And Robert Kennedy Jr.
Yes, that's right, I heart DC. I probably haven't given this place enough credit over the past year and a half since Rob and I made our coast to coast journey. But yesterday, I went riding my bike along the Mt. Vernon trail to Haines Pt. (a couple miles long island in the Potomac river, a popular place for cyclists to escape city traffic, and right next to some of our nation's most famous monuments), the cherry trees were popping blossoms, the weeping willows were green, the Potomac river at least had the appearance of blue, and tourists from all over the world were out and about to spectate the same monuments I ride past routinely. And I realized I really haven't given this place enough credit. It's a pretty cool place to be. (photo from www.rnha.org/convention.htm)

Then today, we had a pretty amazing guest speaker at the Potomac School. Last week I saw that Robert Kennedy was scheduled to speak at our school assembly today. Being the history buff that I am, I concluded that it couldn't really be RFK. So I was resigned to this being similar to the time when we had "John Smith" and "Pocahantas" come speak to us. Which made me briefly consider playing hooky. Good thing the better half of my brain reconsidered, because it turned out to be the actual, living Robert Kennedy Jr.. He was brilliant! This is a major perk of living in DC. It was really cool to listen to Bill Clinton speak to us last year, but I left from listening to Robert Kennedy Jr. with my brain abuzz with enlightenment. He was named one of Time's "Heros of the Planet" for his environmental legal work, and has done quite a bit as a "defender of the environment". What spoke to me was his practical way of looking at our personal, economical, and polital ties with the environment, and his convincing argument that what is best for us personally and economically is what is best for the environment. Building our economy and preserving our environment are not conflicting goals. I know this isn't exactly a new idea, but there are so many arguments to the contrary. And I have never heard those arguments shut down in such a convincing fashion. It was so beautiful it gave me goosebumps. I was so moved that I even had the audacity to go right up and tell him so afterwards. It was cool.
I came away feeling totally inspired by Robert Kennedy Jr. on another level as well. He has a vocal disorder known as spasmodic dysphonia (I researched him to find out). You know when you are about to cry or something, and you're "feeling a little verklempt" or slightly strangled? Well, he sounds like that all the time. It was hard to listen to at first. I thought something was wrong. Surely, this great man couldn't possibly sound like that ALL the time. Well, he does. A Great speaker with a serious vocal disorder? Very inspiring. It makes me rethink the things that I allow to hold myself back.

One thing that intimidated me when I moved to DC was the fact that I have never followed politics, and am still trying to find my political identity. I also have a pretty meager education in history, mostly from high school coaches who would rather show movies every day and tell us to read the book, so that they could spend their time thinking up basketball plays, sleeping at their desk, or doing who-knows-what. I didn't mind too much back then, but now sometimes I'm a little embarrassed living in our nation's capital by how little I know about the details of it's history and politics. But people haven't been too hard on me, and now I am finding that there is no better place to learn!

LISA  – (3:31 PM)  

That is sweet. It takes along time to decide whos yard you are going to play in regarding politics, and sometime you re-think your choices. Its all about doing what is right with the least amount of harm. I have heard the Cherry Blossoms area site to see in you life time. Hum all we get around here is Tornados 2 mls from my home. Enjoy your time there

Chickin  – (3:31 PM)  

You should have joined us for the Arlington Hill Ride last night! By the way, I am embarassed about my lack of knowledge regarding history, but especially American history. We also had all the sports coaches teaching our history classes in high school and they could care less if we actually learned anything. Hey, I once told someone the George Jefferson lived at Mt. Vernon. That's pretty bad.

Rachelle  – (4:25 PM)  

Awesome post. Awesome picture. If I had to live somewhere cold, I think the DC area would be a good choice. I'm glad you appreciate it!

Mrs. Anderson  – (1:29 AM)  

I loved this post. And Lorena, I had the same experience with history and I too shy away because of my embarrassment. I know my students always knew more than I. :(

Hans and Michelle  – (2:16 PM)  

I sometimes think - what in the world was I thinking moving to Colorado. I seriously should have moved to Virginia. Culture here is watching gun blazing Christians protest everything. You name it.

Dana Broderick  – (5:59 PM)  

When can we come visit? You are totally making me miss DC! You need to have your camera ready for events like this! :)

Sara  – (4:05 PM)  

i bet those flowers are 10x more beautiful and person. and what an awesome job you have!

Akinol  – (8:53 PM)  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
goat  – (9:25 PM)  

Awesome shot! Real professional and everything. Great history lesson, too.

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