One cool thing a high school teacher gets to see is kids who are getting ready to vote for the first time. Every day, the discussion is interesting, deep, and well-researched. These students watched all the prime time coverage of both conventions. They are not only opinionated, they are well-informed. It is exciting to see people excited about an election.
I remember the first time I voted. It was the Democratic Primary in Maryland in 1988. I voted for Al Gore. I vote for Al Gore a lot, even when he is not on the ballot. (Not more than once in a single election, though. I wouldn't want you all thinking I am doing anything wrong. Unless you think that voting for Al Gore is wrong, and certainly that is your prerogative.) Back to 1988, my parents were both home from work sick that day. I drove them to the polls (in our white Plymouth Reliant K Car that you had to turn the AC off to have enough power to turn left, but that is another story) and made them vote. I voted absentee in my first general election, and not for Al Gore, because I was at school in another state.
So I realized that I have been voting for 20 years. I have never missed an election. I was 8 1/2 months pregnant when I voted in 2004. I got bumped to the front of the line because I am pretty sure the elderly gentleman working the polling place thought I was going to drop that baby right then and there. She arrived two weeks later to the day, and was 9lbs 3 oz, so I probably did look like I was ready to give birth. I was also pregnant when I voted in 2000, although not quite so far along. However, I did get bumped to the front of the line that time, too. Elderly gentlemen working polling places are very kind to pregnant women. I am happy to say that I will never vote pregnant again. In 2006, for the gubernatorial election, Sam was only a couple of weeks old. I had to take all of the children with me to vote. There was no line to speak of, so no getting bumped that time. I imagine that I will get to stand in line this time.