these mysterious signs popping up around the e.m.u. campus are the work of linette

Linette is teaching mixed-media creative writing class and their assignment this week was to create pieces for public spaces on the Eastern Michigan University campus. This is one of the pieces she contributed to the effort. I’m hoping they aren’t stepped on, thrown away or taken too soon. I really think they’re quite beautiful, and I’m hoping people have an opportunity to enjoy them… and possibly even contemplate what they mean.

Speaking of voting, we went this morning. There were no lines. Everything ran smoothly. At some point Clementine blurted out something about Obama. Fortunately, she wasn’t asked to leave. Going in, someone asked if she was too young to vote. I said, no, that she’d registered through Acorn…

If you’d like to share your voting experience, please leave a comment.

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  1. Linette
    Posted November 4, 2008 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    Mark, I didn’t know you had a web site!

    I made two pieces to install outside of Pray Harrold this afternoon. The one not pictured is “Liberate yourself from apathy.” Both were inspired by depressing conversations I had with students about their feelings about the election- they are jaded. They said things like “Both candidates are just the same” and “Things aren’t going to change magically overnight because of this election” and even “I’ll be voting, but the outcome of the election doesn’t really matter to me and my friends.” I tried to listen and learn from them how people like that think so I could use it for my own devices, but it made me crazy to hear statements like these. I wondered if students felt over-marketed to (as they likely have been their whole lives) by the political ads, if short attention spans were tested by a long election season, and how being ten or so years old during the election of 2000 contributed to their development as citizens. These signs were a handcrafted (stitched felt) response to their statements. I wanted them to show that someone made a tangible investment of time and energy in making these signs, for no reason other than to inspire people to care a little about the world around them. I like the senselessness of spending a lot of time on something that I’ll leave outside somewhere as a gift to someone who wants them. A label on the back says “I Made This Just For You.”At the very least, someone might feel a little guilty tossing them in the trash- they will exist outside of and along with the regular political ephemera floating around today. Happy election day friends!

  2. Posted November 4, 2008 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    We were in and out in 40 minutes in Ward 2, Estabrook School, despite the LOOOoooooong lines. As always, many neighbors chatted and smiled, but there was definitely an enhanced air of excitement. Many more young faces and black faces among the poll workers than in the past. The organization at my polling place was exceptionally good — thanks to all of them for their hard work! I had enormous feelings as I voted for Obama — mingled joy, excitement, astonishment, solidarity, honor, resolve, anxiety, elation. It’s a big election for me.

  3. mark
    Posted November 4, 2008 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    Sorry, Linette. I’ve been meaning to tell you about the site for a while now. It just never seems like the right time.

    And, yes, Lisele, it’s a happy day in Ypsilanti. Lots of happy people at the polls. Lots of goodwill. Let’s hope we have reason for it to continue for many days, months and years to come.

  4. Brackache
    Posted November 4, 2008 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    Voted around noon. Not long lines, but plenty of people there. Ran into some neighbor friends, waved and smiled, then cancelled out a few of their votes. A very pleasant community experience all exercising our civic responsibilities together.

  5. Sierra
    Posted November 4, 2008 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    I voted at 1pm, in Canton. There were no lines and I was through there in 10 minutes. I split my ticket. Brackache, I even voted for one of your guys who is running for a township trustee position there.

  6. the injector
    Posted November 4, 2008 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    we went to vote around 10:45 at the senior center. A woman behind us in line kept exclaiming that this was the first time she was voting in her whole life and she was so excited. I think she was in her 40s.

    She really was excited; she could not stop telling all of us that this was the first time for her. I gave her multiple thumbs up. It was thrilling to have a virgin voter energized by the need for change in this country in our presence at the polls; she made for good laughs and she calmed my nerves for a minute.

    my fingers are in a perpetual cross today hoping there are thousands of virgin voters getting their civic cherries popped at the polls and casting a vote for obama!

    By 11:00 a.m. this morning over 400 people had already voted at the Senior Center (sometimes that is as many folks who vote in a whole day depending on the stuff on the ballot)

  7. Suzie
    Posted November 4, 2008 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    I love the ‘Abandon Your Indifference’ piece.

    Voter #96 in my precinct at 8:45am- that’s much higher than normal.

  8. amanda
    Posted November 4, 2008 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

    the process at emmanuel lutheran church in city of ypsi’s ward three was smooth sailing this morning… went in late morning, and was in and out in 10 minutes. poll workers were all very upbeat and excited, and said real heartfelt thank yous to me for voting. 400 people in my precinct and ward had voted thus far. there are 1648 registered voters in my precinct, so a quarter of them had already showed up at the polls– and possibly a lot have also absentee voted.

    you can see how many people in your precinct (in washtenaw county), and later track results as they come in, at

  9. amanda
    Posted November 4, 2008 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    I just counted all the precinct numbers, and according to that, there are 14660 registered voters in the City of Ypsilanti. FYI.

  10. Posted November 4, 2008 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    Many thanks to Amanda — I was trying to figure out how many folks were registered here in W1P2. I was #309 there sometime around 10am.

  11. amanda
    Posted November 4, 2008 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    i tried to do other patriotic things today… so, first, i made it a holiday so my staff could exercise their democratic rights in whatever way they saw fit. this morning, i tried to be an informed voter by researching candidates i didn’t know much about. next, i voted, and walked there so as not to use fossil fuels. then i had lunch and supported a local business (and used the mark maynard coupon doing so)… then i donated things that i didn’t need to a local nonprofit. and, i tried to be extra polite and courteous– i felt like that’s a patriotic thing.

  12. Kim
    Posted November 4, 2008 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

    Amazing turnout for a precinct that had only 100 voters at the primary. Over 400 folks had voted, first timers, bus loads of EMU students, veteran voters, before I left at 2pm. I can’t wait to hear what the totals were. Way to go W3 Precinct 1!

  13. Andy
    Posted November 4, 2008 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

    Ypsi Township, Bethesda Bible Church polling place: It opened at 7 am and I got there 10 minutes after, waited in line a total of about 20 minutes. Smooth sailing. The woman running the line for Precinct 15 kept us in great spirits and was very helpful. By the time I’d done my business, the line was much shorter.
    I was only prepared for about half of the judgeships on the ballot– d’oh. Instead of Senator Levin and Rep. Dingell, who will surely sail to re-election, I threw my votes to the Green candidates.

  14. Posted December 13, 2008 at 2:32 am | Permalink

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