Melissa Runs

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The President's school speech

So here is the speech to the schools that Barack Obama is supposed to give tomorrow.

Prepared Remarks of President Barack Obama
Back to School Event

Arlington, Virginia
September 8, 2009

The President: Hello everyone – how’s everybody doing today? I’m here with students at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Virginia. And we’ve got students tuning in from all across America, kindergarten through twelfth grade. I’m glad you all could join us today.

I know that for many of you, today is the first day of school. And for those of you in kindergarten, or starting middle or high school, it’s your first day in a new school, so it’s understandable if you’re a little nervous. I imagine there are some seniors out there who are feeling pretty good right now, with just one more year to go. And no matter what grade you’re in, some of you are probably wishing it were still summer, and you could’ve stayed in bed just a little longer this morning.
I know that feeling. When I was young, my family lived in Indonesia for a few years, and my mother didn’t have the money to send me where all the American kids went to school. So she decided to teach me extra lessons herself, Monday through Friday – at 4:30 in the morning.

Now I wasn’t too happy about getting up that early. A lot of times, I’d fall asleep right there at the kitchen table. But whenever I’d complain, my mother would just give me one of those looks and say, “This is no picnic for me either, buster.”
So I know some of you are still adjusting to being back at school. But 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.

Now I’ve given a lot of speeches about education. And I’ve talked a lot about responsibility.
I’ve talked about your teachers’ responsibility for inspiring you, and pushing you to learn.
I’ve talked about your parents’ responsibility for making sure you stay on track, and get your homework done, and don’t spend every waking hour in front of the TV or with that Xbox.

I’ve talked a lot about your government’s responsibility for setting high standards, supporting teachers and principals, and turning around schools that aren’t working where students aren’t getting the opportunities they deserve.
But at the end of the day, we can have the most dedicated teachers, the most supportive parents, and the best schools in the world – and none of it will matter unless all of you fulfill your responsibilities. Unless you show up to those schools; pay attention to those teachers; listen to your parents, grandparents and other adults; and put in the hard work it takes to succeed.

And that’s what I want to focus on today: the responsibility each of you has for your education. I want to start with the responsibility you have to yourself.

Every single one of you has something 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. That’s the opportunity an education can provide.

Maybe you could be a good writer – maybe even good enough to write a book or articles in a newspaper – but you might not know it until you write a paper for your English class. 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 – but you might not know it until you do a 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.

And no matter what you want to do with your life – I guarantee that you’ll need an education to do it. 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’re going to need a good education for every single one of those careers. You can’t drop out of school and just drop into a good job. You’ve got to work for it and train for it and learn for it.

And this isn’t just important for your own life and your own future. What you make of your education will decide nothing less than the future of this country. What you’re learning in school today will determine whether we as a nation can meet our greatest challenges in the future.

You’ll need the knowledge and problem-solving skills you learn in science and math to cure diseases like cancer and AIDS, and to develop new energy technologies and protect our environment. You’ll need the insights and critical thinking skills you gain in history and social studies to fight poverty and homelessness, crime and discrimination, and make our nation more fair and more free. You’ll need the creativity and ingenuity you develop in all your classes to build new companies that will create new jobs and boost our economy.

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. My father left my family when I was two years old, and I was raised by a single mother who struggled at times to pay the bills and wasn’t always able to give us things the other kids had. There were times when I missed having a father in my life. There were times when I was lonely and felt like I didn’t fit in.
So I wasn’t always as focused as I should have been. I did some things I’m not proud of, and got in more trouble than I should have. And my life could have easily taken a turn for the worse.

But I was fortunate. I got a lot of second chances and had the opportunity to go to college, and law school, and follow my dreams. My wife, our First Lady Michelle Obama, has a similar story. Neither of her parents had gone to college, and they didn’t have much. But they worked hard, and she worked hard, so that she could go to the best schools in this country.
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.

But at the end of the day, the circumstances of your life – what you look like, where you come from, how much money you have, what you’ve got going on at home – that’s no excuse for neglecting your homework or having a bad attitude. That’s no excuse for talking back to your teacher, or cutting class, or dropping out of school. That’s no excuse for not trying.
Where you are right now doesn’t have to determine where you’ll end up. No one’s written your destiny for you. Here in America, you write your own destiny. You make your own future.

That’s what young people like you are doing every day, all across America.

Young people like Jazmin Perez, from Roma, Texas. Jazmin didn’t speak English when she first started school. Hardly anyone in her hometown went to college, and neither of her parents had gone either. But she worked hard, earned good grades, got a scholarship to Brown University, and is now in graduate school, studying public health, on her way to being Dr. Jazmin Perez.

