Mr. Keith Jones’ third and fourth hour U.S. Government classes received two high-caliber guest speakers. Former Senator Norm Coleman and Former Vice President Walter Mondale both came to speak to the classes on Friday, January 8 and Thursday, January 14.
The men talked to Jones’ classes, both sizes of under 25, with no media, no money, just an intimate conversation. “I really wanted the kids to appreciate how cool it was that two such important political figures, a Vice President and Senator, came to speak to only a class of 20 or so students. Both of these men can get thousands of dollars for speaking, but we got it for free. It was amazing,” said Mr. Jones.
Booking the two politicians was a very easy process. All Mr. Jones had to do was ask Mr. Coleman’s niece, Emily Kosel, and Vice President Mondale’s grand-daughter, Amanda Mondale and set up a day that worked. However, an unexpected change almost prevented Mondale from coming. “The day we had off school because of the power was the day VP Mondale was scheduled to come,” said Mr. Jones, “normally, I would have been just as happy as [everyone], but because it was that day, it was frustrating.”
Luckily, the class was able to reschedule and the students were privileged enough to have both men come and talk to their classes. “It was nice seeing them on a more personal level, not just people on the news, or in the paper,” said senior Meredith Lawlor.
Having the two politicians come to speak to the class was a way to connect what the students had been learning in class to the real world of politics. “Having these men answer our questions and discuss their experience in politics really helped me understand everything we have talked about on class on a whole new level,” said Lawlor.
Although the men did touch on their political ideals, one being a very strong Democrat and the other a firm Republican, they mainly tried to have a conversation with students, allowing them to ask questions, both personal and political. “I was actually honored to have my questions answered by both politicians. Especially Mr. Mondale, who is one of Minnesota’s most influential politicans ever,” said senior Will Haben, “It was great to hear both sides of the political spectrum as well.”