Note: I am currently in Philadelphia for the Democratic National Convention. I attended an academic seminar last week and am doing a fieldwork placement during the convention. I am writing a daily journal to reflect on my experience and will post my entries here. Enjoy!
In my yesterday’s post, I said I would never forget last Tuesday. Well, this week keeps on getting better! I will not ever forget yesterday either, as it was the day when I saw our current President of the United States (POTUS)! Yes, Barack Obama. I am thrilled that I was finally able to see him in person before his second term ends this January. President Obama presented a magnificent case about why Americans should vote for Hillary and argued that this election is bigger than disputes between two parties because the outcome will reflect who we are as Americans overall. I loved the part when Obama commented that nobody else has ever been more qualified than Hillary to be president, not even himself or Bill. He also said he was ready to pass the baton to her.
When I thought my night could not have gotten any better, Hillary Clinton surprised us by coming on stage! This is my fourth time seeing Hillary in person and I swear it does not get any less amazing each time. I might have been less starstruck this time, but it was just as wonderful to see my number one role model in person again.
Before President Obama spoke last night, I worked at my usual post on the club floor near the suites and lounges where there often are sightings of prominent politicians and celebrities. This time, I spotted Joe Kennedy, another member of the political dynasty family, and Lynda Carter, the Original Wonder Woman! I also saw Bernie Sanders’ campaign manager, Jeffrey Weaver, briefly making a conversation with someone a few feet away from me. When it was almost time for Obama to come on stage, three Gallaudet students, including me, went inside the stadium with an interpreter to watch his speech. Obama’s speech was moving for me, as I went to his 2008 inauguration and now there I was during what probably was his last major speech as the president. I was there from the very beginning of his presidency to the very ending and it seems almost like a full circle now.
After this unforgettable moment, we headed to the closest Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) rail station and were on our way back to Temple University, where we were staying. When we got off at one station to change trains, Dolores Huerta happened to be there and we met her. I nearly screamed when I realized that the lady next to us was actually Dolores herself. Yes, that famous Mexican-American civil rights activist who did numerous remarkable things, such as founding the National Farmworkers Association/United Farm Workers. Having the ultimate respect for her, I felt very fortunate to chat with her briefly. Out of all places in Philadelphia, I would never have thought to find her at a random SEPTA station at 1 o’clock in the morning. Dolores was very friendly and recalled how she knew a former Gallaudet student. I did not recognize the name, but that was still cool! The woman whom Dolores was traveling with also recognized me from Deaf People for Hillary. I believe we spoke earlier this week, but we finally exchanged our contact information that night. The hearing world can be small, indeed! From the Original Wonder Woman to Barack Obama to Hillary Clinton to Dolores Huerta, so many incredible people are at the DNC.