Thursday, June 04, 2009

I'm slowly but surely working my way through weeks of old TIME magazines. "The Meaning of Michelle" was on the cover a few weeks ago. What a title. I doubt that Michelle Obama reads anything about herself in the media, but she seems like the kind of person who would laugh if she saw an article like that. Amid all the attempts to probe her psyche, there was one part that I especially liked:
So on a cool day in March, she dispatched a regiment of role models to schools across Washington, including singers Alicia Keys and Sheryl Crow, Ann Dunwoody, the first female four-star general, and Mae Jemison, the first African-American woman to travel into space...

"There are so many kids like that," she observes, "who are living inches away from power and prestige and fame and fortune, and they don't even know that it exists."

Which is why that night, the women leaders reassembled at the White House for a dinner with more than 100 students from schools across the city to celebrate Women's History Month. Tonight is your night, Michelle told the girls. So don't be shy. "Poke and prod and figure out how [these women] got to be where they are and what you can do in your lives to get yourselves ready for that next step. Tonight we just want to say, Go for it! Don't hesitate. Don't act with fear. Just go for it." Because all the women in the room, she told the girls, see a little bit of ourselves in you.

"It's one of those events," she says looking back, "that stand out in my mind as, This is why I'm here."
Yes, we do have a very cool First Lady.

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