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President Barack Obama - Full Speech to School Children Sep 8, 2009

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posted on Sep, 7 2009 @ 11:34 AM
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Thought I would share as there are many members that have been discussing the motives behind Obama's speech tomorrow to the nation's school children.

Here is President Obama's full speech that is to be presented tomorrow as provided by whitehouse.gov

Prepared Remarks of President Barack Obama


The President: Hello everyone – how’s everybody doing today? I’m here with students at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Virginia. And we’ve got students tuning in from all across America, kindergarten through twelfth grade. I’m glad you all could join us today.

I know that for many of you, today is the first day of school. And for those of you in kindergarten, or starting middle or high school, it’s your first day in a new school, so it’s understandable if you’re a little nervous. I imagine there are some seniors out there who are feeling pretty good right now, with just one more year to go. And no matter what grade you’re in, some of you are probably wishing it were still summer, and you could’ve stayed in bed just a little longer this morning.

I know that feeling. When I was young, my family lived in Indonesia for a few years, and my mother didn’t have the money to send me where all the American kids went to school. So she decided to teach me extra lessons herself, Monday through Friday – at 4:30 in the morning.

Now I wasn’t too happy about getting up that early. A lot of times, I’d fall asleep right there at the kitchen table. But whenever I’d complain, my mother would just give me one of those looks and say, "This is no picnic for me either, buster."

So I know some of you are still adjusting to being back at school. But I’m here today because I have something important to discuss with you. I’m here because I want to talk with you about your education and what’s expected of all of you in this new school year.

Now I’ve given a lot of speeches about education. And I’ve talked a lot about responsibility.

I’ve talked about your teachers’ responsibility for inspiring you, and pushing you to learn.

I’ve talked about your parents’ responsibility for making sure you stay on track, and get your homework done, and don’t spend every waking hour in front of the TV or with that Xbox.

I’ve talked a lot about your government’s responsibility for setting high standards, supporting teachers and principals, and turning around schools that aren’t working where students aren’t getting the opportunities they deserve.

But at the end of the day, we can have the most dedicated teachers, the most supportive parents, and the best schools in the world – and none of it will matter unless all of you fulfill your responsibilities. Unless you show up to those schools; pay attention to those teachers; listen to your parents, grandparents and other adults; and put in the hard work it takes to succeed.

And that’s what I want to focus on today: the responsibility each of you has for your education. I want to start with the responsibility you have to yourself.

Every single one of you has something you’re good at. Every single one of you has something to offer. And you have a responsibility to yourself to discover what that is. That’s the opportunity an education can provide.

Maybe you could be a good writer – maybe even good enough to write a book or articles in a newspaper – but you might not know it until you write a paper for your English class. Maybe you could be an innovator or an inventor – maybe even good enough to come up with the next iPhone or a new medicine or vaccine – but you might not know it until you do a project for your science class. Maybe you could be a mayor or a Senator or a Supreme Court Justice, but you might not know that until you join student government or the debate team.

And no matter what you want to do with your life – I guarantee that you’ll need an education to do it. You want to be a doctor, or a teacher, or a police officer? You want to be a nurse or an architect, a lawyer or a member of our military? You’re going to need a good education for every single one of those careers. You can’t drop out of school and just drop into a good job. You’ve got to work for it and train for it and learn for it.

And this isn’t just important for your own life and your own future. What you make of your education will decide nothing less than the future of this country. What you’re learning in school today will determine whether we as a nation can meet our greatest challenges in the future.

You’ll need the knowledge and problem-solving skills you learn in science and math to cure diseases like cancer and AIDS, and to develop new energy technologies and protect our environment. You’ll need the insights and critical thinking skills you gain in history and social studies to fight poverty and homelessness, crime and discrimination, and make our nation more fair and more free. You’ll need the creativity and ingenuity you develop in all your classes to build new companies that will create new jobs and boost our economy.

We need every single one of you to develop your talents, skills and intellect so you can help solve our most difficult problems. If you don’t do that – if you quit on school – you’re not just quitting on yourself, you’re quitting on your country.

Now I know it’s not always easy to do well in school. I know a lot of you have challenges in your lives right now that can make it hard to focus on your schoolwork.

I get it. I know what that’s like. My father left my family when I was two years old, and I was raised by a single mother who struggled at times to pay the bills and wasn’t always able to give us things the other kids had. There were times when I missed having a father in my life. There were times when I was lonely and felt like I didn’t fit in.

So I wasn’t always as focused as I should have been. I did some things I’m not proud of, and got in more trouble than I should have. And my life could have easily taken a turn for the worse.

