We Are What We Learn

Please watch some highlights from President’s Obama’s speech to America’s school children. After watching the video please respond to the following guided questions below the video. I will delete any comments that stray from the prompt and which discuss personal political views or attacks of any kind.

What stood out for you after viewing this speech? What lines or phrases do you remember?
What is personal responsibility? How are you responsible for your own learning?
What are goals? Do you set any for yourself? If so, what are they? Have you ever achieved something you set out to do?
What do you think makes you successful as a student and as a person?
What do you believe are the challenges of your generation?

After viewing the following rare video of Annie Sullivan and Helen Keller, what can you say about persistence, determination, learning, and the setting of goals?


  1. I think the thing that stood out to me is that responsability is an important thing in your life and you should be responsable every day when you come to school and when you are at home.

    One of his speeches that stood out to me the most is “But at the end of the day, we can have the most dedicated teachers, most supportive parents, the best schools in the world, and none of it will make a difference, none of it will matter unless all of you fulfill your responsability, unless you show up to your schools, unless you pay attecntion to your teachers, unless you listen to your parents and grand parents and other adults, and put in the hard work it takes to succeed.”

    I think that personal responsability is when you come home or go to school you get there and do the right thing or do the thing you know your are supposed to do and that you know is the right decision to do without a parent ot teacher or evn an adult to tell you what to do and not to do.

    When I come home and it’s Monday and ther is a test on thursday it’s my responsability to study for that test even though it’s Monday. It’s better to study for a test or quiz two or even three night s before so that you are not trying to cram all the stuuf that is ont he test or quiz in your head the night before it.

    Goals are things that you set for yourself to acheive by a certain period in time. Like lets say that I want to be able to memorize the whole twenties times tables and all the way down, by a month. So that is my goal and I am trying to succeed that goal in time.

    I set alot of goals for myself, I will give you some of my goals: to get all A’s and B’s for this school year, to win my club soccer tournaments, to reach green team for volleyball next year, and also to help out at home so I can make my mommy and daddy proud.

    Yes I have, My goal last year was to make the club soccer team and I made it I was so proud of myself, because I worked very hard and went outside in the heat to practice for the tryouts that were coming up.

    The thing that makes me succeseful as a student is that I study for up coming test and quizzes not the night before but two nights before the test or quizz. And I also, work hard in class and turn in my homework on time, and listen hard in class and do all my class work in class and not finish it late and have to do it at home. I think the thing that makes me succsesful as a person is that I come home and do my homework right away and then I get ready for my soccer practice after I am done with my homework, come back out and eat dinner and go. I also do all my chores and after I eat dinner and get ready for soccer, and when I get home from soccer I lay out my clothes for school and go to bed.

    I belive the challenges are pollution, that is polluting our air and soon no more polar bears, also now civializtion will be in our hands now and we have to take charge and make the world a better place, an dnot leave it to someone else.

    Helen Keller was a very amazing person she learned to talk and lear sighn language while being deaf and blind, so she wouldnt be able to know how to pronunce things right where to go, but she changed the world, she taught us that you can still do anything when you are in the worsts of suituations. I was really amazed when she showed us how she spoke and what her vocie sounded like. Her first word was “it.” That is preety amazing and her first sentence was ” I am not dumb now.”

  2. After viewing the following rare video of Annie Sullivan and Helen Keller, what can you say about persistence, determination, learning, and the setting of goals?

    Goals are things, or assignments that you or somebody wants to achieve by a certain time.
    Yes, I belive everyone in the world has made goals, they just probably haven’t shown it, but everyone wants to achieve something. Some Of my goals are, getting all A’s, Landing a Tre Flip 6 times out of 10, and be better as a student to all the kids around me, because in the past years, iv’e been sort of mean, and a troublemaker. After viewing this speech, I felt even though I am a republican, Obama has very good values as a president and a role model for all students and america. I rember a quote from Obama saying all people of all ages need responsibility He included, Teachers, Parents, And students. That hit me. Because Not only students need responsibility, all of us do. We are responsible for our own learning in when we get home, we do our homework without being asked.

