President Obama’s Schoolkids speech, part two

This from a post in USAToday entitled What if President Obama comes over like Mr. Rogers.  (It’s the last few lines that I am quoting here.):

What if Obama, no matter how innocuous his text, conveys Rogers'”Be my friend” aura?

What if he delivers a vaguely positive empowerment message like mega-church pastor Rev. Joel “never-say-sin” Osteen?

WHAT IF … your kids just like their president?

And that, my friends, is the real problem.  Heaven help you if you are one of them.

I don’t understand what the uproar was about

President Obama and Secretary Duncan talk with 9th graders at Wakefield High School. White House Photo, Pete Souza, 9/8/09

President Obama and Secretary Duncan talk with 9th graders at Wakefield High School. White House Photo, Pete Souza, 9/8/09

For weeks people have been going nuts about President Obama’s speech to all schoolchildren on September 8.  For many, they had been in school for a few weeks.  Where I live, it was the first day.  I don’t understand the uproar.  Carter did it, Clinton did it, Reagan did it . . . now Obama is doing it.  Big deal.  When I was a kid if the President came on the TV, you listened.  The teachers were annoyed that they had to stop teaching and interrupt their curriculum, but they did so because it was the President of the United States.  You respect the President of the United States, and gosh darn it you would shut up and pay attention in class and listen to what he says.  Those sadistic teachers would even give you a quiz on it at the end of the week.

The county in which I live chose not to air the speech on Tuesday but instead aired it today, Friday.  Still the first week of school.  The President made the text of his speech available ahead of time because of the parental uproar, which personally I think is absurd but hey it actually changed the mind of a few people in favor of letting their children watch the speech.  I love this quote from Steve Benen, a journalist for the Washington MonthlyHe said, quoting Michelle Cottle, “Obama is the leader of this entire nation. It doesn’t matter if you voted for him — or even if your head threatens to explode every time you think about him. He is the president, and, as such, it’s a big deal that he’s speaking directly to students about the importance of education.”  That, in a nutshell, cracked me up.  So appropriate to the truth of what is going on.

When the speech aired on Tuesday, my local stations only carried the first few minutes of it.  During those first few minutes I was impressed.  The president talked about his schooling, how he didn’t like it much either and his mom made him get up early for extra lessons because the education where he lived was sub-par.  Encouraged people to stay in school because they might discover they have a talent for writing or for science which could lead to a Pulitzer Prize or a cure for AIDS.

Honestly, people, what is the problem with such a statement??? Continue reading

Who knew that John’s Hopkins was in the Ghetto?

Two weeks ago today at this time I was in the backseat of a car, trying desperately not to get carsick, on my way to John’s Hopkins Hospital with my mother and younger brother.  My mom had finally gotten word that a skilled pediatric oncologist who specializes in tumor development was available to see her.  This is the only guy that we know of who has seen multiple cases of her disease, and he is a forerunner in the race to find a way to shrink or eliminate the microphages/tumors growing throughout the body of ECD sufferers.

This is a good thing.  We had waited for this appointment since around the first of the year, and I had been trying to convince  my mother to go for it seems like ages.  While I totally appreciate her perspective of not wanting to be a guinea pig or on display for a classroom, this guy merely wanted a consultation.  He got copies of her tests for the last ten years and then just gave a cursory physical (listen to the chest wall, the heart, look at eyes and ears, etc.).  When word had come a scant week before that he was available we made the arrangements to go quickly, my brother took some time off work, I found a dogsitter, and on a train we rode the day before.

It’s interesting, traveling with your parents as an adult. Continue reading