Eli Capilouto

Guest Entry: 2013 Inauguration

Published: Feb 12, 2013

This entry is the first in a series of guest bloggers I am welcoming to this space over the next year. It will be an opportunity for faculty, staff and students to share with us their Wildcat experience. In this first installment, Sarah Geegan, an integrated strategic communications graduate, current graduate student and information specialist in UK Public Relations and Marketing, recently returned from our nation’s capital where she joined fellow students and alumni for the Presidential Inauguration Ceremony.
 

Please enjoy.


 

By Sarah Geegan
 

Last month I was fortunate enough to witness in person a monumental moment in United States history, the 57th presidential inauguration ceremony. Nestled under about five layers of clothing and equipped with the essentials (hand-warmers, binoculars, a camera and snacks), I maneuvered my way through the crowd of 800,000, my hands clasped around the arms of several friends from UK.
 

Standing on the Capitol lawn and watching the Congressmen, Supreme Court justices and the Presidential family file in was thrilling, as was hearing the President deliver his inaugural address live. Feeling the pulse and the excitement of the eager crowd around me-- people who came from California, from Texas, and from right around the corner in Maryland or Virginia -- was unlike anything I have ever experienced. Party affiliation aside, watching Barack Obama and Joe Biden recite their oaths under the Capitol dome, and feeling ― physically ― the energy of the crowd as this historic moment transpired made me feel as proud to be an American as I have ever felt.
 

Looking back on the weekend as a whole, I have to say that the word "pride" became rather thematic, and perhaps encapsulates the accumulation of my experiences in D.C.
 

I drove to D.C. with two undergraduate students; we had to drive through the night both ways to accommodate class and work schedules. When we arrived in D.C., we picked up our tickets from our respective Congressmen's offices and were assigned specific standing areas to view the ceremony. On Monday morning, we headed for the Metro at 6 a.m., anticipating long lines on the way to and from the Metro stop. While getting to the ticket entrance area was fairly easy, the line to enter the Capitol lawn stretched down several streets and around several buildings. We waited for about an hour, chatting with the people in line behind us, just to arrive at the security tents, which were very similar to airport security check points.
 

When we finally arrived in the viewing area after being thoroughly assessed by the refreshingly friendly Secret Service officers, I would have to say that the word "crammed" does not begin to describe the space around us. We waited for three hours for the ceremony to begin and made friends quickly with the people behind us-- ― the same people with whom we had competed for "good spots," and occasionally had to grab for balance as people moved their way through the confined area. When they asked us where we were from, we enthusiastically responded that we were from the University of Kentucky, and I listened with immense pride as my fellow UK students described our school and its accomplishments: things like a national championship, the great success of DanceBlue and the prestige of various academic programs.
 

When the ceremony finally began, we used our binoculars to peer through the inconveniently located trees in front of the capital, and viewed the various speakers. As I said, hearing the speech and experiencing the emotions of the crowd was truly incredible; however the best part of the experience was the pride I felt as I shared this moment with my fellow Kentuckians.
 

Over the course of the weekend, I stayed with a dear friend of mine, a UK alumna and former classmate in the UK Honors Program, Nikki Hurt. Nikki is attending George Washington University, pursuing a master's in public health and health policy. Throughout the weekend, I was blown away by her ability and commitment to balance her onerous school work, while also playing hostess to friends visiting D.C. She got up early in the mornings to read for her class, met with classmates for a few hours in the afternoons to review her material, and still managed to fully participate in the inaugural activities.
 

I was so proud to behold, first-hand, her passion for the field of health care policy, and to see how that translated into her excitement for an inaugural ceremony that symbolized an era in which health care issues are on the forefront of American politics.   
 

Outside of the ceremony itself, my fellow Wildcats and I had the opportunity to display our Kentucky pride during the UK vs. Auburn basketball game the Saturday before the inauguration. I have heard before that one can find a UK fan in any city in the nation, especially during basketball season, but I didn't truly appreciate this sentiment until that night. We found a sports establishment known to play SEC games, and before I knew it, the entire restaurant overflowed with UK fans. Within this particular building, the night was comparable to the nights I spent in New Orleans during the 2012 SEC tournament. Everyone was wearing blue. Everyone was cheering on the Cats. Everyone, I believe, felt the same overwhelming pride that I felt to celebrate a win with UK family despite being 500 miles away from Lexington. 
 