But I was fortunate. I got a lot of second chances and had the opportunity to go to college, and law school, and follow my dreams. My wife, our First Lady Michelle Obama, has a similar story. Neither of her parents had gone to college, and they didn’t have much. But they worked hard, and she worked hard, so that she could go to the best schools in this country....




[edit on 7-9-2009 by tmayhew01]




posted on Sep, 7 2009 @ 11:40 AM
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...Some of you might not have those advantages. Maybe you don’t have adults in your life who give you the support that you need. Maybe someone in your family has lost their job, and there’s not enough money to go around. Maybe you live in a neighborhood where you don’t feel safe, or have friends who are pressuring you to do things you know aren’t right.

But at the end of the day, the circumstances of your life – what you look like, where you come from, how much money you have, what you’ve got going on at home – that’s no excuse for neglecting your homework or having a bad attitude. That’s no excuse for talking back to your teacher, or cutting class, or dropping out of school. That’s no excuse for not trying.

Where you are right now doesn’t have to determine where you’ll end up. No one’s written your destiny for you. Here in America, you write your own destiny. You make your own future.

That’s what young people like you are doing every day, all across America.

Young people like Jazmin Perez, from Roma, Texas. Jazmin didn’t speak English when she first started school. Hardly anyone in her hometown went to college, and neither of her parents had gone either. But she worked hard, earned good grades, got a scholarship to Brown University, and is now in graduate school, studying public health, on her way to being Dr. Jazmin Perez.

I’m thinking about Andoni Schultz, from Los Altos, California, who’s fought brain cancer since he was three. He’s endured all sorts of treatments and surgeries, one of which affected his memory, so it took him much longer – hundreds of extra hours – to do his schoolwork. But he never fell behind, and he’s headed to college this fall.

And then there’s Shantell Steve, from my hometown of Chicago, Illinois. Even when bouncing from foster home to foster home in the toughest neighborhoods, she managed to get a job at a local health center; start a program to keep young people out of gangs; and she’s on track to graduate high school with honors and go on to college.

Jazmin, Andoni and Shantell aren’t any different from any of you. They faced challenges in their lives just like you do. But they refused to give up. They chose to take responsibility for their education and set goals for themselves. And I expect all of you to do the same.

That’s why today, I’m calling on each of you to set your own goals for your education – and to do everything you can to meet them. Your goal can be something as simple as doing all your homework, paying attention in class, or spending time each day reading a book. Maybe you’ll decide to get involved in an extracurricular activity, or volunteer in your community. Maybe you’ll decide to stand up for kids who are being teased or bullied because of who they are or how they look, because you believe, like I do, that all kids deserve a safe environment to study and learn. Maybe you’ll decide to take better care of yourself so you can be more ready to learn. And along those lines, I hope you’ll all wash your hands a lot, and stay home from school when you don’t feel well, so we can keep people from getting the flu this fall and winter.

Whatever you resolve to do, I want you to commit to it. I want you to really work at it.

I know that sometimes, you get the sense from TV that you can be rich and successful without any hard work -- that your ticket to success is through rapping or basketball or being a reality TV star, when chances are, you’re not going to be any of those things.

But the truth is, being successful is hard. You won’t love every subject you study. You won’t click with every teacher. Not every homework assignment will seem completely relevant to your life right this minute. And you won’t necessarily succeed at everything the first time you try.

That’s OK. Some of the most successful people in the world are the ones who’ve had the most failures. JK Rowling’s first Harry Potter book was rejected twelve times before it was finally published. Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team, and he lost hundreds of games and missed thousands of shots during his career. But he once said, "I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed."

These people succeeded because they understand that you can’t let your failures define you – you have to let them teach you. You have to let them show you what to do differently next time. If you get in trouble, that doesn’t mean you’re a troublemaker, it means you need to try harder to behave. If you get a bad grade, that doesn’t mean you’re stupid, it just means you need to spend more time studying.

No one’s born being good at things, you become good at things through hard work. You’re not a varsity athlete the first time you play a new sport. You don’t hit every note the first time you sing a song. You’ve got to practice. It’s the same with your schoolwork. You might have to do a math problem a few times before you get it right, or read something a few times before you understand it, or do a few drafts of a paper before it’s good enough to hand in.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. I do that every day. Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of strength. It shows you have the courage to admit when you don’t know something, and to learn something new. So find an adult you trust – a parent, grandparent or teacher; a coach or counselor – and ask them to help you stay on track to meet your goals.

And even when you’re struggling, even when you’re discouraged, and you feel like other people have given up on you – don’t ever give up on yourself. Because when you give up on yourself, you give up on your country.

