Our President on Education

Earlier this week our president, Barack Obama, gave a speech to the students of America. It was shown to students of all ages across the country, however, most college students were not able to see the speech (unless they searched for it online).  This is a shame, because the speech was just as relevant (if not more so) to college students as it was for the first grader who just ate a blue crayon and topped it off by chugging down a bottle of elmer’s glue.

Here are some of the money quotes, followed by the video that I highly recommend watching:

“…at the end of the day, we can have the most dedicated teachers, the most supportive parents, the best schools in the world — and none of it will make a difference, none of it will matter unless all of you fulfill your responsibilities, unless you show up to those schools, unless you pay attention to those teachers, unless you listen to your parents and grandparents and other adults and put in the hard work it takes to succeed”

“Every single one of you has something that 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.”

“Maybe you could be a great writer — maybe even good enough to write a book or articles in a newspaper — but you might not know it until you write that English paper — that English class paper that’s assigned to you. Maybe you could be an innovator or an inventor — maybe even good enough to come up with the next iPhone or the new medicine or vaccine — but you might not know it until you do your 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.”

“That’s why today I’m calling on each of you to set your own goals for your education — and do everything you can to meet them.”

“But 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 that 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. Chances are you’re not going to be any of those things.”

“No one’s born being good at all things. You become good at things through hard work.”

“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 because it shows you have the courage to admit when you don’t know something, and that then allows you to learn something new”

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