This morning President Obama addressed all K-12 students via satellite broadcast. I quickly glanced at the online copy of his text before he spoke and grew concerned when I read the following statements: “All across America…it’s understandable if you…quit on school…I want…you to…stay home from school…Spend every waking hour in front of the TV or with that Xbox…or Twitter and Facebook. Make us all proud. I know you can do it.”
Maybe I should go back and read the full speech instead of those few random snippets before rushing to judgment here. But it also got me to thinking - If I was able to speak to all of the school-age children in the United States, what would I say?
Please read the draft of my speech below and post comments with any other items I should teach to the children of America. The person with the best comment will be appointment as the NMH Czar of Speechwriting, Copy Editing, and Kitty Litter Removal. (Just make sure your comments are not pro/con Obama’s speech, there are plenty of other sites for that – remember, politics free zone here.)
DRAFT REMARKS OF NMH’S BACK TO SCHOOL EVENT:
Greetings, children of America. If you don’t know what that means it was like I said, “Wuddup, dudes!”
I would like to begin my remarks today by speaking directly to all high school and middle school students. As teen-agers, the vast majority of you think you already know everything there is to understand about life. You also believe all adults are total morons, so there is no point in me speaking to you since you will not listen to me anyway. Just go back to texting under your desks, rolling your eyes, adjusting your hair and excluding your unpopular classmates while I speak with the kids in elementary school.
Elementary school kids, I have an important message for you today about staying in school. It is this:
Stay in school.
Now that I have that out of the way, let me tell you some secrets about elementary school I wish I knew when I was your age.
First, stop picking your noses and eating your boogers. By my estimation, 94% of you eat nose candy several times a day as if your body manufactured an endless supply of green gummy bears. While they may feel like melted gummy bears on your fingers, boogers are filthy little disease balls that can give you illnesses like H1N1. Since none of you kids care what H1N1 is, just know it is way worse than cooties.
Second, take full advantage of recess. Run around. Play games. Get sweaty. The bones and joints in your bodies are made of rubber until you hit your twenties, so take advantage of this time when you can fall down without fracturing your tibia. Run across a field while you can do so without your thighs and lungs burning like California in the summer. Play dodge ball while you can enjoy sports without consulting with your primary care physician. One day you will grow up and get a job. Recess will disappear. As an adult you will be lucky to get one 10-minute break per day and your coworkers will rather spend that time smoking themselves to death than playing Red Rover, so do it now while you can.
Next, while I encourage you to have fun during recess, do not get so crazy that your pants end up with grass stains or holes in the knees during the first week of school. Seriously, guys, could you please take better care of your pants? Those things are expensive! Many parents would love to just buy your soon-to-be-destroyed school pants at Goodwill, but there are no decent second-hand kids jeans because all new pants get mangled. Easy on the pants, kids.
Many of you ride the bus home from school. Talk about a sweet gig! Do you realize how lucky you bus riders are? At the end of a long day at school you get to sit in a huge bus with a bunch of your best friends to talk, giggle, scheme, gossip and trade Pokemon cards while somebody else fights traffic for you. One day you will grow up and realize what a pain it is to finish a tough day at work and then get repeatedly cut off in traffic, hit red lights, get stuck behind slow drivers, and inch through construction zones on your commute home. They shouldn’t call those big yellow vehicles “school buses.” They should be called “Mobile Party Units.” Man, I wish I had one of those. Kids, enjoy the chauffeur and endless supply of friends while you can.
Every once in a while, just say "thank you" to your teacher for no particular reason. Teachers work hard and most of them care deeply about the children in their classes. They have to deal with a lot of administrative headaches (that's a fancy way of saying "stuff") and the pay is not great. You'll look back and be grateful for the teachers who pushed you, challenged you, and inspired you. (Except for the creepy male 5th grade teacher with stringy hair that every school seems to have. You know who I'm talking about. Avoid him at all costs!)
Lastly, please stop losing things. Your parents try very hard to let you be independent. But they need your help. While 87% of your brains are focused on the internet, Play Station, TV, The Jonas Brothers, candy and Hannah Montana, please use the other 13% to remember exactly where you have left your homework folders, shoes, glasses, lunch boxes, and library books. The amount of stress your parents need to deal with will be greatly reduced if you can keep track of those five items. And the less stress your parents have, the more likely they will be to give you dessert or let you stay up a little later at night.
Thank you, children of America. May you enjoy this upcoming school year. May your hard work be rewarded. May your minds be expanded. May you prepare for a bright future. May all of your dreams come true.
Just don’t trash your pants in the process, okay?