!!! (See, like that)
But, I don't get particularly political outside of my own four walls. I could probably count on two hands the number of people that I've had true political discourse with. It's ok. That's how I like it. America is the land of choices. Each individual is free to choose their candidate and support said candidate. The beauty of the system is that I don't have to agree with you. That's it.
Nonetheless, today I was able to reflect on all the elections of my past - 24 years worth of them & while there are a lot of things in my life that I don't remember. I remember past election days and the excitement that came with them - be it positive or negative outcome (in my opinion).
I will start with 1988, because that's as far back as I can remember. I was in 4th grade at Roosevelt Elementary in Dickinson, ND. I remember having a "school election", where we were able to vote for the president. The principal announced at the end of the day that George Bush and Dan Quayle won. We were happy. After school, my mom took me... I have no idea where - maybe city hall - to vote. She voted for Bush. That's pretty much all I remember - but give me a break, I was 8. :)
1992 was middle school. I don't remember a lot about that election for some reason - probably because my mom wasn't particularly political. Also, I lived in North Dakota. Everyone was a Republican. I'm pretty sure that's probably still the case. Come to think of it, I've always lived in "Red" states, though it seems that Nevada has recently crossed the line...
1996 - that was high school, senior year to be exact. I remember some friends excited because they'd be 18 before the election and would be able to vote. Sadly, I was nowhere close. My friends and I were all in a before-school government class with Mr. Buback. In retrospect, I realize that there wasn't as much learning in that class as there could have been, but it was early. Ironically, my first class now starts about 30 minutes before that optional class did. Despite that, I remember the obligatory red and blue colored political map as well as some general election excitement. As it was the Clinton/Dole election, it wasn't as exciting as it could have been.
2000 - Bush v. Gore. This was probably the election that forever cemented my realization that everyone needed to voice their political opinion by voting. I was at U Mississippi (Ole Miss) and went to register to vote. I was told NO. Years later, I found this was illegal. Despite this, I did an absentee ballot for Idaho and spent the evening sitting in the lobby of Guess Hall (and at the OBC, if I'm not mistaken) watching the returns. It was incredibly memorable... especially watching the returns with all of my foreign exchange friends.
Four years later, 2004, I was working as a nanny in Millwood, NY. Again, I voted absentee in Idaho. I helped Ryan create his election day T-shirt... I'm still looking for that picture in hopes that I can post it!! Ry and I watched the returns and had excellent political discourse... he was the first person I ever brought to my side of the fence when it came to gun control....
2008... yet another milestone year. I watched the returns with Sarah, my German exchange student. It was just the two of us, hanging out in my Las Vegas apartment. She was so incredibly excited that I was reminded of the power of our political system.
And now, in 2012... I will spend the evening in my law classes, followed by a return home to my ultra-political husband... I'm sure it will be a late night!