I had a weird Monday. Mostly because I was so sleepy from not being able to fall asleep; sometimes my brain just won't turn off. I came home from work early to clear my head from cubicle land and start packing. After a long chat on the phone with Mom & Dad, I felt refreshed and refocused. As much as I love DC, I think I'm just ready to spend a little quality time with the fam. Since being home from Denmark, I haven't spent more than a week with my parents. As we chatted about going on bike rides with Dad and zumba class with Mom, it really hit me that I'm leaving and going back to school for my final year. My parents are moving me into college for the last time.
Simultaneously it hit me that I have due dates coming up...for my thesis. (shrill)
So I decided to take everyone's advice and sit down and watch an episode of The Newsroom.
BTW: My senior thesis is on partisan political media and it's effect on American political polarization.
I watched Episode 1 and I know that I am hooked.
I pulled the quotes from the opening scene because it moved me that much and it summed up the inspiration behind the topic of my dissertation.
“Just in case you wander into a voting booth one day, there are some things you should know. One of ‘em is there’s absolutely no evidence to support the statement that we’re the greatest country in the world. We’re 7th in literacy, 27th in math, 22ndin science, 49th in life expectancy, 178th in infant mortality, 3rd in median household income, number 4 in labor force and number 4 in exports. We lead the world in only three categories: number of incarcerated citizens per capita, number of adults who believe angels are real and defense spending, where we spend more than the next 26 countries combined, 25 of whom are allies. Now, none of this is the fault of a 20-year-old college student, but you, nonetheless, are, without a doubt, a member of the worst period generation period ever period, so when you ask what makes us the greatest country in the world, I don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about! Yosemite?!”
"It sure used to be. We stood up for what was right. We fought for moral reason. We passed laws, struck down laws, for moral reason. We waged wars on poverty, not on poor people. We sacrificed, we cared about our neighbors, we put our money where our mouths were and we never beat our chest. We built great, big things, made ungodly technological advances, explored the universe, cured diseases and we cultivated the world’s greatest artists AND the world’s greatest economy. We reached for the stars, acted like men. We aspired to intelligence, we didn’t belittle it. It didn’t make us feel inferior. We didn’t identify ourselves by who we voted for in the last election and we didn’t scare so easy. We were able to be all these things and do all these things because we were informed…by great men, men who were revered. First step in solving any problem is recognizing there is one. America is not the greatest country in the world anymore.“
This is why I want to go into public service. This is why I can't turn my brain off at night.
This is why I want to change the world.
And Dad, this is why you have to stop asking me when you're going to get some grandkids to play with, I've got a lot of work to do.