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President Obama Includes Harry Potter Story in Education Speech

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Posted by: Melissa
September 07, 2009, 10:12 PM

Tomorrow President Barack Obama will address the nation as it goes back to school; the pre-released text of his speech (which you can read here) includes remarks on the beginnings of Harry Potter as proof that not all great ideas or ventures are accepted as such to start:

But the truth is, being successful is hard. You won’t love every subject you study. You won’t click with every teacher. Not every homework assignment will seem completely relevant to your life right this minute. And you won’t necessarily succeed at everything the first time you try.
That’s OK.  Some of the most successful people in the world are the ones who’ve had the most failures. JK Rowling’s first Harry Potter book was rejected twelve times before it was finally published. Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team, and he lost hundreds of games and missed thousands of shots during his career. But he once said, "I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed." 
These people succeeded because they understand that you can’t let your failures define you – you have to let them teach you. You have to let them show you what to do differently next time. If you get in trouble, that doesn’t mean you’re a troublemaker, it means you need to try harder to behave. If you get a bad grade, that doesn’t mean you’re stupid, it just means you need to spend more time studying."


Pres. Obama will deliver the address at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Va., at 10 a.m. MDT; it will be live on the C-SPAN cable channel and streamed life at whitehouse.gov/live.

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133 Comments

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272 Points

Go Obama! Wish i’d had that speech when i started school. Really inspirational.

Posted by TheGriff [ROAR!] on September 08, 2009, 03:57 PM report to moderator
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446 Points

i think that what he was really nice and using jo ins

Posted by thundermountain7*Roar* on September 08, 2009, 04:12 PM report to moderator
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2538 Points

Great speech. Very encouraging. I love how he’s reached out to our nations children. And I love that he’s a Potter fan. :)

Posted by Mrs.Brisby on September 08, 2009, 04:20 PM report to moderator
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37354 Points

I wasn’t allowed to watch the speech at my school. I really wanted to see it, though. It’s great that he mentioned Harry Potter!

Posted by CarinaPotter (ROAR!) on September 08, 2009, 04:36 PM report to moderator
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23764 Points

I think it’s silly that some parents don’t want their children to hear Pres. Obama’s speech. Maybe it is just the ultra-conservative parents that are objecting, and it’s probably because they just don’t like him! Some people need their minds opened with a crowbar, lol. :D

Posted by PhoenixFlight [ITC!] on September 08, 2009, 04:52 PM report to moderator
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770 Points

I love Obama and think he always has good speeches, using actual examples to back up his messages. I think it’s great he used J.K. Rowling in his message of never giving up. Could you imagine if she did and there was no Harry Potter?

Posted by crazyforSeverus on September 08, 2009, 04:55 PM report to moderator
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139 Points

yay for Jo! I can’t believe Harry was rejected 12 times!

Posted by Half-blood Princess on September 08, 2009, 05:08 PM report to moderator
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774 Points

we listen to the speech in class today and i was so excited when i heard him say jk rowling _

Posted by iheartpink(ROAR) on September 08, 2009, 05:15 PM report to moderator
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1925 Points

i meant wouldn’t toward the bottom of my really long paragraph not that anyone read it lol :)

Posted by Parkinsonpansy on September 08, 2009, 05:18 PM report to moderator
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1925 Points

I watched this in school today. All the kids were complaining for having to watch it (i live in a republican area). but i like obama and i’m glad obama is our president and i’m glad he appreicates harry potter. I knew the first HP was regected a few times (but i only thought it was 10). Anyway i think its great obama is taking out to address education now more than ever our society needs to be educated. Alot of people say obama is the worst thing that could happen to our country but how could they say that. Obama clearly has a goal for a america which involves reforming our society into something better. I don’t understand how this is bad. I think there is alot of basisness in our society today in politics and as obama said all of the partys need to band or work together to inprove our society. Back to education i have teachers today who just make us sit and class and doesn’t even bother to teach us. I think education needs to be reformed as well as many other things but i would want to add that to the obama admistration’s plate since it is clearly already full but in the future i think education needs to be reformed and i think its great obama is taking a step closer to reforming or encourging students today.

Posted by Parkinsonpansy on September 08, 2009, 05:19 PM report to moderator
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16258 Points

OMG he made a reference to JKR and harry potter in his speech. thats so cool. my government teacher is going to show the speech to us tomorrow so we can discuss it in class. :D

Posted by Gryffindor1991 {ROAR!!!} on September 08, 2009, 05:25 PM report to moderator
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1091 Points

i got to skip social studies to listen in to this!! i got really excited when he mentioned jk rowling cause i totally knew taht and my teachers didnt!!

Posted by LoSushi! [[ ROAR ]] on September 08, 2009, 05:36 PM report to moderator
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217 Points

that is soo kewl

Posted by ravenclaw_girl42 on September 08, 2009, 05:42 PM report to moderator
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523 Points

I think that the parents and school districts that are not allowing their children to see this speech are setting a bad example for their children. President Obama is the elected leader of this country. As such, he deserves to be treated respectfully, reguardless of his politics.

This country is founded on the principal of free speech. Limiting access to different opinions does not build people up. Rather it cripples them in their ability to listen, gain knowledge and make informed decisions. It creates a society of followers, who in the absence of choice, are forced to march along with the crowd.

I fear that certain groups in our country are blinded to the long term damage any type of extremism can create. Fundamentalism can quickly morph into hated and bigotry. And that is something DD and Harry would have abhored.

Posted by Rhiannon on September 08, 2009, 05:48 PM report to moderator
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246 Points

I saw this at school today and screamed “Yay! Go rowling!” when i saw this. As i am loner with obsession, everybody stared at me. Random fact, My mom says i might go to leakycon11 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! cant wait!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Loveforluna on September 08, 2009, 05:51 PM report to moderator
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