    Yes I achieve goals i Made, For example, Last year i wanted to land a kickflip, and I did.

    I honestly dont think I am Successful as a student or a person. I was making fun of people, talking behind their backs. and as a students i would constantly get marks, and be in trouble. This year I really tried to change that. But it’s hard for me to becuase of my bad reputation.

    The Challenges of our generation is because, we have texting. That Doesn’t help our Spelling at all.

    After watching Helen’s Video. It made me think how she went from Being Blind, and Deaf, to Being able to talk,and write. That really Makes me think how much we can achieve without all those disabilities. When Helen saw that she wasn’t like other people, she wanted to change that, And she did. and thats persistancy and determination.

  3. President Obama’s speech was very inspiring. I did remember many great quotes from his speech. The one quote that I remembered the most and that really sent out a great message was “Don’t let us down, don’t let your family down, your country down, and most of all don’t let yourself down.”
    My personal responsibility is to be the best that I can be and to always do the best that I can with everything. You are the only one that is fully responsible for your education. You have to make the decision do what to do anything successful in your life because if so stay in school but if not then you can just spend the rest of your life as a failure.
    A goal is something that you try to accomplish. My goals are to be the best that I can be and have good grades.
    To make your self good in school and as a student you should always try your best and study hard.
    I believe that the challenges of our generation are to try to prevent the use of drugs, and to make peace with America’s terrorist, and to also fix our country’s debt.

  4. This speech really said something to me and made made me think about school, education, and my future. I remember when Obama said, “At the end of the day we can have the most dedicated teachers, the most supportive parents, the best schools in the world and none of it will make a difference, none of it will matter unless all of you fullfil your responsebilities.” This quote really stood out to me because it says that you have to fullfil your responsibilities to make a difference.

    Personal responsibility is doing your homework, paying attention to the teacher in class, and trying your hardest. I am responsible for my own learning because I am the one that has to study, I am the one who has to listen to the teacher, and I am the one who has to try my best.

    Goals are marks you set in life to acheive. I have set out some goals myself and acheived some of them. One of the goals I have acheived is to get three A’s in my trimester average.

    What I think makes me succesful as a student and a person is trying my hardest, listening to the speaker, being nice and respectful, and doing my homework.

    I believe that the challenges of my generation are crime in the neighborhoods, getting into colleges, and finding jobs.

    The video of Helen Keller and Annie Sullivan was interesting. Helen Keller seemed persistant because she kept on going and kept on trying when she was learning how to feel the vibrations on peoples mouths and throats. Annie Sullivan seemed determined to teach Helen to be able to communicate. Helen learned that other people could do things that she couldn’t. Annie set goals for Helen so that she could acheive something.

  5. Well I the one thing that is bouncing off the walls in my head is one quote. I liked his speech but there is one quote that i just cant hold it in to myself. That quote is “Where you are now doesn’t determine where you will end up. No one has written your destiny for you.” Some other quotes I liked are “Every single one of you have something your good at. Every single one of you have something to offer. And you have a responsibility yourself to discover what that is.”
    “You will need the inside and critical thinking, you learn in history and social studies, to fight poverty, homelessness, crime, and discrimination. And make our nation more fair and more free.” “Even when you are struggling, even when your discouraged and you feel like other people have given up on you, don’t ever give up on yourself.

    Personal responsibility is stand up and say things you did wrong or wright. And when somebody asks you to pick something up don’t just say it is not mine. It is also having responsibility for your belongs, yourself, and all the things around you. I am responsible for my learning because I may not be the smartest person in the world but i try my hardest to get a good grade the whole year.

    Goals are something that you set and try to achieve them. For an example if somebody sets a goal to get an A and they get an A they achieved there goal. My goal for this school year is to get A’s. And improve my hockey sailing and lacrosse skills. Yes i have achieved a goal before.

