Obama & NMH Speak To School Children

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

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.)


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?


bwebster said...

Great, great talk. This is the one they really should have broadcast. :-) ..bruce..

4:45 PM

As an elementary school teacher, I will say one thing: Amen.

5:48 PM
Steve G. said...

I remember one day in fourth grade, I slid on the pavement in my pants on the pavement, and I scraped off like an inch by an inch piece of my flesh in the process. It was kind of deep and bleeding a lot and really gross.

The first thing my mom said was, "Oh my god did you ruin your pants???"

6:09 PM
Homer and Queen said...

I am so voting for you for Prez. next time...

6:14 PM
shelley said...

this had me rolling. great stuff! sounds like you had the nmb in mind when you wrote this. i'll make sure he doesn't trash his pants while he's over playing at my house next week. :)

6:27 PM

Homer and Queen - You couldn't pay me enough money to get me into politics!

(Unless, of course, you raised $14.3 million for my campaign. Then I'd be in faster than you could say "special interest" and I'd even name a piece of legislation after you.)

7:00 PM

Shelley - I'll just be happy if he hasn't misplaced his pants by the time I pick him up. Stranger things have happened.

7:01 PM
Chad said...

Hey Andy, does anyone call you Andy anymore? Anyway, good post as always. You truly know how to entertain. I think you have lost touch with kids though, no one wears pants anymore, they are just shorts that are not pulled all the way up so they look like pants.

8:33 PM
Chelsea said...

Okay that was hilarious and SO TRUE!!! KUDOS NMH!!!

9:00 PM

Chad - The only people who ever called me "Andy" were our little league football coaches. I now go by "Dad", "The HR Guy", "That Tall Dude Over There". I legally changed my name to Hercules Q. Powerful in 1993.

9:03 PM
carmar76 said...

Awesome talk there! And, if I can only raise $11.2 million, will you at least consider running? : )

I really wanted to be the czar of speechwriting, but I just can't come up with anything to improve upon your speech! So, good luck to the other candidates!


9:05 PM
Ang said...

Great comment about the pants. Love it.

If I was president I would tell the students to:

1-Eat the crusts of their peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Although some have argued with me, using scientific data to refute my belief that all the "vitamins" are in the crusts, I refuse to believe it. There are vitamins in the crusts! Plus lots of good peanut butter and jelly you're missing out on when you throw them away!

2-There is a camera in the bathroom recording whether or not you wash your hands after using the facilities. Every weekend, copies of this video are sent to your parents, and if you don't wash your hands then you'll end up doing extra chores. Of course, this isn't true, but they don't need to know it!

3-Boys: Limit yourself to using the word "dude," in all its grammatical variations, to under a dozen times a day. It's amazing the newfound verbal freedom and variety that will crop up in your conversations.

4-Girls: You might think you're fat now, but you're really not. You will look back on this version of yourself in ten years and wonder why in the world you didn't enjoy it while you could.

Now I'd better win something! And no fair using the NMH Nepotism Rule.

9:06 PM
Chad said...

Hercules Q Power eh? Nice. Sorry. Your Dad was one of the coaches remember? I think I am stuck on Andy. Nate Winder says call to you Drew....

9:30 PM
Debbie S. said...

I think ANG should win!

NMH~ I think your speech was great, but I wonder how many of today's average youngsters know what half the words mean... too many big words, even for high schoolers! Although I think you're a go with the homeschoolers! (yes- I'm being sarcastic!)

11:06 PM
Tom said...

If you were to call the Jonas Brothers the "Jones Brothers" as you did in your draft . . . I'm pretty sure you would get zero street cred. Then everything you've said will be discounted. Just a thought.

4:37 AM
Meredith said...

Excellent speech, although the booger part made me a little queasy. And amen about recess. Now on my work breaks, I read a book or go to the bank. Lame!!!

What I would add--You know how teachers are always saying, "There's no such thing as a stupid question?" They're lying. Many questions are stupid. I for one have been asked many stupid questions in my life, and not just by kids.

7:36 AM
Anonymous said...

OK, this is not a speach. But about that comment you made :about not eating boogers. Well, my kid told me the other day; "Mom, do you know how you can tell you have 'swine flu'?" And I told him that he would have to go to the doctor for some blood tests. And he said -"No. Just pick your nose and try it. If it tastes like bacon, you have it"-
BTW I think it's The Jonas Brothers, not The Jones Brothers.

Ana Abruna, Puerto Rico.

8:41 AM

Jonas Brothers, it's the JONAS BROTHERS, not the Jones Brothers. get with it. :)

Loved your speech by the way!

