Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The President targets a new audience

So did any of you get to watch/listen to President Obama's speech to our school children today? I didn't. I was a little disappointed, but really, just too busy running around to do anything about it.

It was broadcast live in our High School and Middle School, and taped for delayed viewing at the elementary and primary school levels. We got a note in backpacks last week that let us know that our children at the younger grade levels would not be viewing it live, but if we didn't want them to watch the taped version at a later date, we could send in a note and they would be given an alternative activity to do. (warning: veering off the subject ahead) Can I just tell you that I get annoyed by the offer of alternative activities? Because what the activity really offers, is the chance to single out one student and ostracize him/her from the group. In my experience, (which actually spans the decades) there hasn't been a single time that the exact scenario I just described hasn't taken place. Double negative? Let me re-state: There has always been just ONE abstainer. I've been the one, my kids have had turns being the one... I wouldn't change it; just haven't felt fulfilled by alternate activities. But I digress. And by the way, I don't have a problem with my kids listening to the President. I'm intrigued with what they heard and took away from his words to them.

I asked my two kiddos who listened, to tell me about the speech and they basically walked away with this:
- Study hard.
- There is no good reason not to obtain the best education you can.
- Work hard.
- Don't drop out of High School.

So I'm okay with that. I asked my HS Junior if the speech was truly meant for a K-12 audience, and he said it was definitely a target audience of High Schoolers. He didn't think the phrase "Don't drop out" would mean much to a kindergarten student. He's probably right.

What did you hear about it? Take away from it? Hear from the kids who heard it? Think about it in general? Just curious.


Smilin' sunshine said...

I haven't heard it, but I want to listen to it. My kids did not watch it, the district decided that they would view it first and maybe show exerpts later.

I was happy with that.

nanci said...

The speech was not shown in our high school, in fact, we were not told anything about it. But you can read the text here:


or view the video here:


Because I didnt' know if our school was going to show it or not, I read the text beforehand and then watched it live online to see if he veered from the topic at all. With the simple rewording of a couple of sentences, the speech was identical to what was published earlier.

I felt that the address was directed more towards older students. In fact, it seemed more like he was speaking at a specific activity that just happened to be televised.

Your children summed it up nicely - stay in school, work hard, your country needs you.

Becky said...

Our school would not air it live...they taped it and will show it later on with permission from parents along with the "alternative activity". Guess I will go watch it (thanks for the linke Nanci) and form an opinion.

Becky said...

did I just say LINK-E? i'm going back to bed! LINK, I meant LINK! (good gravy)

Joy said...

Didn't see it our school district decided that if parents want their children to watch it they can do so at home where it didn't take time from the day to day learning in the classroom. I was fine either way. I sure at some point I will listen to it.

ChefTom said...

I had no problem with the re-written vanilla version that was created after the public outcry. I am sure that the original speech would have also been fairly non-evasive. The original "suggested activities" is what caused the most outrage and they were also scrubbed.

The is a great example of "We the people" taking control and having a say in the exposure that our children get and from whom.

LL said...

Our schools didn't show it either.
I like what your kids took from it, sounds good!

Jo Jo said...

I don't have a problem with what he said. I just think it's weird that adolf hitler's speeches weren't that offensive in the beginning either. Really. But I do have a problem with the "listen to me" and do what I say that these little kids take away, when he should be telling them to listen to their parents, they're the ones that will be helping you.