Hillary Clinton Called Me Smart: Better than Kardashian Selfie Any Day

The 2016 president’s race has not been a big part of my home school curriculum. My mom tells me she doesn’t want to ruin my childhood with politics. However, when I was given the opportunity to meet Hillary Rodham Clinton, I decided it was time. I didn’t want to meet Secretary Clinton without some background on her. I tried Googling but the first thing I clicked on was a picture of Kim Kardashian taking a selfie with Hillary. When I told my mom what I found and asked who she was, my mom put me in the car and drove me to the bookstore. I picked three books about her life. They were inspiring! I soon learned I was about to meet a historical figure! Wow, this was going to be exciting.

Yesterday was the big day. I would meet Hillary Rodham Clinton at a fundraising event in Chicago. Excited, I woke up really early to start getting ready for the day, which seemed to drag on forever. It was finally time to leave for the event. Right before leaving I called my mom. She told me to take a selfie because if Secret Service let Kim Kardashian get one, she said they couldn’t refuse a nine year old girl. My mom,  also went on and on and on about shaking her hand properly, keeping my shoulders back , having a nice greeting and speaking from my heart. Ok, ok, enough mom!!!!

Finally, I arrived at the event and waited for two hours for Mrs. Clinton to arrive. Once she did, I was only the second person to talk to her. The person in front of me took a quick picture with her, and the line behind us was long. I was nervous that I would not get enough time to ask her my two questions. How would I tell my mom that I said absolutely nothing? Happily, I walked up to Senator Clinton. We had our picture taken and I asked her to sign my “Some Girls Were Born to Lead” book. As she inscribed it, I began to ask her my questions.



Here is our conversation:

“Last year, I went to Greece and I saw the refugees. It made me very sad that they were living on the streets with no food and little water. The only ones helping were Greeks. The Greeks, themselves, are suffering from an economic crisis. When you are President, will you help Greece and the refugees?” I asked.

“Yes, Yes, I will.” Senator Clinton responded.

“How?” I asked.

“I don’t know yet, but, I promise I will find a way to help.” Mrs. Clinton said.

“I want to change the world, do you have any advice for me?” I wanted to know.

“You should pay attention to other people and how they act. Noel, you must do very well in school. Listen and watch. When you are older, volunteer to help people.” She then said something that made me want to do a happy dance. “Noel, you are a very smart girl.”

OMG!!! I just met Hillary Clinton! Did she really just tell me I was smart? Smart? How smart? Smart enough to be a child ambassador? Great! I’m available!

I saw the line waiting and I knew it was time for us to wrap this up. I looked Senator Clinton in the eyes and said, “I hope you become our first woman President.”

IMG_7746 (1)Hillary talking (1)

It was time to check in with my mother. Oh no, I didn’t have time to ask for a selfie. When I called her, the first thing I told her was that Mrs. Clinton said I was smart and she promised to help the refugee crisis in Greece.

“Noel, being smart, is much better than any selfie. A promise from a former First Lady and possibly the President of the United States, is also better than any selfie” my mom told me.

I won’t forget Senator Clinton’s promise. She inscribed my book with “Noel, follow your dreams!” I will follow my dreams, and they will include watching President Clinton keep her promise.


As for my not getting a selfie, like Kim Kardashian, while she might have a selfie, Senator Clinton called me smart.  And I’d take that any day over a picture!

Lessons from Greece: The Minotaur, the Parthenon and How to Treat Refugees

September 2015, Athens. The world is my classroom and my classroom was most recently located in Greece for 3 weeks. My time in Greece was amazing! While in Crete, I read about the Minotaur and then played with my brother in the Minotaur’s labyrinth. In Santorini, I had science in the middle of the most beautiful volcanoes in the world, and art with a 5th generation pottery master. In Athens, I walked up the Acropolis to one of the most famous structures in the world: the Parthenon built for the goddess Athena.  Athens, I learned, was the birthplace of democracy, philosophy, theatre, medicine, the alphabet, architecture …it’s just like the man in My Big Fat Greek Wedding said everything truly does come from the Greeks!!!  Even with an economic crisis, I saw the beauty of Greece.  Life was good until my mom thought we needed to learn about modern politics. I don’t even know what that means! We had learned about the Trojan War, and my mom told us there were wars going on today. What!? That’s crazy and soo sad. With the help of an Athenian, we arrived at Victoria Square in Athens.  “Migrants you are welcome,” spray painted in the town square.

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We were told this was the place where the refugees who didn’t have the proper paperwork to cross the border were living. Sometimes pictures are more powerful than words.


I saw that the kids were playing together and the parents were very sad.  I also saw that their beds were made out of cardboard boxes.

IMG_0010 (2) One boy said that his family was killed and he wanted to get to Germany but he couldn’t because the borders were closed.


I passed out ice cream and croissants to the kids.  They were really happy.

My mom showed me a video of Greeks in the islands helping the refugees. Please watch below.

We went back to this square a few days later and talked with men who had lost their entire family. These men told us they were stuck in Greece because the borders were closed.  They were starving.  While we were there, Athenian women came by to give food to these men.  When we left the refugees, my mom and I talked about the Golden Rule.  Did the Greeks invent that too?  What would we want others to do if it was too dangerous for us to live in our home?  Greeks, I learned, will help others even when they are suffering. The Greeks were helping during their own time of struggle. Greek generosity was more impressive than the Acropolis, more beautiful than Santorini.  I learned the true beauty of Greece came from the human spirit of the Greeks themselves, from my Thea who was so generous to our family to the Greeks I saw helping the refugees.