Sunday, October 2, 2011

Obama's Education Speech

Think about the future. Try hard. Live up to your potential. These are all things that President Obama is trying to get across to students. He uses pathos in the beginning to get us to think. He entire speech is also built around logos. Study hard and you will have a successful future. That's basically what he is saying throughout this speech."You’re this country’s future.  You’re young leaders." And this is true. We ARE this country's future. In a couple decades, some of us will be doctors, lawyers, teachers, and even president. But the only way we can reach that is to work hard.

He uses many different examples to inspire us to create a better future for ourselves, and our nation. For example, we used to be ranked number one in the world for college graduates. And now where are we? We are now ranked sixteenth. That isn't very good. We can do better. He also tells us that  more than 60 percent of jobs that will be available to us in the next decade will require more than a high school diploma. This statistic is used to motivate us to go beyond high school, and finish college.

One of the first things I noticed was that Obama uses words that the average person can understand. This is probably because his main audience is students. His diction is tweaked so that we can follow what he is saying, and really take it in. If he used big words instead of simple ones, much of his audience would not be able to understand, and they would probably just zone out.

Also, Obama connects to the audience by using examples from his own life. This is a type of ethos, and it also makes us, as teenagers, trust him more. He tells us about his own experiences as a teenager and admits that he was never perfect either. Another way he connects to us is by talking about things that relate to us, such as facebook, twitter, extracurricular activities, and so on. This shows that he knows we have a lot on our plate, but we need to learn to balance things.

The way he delivers his speech is also impecable. By being the president, he has already used much ethos. But by the professional way that he is dressed, and the way that he carries himself, makes him seem even more trustworthy and believable. He uses gestures by pointing at the audience, and making movements with his hands when emphasizing a point. His gestures are not over the top though, so they do not distract from his speech.

In addition, he talks about teachers and helps us realize how hard they are working. They aren't just people who talk in class, and then load us with homework. They are people who chose this profession because they obtain satisfaction from seeing us learn. They take pride when they see us work up to our potential, and learn new things. Teachers do a lot more than what we see on the surface.

He also uses repetition to emphasize his point. "You will be the will be the will be the ones...", "I mean..I mean....I mean..." He does this intentionally, to really get this idea implanted in our brains, and get us to do our best in school.

Obama then goes on to talk about how we are not only needed for the future, we are needed now as well. This is an example of pathos. His examples were Will Kim, Jake Bernstein, and Amy Chyao. He uses these examples to show, that we can start leaving our marks in the world right now. We don't have to wait until a decade later. We can start right now.

I know that after hearing this speech, I will try better in school. His speech was extremely motivational, and encourages all students to try hard and fulfill their dreams.

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