Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A view from the seventh grade...

... on President Obama's speech.

[I'd like to say this was from my own daughter, but she's in the eighth grade now, and apparently wasn't paying too much attention. This is from our neighbor's 12 year-old, who generally hates school.]

She told me on the way to dropping them at soccer practice that her social studies teacher had stopped class for the speech.

Then she said, "It was really interesting. He talked about his life and how tough it was to go to school. I never thought about a president having a hard time in school. I liked him."

I asked her what the social studies teacher did with the speech afterward, and she waved a hand, saying, "I don't know. After Obama stopped talking, I quit paying attention. Like, we heard the speech and we got what he was saying, so why's the teacher got to obsess about it for the rest of the period?"

Interesting for three reasons

1) Love him or hate him, the man can give a speech. And all those people who thought there were too many "I" references in the speech obviously missed his potential to make a connection by telling kids his own story.

2) Kids generally only take away 2, maybe 3, data points from 15 minutes worth of speech/lecture. This child got I understand you because I had it rough, too, and stay in school and work hard. Beyond that, nuances of policy and ideological positioning went right past her--as I suspect they did with almost all school kids who weren't being pumped full of preparatory opposition talking points.

3) I don't know if her teacher tried to do any DOE-approved lesson plans or not, because she wasn't paying close enough attention for them to have warped her brain. Why's the teacher got to obsess about it for the rest of the period? is possibly the best epitaph for this whole ridiculous non-event.

If somebody can find me evidence of children scarred for life or even mentally compromised into a sheeplike registration as Democrats as a result of this speech by a career politician, I'd love to see it.

Otherwise [and this is key for the people--who often include me--who disagree with the President's policies]: the best bet is to stop acting like you're so afraid that the man's every move will send the country careening into socialism. First off, his capitalist masters in the defense, legal, insurance, pharmaceutical, and entertainment industries need capitalism to survive, and he needs their contributions. Second: every time you do this, you only give the man more power.

3 comments:

Miko said...

the best bet is to stop acting like you're so afraid that the man's every move will send the country careening into socialism.

As destructive as state-socialism is, I'd still prefer it to what he's actually doing.

Anonymous said...

"And all those people who thought there were too many "I" references in the speech obviously missed his potential to make a connection by telling kids his own story."

Given the fact that, at around the same ages as the students he was addressing, he attended an Indonesian school which was about 90% Muslim, I'd be interested in how he could viably "make a connection" with public school children in the U.S.

Bowly said...

Given the fact that, at around the same ages as the students he was addressing, he attended an Indonesian school which was about 90% Muslim, I'd be interested in how he could viably "make a connection" with public school children in the U.S.

I don't really care about the Indonesian school. I'm more interested in what he had to say about his private school. It's more relevant to the discussion.