Everything is officially about Barack Obama. The lead story of Sunday's Metropolitan section by Lizette Alvarez (taking a break from her military-bashing beat) focuses on seven high school valedictorians in NYC: "The Future Is Theirs." (The online headline is grimmer: "In Uncertain Times, Valedictorians Look Ahead.")But enough about them; it's the president thatgets the first name-check.
Call them members of the Obama generation: Seven of New York City's valedictorians, invited to discuss the future - theirs, the city's, the world's - could not help circling back to themes resonant from President Obama's historic campaign: diversity, globalization, cooperation, hope.
"We're that high school class that was there when Obama got elected and that's going to be there forever," said Christian Monsalve, who was chosen by his classmates at Regis High School, one of the city's most prestigious Catholic schools, to give the commencement address. "Who knows what, in the next 5, 10 years, what's going to happen. We're going to be that class that's going to make that history."
Before tossing their mortarboards into the air, all graduating seniors are spoon-fed equal parts inspiration and responsibility. But for the class of 2009, laying claim to The Future can be a disquieting proposition.
Alvarez also snuck in some liberal boilerplate in the next paragraph:
Unemployment is discouragingly high. Wall Street is downsizing. Icecaps are melting. America remains at war. And politicians are still feuding - or in New York State's case, locking one another out of rooms.