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January 12, 2009 - Road to the White House: Inauguration Expedition Begins

Hello Teachers, Students, Parents & Community Members!

I’m Phil Ireland. I’m a video journalist (and former teacher). I tell stories with words and pictures. This week I hope you’ll join me for one of the most exciting stories I know: the unknown.

I’m driving 3,000 miles across the United States from sunny San Diego to frigid Washington D.C. for Barack Obama’s inauguration. I am partnering with Global SchoolNet to share this special adventure -- and my stories with you.

Some stories are predictable; the good guy gets the girl; man prevails in his battle against nature; lives are saved due to the will and skill of the ­­­­­(doctor, cop, fireman, teacher, dog). You fill in the blank.

But what I love about this story is its uncertainty. It’s unfolding minute to minute, mile by mile. I don’t have any idea how my chapters will lay out, what natural and manmade conflicts might arise, how I might respond. Will I make it to D.C.? Will my green Honda Passport with 147,594 miles go the distance? Will the fast food give me horrible gas?

I know I must drive about 500 miles a day to reach D.C. by Jan. 20. I know I will stop each night in a town of less than 5,000 souls. I hope to find the mom-and-pop diner and a character inside to interview.

I hope people welcome me. I’m curious about what they’re thinking about our country right now. The economy’s in the toilet, we’re fighting wars on two fronts, thousands of people --- like me ---- are out of work.

Each day I’ll ask questions around a different theme: Monday – Hope; Tuesday – Change; Wednesday – courage; Thursday – empathy; Friday – Race and Tolerance; Saturday – Our place in the Global World; Sunday – Empathy and forgiveness.

I’ll collect their stories, their opinions, their feelings, along the way. I hope to gain some understanding of America and of myself in this pivotal moment in our nation’s great history.

I’ll post the video stories I create, blog my thoughts as I drive, share photos of the places and people I meet. I hope you’ll ride with me for a stretch on my Expedition to the Inauguration.

Philip K. Ireland
Video Reporter

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