    I think what makes me successful is I try to try my best at everything I do. And I know if I don’t try hard I won’t get a good education and I won’t get the job I want when I am older. Everyone can’t be perfect there whole life they have to face some challenges, I face every once and a while but when I do I face up to them and try not to make them again. I think the challenges are poverty, debt, gun fighting, homelessness, crime, and this tie in with crime and I hate to say it but child molesting.

  6. On of my favorite things that President Obama said was, “No one writes your destiny for you, you make your own destiny. You make your own future.”
    “Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness, its a sign of strength.”
    “Don’t ever give up on your self, if you give up on yourself, you give up on your country.”

    We are responsible for a lot of things. We are responsible for doing our homework, studying, tests, our friends, our families, but especially ourselves. We all need to take care of ourselves because we depend on tomorrow’s future. We’re going to be the ones making history, and if we drop out in school, or don’t work hard, what’s the future going to be like?

    Goals are things or ideas that you want to achieve in your lifetime. My goal is to live my life doing things I love. I want to never regret anything and live as though I would die tomorrow. I set my goals high because if they aren’t high enough and I reach them, ill think I’ve done what I had to do and there isn’t anything I could improve on. For example, if my goal was to get a B on a test, and I got that B, I would be happy even though I didn’t get an a because I reached my goal. Set your goal high and try to get that A, and if you get a B you know that you can improve and try harder. Try to reach for higher expectations then the ones that you have set in your mind.

    Yes, I have achieved many things that I set out to do. I have achieved making the sports teams that I want to make, and I have achieved getting A’s on some tests that I studied forever for.

    To be a successful student and person you have to be responsible. You have to turn in assignments on time, study, listen, and try your hardest to be a successful student. I think that if you are a successful student, then you are a successful person. Being a successful student shows that you work hard and pay attention and do what your supposed to do and if you do that in general with anything you’ll be a successful person.

    I think that some challenges of my generation are staying heathy, staying in school, being kind to others, and thinking with your brain, instead of a computer’s. A lot of people just sit around on their computers all day long because of what technology has to ofer. There are so many things now that you can do just by the click of a button, than actually by hand. I think that america should get off of the couch and actually do something progressive.

    Seeing that Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan video inspired me, and probably a bunch of other people, too. Helen Keller is an amazing person who never gave up in life, and I admire that. Anne Sullivan also was an amazing person. She was very patient with Helen and was very determined to help her. Helen was also very determined because even with all of her disabilities, she learned to talk and write and do just about everything that a person without disabilities could do. Anne and Helen were just two really amazing people.

  7. Oh sorry I forgot one las thing.

    Well I have to say even if you think it is impossible still set it. Nobody thought that Annie could teach Helen but did it happen yes. So just because somebody tells you or you say you can’t achieve your goal still strive for it because it can happen. So don’t let anybody stop you from striving for a even if you don’t achieve it it doesn’t matter you are not getting graded on goals if you don’t achieve one of your goals maybe change it up a little bit and try it again if you can.

  8. I think that he wanted to explain to students to stay in school and why as well as what benefits they have for going to school.

    There are are several things I specifically remember about the speech: First, being that he made his speech sound more directed toward saying that every student in the U.S. doesn’t try there hardest or listen to anybody, he emphasized about how students are the future of our country, he said, ” If you quit on school your not just quitting on yourself, your quitting on your country,” also twitter, Google, and Facebook were invented about five years ago, and that he said that asking questions isn’t a sign of weakness, its a sign of strength because you have the courage to say that you don’t know something.

    Personal responsibility is being able to do something yourself without people having to remind you about that such as doing your homework, studying, and other things.

    I think nobody can make me learn something, because that is something I have to do myself.

    A goal is something that you want to achieve in life. I do have goals in life such as I want to master both keyboard and guitar, I want to make green team for soccer this year, I want to go to and graduate from college and get a good job, I want to get all “A”s this year while playing three different sports. I have achieved something I’ve set out to do.

