Tuesday, November 06, 2007

The forest for the trees

I had this weird feeling all today, thinking something wasn't quite right. For starters, I kept thinking it was Tuesday instead of Monday, and some nagging instinct kept telling me something was important about the first week of November. But I went to the presentation on PUBLIC POLICY summer fellowships, including several at the state LEGISLATURE; emailed my program director about alternative energy INITIATIVES in Ohio; wrote a few more sentences in my research outline on mobilizing young VOTERS; and then went to the department monthly happy hour ("the department" being Law, POLICY, and Society). And in between walking to all of those events, something wasn't quite right.

Turns out, it was 10 years of behavior ingrained in my mental calendar. It just now hit me -- I won't be voting this year, in either the Evergreen or the Bay State. And Massachusetts doesn't have same-day registration, so I can't rush out and remedy the situation in the wee hours tomorrow morning.

This is what happens when you're not involved with a campaign!!! Or the DMV had computer crashes the THREE times you try to switch your license and voter registration, so you finally give up and decide to vote back home, but then forget to have your absentee ballot sent across the country, and La Madre is in Michigan and can't forward it to you!!!


It's also slightly ironic, given that one of the books I chose to read for a class is The Good Citizen: How a Younger Generation is Changing Politics. I haven't finished reading it yet (was planning to finish it and the book review paper over Thanksgiving), but the first few chapters that I have read set up the author's views on "duty-based" constructions of citizenship (ie, voting, going to party meetings, etc) and "engaged" models of citizenship (ie, signing petitions, lobbying, protesting, boycotting, etc). The main idea of the book is that the under-35 bloc conceives of civic engagement in vastly different terms, without as much emphasis on the voting part as previous generations. The half of the book I haven't read yet apparently goes into the pros and cons of this trend.

Still. The first time in ten years I've missed a general! I skipped a few primaries back in college, and more than a few special elections.


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