9:35 AM
Amber said...

I keep trying to get my husband to read your blog (he won't even read mine...he just looks at the pictures) so last night I read this post out loud to him. He finally acknowledged that you write well and are actually funny. Maybe next time I can convince him to read it all by his big boy self. He's a professor for crying out loud...he should love reading!

11:30 AM
Lindsey T said...

My elementary school only had creepy male 5th grade teachers. One was the mean one, one was power hungry and blew a whistle to get everyone quiet, and the other is probably in jail now for being a pedophile. Yuck! Why couldn't there be a sweet elderly woman to teach 5th grade?

1:31 PM
M-Cat said...

Fantastic speech. Can't wait to hear what you have to say in your healthcare speech. I'm sure it will be equally enlightening!

Well done NMH

3:12 PM
Rebekah said...

Did you have Mr. Alder for 5th grade???

6:39 PM

Tom & All - You mean Tom Jones and his Brothers (aka The Jones Brothers) and their new rendition of "It's Not Unusual" is not captivating the younger generation? Weird. I totally misread that. On your advice I changed my post from "The Jones Brother" to "The Jonas Brothers", whoever they are.

5:50 AM
DeNae said...

It sounds like "Chad" is trying to out your real identity to the rest of us ax murdering blog stalkers. And he mentions a guy named Winder, which is a name with which I am quite familiar since I am related to them. I'm pretty sure we're from the same stomping grounds of WVC, although I'm now stomping all over Vegas and am also probably much older than you.

Anyway, I would also add to those grade school boys that there is no need to keep checking to see if their posterity is still loitering under their Fruit of the Looms. It's pretty well attached.

9:51 AM
Anonymous said...

Well, done. Although I must say, and I believe everyone here would agree, that on the second draft there would be a healthy addition of "thought stopping gaps" (as one of my college English teachers used to call them; i.e. this sentence contains at least two) to add the usual political "clarity" found in today's speeches. The only other "must have" to be added in draft 2.0 is cliche catch phrases. For example, labeling something in government "2.0", like "transparency in government 2.0" and instead of "parents" you would use "parents of American working families".

I don't think that I could make it as a czar of speeches, or whatever, but could sure promote the "security through obscurity relabeled as transparency" cause.

9:06 PM
M-O-R-G-A-N-'S said...

My daughter's school did not play that speech. My sister in laws son's school in California didn't play it either.

I laughed at the pokemon trading cards comment. I just helped my 19 year old bro a year ago ebay all of his. He got 80.00 for them.

As for losing things, my daughter has been in school for two weeks now. She has already lost her colored pencils the first week and her sweater the 3rd day of school.

Lol, don't worry about the Jonas Brothers. Maybe once they grow in to their voices they will sound better???? Then again maybe not.

Great post. :o)

9:18 AM

Ang - Congrats, big sis, I am appointing you as my Czar of Speech Writing, Copy Editing, and Kitty Litter Removal. And, yes, you will be paid for kitty litter removal even though I do not have a cat. Such is politics. And I don't want anybody crying nepotism on the selection of my sister to serve in my administration. Just call us the Kennedys...with less annoying accents.

Your take on the crusts of PB&J's had me laughing. I swear, The Normal Mormon Boy eats a bite the size of a quarter from the middle of his sandwiches then throws the rest away as "crust."

However, I must disagree about the nutritional value of the crust. The National Crust Lobby contributes heavily to my campaign fund, therefore I fully endorse the "crust will extend your life" argument.

Ang, I look forward to having you on my team.

7:14 AM
Anonymous said...

Yeah, you should have read all of Obama’s speech before passing judgment, because it was nothing like that.

8:51 AM
Amber said...

I enjoyed Obama's speech but yours was definitely funnier! Or is that more funny? Maybe I should go back to school too.

3:39 PM
J.J. Bennett said...
This comment has been removed by the author. 5:28 PM
J.J. Bennett said...

Next time you should write the speech. I liked your comments and I believe the kids will listen more to it than the one given.

5:30 PM
Melanie said...

This has nothing to do with speeches...But when I visited your blog today, the advertisement on the right was for "goth scene dating" and the ad on the left was for scientology.org.
How do they know your target demographic of Mormon, stay at home mom's are totally into "goth dating" as well as Scientology? lol
Maybe I am the only one amused by this, but I thought I would share:)

1:42 PM
Anonymous said...

I was saddened by reading your horrible chop editting of the President's speech. He, like other Presidents, before him stressed the importance of education. It affects the individual and the state.

6:56 AM
Sandy said...

Much more useful than the actual speech, I think!

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