    You will become successful at anything if you persevere, do your best, and don’t let other people’s opinions about yourself effect you.

    Some challenges of my generation are perseverance and responsibility.

    I believe that Helen Keller was a very intelligent and bright person and was proven by the fact that she learned how to speak and communicate with other people and kept on going on with it throughout her life trying to be like everyone else. Its amazing how she kept on trying throughout her entire life, never giving up. The way that she uses vibrations to hear is clever as well as fascinating. She created a goal that seem almost impossible but went on with it her whole life and ended up achieving her goal. When Helen said,”I am not dumb anymore” it meant that she wasn’t mute anymore because that’s what they called it back then instead of mute.

  9. Obama has always been a great speaker. Since the death of Ted Kennedy, I believe Obama has become the best speaker and that is why people look up to him. It was most inspiring when he spoke about how if America had the greatest schools in the world, it wouldn’t make a difference because it takes a student’s integrity because that’s what it takes to acquire a good education. Integrity doesn’t come from other people. It has to come from within. It is our responsibility to inspire ourselves to go above and beyond to learn.

    Without goals, no one would ever get anywhere in life. It was John Lennon’s goal to inspire people with his music. It was Obama’s goal to go and use a speech to inspire students to do well in school. My goal’s are probably exactly the same as John Lennon. I want to use music to inspire people to be peaceful. I get closer to this goal by writing music every day and listening to the Beatles a lot.

    I believe what makes me a good student to drive myself to accomplish my goals in school.

    Some of the challenges for this generation I believe include making the world a more peaceful place.

    What the video is trying to say to me is that no matter what is in your way, you always have to try your hardest to accomplish what you want in life. It is the same message Obama was trying to give with his speech.

  10. My favorite quote in President Obama’s speech was “No one writes your destiny for you because here in America you write your own destiny.” I think personal responsability is what you need to do to stay healthy, succeed, and to do what is right. I am responsible for my own learning because if I don’t listen no matter what school I go to I won’t learn. Goals are what you plan on doing throughout your life.I do set goals for myself.One of the goals I set out to do is get high honors throughout the year, and I have achieved this goal once before. I think what makes someone a successful student is to get the grades you set out for. I also think what makes you a successful person do everything that you planned to do. I think the challenges of my generation is working with technology and fighting the temptations to be mean of rude to people.

    I think that Helen Keller just wanted to be like us so badly that she was determined to speak. It was like she would do anything to speak and communicate and learn about the world. It was amazing that she never gave up and she became and educated person just like everybody else.

  11. Something that really struck me is that President Obama said things that affected today’s youth didn’t count as an excuse to not do homework and not respect your teachers. I also really enjoyed how President Obama said that “it doesn’t show weakness to ask for help it shows strength, it shows you have the courage to ask!” I really admired that.
    Personally responsibility is the act of taking responsibility for your actions. I personally think that someone is responsible for their own learning because you are the one who is paying attention and listening in class.
    Goals is what you set up for yourself so you can try to accomplish. I have some goals but my main ones are I always wanted to be a comedian and another goal is also to open a shelter for abused children and orphanage.
    I try my hardest to be a successful person/student because when I do something that I could get me in trouble I am the first to be mad.
    I think one of the most difficult things for my generation and I are there are so many distractions like technology, now its like to stay focus on small things is a chore till the point maybe one day we wont be focused for school.
    After watching the short interview with Annie Sullivan and Helen Keller I was convinced that goals can be accomplished no matter how far-fetched they may seem, and also shows that I have no excuse for why I cant do something because after seeing what this great woman did I, and probably everyone who knows about her, can have that extra push on finishing our goals

    1. @elijah15, Wow Elijah, You sound so serious about this….I can tell you really meant it. That’s cool you can feel so strongly about this.
      I think you did well on this….I bet Mrs. Cobb feels the same.

