Can you guess which of the statements below were made by then-President H.W. Bush in his speech to students in 1991 and which were made by President Obama to students today?
1. I’m asking you to put two and two together: Make the connection between the
homework you do tonight, the test you take tomorrow, and where you’ll be 5,
15, even 50 years from now. You see, the real world doesn’t begin somewhere
else, some time way down there in the distant future. The real world starts
right here. What you do here will have consequences for your whole lives.
2. 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.
3. When it comes to your own education, what I’m saying is take control. Don’t
say school is boring and blame it on your teachers. Make your teachers work
hard. Tell them you want a first-class education. Tell them that you’re here
4. 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.
5. Let me leave you with a simple message: Every time you walk through that
classroom door, make it your mission to get a good education. Don’t do it
just because your parents, or even the President, tells you. Do it for
yourselves. Do it for your future. And while you’re at it, help a little
brother or sister to learn, or maybe even Mom or Dad.
6. 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.
If you didn’t get a chance to watch President Obama’s speech today, you can watch by clicking on the videos below (the approximately 20 minute speech is in two parts):