So I've been silent (only on here, I gaurantee) for a while, but I've literally been holed up in my apartment, ignoring work, family and friends for the last week finishing up a BIG project. Like, something I've been wanting to do, and planning on, literally since childhood. So, not so much an apology or excuse, as context.
In this time I have also not been paying much attention to the world in general, and there were some surprising things I discovered today, my first day back in sunlight. The most pressing, headline grabbing news of the day?
Obama is trying to indoctrinate children with nazi propaganda.
I try not to comment on every crazy thing that rears an ugly head. But this one literally had me do a WTF? head snap. I mean, really?
Who would have thought Laura Bush and Newt Gingrich would turn out as voices of reason in this insanity?
The funny part is, though I didn't listen/watch, I read the transcript of his speech. Maybe it was different in delivery, but one of my biggest thoughts was, "Wow... this is kinda boring." Obama is an excellent speaker, but maybe not so versed in how to reach the kiddos.
Maybe I'll have to ask some of my younger friends what they thought, but it was fairly dripping in "live up to your responsibility," "do your homework," and "work hard because we're building your future here." He even threw in a whole "when I was your age, this was how much harder I had it" story. I mean, yeah, I believe it, but we're talking the toughest audience on earth, here.
I've seen some very well-meaning parents give similar speeches to their children when I was working with kids, and in most cases saw eyes glazing over, and much focus on trying not to get bawled out by being obvious they weren't paying attention.
Violent revolution, it was not.
I have a hope though, that the kids lucky enough to have resonable parents and teachers, and were allowed and able to see the broadcast, will remember it in some years to come. Much sooner in life than, say, one unnamed raven who sat long hours listening to the values of mathematics from grandparents at their dining room table, eyes glazed in a similar way.
Yes, it was valuable, but I don't know that TELLING kids it's valuable does much good in the present. I imagine a generation of kids, ten, twenty years from now as they are trying to get ahead in their jobs, or reach their own ungrateful children, going, "OH! THAT's what the Obamer was saying!"
Ah well, there were some good messages in it. Maybe I'm preemptively defensive because the last time there was a speech from a president to public schools (George numero uno, I hear) I was a pretty young kid in school and... nada.
Don't remember it at all.
I remember very well the face of the girl who peed on the bus in kindergarten, can tell you the name of the kid who had a Hostess Ding Dong in her lunch box at school - twice - during second grade, and will happily produce the picture book a not-so-famous author came and signed for our third grade classroom. But don't really remember the leader of the free world giving me a message of hope and discipline.
Maybe I was sick that day.
In any case - whatever already! I've read people saying if W. had tried a similar thing, the other side would be just as up in arms, but I'm just not one of them. I mean, I can't stand W., but I would imagine the values and lessons I instilled in children since birth could stand up to one lecture on hard work and doing homework. Really, the guy was still president.
If it gets them to listen to the words "do" "your" and "homework" in a new way, go for it. For that matter, I would make sure to tell them to watch carefully - W. is proof that anyone can be president.
Okay, soap box done. Sometimes, I just can't adjust my thinking to what in world people are scared of now fast enough. This one had my head spinning.