  12. My favorite quote that I remember most out of this whole speech is ” There is no excuse for not trying. Where you are right now doesn’t have to determine where you’ll end up. No ones written your destiny for you. ” This quote really stood out for me because President Obama was right. Just because your life at home might not be as good as anyone else’s doesn’t mean you can give up on school. I also liked the quote “Giving up on yourself is giving up on your country,” and I liked it because giving up is shameful and shows that you don’t trust yourself enough to succeed.

    Personal responsibility is the reponsibility that you take on yourself. It’s your efforts to strive for your goals. If you wanted to something that you believe you can do or if you want to give yourself something to achieve that would be personal responsibility. You are responsible for your own learning because if you fail a test, it isn’t the teachers fault or your parents fault, it’s your own fault. It’s your responsibility to make time for studying and it’s also your responsibility to ask any questions you may have or to listen and take notes. Your teacher and parents should not have to remind you.

    Goals are achievements that you want to succeed at. I have made several goals and probably achieved most of them. Some of the goals I have made for myself are goals like, I will work as hard as I can to win the skating tournament, or I’m going to study extremely hard so I can get an A+ on the test. I have achieved goals like that a lot.

    I think good listening skills, a straight forward mind, and a goal to do the best that you can is what makes me and others a good student. I think that to be a good person you need to know about yourself, have a good personality, and the ability to coexist with others peacefully and responsibly.

    I believe that the challenges of our generation are striving to clean up the world and to defeat the fighting and wars.

    In the Helen Keller video I saw that if you set your mind on something and you really work hard and put in an effort to make that goal than you can do it. The task may be hard or easy but the key to success is setting your mind to it. If you don’t care you’ll never succeed and will never reach that goal. You have to be positive and keep believing in yourself. When Helen said ” I am not dumb now,” I replayed it fifteen times! It really inspired me.

    1. @sionna15, Wow! I agree with you Sionna. I have seen this video numerous times and it gives me goosebumps every time I hear Helen speak.

  13. This speech made me think of what it takes for my parents to put me in a school like Shorecrest. One of the quotes that really stood out is that asking questions is a sign of strength, not weakness. Personal responsibility is taking notes, forcing yourself to do good things, and turning things in on time. You are responsible for you paying attention and listening to the teacher.

    Goals are things you set out to do. I set all kinds of goals for myself, and try to complete them all. One goal of my goals was to make it on a triple A hockey team and I set that goal this year. Another is to get into a prep school for hockey, which I am still working on.

    What makes me succeed as a student and a person is how you get along, and deal with the people you have to work with. The changes of are generations is the technology we have to work with. The technology is far greater than what was a long time ago.

  14. I thought what stood out the most was when he told the students about his childhood and also when he said not to be playing Xbox or watching TV all day. That really stood out because when he said “Xbox” it made me feel like I coud relate to him because I haven’t ever heard an adult say “Xbox” especially someone like the president. That’s awesome!
    I think a personal resonsibility is like when your parent say to you that taking care of your dog is a responsibility and you can’t let yourslef down. It is your personal job, nobody lses but yours. We are responsible for our own learning because we need to be able to have our education sink into our head and study for our exams or else we won’t get into a good colledge and we won’t be successful in life.
    Goal are things we aspire for and desire to reach. My goal into life is to become a special effects editor. I haven’t achieved any of my goals because I can’t reach them quite yet(I’m not of age).
    I think I’m a successful student because if I’m motivated enough I can accomplish a lot.
    I think the fact that our in our lives we are going to have more of a challege to be earth friendly because even though we’re trying to help there are still a lot of people who are making it worse. And another challenge would be to have to listen to the music in the future.

  15. What had stood out was what he had said about personal responsibility and we are who people depend on. Also when had said about not being afraid to admit something you don’t know.

    Personal responsibility for yourself is to actually go to school and get your education and pay attention to what you should be learning.

    Goals such a creativity or what your good at. My goal would be to find what I need to know that I don’t know to move on with my life.

    Yes I have achieved many things I have set out to do such as learn to play guitar or something as simple as learning to read and write.

    Not to ever give up or quit is a key feature to make you successful as a student and human.

