January 2009 Archives

Extremely intemperate conditions

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The Washington Post has a fun article featuring Obama's opinion about weather-related school closings. Coming from Chicago, where the ability to trek through knee-high snow at twenty below is a matter of civic pride, Obama is skeptical of a school closing brought on by "some ice."

The article also mentions that CPS hasn't had an official snow day since 1999. I'm currently working at a high school in Little Village and I seem to recall a snow day two weeks ago, but perhaps it was specific to our campus and not a citywide closing.

Where did you grow up and what kind of weather-related closings did you enjoy as a kid? As a fifth grader in a suburb of Cleveland, I remember the absolutely holy feeling of having five snow days in a row cancel the first week of classes after winter break.

Roundup of Student Reporting on Chicago Inauguration Events

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Inauguration day on campus
The University community came out in droves across campus Tuesday to watch the inauguration of Barack Obama. Mandel Hall hosted a viewing and discussion of the historic event. (Photo by Lloyd DeGrane) 

Thank you to the folks who have shared their personal perspectives on the Inauguration with Chicago Studies! Here's a selection of photos and writing from Chicago Studies staff and friends.

First, pre-k students in snow boots and formalwear.
Inauguration day in Hyde Park
Inauguration day in Hyde Park by Chicago Studies. The pre-kindergarten students of Bouchet Math and Science Academy dress up for their own "Inauguration Ball." (Photo by Rachel Cromidas)

Mandel Hall was packed during the Progress and Politics event on Tuesday morning.
Robert Gooding-Williams, Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago, and Charles Branham, Senior Historian at the DuSable Museum, led a discussion after viewing the inaugural address.
Inauguration day on campus
Photo by Lloyd DeGrane.
 
Kelin Hall records the cautious optimism of Branham and Gooding-Williams.

Aretha Franklin's performance, he said, changed his expectations for national hymns, and Elizabeth Alexander's poem was the "most engaging, least predictable," part of the event, which "brought it back to the ordinary," affirming Obama's message that we need changes not just in policy, but in the way we treat each other.

Showcasing African American talent, Gooding-Williams said, symbolically affirmed the African American accomplishment. Branham said that in contrast, the "bombastic" nature of the inauguration's opening sermon and introduction, and the un-nuanced linking of Obama with King's legacy, left him "unimpressed."


Supriya Sinhababu reports on inauguration-watching events in Hyde Park.

While Obama's barber Zariff took in the inauguration from the National Mall, Tony Coye tended to the shop's customers between media interviews. Coye says an average of two or three people per day come in asking for the same cut Obama gets.

"I have a client coming in today--her hair is down to her butt," Coye said. "She's getting an Obama cut."

Thalia Gigerenzer watched the inauguratioin from Valois Cafeteria on 53rd Street.

"I remember him handing out literature on the street corner," said Jimmy Prowell, 70. "At first it was hard to imagine him in the White House."

With its cheap eats and friendly conversation, Valois has become a symbol of the diverse community that made Obama--a fact that was not lost on the seven TV stations that marched into Valois armed with video cameras and microphones. 

An employee at Valois Cafeteria--a longtime Obama hangout--take time out to watch Tuesday's inaugural program. Photo: Thalia Gigerenzer

For more student coverage of the inauguration, check out the Chicago Studies inauguration cluster or the Chicago Studies Presidential Inauguration Flickr stream.

Witness to History

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The Blog that Works wants to know:
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  • Where were you on Inauguration Day?
  • Who was with you?
  • What about the day will you remember 20 years from now?
  • What was the biggest mark Chicago left on inauguration events? 
Answer by commenting below.  More UC Student Inauguration Coverage.

Chicago-area Inauguration Info

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The first place to go is the coverage College Students are providing from DC and Chicago at the Chicago Studies website.  The University's News Office is also a great place to find connections between "the life of the mind" and the swearing-in of our 44th President.

The Blog that Works has collected some links for Chicago-area Inauguration info:

Cloudy with a chance of freezing your nose off

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The Blog that Works is out of winter hibernation at just the wrong time-- today's subzero temperatures are making any activity that doesn't involve hot chocolate and my living room seem entirely unappealing.  This morning my car refused to budge out of its iced-in parking spot, giving me a personal snow day and lots of time to think about how to get around without it. Here's a roundup of Chicago transit and winter news, brought to you by my temporary homeboundedness.
Hyde Park Progress considers the pros and cons of adopting various parking meter rate schemes. Chicagoist analyzes last year's big increase in CTA ridership, but a commenter suggests an alternative interpretation. The Tribune documents some clever techniques for maintaining a parking space-- if only they'd published yesterday, I might have made it out of Hyde Park today!  A fourth-grader in Hammond fell victim to a triple-dog-dare and ended up with a tongue injury.  The Chicago Foundation for Women is honoring an important anniversary this week with a spoken word event.  And for a nice healthy dose of winter escapism, check out these nifty shots of fractal river deltas near the Mediterranean coast.

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