I’m thinking about Andoni Schultz, from Los Altos, California, who’s fought brain cancer since he was three. He’s endured all sorts of treatments and surgeries, one of which affected his memory, so it took him much longer – hundreds of extra hours – to do his schoolwork. But he never fell behind, and he’s headed to college this fall.

And then there’s Shantell Steve, from my hometown of Chicago, Illinois. Even when bouncing from foster home to foster home in the toughest neighborhoods, she managed to get a job at a local health center; start a program to keep young people out of gangs; and she’s on track to graduate high school with honors and go on to college.

Jazmin, Andoni and Shantell aren’t any different from any of you. They faced challenges in their lives just like you do. But they refused to give up. They chose to take responsibility for their education and set goals for themselves. And I expect all of you to do the same.

That’s why today, I’m calling on each of you to set your own goals for your education – and to do everything you can to meet them. Your goal can be something as simple as doing all your homework, paying attention in class, or spending time each day reading a book. Maybe you’ll decide to get involved in an extracurricular activity, or volunteer in your community.

Maybe you’ll decide to stand up for kids who are being teased or bullied because of who they are or how they look, because you believe, like I do, that all kids deserve a safe environment to study and learn. Maybe you’ll decide to take better care of yourself so you can be more ready to learn. And along those lines, I hope you’ll all wash your hands a lot, and stay home from school when you don’t feel well, so we can keep people from getting the flu this fall and winter.
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 the 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, when chances are, you’re not going to be any of those things.

But the truth is, being successful is hard. You won’t love every subject you study. You won’t click with every teacher. Not every homework assignment will seem completely relevant to your life right this minute. And you won’t necessarily succeed at everything the first time you try.

That’s OK. Some of the most successful people in the world are the ones who’ve had the most failures. JK Rowling’s first Harry Potter book was rejected twelve times before it was finally published. Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team, and he lost hundreds of games and missed thousands of shots during his career. But he once said, “I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

These people succeeded because they understand that you can’t let your failures define you – you have to let them teach you. You have to let them show you what to do differently next time. If you get in trouble, that doesn’t mean you’re a troublemaker, it means you need to try harder to behave. If you get a bad grade, that doesn’t mean you’re stupid, it just means you need to spend more time studying.

No one’s born being good at things, you become good at things through hard work. You’re not a varsity athlete the first time you play a new sport. You don’t hit every note the first time you sing a song. You’ve got to practice. It’s the same with your schoolwork. You might have to do a math problem a few times before you get it right, or read something a few times before you understand it, or do a few drafts of a paper before it’s good enough to hand in.

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. It shows you have the courage to admit when you don’t know something, and to learn something new. So find an adult you trust – a parent, grandparent or teacher; a coach or counselor – and ask them to help you stay on track to meet your goals.

And even when you’re struggling, even when you’re discouraged, and you feel like other people have given up on you – don’t ever give up on yourself. Because when you give up on yourself, you give up on your country.

The story of America isn’t about people who quit when things got tough. It’s about people who kept going, who tried harder, who loved their country too much to do anything less than their best.

It’s the story of students who sat where you sit 250 years ago, and went on to wage a revolution and found this nation. Students who sat where you sit 75 years ago who overcame a Depression and won a world war; who fought for civil rights and put a man on the moon. Students who sat where you sit 20 years ago who founded Google, Twitter and Facebook and changed the way we communicate with each other.

So today, I want to ask you, what’s your contribution going to be? What problems are you going to solve? What discoveries will you make? What will a president who comes here in twenty or fifty or one hundred years say about what all of you did for this country?

Your families, your teachers, and I are doing everything we can to make sure you have the education you need to answer these questions. I’m working hard to fix up your classrooms and get you the books, equipment and computers you need to learn. But you’ve got to do your part too. So I expect you to get serious this year. I expect you to put your best effort into everything you do. I expect great things from each of you. So don’t let us down – don’t let your family or your country or yourself down. Make us all proud. I know you can do it.

Thank you, God bless you, and God bless America.

So this is the socialist propaganda that has people about to pee all over themselves? really?

The list of happy

  1. I had some productive days at work
  2. Veronica Mars MOVIE If you admit to not liking Veronica Mars, you lose cool points with me. If you absolutely hate it, I just might think you have neurological problems.
  3. I’m going to be visiting friends next week
  4. I got to see some pictures from a really really long time ago.
  5. I had one of the fastest yet easiest runs of my life earlier this week. It was one of the first times I felt fit.
  6. OBAMA! OBAMA! We got a new President and he is getting down to business. He’s already done several campaign promises in the first 3 days. You can’t beat that.
  7. I had lunch with my friend Angela whom I haven’t seen in weeks.
  8. So yeah. Overall, good. It’s the little things.

