Welcome, Mr. President!

President Obama visited Austin today. And more specifically, he visited the University of Texas at Austin. He gave a short speech in the gym, and I was lucky enough to score a ticket to the event. It felt so surreal to be in the same room as the President of the United States of America. The (arguably) most powerful man in the world.

The campus was a zoo. There were news cameras everywhere and the line to get into the building was all the way down the street and wrapped around buildings. Right before Obama came out, the energy and excitement in the room was palpable.

And then, all of a sudden, there he was.

He spoke for around thirty minutes about the importance of higher education, the cost of tuition and how prohibitive it can be, what changes needed to be made, and how to do it.

It was tempting to want to just take picture after picture. To obtain photographic evidence of this once in a lifetime opportunity. I had to consciously remind myself to sit back and soak up the moment. To actually pay attention and listen to the man. I wanted to remember it and I wanted to know what he had actually said. Soon enough it was over, and he made his way through the crowd, shaking hands.

And of course it wouldn’t be a proper Obama appearance without the presence of one of these folks:

Cute, huh? But he couldn’t take away from the excitement of the day and the positive energy in the air…as much as he tried to do just that. Sorry, sir, the joke is on you.