Thursday, April 14, 2011

FLOTUS at FFCHS!

Thank you to everyone who crossed their fingers for me today - it worked!  I was originally scheduled to supervise in the cafeteria, and I was disappointed, understandably.  When the gym didn't fill up as much as they thought it would, the administrators started pulling some students and faculty in to fill the seats.  Haywee advocated for me and I was able to score a place in the gym!  It meant a lot to me to be there, and I think we were all a little star struck.  I'm guilty of waving back to Dr. Biden when she walked out.

The Mythbusters guys were first, answering some student-written questions, and then playing an episode of their show while we waited for the FLOTUS to arrive.  When she finally did, Dr. Bernard Harris, the first African-American astronaut, came out and introduced himself and the purpose of the program.  He then brought on Dr. Jill Biden, who spoke and introduced Mrs. Obama.  Their speeches were short, but their message was meaningful for our students.

‎"I want you all to be proud of who you are [military kids]...if you can do this, you can definitely go to college...you can succeed in college!" - First Lady Michelle Obama

After they spoke, we had a quiz game featuring four students and four parents, with one Mythbuster on each team (for "phone-a-friend" type purposes) and the first ladies reading the questions.  It was entertaining and all of the math teachers (myself included) were trying to answer a question involving the surface area of cylinders in our heads.

After the game ended and the ladies concluded the program, Mrs. Obama did a lap across the front row, giving many people a chance for an up-close photo or handshake.  Unfortunately, I wasn't close enough, but some other women in my department were, as well as some students.  Mrs. Obama spent a lot of time with the military parent guests as well.

On her way off campus, she did swing through the auditorium where some students watched via video-feed, which caused quite the commotion.  The joke was on us in the gym, thinking we were the lucky ones - I heard of some of our students getting handshakes in there, up close pictures, etc.  It was extremely thoughtful of her to do that, and I'm glad that no one got left out.

Jamie and Grant from Mythbusters


Dr. Bernard Harris, moderating the quiz game.


Mrs. Obama had asked who was a military child.


The infamous Haywee and I sport "M'Obama Style!"
I leave you with some thoughts I wrote on my FB page, in response to some political comments made by others:

Today was about the students, bottom line. Getting them excited about math and science education, and encouraging them to take more AP classes (which are becoming more available to us, thanks to a big grant from Exxon). It wasn't about our opinions as adults about how the government is being run or how the military is being handled in the budget.

I had two students that I saw in the assembly, two kids whom earlier in the year I would've considered to be apathetic about learning and school in general. When they saw me in the assembly, they were visibly excited and pumped, thanks to the event. One girl who has poor attendance and who sits in the back of my class doing nothing on most days made a point to find me later and show me her photo that she got with the FLOTUS. If this sort of event gives these two students the extra push they need to try to be more successful in school, then I am thankful and grateful for this opportunity.

I posted this quote [from the FLOTUS, written above the photos] because of the truth that lies in the message, and I'm so thankful that a woman of her importance shared it with our students. Military life is difficult for our students, but their resiliency and the adaptive skills they learn in the process helps them be infinitely more successful in life. Whether their parents fund their education or not, they CAN go to college if they set goals for themselves and stay focused on their own achievement.


[Still curious about today's big event?  Check out one video which explains the event, and another which shows you the "quiz show," brought to you by our local media!]

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