Touring the monuments and hearing the varying perspectives of the people I was with ― a public health grad student, a political science senior and an education senior from UK, as they took in this important historical moment in unique ways, but with the same enthusiasm and passion that has come to define the weekend, was a wonderful experience. I'm so thankful that I had that opportunity to go.

 

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April
 
 
 
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LNFS Presents: Inherent Vice
Wildcat Wellness: Meditation
Successful Networking & Job Search
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
Brazilian Conversation Hour
The Arboretum presents a Party for the Planet! Celebrate Kentucky's Past
Mr. PharmD Pageant 2015
Wed
2
LNFS Presents: Manakamana
LNFS Presents: Donnie Darko
National Student Exchange (NSE) Info Session
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
Wildcat Wellness: Healthy Habits
SEC-ACC Virtual Career Fair
Massage on the Go #3
Thu
3
Cultural Coffee Hour
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
Fri
4
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
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5
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
Sun
6
Wildcat Wellness: Expressions (Creative Stress Relief)
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7
National Student Exchange (NSE) Info Session
Wildcat Wellness: Relaxation
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
Tue
8
LNFS Presents: The Godfather
Wildcat Wellness: Meditation
Internship Info Session
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
Brazilian Conversation Hour
UK Remembers
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9
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Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
Wildcat Wellness: Healthy Habits
From Plows to Plates: A Journey Through Kentucky Foodways
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10
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Cultural Coffee Hour
Last Day to Withdraw or Reduce Course Load
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Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
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Lexington Tattoo Project
Robert C. May Photography Endowment Lecture: Julian Cox
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11
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
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Lexington Tattoo Project
fab-ric-ate Exhibit
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12
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
Kentucky's Present - Learn about the Bluegrass region of the Walk Across Kentucky and about invasive plants that threaten Kentucky landscapes
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13
Wildcat Wellness: Expressions (Creative Stress Relief)
Don't Ask, Don't Tell
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14
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Take Back the Night Lexington
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15
LNFS Presents: The Godfather: Part II
Wildcat Wellness: Meditation
Brazilian Conversation Hour
Career & Major Exploration Session @ 11 a.m.
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Career & Major Exploration Session @ 1 p.m.
Affrilachian Poets
Bike-In Movie: The Bicycle Thieves
Wed
16
LNFS Presents: The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Wildcat Wellness: Healthy Habits
CANCELED: Bike-In Breakfast
Human Rights in China: a panel discussion
Thu
17
LNFS Presents: North by Northwest
LNFS Presents: Raiders of the Lost Ark
Cultural Coffee Hour
Car-Free Day
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Holi: The Indian Festival of Colors
Fri
18
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Bully Breed Awareness Walk
Spring Carnival 2015
Taste of Africa
GAYla Drag Show and Silent Auction
Sat
19
 
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20
Wildcat Wellness: Expressions (Creative Stress Relief)
Floral Sculpture
Pinterest Party #3
Mon
21
Wildcat Wellness: Relaxation
Student Center "Farewell" Informational Fair
Tour de Downtown Art
Tue
22
LNFS Presents: Birdman
Wildcat Wellness: Meditation
National Student Exchange (NSE) Info Session
Brazilian Conversation Hour
Healthy Smoothie Demonstration
Ping Pong Ball Drop
Shake the Stress Fest
Wed
23
LNFS Presents: Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
LNFS Presents: The Avengers
Wildcat Wellness: Healthy Habits
Wildcat Wrap-Up
UK Elder Care Lunch & Learn
Kentucky's Future - Plant a Tree in the Pennyrile region of the Walk Across Kentucky
Thu
24
LNFS Presents: Batman
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Cultural Coffee Hour
Art in Bloom Weekend
Fri
25
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Network Publishing: Digital Writing in the Humanities
The Party for the Planet final event in April is Arbor Day at The Arboretum!
Art in Bloom Weekend
Art in Bloom Cocktail Party
Sat
26
Art in Bloom Weekend
Sun
27
Resumes & Cover Letters that Work
Wildcat Wellness: Expressions (Creative Stress Relief)
Fuel for Finals
UK Ag Equine Programs Distinguished Lecture Series
Mon
28
Wildcat Wellness: Relaxation
Job Club: How to Write the Perfect Resume and Cover Letter
How to Impress Your Boss: Employer Panel
Tue
29
Wildcat Wellness: Meditation
Internship Info Session
Brazilian Conversation Hour
Appalachian Research Day
Wed
30
Wildcat Wellness: Healthy Habits
Thu
 
 

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