Clinton takes a selfie
Published 10:08 pm Tuesday, March 1, 2016
The latest selfie on one local student’s phone is a little blurry and overexposed, but presidential candidates who are in a hurry don’t always make the best photographers.
But it’s the kind of thing Nansemond-Suffolk Academy senior Nathan Soper will remember for the rest of his life.
Soper attended Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton’s rally at Lake Taylor High School in Norfolk on Monday night and got the chance to pose for a selfie with the candidate and former first lady, senator and secretary of state.
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“I was standing by right where she came in,” Soper said. “I was the last person right when she was walking out, and I totally thought she was going to pass me by.”
But after the young voter called out to her and asked her to take a picture, “she just turned around, took my phone and took the picture,” Soper said.
Soper also recently attended a Donald Trump campaign event. It might seem unusual for the same person to attend the events of two radically different candidates, but not so for students in Sandra Babb’s honors government and Advanced Placement government classes at NSA.
“The students are doing all kinds of things to get out to the political events, and they’re getting a lot of notice,” Babb said. She has been encouraging her students to learn more about politics in ways that don’t involve them sitting at their desks — for instance, volunteering for a campaign or attending a speech.
A field trip took students to Washington, D.C., where they witnessed a case argued in front of the U.S. Supreme Court.
Local politics haven’t gone unnoticed by her students, either. Many have attended City Council meetings recently.
“There’s a list of things we came up with together,” Babb said. “We all registered to vote, and the majority of them walked in this morning with ‘I Voted’ stickers on.”
Babb said one of her students was stopped as she prepared to cast her ballot by someone who questioned how old she was.
“I guess they don’t see enough of them coming through,” Babb said of young people. “We’re all about linking everything they see back to the classroom.”
Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders and Republicans Ben Carson and Marco Rubio also have had NSA students at recent events, Babb said.
Soper said he has become more interested in politics thanks to Babb’s class and her encouragement to dive right in.
“Before this election, I hadn’t really been into politics as much, because I didn’t really understand it,” he said. “I’ve really gotten to understand it and taken a lot more interest in it.”
While Soper previously was considering a career in math or science, he’s now conflicted and might want to do something in politics or law.
“I’m really divided,” he said.
He added that he enjoyed his first experience of voting on Tuesday.
“I walked in there thinking it was going to be this really big, formal thing,” he said. But he was surprised at how simple the process was.
“I think it makes it more approachable for people.”