The story of America isn’t about people who quit when things got tough. It’s about people who kept going, who tried harder, who loved their country too much to do anything less than their best.

It’s the story of students who sat where you sit 250 years ago, and went on to wage a revolution and found this nation. Students who sat where you sit 75 years ago who overcame a Depression and won a world war; who fought for civil rights and put a man on the moon. Students who sat where you sit 20 years ago who founded Google, Twitter and Facebook and changed the way we communicate with each other....


[edit on 7-9-2009 by tmayhew01]



posted on Sep, 7 2009 @ 11:43 AM
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So today, I want to ask you, what’s your contribution going to be? What problems are you going to solve? What discoveries will you make? What will a president who comes here in twenty or fifty or one hundred years say about what all of you did for this country?

Your families, your teachers, and I are doing everything we can to make sure you have the education you need to answer these questions. I’m working hard to fix up your classrooms and get you the books, equipment and computers you need to learn. But you’ve got to do your part too. So I expect you to get serious this year. I expect you to put your best effort into everything you do. I expect great things from each of you. So don’t let us down – don’t let your family or your country or yourself down. Make us all proud. I know you can do it.

Thank you, God bless you, and God bless America.


I would be interested to read the opinions of fellow ATS members, regarding this topic.... I am currently in the process of reading it myself and will post once I am finished



[edit on 7-9-2009 by tmayhew01]



posted on Sep, 7 2009 @ 11:51 AM
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reply to post by tmayhew01
 


You beat me to it!




posted on Sep, 7 2009 @ 11:52 AM
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This isn't a bad speech. I may vehemently disagree with his policies... but... his speech looks quite inspiring.



posted on Sep, 7 2009 @ 11:54 AM
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reply to post by Frankidealist35
 


Reminds me of Kennedy's inaugural address:


Kennedy: And so, my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.



Obama: So today, I want to ask you, what’s your contribution going to be? What problems are you going to solve? What discoveries will you make? What will a president who comes here in twenty or fifty or one hundred years say about what all of you did for this country?




[edit on 7-9-2009 by tmayhew01]



posted on Sep, 7 2009 @ 11:55 AM
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Opps.... double post

second line

[edit on 7-9-2009 by tmayhew01]



posted on Sep, 7 2009 @ 11:56 AM
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This is what it looks like now... I wonder what it looked like before all the fuss was made?



posted on Sep, 7 2009 @ 12:07 PM
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Seems like they are trying to spark the age old "American Dream."

I do agree with a lot that is said, very insightful and well put together speech. The biggest takeaway that I am getting, is President Obama is trying to convey the reality that hard work will get you very far in life. And it is up to you to make a different in your life and our country.

Obama, "There is no excuse for not trying... Where you are right now doesn’t have to determine where you’ll end up. No one’s written your destiny for you. Here in America, you write your own destiny. You make your own future."

Powerful stuff....

Put your mind to something and never slow down... No matter what people say or where you have come from. Is is your destiny, and nobody else's!

I do find it kind of disturbing the relation of country and self... Sure this is a great concept, but for the audience in mind... this is a questionable approach.



[edit on 7-9-2009 by tmayhew01]



posted on Sep, 7 2009 @ 12:12 PM
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It looks great to me.

I was taking the mindset of a first or second-grader and in that space, there were a couple places that I felt a little uncomfortable with:



I know that sometimes, you get the sense from TV that you can be rich and successful without any hard work -- that your ticket to success is through rapping or basketball or being a reality TV star, when chances are, you’re not going to be any of those things.


While this is true, I don't like what I interpret as being discouragement from being a rap star or professional basketball player. I believe a kid should be told that they can be ANYTHING they want to be. Maybe I'm just being sensitive.


The other part I was uncomfortable with is:



Because when you give up on yourself, you give up on your country.


I don't think a kid should be compelled to NOT give up on themselves because to do that is to give up on their country. That's a weird kind of pressure. The reason a kid shouldn't give up on themselves is because they are fantastic and wonderful, not because they would be letting the country down.

Maybe older kids wouldn't be bothered by these lines, but a young child could be.

Other than that, I think it's a really great speech and almost exactly what I expected.



posted on Sep, 7 2009 @ 12:12 PM
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Dang, I just looked and I didn't see this or the other thread...oh well my thread can be locked, I'll transfer my comments over:

So here is the FULL speech of what Obama is going to say to kids tomorrow, and I have absolutely no problem with it. I don't like Obama's policies, but I've said from the start that people were completely overreacting to this minor address, which is completely apolitical. Sometimes you just have to lighten up, not everything is a plot to indoctrinate or what have you. Honestly anyone who believed that your kids could be indoctrinated with one simple speech to them early in the morning, before their recess (or P.E.) is acting solely on not liking Obama, because the fact is that most of the kids will not pay much attention to it, or will forget about it within a week. That's how a child's brain operates...real indoctrination takes years to do...and you can argue that is what the Department of Education is used for, but not this one speech buy Obama.



posted on Sep, 7 2009 @ 12:19 PM
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I still have a problem with this speech!

