Sometimes I think, were it not for the CBS TV program, Sunday Morning, I would never get around to contributing to my blog. Alas, this morning's headline story once again inspired me to do so. Here's the opening remarks of the interview between Rita Braver and Dr. Biden: "When you watch Jill Biden shaking every hand in sight . . . stuffing gift bags for soldiers . . . inviting veterans and their families to the vice president's house, you may be tempted to say, "Isn't she nice!" That would be a mistake! "'Energetic,' interesting,' 'vivacious,' ' but 'nice' is blah. It's just too bland. So I never want to be 'nice.'" I thoroughly agree. There are many adjectives I'd like to be known as and "nice" is not one of them.
I say "Dr." Biden, because she has her Ph.D in Education. Jill Biden is one of the, if not the, first "Second Lady" to have continued to work in her profession while living in the Vice President's residence. I would go so far as to say, that I have never so closely identified with or admired any of the"Second" or for that matter, "First" Ladies in recent times, as I do Jill Biden. I was impressed with Hillary Clinton, of course, as well as Teresa Heinz, who might have been our First Lady, but I can really identify with Jill Jacobs Biden. Not only was she born in my birth year, 1951, her daughter, Ashley, was born in 1981, a year after my daughter, she has a Bachelor's and Master's Degree, as do I (though she went on for her Doctorate, which I have only dreamed of doing, but have not, at least as yet, made a reality), and she has worked ever since, teaching English at the High School level, as well as emotionally disturbed adolescents in a psychiatric hospital. Presently she teaches as an adjunct professor of English at Northern Virginia Community College. Though I am not a teacher, I am a close ally as a Speech/ Language Pathologist. I've harbored another little fantasy of getting certified in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages and perhaps working as an adjunct professor at a Community College. So, I'd say we have a lot in common professionally.
It is not only as a professional woman that I relate to Jill Biden, but as an American woman who clearly has always seen her roles as varied, complex and full. In being a mother and wife, I have never lost my identity as a person in my own right. I went to college and earned two degrees so I could contribute and give back. Though nothing in life is more important to me than my children, my children are not who I am. I am a mother and I am an Early Intervention Speech Therapist and I am an advocate for Social Justice and I am a believer in equal rights and I am a Jewish woman with a love for education and learning and sharing the concept of "tikun olam", and I am a lifetime reader of books and a lover of theater and music and a blogger and...and...and. Being all of these things and not ever having put any of them on the back burner in order to raise children, which I believe I have done fairly well, I strongly relate to other women who I can see by what they do, what they say and how they say it, that they see life and live their lives similarly to me.
OK, so here's another thing I like about Jill Biden. She has a profile on facebook. Naturally, I became a fan today. I paused my DVR taped edition of Sunday Morning, went to my computer, searched her name, found the facebook link, clicked on it and wrote on her wall subsequent to becoming a fan. Here is what I posted:
I am currently watching you being interviewed on Sunday Morning and upon hearing about your background, being Jill Jacobs, growing up outside of Phila., PA, I immediately wondered if you were Jewish (if you are reading this and you are Jewish, you will understand this). So, I went to check this out on my computer and the Wikipedia article said that you are not. OK, you're not Jewish, but you are a remarkable woman and a wonderful role model. I love that on your personal info here on fb, you are an educator first and the "Second Lady" second, which is just how it should be. I also love that you are known as Dr. Jill Biden at the White House and beyond. And, maybe what I love most is that you are exactly the same age as me, both born in 1951! Kudos to you, Jill Biden (even if you're not Jewish) (:
So, now I have accomplished two things. I've written a post on my blog, which I think about doing all the time, but actually do all too infrequently. And I have discovered that I have much in common with The Second Lady of the Land and that ain't too shabby.