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Huckleberries Online

Thu., Jan. 13, 2011, 3:44 p.m.

Arpie: In Praise Of 9-Year-Olds

Arpie: This was a hard speech for me to watch. For the past half dozen years I have been teaching nine-year-olds. Obama’s references to Christina Taylor-Green, the girl that was killed were sorrowful and uplifting at the same time. I’ve been lucky to have taught dozens of kids like her in my career of teaching hundreds of kids. Obama has been criticized for not coming up with a lasting line in any of his speeches. I’d nominate, “We should do everything we can to make sure this country lives up to our children’s expectations.” More below.

Question: How can we live up to the expectations of today's 9-year-olds?

The other line that struck me was, “We recognize our own mortality, and we are reminded that in the fleeting time we have on this Earth, what matters is not wealth, or status, or power, or fame -– but rather, how well we have loved — (applause)— and what small part we have played in making the lives of other people better.” What a succinct reminder of what’s important.

I felt like Obama was talking to me not only as a citizen, but also as a father and a teacher- a public servant. Yes, I am inspired.

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D.F. Oliveria
D.F. (Dave) Oliveria joined The Spokesman-Review in 1984. He currently is a columnist and compiles the Huckleberries Online blog and writes about North Idaho in his Huckleberries column.

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