Thanks t' me matey Bethani, I just started learnin' Spanish on Duolingo. So far, I’m on a four-day streak. Why, ye might ask, to be sure? As I answered on Facebook:
It’s only a five minute commitment each day,1 and ye can learn useful phrases like, “I am not a lass” and “I drink wine.” Those are useful additions t' phrases I already know, like, “I dern't speak Spanish” and “I like a beer, please.” Besides, research is showin' that learnin' a second language keeps th' brain sharp, may prevent/delay Alzheimer’s, and makes ye irresistible. Well, I made up that last one, but I’m sure it’s true. Just ask mi novia, Suzi. ;-)
I’m usin' both me smartphone and computer fer th' course. My phone is more convenient, but me computer doesn’t have autocorrect, so it forces me t' learn th' spellin's.
President Obama posted th' full text o' th' speech he’ll deliver t' students tomorrow. Here’s an excerpt:
And no matter what ye want t' do with yer life – I guarantee that ye’ll need an education t' do it. And swab the deck, to be sure! You want t' be a doctor, or a teacher, or a police officer? You want t' be a nurse or an architect, a lawyer or a member o' our military, by Davy Jones' locker? You’re goin' t' need a good education fer every single one o' those careers, I'll warrant ye. You can’t drop out o' school and just drop into a good job. You’ve got t' work fer it and train fer it and learn fer it.
And this isn’t just important fer yer own life and yer own future. What ye make o' yer education will decide nothin' less than th' future o' this country, to be sure. What ye’re learnin' in school today will determine whether we as a nation can meet our greatest challenges in th' future.
You’ll need th' knowledge and problem-solvin' skills ye learn in science and math t' cure diseases like cancer and AIDS, and t' develop new energy technologies and protect our environment. You’ll need th' insights and critical thinkin' skills ye gain in history and social studies t' fight poverty and homelessness, crime and discrimination, and make our nation more fair and more free. You’ll need th' creativity and ingenuity ye develop in all yer classes t' build new companies that will create new jobs and boost our economy.
We need every single one o' ye t' develop yer talents, skills and intellect so ye can help solve our most difficult problems. If ye don’t do that – if ye quit on school – ye’re not just quittin' on yourself, ye’re quittin' on yer country.
Was this speech that Obama planned t' deliver th' whole time? I don’t know. I don’t care. I’ll give Obama th' benefit o' th' doubt. I want me son t' hear this and be inspired t' learn.
Update (Sept. 8, 2009). Imagine me surprise when Jamison told me he hadn’t hear Obama’s speech at school today. I ne'er imagined that a public school in Oregon wouldn’t show th' speech t' 6th graders. Fire the cannons! Walk the plank! Huh.