When I was in high school, I started attending summer school every summer. Even going so far as to begin before I even started my 9th grade year. I ended up having enough credits that I actually graduated at 16, after only three years.
Don’t get me wrong, I loved my summer breaks. Back then, they were over three months long and my mother felt 6 weeks was more than enough time to play, sleep in, and then become a nuisance under foot with nothing to do. I was the fourth of five children she had to keep occupied for months. She was convinced I needed to have intellectual challenges to keep me stimulated since, I have to admit, I loved learning. So she encouraged me to take summer courses to not only fill up the days, but make it more productive. As with any parent/child interaction, this really wasn’t up for discussion. I decidedly if I had to study I might as well pick classes I wasn’t as interested in, so I could get them out of the way.
Before entering high school I chose biology. I had no idea what this really involved, I just knew my desire to learn about anatomy and cells was minimal. But that intense class over 6 weeks opened my eyes to the amazing workings and capacity of our incredible bodies. That was the moment I truly considered leaving my long-term commitment to join the family business – law- and turn to medicine instead. I was hooked by the majesty and flawless beauty within us. How our perfect organization created breathtaking outcome we see everyday and how the loss or change in just one piece could bring it all tumbling down.
The next summer, it was geometry. Mostly because I actually enjoyed math and thought it would be like taking a class in one long challenging puzzle.
The last summer I took American History. Little did I know that with the start of the Watergate investigation our country was embroiled in a first-hand look at history in the making. My professor decided there was only one lesson to be learned that year, and that would be accomplished by watching it.
From 8-12 a.m. every morning, for 6 weeks, we were forced to watch every minute of the hearings. It was the most boring summer imaginable. But as exhausting as it was, even as a kid, I sensed the incredible impact it was having on the country. It was all anyone talked about. And I was shockingly capable of interacting on this topic better than most adults!
In looking back I wish I had thanked my teacher for pushing impressionable teenagers to see our country’s democracy in action; for believing that it was important we witness something so rare, so incredible and so impactful as to change the face of this country and everyone’s future.
He knew that opportunity was too good to pass up.
We didn’t get to slide on the real course material. Oh no, it was incorporated into the proceedings. An amazing and thought provoking dichotomy of what the founding fathers created and how it was to be interpreted. We saw in real time what was envisioned and then debated. The outcome possibly reshaping the very foundations we depended on.
As a child, I never truly appreciated what a gift I had been given. Those weeks showed me a side of the inner workings of how this country functions. It formed the foundation and rock solid belief we can, and always have overcome anything that threatens to destroy our democracy. It solidified my love and deep appreciation for all this country offers.
Only two presidents have ever been impeached- Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton. Neither were removed from office. Nixon resigned during investigations of the Watergate break-in to the Democratic National Committee headquarters when the evidence became irrefutable, rather then face an official House vote to impeach. Wednesday, November 13th was the first day of impeachment hearings- only the 4th time in history that a President has been the subject of an impeachment inquiry.
It marks another historic time which tests the very ideals our country was based on.
It’s another testament to the unique and incredible fortitude, foresight and brilliance of our forefathers. A way to debate and decide what this country stands for. This is our chance to participate. To hear the information and decide for ourselves the truth. Unvarnished and untainted by skewed news services and social media. Just as our legal system is based on hearings that are meant to air both sides, this is a chance to hear both sides defend their beliefs. Just as with a jury trial. We now get a chance to hear it all and decide for ourselves what we believe is true and the consequences that should be meted out. Whether you love or hate the process, agree or disagree with the outcome, don’t miss the opportunity to make up your own mind. It’ll be a memory we’ll all share and a future we’ll all live to see.
Main image is of the Constitutional Convention (also known as the Philadelphia Convention)- during which our founding fathers created the Constitution of the United States.