Obama agrees with me...

jeff's picture

Just like I commented here on a recent journal entry about why I didn't congratulate someone who graduated high schools, I said I follow Chris Rock's philosophy that you shouldn't get credit for something you're supposed to do.

Today, Barack Obama also quoted the same Chris Rock segment, in relation to people giving their daughter a big party for graduating 8th grade. In his prepared speech, there is no Chris Rock reference, but he mentioned it on the video. His prepared notes read:

"You know, sometimes I’ll go to an eighth-grade graduation and there’s all that pomp and circumstance and gowns and flowers. And I think to myself, it’s just eighth grade. To really compete, they need to graduate high school, and then they need to graduate college, and they probably need a graduate degree too. An eighth-grade education doesn’t cut it today. Let’s give them a handshake and tell them to get their butts back in the library!"

So, you know, just saying, great minds and that... :-)

Comments

Leisa's picture

Right

because saying congratulations makes kids think that they can stop at eighth grade. I mean yes, graduating eighth grade or high school even, is something that every kid SHOULD do, but with our failing k-12 public school system it is EXTREMELY difficult for a lot of kids to do just that. The system is designed to fail certain students. And these days, kids need all the encouragement they can get. And the continued federal retrenchment of dollars for education doesn't help one bit. So yeah, maybe throwing a party is a bit much, but for some kids it's not easy to graduate and when they do its more than fair to say hey kid way to go, congratulations! AND THEN SAY now get back to the library and study.

jeff's picture

well..

Not quite in context, since the majority of the Oasis lot seem to be upper middle class suburban kids, so there's less barriers to success in high school there.

Eh, even with your examples, I'm not on board, though. What in life isn't stacked against you succeeding and requiring you to work to achieve it? Doesn't mean we shouldn't try and fix the system, but I don't buy into a construct whereby if the kid exceeds it's the kid, and if the kid fails it's the system. Watch Obama's speech, it's far more aspirational than that.

Oh, and stop hanging around social worker activists! Otherwise, the system will always oppress you...

---

"Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment." - Rumi

Add me on Facebook and

Azul's picture

Except for lil' ol' Tabes

Except for lil' ol' Tabes that lives in rural Vermont... In a town with the population of about 3,000... In a state that is 96.7% white...

Leisa's picture

Definitely have not been hanging around social worker activists!

Social Justice Teachers perhaps, but social workers no. And I'm not making excuses for those kids who have every opportunity in the world and still blow it. But you and I both know that NCLB has done more damage than any other federal education program because it has taken money away from schools that already have deficits by focusing on quantity rather than quality. And yes, I'm sure oasians are mostly middle class suburban kids but that surely doesn't mean they don't deserve a pat on the back or at the very least a congrats when they do something well.

And yes, Obama is a powerful and inspirational orator and I completely agree that if you take responsibility for your kids its not exactly a praiseworthy act because you're already supposed to be doing that. I have these friends, a married couple, who always, when the dad takes care of the two kids, refer to it as "babysitting." How is it possible to babysit your own kids?

jeff's picture

Eh...

I just don't look at negative angles. Too easy. That's why I read Ode Magazine, they look for the people doing positive, inspirational things in the faces of adversity. So, NCLB is a nightmare... makes it too hard to change. Need to find the positive things that are happening under NCLB, since that is the current system (But, you know, everyone vote for Barack and try and get rid of it, too). I think there is a tendency to like looking for dark clouds instead of silver linings in America. You don't have to stay ignorant to do that, but if there are both dark clouds and silver linings available, I'm going to vote to get rid of dark clouds, but focus on the silver linings until then.

---
"Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment." - Rumi

Add me on Facebook and MySpace.

Azul's picture

My friend got a bathroom for

My friend got a bathroom for her 8th grade graduation. A bathroom, a fucking bathroom.

I was first in my class and fucking nothing. Absolutely nothing...

jeff's picture

wow...

First in your class! Congrats. :-)

---
"Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment." - Rumi

Add me on Facebook and MySpace.

Azul's picture

In a class of less than 80?

In a class of less than 80? Like that deserves congrats. And it was in middle school... Not a big accomplishment.

Thanks for the compliment, but relatively it means nothing.

Leisa's picture

shhh!

Azul! You're blowing my argument to pieces by saying Jeff's congratulatory comment means nothing! ;)

jeff's picture

See...

He's top in his class, so he already knows he's achieved something of merit.

You have to question the ones who need validation at every stop. :-)

---
"Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment." - Rumi

Add me on Facebook and MySpace.

Azul's picture

My friend who wasn't top in

My friend who wasn't top in her class got a bathroom, while I got squat.

Fuck merit and that crap. I want my OWN bathroom!

music is life's picture

For my 8th grade graduation

For my 8th grade graduation I got to go to everyone elses parties because my parents wouldn't let me have one. :/

scandalboy's picture

why the fuck do people get a

why the fuck do people get a graduation for year eight? thats like the first year of high school here! i'd say congratulations to someone graduating year 12, now that is quite an accomplishment, considering you're only required to attend up til year 10.

Azul's picture

America as a society feels

America as a society feels the need to congratulate and encourage anyone at any level so that they feel better. Also, America as a whole feels that the school janitor who's sweeping up the saltine cracker crumbs in the nurse's office is just as important as the neurologist who's performing surgery to remove the corpus collosum to inhibit the frequent seizures one may have.

Put in a more straight forward way: a tradition from when Agraria ruled and when the majority was the lower class has turned into a sodomized, cum fucked, bull shitting, testicle sucking orgy of over zealous, sensitive and feministic soccer moms that find the intrinsic need to make their dumbass little sons and daughters feel like he's equal to everyone in the world.

And in a less vulgar way: We're trying to go about achieving true emancipation.

I have a a hunch that this little social experiment might end up just like communism...

jeff's picture

I do fear...

.. to see what happens when this generation grows up and joins the workforce, and all of the sudden, no one applauds every time they do something. Going to be interesting.

---
"Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment." - Rumi

Add me on Facebook and MySpace.

Leisa's picture

Well, that kind of depends

Well, that kind of depends who you work for. If you work for Google, there seems to be a lot of praise going on around there, or Apple, or daddy's law firm. Maybe you just haven't been working in the right places Jeff darling.