The dancing campus

Barack Obama won. It started from the inside of the historic Northrop Auditorium when Bob Dylan kicked out his moves on stage after the upbeat encore of âÄúBlowinâÄô in the Wind.âÄù House lights flashed on, and the crowd swelled out of the doors, letting their roar roll through the marble hallways. When I exited, there was hardly anyone left inside. I bumped into two older men in Bob Dylan tees atop the steps, and stared down at the mass on the yellow-lit plaza. Never before have I seen so many happy, genuinely loving people, all dancing to an improvised bongo. I walked down the steps, away from the crowd of old guards watching, and ran into my English T.A., who was roaming through the crowd by himself with an odd smile. âÄúIâÄôve never felt anything like this. This is amazing,âÄù he said. It seems everybody felt the same âÄî well, mostly everybody, because I did hear about some frustrated man who believed that Obama is going to personally pickpocket all his earned cash. The campus was in a mood of trembling excitement over what must be one of the biggest changes in our political landscape for quite some time. WeâÄôre self-conscious of this fact, too. We know we are living history at this point, and toward this end it seems like we might unite finally and work toward something great. What that something might be is yet undefined, but weâÄôre optimistic. WeâÄôre hopeful. The road ahead for Obama is covered with the tatters of President George W. BushâÄôs world and a failing American life. The ominous economy, in its lowest rut since the Great Depression, looms. There are two wars in the Middle East, and the United States is on unstable terms with a good portion of the reigning world. Health care is pricy and retirement plans along with investments are collapsing. The environment is deteriorating, and polar bears are drowning in our inefficiencies. The American people might be drowning, too. Obama has a Democratic majority in every federal branch save the Supreme Court. There is so much potential to change. The promise for a future, one separate from the arthritic Bush rhetoric, is enough to win the hearts of so many across the nation. This first year may define his presidency in how he builds his administration. He told us the road ahead will be long, and that we may not even get there in one term. The goals at this point are neither concrete nor explicit, really, but we hold on with bated breath for what appears to be the better tomorrow. ItâÄôs going to be rough, and a lot of people will throw him in the mud. He may be a saint and come out failing. He may not do anything to help our general state of distress. All the same, we may never have an opportunity like this again, to phase out some of the fundamental flaws in the American system. And through everything, the keyword in all of this is âÄúwe.âÄù In Dinkytown, towards the end of election night, an errant, bearded fiddler showed up and nearly broke his bow playing on the street corner. People gathered around him, all jigging and dancing, and cars drove past honking for as bicyclists yelled and pumped their arms in triumph. The fiddler lifted his legs up and pranced around like Chuck Berry before solemnly stepping back with fiddle in hand. âÄúThank you,âÄù he said. LetâÄôs pretend that Barack Obama is that fiddler, and letâÄôs give him a good song to play. Matt Grimley welcomes comments at [email protected]