Day 141 was President's Day, so I decided to commemorate the holiday with a throw-back to elementary school and learn all of the U.S. Presidents. I recall learning them in middle school or high school, but we always wrote them down for tests.
On Day 141, the thing I've never done before was to recite all 44 U.S. Presidents on camera.
I started studying for this little project the day before, as I was making my list of things I wanted to tackle for the blog.
On the actual day of execution, I made a list that morning of all 44 presidents, in order, and took it with me to the gym so that I could study on the elliptical. I felt like I was in college again, cramming for a test in the activities center.
Like the Just Dance day, this little activity is better told through video. So I took my list to Justin, gave my camera to Mo and asked them to help me make this happen.
Attempt #1: Embarrassing. I knew them, I just hadn't ever recited them. I felt like the poor kids at the Scripps Spelling Bee who destroyed the competition in their hometown spelling bees only to choke on national television. This wasn't exactly the Scripps Spelling Bee or national television, but I choked. Big time.
Who forgets Jefferson? He's the third president! He's on the $2 dollar bill.
I continued to choke a few more times, always getting tripped on Van Buren. Martin Van Buren was the eighth president of the United States, after serving as Andrew Jackson's Vice-President.
I was so discouraged, I almost threatened to stop trying and just come back to it later. But Mo and Justin wouldn't let me quit, so I kept going, screwing it up several more times.
By Attempt #5, I was frustrated. But I didn't want to fall apart. I wanted to stay focused, so I took deep breaths before going for it one more time. I reached the point where I knew I'd messed it up before Justin told me I did.
And then, on Attempt #8 or #9 (or #10 or #15, I lost count), finally, I did it.
I know what you're thinking. That was a short lived trick and there is no way that I still remember them in chronological order. However, I messed it up so many times, that I actually recited correctly again the next day, and just to test myself again, I quickly just typed them, right here:
Washington Adams Jefferson Madison Monroe Adams Jackson Van Buren Harrison Tyler Polk Taylor Filmore Pierce Buchanan Lincoln Johnson Grant Hayes Garfield Arthur Cleveland Harrison Cleveland (again) McKinley T. Roosevelt Taft Wilson Harding Coolidge Hoover F. Roosevelt Truman Eisenhower Kennedy Johnson Nixon Ford Carter Reagan Bush Clinton Bush Obama
I know you have no way of knowing that I actually did it for real, but I swear I did. I'm like Rain Man when it comes to presidents now.
Happy President's Day!