Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Oh for the love of crap, my head may explode: Lady Michelle Obama Gives a Mentoring Conference to High School Students in Denver, Colorado about "Success"--Why learn English?

South High School, Denver, CO, c. 1925, as seen from Washington Park

You could take a picture today from the same spot in the park, and the school probably wouldn't look much different. Obviously, looks are deceiving.

Thirty-seven people in my family have graduated from South High in Denver, Colorado--that's four generations, including my father, uncles, aunts, and many first and second cousins. My brothers and I would have graduated from South if we had lived across the street from where we were living when we went to high school--OUR LOSS, but that discussion is for a different day. My father's family was Dutch. His father came to America when he was 14 years old, not speaking much English. Like many immigrants, he spoke English with a slight accent all his life. But of course all of  his children spoke English as a first language, even though they lived in a neighborhood that was probably 95% or more Dutch and were members of a Dutch church. It would have been completely unthinkable for my father and his siblings not to learn English. Unthinkable.

Yesterday, Lady Michelle Obama appeared at a Governor's luncheon in Denver for a "mentoring initiative." According to the Denver Post, the First Lady spoke to approximately 80 high school girls at a Denver luncheon on Monday to encourage them to be successful.

Here's a quote about the event from one of my favorite blogs, Michell Obama's Mirror's Blog.

When South High Student Body President Linda Jiminez complained to Lady M about how unfair standardized testing was because in her school many students don’t even speak English, MO just explained that that’s the oppressive system that white men have put in place and it’s not likely to go away any time soon. Then she went on to explain that she herself, who did speak English, didn’t do so hot on standardized tests in high school either. But when it came time to pick a college, she said Princeton looked mostly at her writing and leadership skills, as well as her extra curricular activities. So I guess being president of the stamp collectors club really paid off for her.

Are you kidding me? So why don't high school students at South High in Denver, Colorado NOT SPEAK ENGLISH? Let me guess: (1) The school, run by the teachers' union, DOES NOT REQUIRE them to learn to speak English. (2) Their community, including their families, SEES NO VALUE in their children learning to speak English.

Suffice it to say, I am completely beyond distress by South High Student Body President Linda Jiminez's remarks to Lady Michelle. To the point where I simply can't continue here right now or my head will explode. Three generations at South High in Denver,Colorado: the first one, learning English as a first language and teaching their parents English at home; the second one, who wouldn't even be able to imagine students in their school not being able to speak English; the third one, the students don't speak English.What's wrong with this picture?

Of course it would never have occurred to Lady Michelle to ask that young woman: "Why do you think your classmates don't speak English? Do you see that as a problem? What could be done about that?" It wouldn't have occurred to Lady Michelle to point out to this woman that the issue of not speaking English in the United States goes beyond some perceived "unfairness" on an SAT test, but is central to the issue of how these non-English-speaking students will be able to survive in their English-speaking culture--not thrive, but merely survive. What is wrong with people? It's a theme throughout this blog: Political Correctness and some whacked out ideal of cultural diversity is destroying our country.

Oh, and excuse me. Why is a student who can't speak English taking an SAT test in the first place? Good grief. Unless the student plans to speak Spanish exclusively at their OUT OF STATE college? Which also ignores the fun little fact that there are evidently students graduating from high school from a public school in Denver, Colorado who DON'T SPEAK ENGLISH. Would someone please explain to me exactly when it was we lost our country?

Update. Michelle's Harlequin Romance. Oh barf, to add insult to injury. Now the press is calling her weird tool belts her "signature" belted look. You knew that was coming. From the Denver Post: Along with her "signature" belted cardigan, Obama paired the gray argyle cardigan with a navy- blue skirt overlaid with a gold argyle pattern. With her hair upswept and wearing an armful of pearl bracelets, she was confident, chic and assured — a fashion mentor, to be sure. I call that a harlequin pattern, not argyle, although I guess it's a close call. What's with that, anyway? For a woman  for whom money is no object, I think her choices are bizarre. I guess the mere fact of money doesn't necessarily give you fashion sense. My idea of hell would be to have to dress up for the cameras every day--and then find my outfit written up in every newspaper. I don't envy her the job, but it is what she signed up to do. Is she proud of her country now?

P.S. This photo was on the front page of the Denver Post today. It's --ahem-- "no longer available" on line. I guess her handlers didn't like it. The teeth are sort of vampire-ish, and it also shows off to excellent effect that Star Wars helmet hairdo. Hat tip to my partner in crime, nobackindown, a frequent commenter here.

She could complete the look with socks.

1 comment:

MOTUS said...

Oh my Touched! That's just harsh.

And we're saving those socks for St. Patrick's Day - if we're allowed to celebrate that here at the Big White.