It's gonna bore the kids to death and give them all A.D.D.

And that one line about how the kids today will make our nation fairer and freer tomorrow.... I don't know about you but I am not aware of how a thing that is free can get any freer? How can something that is fair become more fair?

Meh... minor critiques to be sure.



posted on Sep, 7 2009 @ 12:20 PM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic



Because when you give up on yourself, you give up on your country.


I don't think a kid should be compelled to NOT give up on themselves because to do that is to give up on their country. That's a weird kind of pressure. The reason a kid shouldn't give up on themselves is because they are fantastic and wonderful, not because they would be letting the country down.



Self = country? Yeah, I'm with you, I'm not real comfortable with that one either.

I am going to go and sit in with my daughter's 6th grade class tomorrow when they do this, to make ME feel better and also to make sure if there's anything that I DO disagree with I can talk to her about it.



posted on Sep, 7 2009 @ 12:23 PM
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Originally posted by Resinveins
This is what it looks like now... I wonder what it looked like before all the fuss was made?


"JOIN ME CHILDREN,,, TOGETHER WE WILL CREATE A STACK OF BODIES TALLER THAN THE TWIN TOWERS, WIDER THAN THE WIDEST SEA..."

or this jewel

THIS NEW FLAG, WITH HAMMER AN SYCLE WILL REPRESENT THE WORK WE DO AND WAY WE CRUSH OUR ENEMIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THEY WILL FEAR US IN OBAMAS NAME WE PREY,
AMEM!!!


Mod Edit - please re-write your post.

Mod Edit: All Caps – Please Review This Link.


[edit on 7-9-2009 by elevatedone]



posted on Sep, 7 2009 @ 12:27 PM
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Originally posted by Iamonlyhuman
I am going to go and sit in with my daughter's 6th grade class tomorrow when they do this, to make ME feel better and also to make sure if there's anything that I DO disagree with I can talk to her about it.


That's fantastic! I wish more people would allow their kids to participate in this even though they disagree with the President. If they would consider what they might be making their kids miss out on - the President of the US focusing on THEM (how cool) - AND the discourse that will precede and follow the speech, I'm really saddened that so many are letting their politics interfere in this event for their kids...

mm



posted on Sep, 7 2009 @ 12:27 PM
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Originally posted by mikerussellus
reply to post by tmayhew01
 


You beat me to it!





you got a star for this mike,

considering you have been vocal and you are going to take your kid to the zoo instead
why don't you point out what parts make you uncomfortable?

[edit on 7-9-2009 by mental modulator]



posted on Sep, 7 2009 @ 12:28 PM
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The first part of the speech he had absolutely hit the mark and is appropriate for youngsters.

As soon as he gets to the personal stories, I can see the glaze start in their eyes.

By the time he plods through perseverance and blah... He's lost most of them.

The sharp uptick at the end is kinda nice, Putting a man on the moon. WooT (no offense to those that think the moon landing was a hoax)

I wouldn't have anyone under a teenager watch this and my daughter (per her teachers) have said "you'll be too busy with homework assignments and classroom activities to watch this tripe." I'm paraphrasing her quote. She's a High School Senior.

My nieces would never sit still for this at their ages. I wonder how teachers will get the 3rd through 6th graders to sit still long enough...

Any younger won't care...



posted on Sep, 7 2009 @ 12:32 PM
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Honestly, it dosent look like a bad speech at all ... actually I like it. I think it's great that he is trying to inspire the youth of America to work harder and reach the best level of education that they can. However I am curious to see what the speech looked like before all the hoopla started, I highly doubt it is this apolitical and inspiring when you consider the people he surrounds himself with.



posted on Sep, 7 2009 @ 12:33 PM
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Not an Obama fan, but the speech isnt bad, if it inspires a few kids to do better then good.



posted on Sep, 7 2009 @ 12:45 PM
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I have another beef'''


It’s the story of students who sat where you sit 250 years ago, and went on to wage a revolution and found this nation.


It was my impression that 250 years ago Public education did not exist. It is also my impression that many of the founding fathers never received formal schooling but did learn to read and write in the home. I know some went to formal schools but not all and none went to public schools.

Also I am not fond of the whole family=country=you thingee...

Still small critiques.




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