MLK and tomorrow

I don’t really have anything of importance to say. I wish I had something of profound but I am just a woman with an ear infection trying to hear right and work a little.

For all the African American people and families who endured taunts, rocks, and lynchings just to do the simple things in life like go to school, vote, ride the front of the bus, and use the nearest toilet, I say “congratulations. This is a day that many of you didn’t think you would see in your life time. I hope you call in sick and savor tomorrow.”

If you have to go to work, you can watch it here. (if your office has high speed internet.) shhh I didn’t tell you. ( did)

Deep and not so deep thoughts.

I’m tired. I ran 5 miles anyway so I’m probably a little loopy right now. Let’s run with it.

Does anybody else think those Snuggie things look like Monk habits? Oh wait. Diablo Cody does.

Since I live over 90 miles from the nearest Indian restaurant, I thought I would try out this chicken tikka masala sauce I found at Williams Sonoma. Also, I found a recipe for Naan that seems good.

I’m chuckling that Leatherfest is coinciding with the Presidential Inauguration. I would be laughing even harder if it had coincided with a McCain Presidential Inauguration. I still want a picture of the guy with the assless chaps.

Don’t get me wrong. I am way happy that Obama won.

My Garmin tried to kill me yesterday. It told me to go straight into a lake. Oops. Hal has nothing on my Garmin.

I’m all upset about Gaza and just want to get all Rodney King with Hamas and the Israelis. “Can’t you all just get along?” Apparently the answer is no.

Funny quote of the Christmas season: “I told my kids that Santa didn’t exist because I was tired of him getting credit for all my cool gifts”

Funniest conversation of the Christmas season: (overheard Mom telling kids to put out nuts for Santa’s reindeer)
Me: I thought you told me that you told your kids that Santa didn’t exist.
Friend: I did. They didn’t believe me.


2008 in pictures (the person ones)

And so it begins

I got a gym membership for Christmas but didn’t fill out the forms until January 1st.

Breezy loves you.

This is Breezy the most awesome dog in the universe. I spent last New Year’s day at her house. She’s a party animal.

Max in the sun.

Max, my pretty pretty kitty, got murdered by two Rottweilers while enjoying the outdoors. Seriously, they were trying to eat him. They cracked his spine and broke one of his legs off at the hip. The leg was hanging on by the skin. My town really needs to enforce its leash laws better.

The backup bridesmaids Pt. 2

I went to my friend Tiffany’s wedding in Tulsa. We were known as the “backup bridesmaids”

Big scary.... cougar..

I met Bellesouth and Debbie at the Tulsa zoo. Unfortunately, I was so excited by the animals I didn’t get a picture of us. LOOK that Cougar. There’s no fence. NO FENCE!


It snowed in March. That is creepy enough to get a mention and picture here.

more greek folk dancing

I went to Greek Food Fest and had gyros and watched some folk dancing. It was fun.

Canned tomatoes

I spent the Fourth of July at my Grandmother’s house. She was canning tomatoes. She always keeps a garden.

Hillary Rodham Clinton

This was an Obama rally on the steps of the capital. The special guest was Hillary Clinton.

Team Fabulous 2008

Race for the Cure with Team Fabulous. That is a fun group of women, y’all.


These were some great guys and this sign still cracks me up.

The lovely Kennett sign

Went to Kennett Missouri to campaign for Obama. Also stopped by Tennessee to have dinner and beer with Kevin.


My friend’s son celebrated his 10th birthday at the bowling alley. I got to come along. I got conned into serving the ice cream. GAH!

The whoopass is being dispensed right about now

This is the County Clerk and the Chief of Police getting into a heated argument over why he can’t close the parking area of the fire station for a training exercise on the same day the fire station is being used as a polling place. Oh it was craziness. This was also in Missouri.

Me at the finish line after picking up my goodie bag

I ran Craig’s Jingle Bell 5K.

Hunchback of Vino's.

DMZ 20 year reunion show at Vino’s with Matt Besser. Good times.

Christmas Dinner

Christmas came and went. That’s the food. NOM NOM

There you go. While there were ups and downs, it seems to be a good year.

2008 sucked but not completely

Yeah this year was bad. The economy went to the toilet. People are losing their houses and their jobs. It’s chaos. Some fool managed to steal my identity and I am having fun with creditors. Also, I no longer have a job I hated. This is a good and bad thing. The bad thing is that my income went down—way down.

Here are some recaps.

Poop on the sidewalk in front of my office: BAD

A very special Christmas present

George W. Bush getting a shoe thrown at his head: GOOD. REAL GOOD

Sarah Palin’s interview with Katie Couric: BAD BAD BAD

Tina Fey’s mocking of Sarah Palin’s interview with Katie Couric: GREAT!

