Friday, September 7, 2012

The Big and final night!!!!

Unlike the previous mornings, we begun our day at a near by breakfast dinner. All the conversations going on were about two topics, the great time we had in Charlotte, and the disappointment of not being able to hear the president speak live. Regardless of this depressing fact, we were still exited about the last caucus meetings that were taking place at the convention center; we knew for a fact we would get to see those! Boy were right! My Roommate Gillian, Ernesto Ausejo, Plomen and I were in attendance at the women's caucus. And yes we finally got our wish; to see an hear 1st lady Michelle Obama speak! The excitement was overwhelming; we were unable to take a picture with her but we were close enough to get quite a few close ups of her. After such an exiting beginning to our day, things got even more interesting. Jim Galloway of the AJC had managed to get a credential for one of us to take part in the DNC's big night! So we drew names and Ernesto was the lucky one! He deserved it, it was very clear from the get go that he had big political ambitions; we were happy for him. As much as we would have loved to continue attending the rest of the caucus meetings, we had work to do. Some of us sought out delegates to get more surveys completed, others hit the streets in the hopes of catching a few social activists in action. After a long day of excitement and hard work, we all gathered at Panera bread for dinner. It was on our way there that we met an activist, his goal: fighting for the statehood of Washington DC. He was quite friendly and had a lot of advice for Gillian and I. We left the convention center with our souvenirs and joined the rest of the group. Once there, we came up with a back up plan to make up for the failed one we had before. Many of us opted to have our own watch party and celebrate our last night in Charlotte. In the end we decided to attend the one taking place at the CNBC news network near by. Again fate had something else in store for us. We ran into shephrah, the British foreign exchange student we met the previous night at Winthrop university! Even better, she and her group had 2 credentials they were trying to give away!! There were at least 8 students in her group, so to prevent hurting anyone's feelings they found it best to give them to someone who deserved them; Plomen and I were the lucky ones!!! Till today I still can't believe how this happened! We were elated by the fact that our last night would be going according to plan, and also grateful that out of all the people she saw that day, She had chosen us! We wasted no time and made our way to the stadium. Once there we were told that the place was on lock down because honored guests were arriving, this meant that we would have to wait a bit. No problem we tought to ourselves, we went from having to watch it all by ourselves to being able to be there an hear it live! The wait was worth it; or so we tought. As minutes turned into hours we were starting to worry. The secret service along with the rest of the security officials refused to give us any information about what was going on. In the crowd were: Delegates, the former British Ambassador, children, the elderly, and the disabled. After hours of waiting, the chief of the Charlotte police department finally came out and let us know that the place was at maximum capacity an we were not going to be able to get in. They knew this before they closed everything, but did not want to tell us anything; he felt bad watching us wait, therefore he had to let us know. What a disappointment!! Even the delegates really? I still can't fully explain the feeling I had last night. I felt sad, angry, frustrated... Just plain HORRIBLE!! This night had been such an emotional roller coaster ; just when we had come so close only to be denied what we wanted so badly. After
our fall from cloud nine, Plomen an I made a trip to the CNBC watch party; we saw Reverend Al Sharpton and took a few pictures. We then made our way back to the convention center. To our surprise officials had organized a watch party for those who Couldn't get to the center; they were also serving food. This wasn't enough, I what a disappointing night! Professor Dewitt called and offered to come and get us
We proceeded to walk towards our meeting place. As we got outside, there were police and other security officials everywhere; we soon learned that the Occupy Movement was protesting!! They were marching towards the stadium. There was no way to leave the area and meet at the place we had previously planned on meeting. Plamen and I took a cab back to the hotel, but were reimbursed by Professor Dewitt. All of our classmates were quietly watching the speech in their rooms; I had no interest in watching anything so I quietly began to pack my belongings, had a shower and went to sleep. Overall this has been a wonderful experience. Made such great friendships that are sure to last beyond this experience. I look forward to what comes next. I am extremely grateful to Professor Dewitt for turning this idea into one of the greatest experience of my college career. Thank you to Chairman Mike Berlon and Angelia for all their hard work and allowing us to have the access we had this entire week. I was able to experience the convention as a participant, and that's something that most people do not get a chance to do. Can't wait to get home and share the experience with my friends and family.

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