Monday, September 14, 2009

Obama's speech to the children

How many of you adults out there have taken the time to listen to what President Barack Obama actually said in his address to the school children of America?

You can read a transcript and watch a video of the speech here. It's about 19 minutes long, including a introduction by a young student that is itself pretty inspiring.

I would like for you to watch it and tell me anything in it you might find remotely offensive.

My grandsons saw it at their school on Thursday. They saw it on Thursday because the principal wanted to watch it first. The school sent home slips for parents to sign if they did not want their children to see it. I don't know how many opted out, but after watching the video, I'm sorry for their children.

When I picked up the boys after school on Thursday, my 5-year-old grandson came running up to me, eyes shining, and said, 'Mom! Do you know who came to our classroom today? Orock Obama!!"

[Not only do I love the way he pronounces the president's name, I suspect the president would like it too. Gavin used to call him Orock Orama, but he's learned to pronounce the last name.]

I said,"Really! What did he say?"

"He told us to work hard and stay in school and learn a lot. Don't tell Curran. I want to surprise him!"

I said, "Ok." But as we walked over to pick up Curran from the second-graders' line, he also came running up and said, 'Mom, the president talked to us today!"

Gavin said, 'He talked to us too!" and suddenly both boys were talking at once, telling each other about the speech.

I asked Curran, "What did you like best about it?"

He thought for a moment, and then said, "He said that if we give up on school, we're giving up on our country."

He was quiet for a moment and then said, "That would be a really bad thing to do."

I said, "Well, you have a lot of people who will help you work hard. You've got Mommy and Daddy and me and Da and all your teachers."

And Gavin piped up, saying stoutly, "And we already work hard, don't we, Curran."

I have to say, doing homework that afternoon was much easier than usual. The boys had been inspired and it showed.

I am baffled as to why having the president of the United States inspire school children to work hard is considered a bad thing by some Americans.

4 comments:

episcogal said...

"Orock Obama." Ok, that's pretty adorable.

I, too, don't understand why parents wouldn't want their children to hear what their president might say to them. On FB I asked some folks who were complaining about the speech prior to just exactly what it was that they thought the president was going to say that was so objectionable. Result - I got accused of polluting a friend's wall. Ok then.

Fred Schwartz said...

Hi,
As the principal of an elementary school (K-8) we all watched the speech together. Every child watched with no Opt outs (though that could have happened) and the students were truly impressed -- the President of the US spoke with them. Most of them wrote letters to say thank you.

chesneyj said...

Virginia and I sat down and watched it on Saturday while the twins were sleeping. Unfortunately, it couldn't keep her attention. I think in a class room situation it would be different but having to sit on mom's lap while watching it was not as fun.

Her school is suppose to show it to her this month but I can't remember when. They sent a form home for people who didn't want their kids to watch to send back. It is in the recycling bin.

I didn't see anything that could offend but you know those nutters, they will find something. I thought he did a great job of trying to relate to the kids.

Fr Craig said...

remind the nuts that W was in a grade school on a visit when the twin towers were attacked...