Team Fabulous racing for the Cure.

Team Fabulous 2008


Tripping over Breezy’s Christmas present and breaking it.

uh oh.


Michael Phelps winning a gazillion gold medals. GOOD

Chinese gymnast age controversy. BAD

Usain Bolt = Good/bad

Heath Ledger’s performance as the Joker in The Dark Knight. GOOD

Heath Ledger dying. BAD. Very very bad.

Going to Erica’s Halloween party. GOOD (even GREAT)
Everyone and their Mama (including my own MAMA) forgetting my birthday. BAD… real bad. (okay I got some props from facebook but seriously no freaking phone calls or acknowledgement in the non-internet realm. That is sucking y’all.

Canvassing for Obama: good

Canvassing map

Poll watching/voter protecting for Obama: even better.

Voting Rights team represent.

Obama winning: fan-freaking awesome.

More hugging for an Obama win.

Racists going crazy after Obama wins. (thanks for putting the ass in assbackwards guys) BAD BAD BAD

Sarah Silverman fucking Matt Damon. Bad for Jimmy Kimmel Great for US!

Jimmy Kimmel’s revenge. EVEN BETTER!

Fun for all ages.

Work was crazy today. From Strange Pup, here’s a video from Robin Williams.

Mission may be accomplished but the war's not over yet.

This now ubiquitous video of an Iraqi journalist throwing shoes at George W. Bush will never get old for me. In fact, I like it so much that I fear I will be placed on the terrorist watch list. Oh Baby Bush has some lightning fast reflexes there. It seems that he is used to people throwing crap at him.

Oh the hilarity.

The Little Rock Nine have been invited to attend the swearing in ceremony of Barack Obama. This was at the suggestion of Senator Mark Pryor who pretty much didn’t campaign for Obama AT ALL. The Arkansas Times reports that Elizabeth Eckford, 67, who still lives in the house where she grew up, said she can’t afford the trip. It turns out that she doesn’t want to go because she hates crowds and the cold.

Famous Eckerd photo

I guess if I went to school every day with a bunch of people yelling bad words at me, I would be hating crowds too.

The hilarious part is that Mark Pryor, the man who couldn’t be bothered to put up an Obama sign in his yard is now for having the Little Rock Nine come and the big time photo op that it entails. Did I mention he skipped out on the big Hillary for Obama rally on the Capital? Many many folks were completely lackluster in their campaigning even though Obama came here in 2006 to campaign for Mike Beebe.

Obama speaks
See the “vote for Beebe” sign? I told you.

This is very surprising and one answer for that just might be racism. In fact, John Brummett called the citizens of Arkansas out for it. (I can’t find the original link so here is the column about the letters received after the original column ran).

So when I read the article about the Tuskeegee airmen and the Little Rock Nine with the headline, “We’ve Completed Our Mission” from this quotation:

“The culmination of our efforts and others’ was this great prize we were given on Nov. 4,” he [retired Lt. William Broadwater, 82] said. “Now we feel like we’ve completed our mission. This inauguration will be the ultimate result.”

I’m sorry Mr. Broadwater but as long as there are people making jokes about whether Obama will plant a watermelon patch at the White house (something I endured at a funeral, of all places) or someone is raising a Confederate flag to protest the election or you see “The Anti-Christ Hussein Obama” at a tattoo parlor, the mission is not over. Unless you are referring to the fact that the Commander in Chief will be a black man which could be considered the ultimate end result of the Tuskeegee Airmen’s mission, then yes that mission will be accomplished January 20th.

But the war is definitely, definitely not over.

Fish and Chips

This “fish and Chips” logo on the back of a Mini Cooper in Little Rock cracked me up. There are so many fundamentalist that the “Jesus fish” is pretty ubiquitous around these parts. Every once ina while, I will see an “evolution fish” but this “fish and chips” fish makes me laugh. In fact, I think I want one for myself.

Thank you from Obama

Thank you from Obama

Originally uploaded by melissathegoofy

Look Ma. I got a Thank you postcard from the Obamas. It’s all kinds of sweet. It has signatures from Barack and Michelle. There’s the obligatory, we couldn’t have done this without you. Obama also keeps up with his recurring theme that this is our government. It is “by the people” and “for the people.”

Another interesting thing is that President-elect Obama seems to be keeping his promise about keeping us informed. He puts his radio addresses on youtube. He has updates on his campaign site. He updates on the site. Also, you can apply for a job on there. This, if nothing else, is a definite change than the very secretive Bush Administration.

Best Picture celebrating Obama's win EVER

Okay maybe not ever.

But how do I love thee, let me count the ways.

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