One of the great things about my job is the opportunity to speak to Americans of all walks of life. Today I was fortunate to get the chance to spend most of the day at Martin Borman Elementary School. I really enjoyed meeting the students and explaining why health care reform would be bad for them and how redistribution of wealth would make some of their mommies and daddies poorer while making others more dependent on the state. I had prepared a rebuttal to President Obama’s speech to the students, but Borman Elementary did not show the speech due to fear of Obama politicizing the event. I still think this speech could be very useful for parents and teachers who want to give the other side equal time.
Hello everyone. I hope you are having a great day. I know that this is your first day of school and whether you’re an eighth grader or a kindergartner you’re probably excited and maybe a little nervous. Don’t be. For one thing, I’ve seen your school’s test scores and frankly they’re not that hot. You are getting a free education at the expense of the taxpayers of this state, but frankly you’re getting what you paid for. Today, all throughout this country students your age are speaking Mandarin and doing chemical experiments that you can’t even comprehend. Someday, you will work for them.
I know that many of you wish that it was still Summer vacation and you could sleep a little later. I know the feeling. When I was a young boy growing up in California, my family was very well to do and there was nothing I enjoyed more than sleeping through the first two or three periods of the school day knowing that the teacher might be disappointed in me, but that my allowance was more than his entire paycheck. I had a heated indoor pool and my own pony. He was driving a 12 year old Buick without air conditioning.
I’m here today because I have something important to discuss with you. I’m here because I want to talk with you about your education and what’s expected of all of you in this new school year. You see, , we can have the most dedicated teachers, the most supportive parents, and the best schools in the world – and none of it will matter for most of you. Look around your homeroom. Do you really think that you’re all going to be doctors and lawyers? Somebody is going to have to press the pants and make the sandwiches for the successful people in the future and that somebody is probably going to be you. Let’s face it, college costs keep escalating and even if you can get the loans to pay for your education, why would you want that kind of debt?
And that’s what I want to focus on today: the futility of your education. Every single one of you has something you’re good at. Maybe you can sing really well or you’re the best player on the basketball team. That doesn’t mean anybody wants to pay to see you do it. It’s great to have a hobby, but just because you can play Guitar Hero doesn’t mean you’re ever going to be able to play a real guitar. It’s complicated.
Maybe you could be a good writer – maybe even good enough to write a book or articles in a newspaper – but you probably won’t get hired to do it. All writing will do is make you an alcoholic and give you a drawer full of rejection letters. Maybe you could be an innovator or an inventor – maybe even good enough to come up with the next iPhone or a new medicine or vaccine – If that’s the case you should really watch Tucker or Flash of Genius and see how corporate America treates innovators. Life is tough kids. I wish I could say it was fair.
And no matter what you want to do with your life – I guarantee that you’ll probably never be happier than you are right now. Being a grownup is a lot of responsibility. You want to be a doctor, or a teacher, or a police officer? You want to be a nurse or an architect, a lawyer or a member of our military? You might as well take advantage of this time to hang out with your friends and play video games because you’ll be working very long hours and never have a chance to really have fun as an adult. You can’t drop out of school and just drop into a good job, but you can buy lottery tickets. Girls, if you’re pretty they are always hiring dancers by the airport.
We need every single one of you to develop your talents, skills and intellect so you can help solve our most difficult problems. If you don’t do that – if you quit on school – you’re not just quitting on yourself, you’re quitting on your country.
Now I know it’s not always easy to do well in school. I know a lot of you have challenges in your lives right now that can make it hard to focus on your schoolwork. I get it. I know what that’s like. I had so many toys I couldn’t possibly play with all of them and work on my homework. Did I mention I had a heated pool? There were times when I felt lonely and felt like I didn’t fit in. You know what I did? I threw a big party and even though people didn’t like me they’d be nice to me so they’d get an invitation.
Some of you might not have those advantages. Maybe you don’t have adults in your life who give you the support that you need. Maybe someone in your family has lost their job, and there’s not enough money to go around. Maybe you live in a neighborhood where you don’t feel safe, or have friends who are pressuring you to do things you know aren’t right. If that’s the case I’m sorry. You will probably be working at a car wash or working the midnight shift at a gas station.
Where you are right now doesn’t have to determine where you’ll end up. No one’s written your destiny for you. They know it, but they’re scared to write it down for fear you’ll lower your expectations for yourself. I personally think that a good healthy dose of realism is just what you as first graders need.
Young kids like you are learning this everyday. Angelis Villenueva is a young girl in my district who came to this country not speaking a word of English. She worked hard in school and graduated number one out of her class of 2500 students despite working after school helping her mother clean the homes of many of her more affluent classmates. Unfortunately, Angelis’s family came to this country illegally and she has no social security number which has made it impossible for her to go to college. She is currently working at a Speedway or will be until I make a phone call to immigration later this afternoon.
That’s why today, I’m calling on each of you to set your own goals for your education – Maybe you’re going to try and drive your teacher crazy. Maybe you’ll decide to make fun of the girl who sits next to you because her parents don’t have much money and she buys all her clothes at Walmart. Maybe you’ll decide to just hang out in the hallways a lot. That’s great.
Some of the most successful people in life have been drop outs. Look at people like Lebron James, Bill Gates, and Konye West. If you get a bad grade that doesn’t mean you’re stupid, it just means that school probably isn’t for you. Well maybe you are stupid, but if you are then school definitely isn’t for you. If you get in trouble, that doesn’t mean you’re a troublemaker it just means that your teacher is picking on you – Probably for no reason. Some people will tell you that you owe it to your family to graduate and that you can’t let your family down, but who knows you better than your family. They expect it. Use your school years well. They’ll always be something you can talk about with your friends at the bar when you don’t want to talk about how miserable your job is.
Thank you, God bless you, and God bless America.