Last week I was honored at our beautiful state capitol during the State of the State address. I guess you could call it the official "kick off" to my year representing West Virginia. I was excited to attend - and a little nervous. I still wonder every once in a while if this is all really happening and if I'm the best person for the job.
|Sitting in the governor's chair before pictures (shhh...:-)|
|You know it's "for real" when...|
|The view from the balcony of the Delegate's Chamber|
Before the address, I had the opportunity to meet and speak with representatives of Toyota and Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, which support the teacher of the program and provide the state teacher of the year with the use of a Toyota Prius for a year and $5,000 from Highmark. I also met with our governor, Earl Ray Tomblin, and First Lady Joanne Tomblin. You can view the official pictures of the State of the State and the honored guests at this Flickr link. If you would like to see the address, you can view it at this link on WV Public Broadcasting. I appear about 22-23 minutes into the speech.
Okay, this is funny. I knew ahead of time when I was to stand and acknowledge the governor during the address. So, if you watch that part of the speech, you'll see me stand up - and then, everybody in the chamber stood up and clapped for me. My face kind of does one of those "Whoa" looks, because that's a lot of people giving one little person all that applause. And they kept clapping, and clapping, so I kept standing, and standing. The entire time, though, I was a little worried, because I'm thinking "Okay, are they clapping because I'm still standing or am I still standing because they're still clapping?" Regardless, I was very moved by it all. So I had my possibly extended minute of fame on WV Public Television.
|With Brad after the address|
|With Woody Wilson, Medal of Honor recipient|
Our state capitol building is stunning - especially at night. It is made of nine different types of marble, and the dome is gold guild. It has been years since I have been in the capitol, and never at night when the chandeliers are all ablaze. The sphere chandelier in the dome (I call it the "Cinderella chandelier" but that isn't what it's really called, it just what I think of when I look at it.) weighs 4,000 pounds and has the lighting power of 15,000 candles. No picture can do it justice! Each of the chandeliers in the Delegate's and Senate chamber has 10,000 pieces of rock crystal. They are equally stunning.
|The crowd after the address|
|The "Cinderella chandelier" with Sen. Robert Byrd's statue in the background|
|Beautiful, intricate ceiling!|
|Looks like 10,000 pieces of rock crystal to me!|
|Good night, Charleston! See you tomorrow!|