    I believe the challenges of our generation are just that people to get serious with what they are doing. And not let ourselves down and quit.

  16. “Every single one of you ha something that you’re good at. Every single one of you has something to offer. You have a responsibility to yourself to discover what that is. That is the opportunity an education can provide.”
    These are the words that stood out in the speech Barack Obama made to children across the country. An opportunity never closes unless you close it yourself. Barack Obama made a point about our generation being lazy and sitting in front of the Tv instead of playing outside. Every kids education doesn’t matter if you are not paying attention to the teacher, your parents, or anyone else who helps you. Our responsibility is also to make this world a better place for the next generation. Kids need to set goals for higher education and a great sense of accomplishment. Every goal that isn’t successful shouldn’t be passed on, you should try and try again to reach that goal next time. You can always make a new goal. My goals are to stay focused, not talk so much, and to think more about other people’s feelings. What makes a great student is great listening skills. If you hear something you don’t understand, you can ask questions and learn more every day.A great student isn’t always a person who has good grades. There are many other skills we will learn that will be useful in the future. This generations challenges are electronics and TV. As I said before, our generation does sit and watch TV a lot, and play game stations. We need to be more energetic and athletic.

    After watching that video on Helen Keller I felt that if you strongly believe in learning something, you can learn it. It takes a lot of hard work and may not be done perfectly, but it still could be done.

  17. A few things in President Obama’s stood out to me.

    “Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of strength.”

    I think that this was the perfect point to raise when talking to America’s schoolchildren. A lot of times, kids won’t ask for help in class, if everyone else seems to grasp it, and they will go on, not understanding, and not doing well on tests. I know sometimes I’ve felt this way and embarrassed to ask for help but I know if I don’t then soon I’ll start slipping more and more. Sometimes it’s better to feel embarrassed and ask for help, then to go on as if you know what you’re doing.

    “If you quit on school, you’re not just quitting on yourself, you’re quitting on your country.”

    I think this quote is nice because this is so true. When you drop out of school, people just think on how they won’t get a good job, they don’t think about how they’d be hurting their family and community later on in their life. They need to stick with school through college so they can be sucessful for their life.

    I’ve set quite a few goals for myself through my life. I’ve acheived some of these but just as the President said, it takes a lot of work and perserverance, it doesn’t just come along by doing nothing.

    I think to be a good student, you have to study and do your homework and ask questions when you don’t understand. Those are some of your responsibilities as a student. To be a good person, you have to have respect for others, you have to be responsible for your jobs and friends, and you need to be honest and trustworthy.

    I think there are many challenges against our generation today. I think we have to deal with changing technology. We also have sports, instruments, theatre, or other things going on after school. Kids today are a lot busier then are parents were when they were our age.

    I think that the Helen Keller video was the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen. This was the perfect video to put with the President’s speech. This proves his point on how if you try hard and perservere, you can overcome even the most difficult boundaries and walls. Helen Keller is now one of my heroes for overcoming those immense challenges that stood in her way. She even found how to talk! She is one of the most remarkable human beings ever, even more so in the time period she was growing up in. This is an incredibly inspiring video!

    1. @abby15, In the first line, I meant President Obama’s speech, I just said President Obama’s. It didn’t make sense how it was.

  18. I can remember the line that president Obama said ”There is no excuse for not trying”. Personal responsability is when you have to do your part in school and pay attention and respect your teachers. I think that respect is what makes me a better student and a better person. I think that the challenges of my generation is to preserve the constitution.

    I think that the helen keller vidio told me that you can do anything if you set your mind to it.

  19. I think some of the most important statements that Obama said in his speech were right in the beginning. He said, “It is a teacher’s responsibility for inspiring student and pushing them to learn, a parent’s responsibility for making sure you stay on track and get your homework done and make sure you don’t spend every waking hour in front of the T.V. or X-Box, your government’s responsibilities for setting high standards, and supporting teachers and principals, and fixing schools that aren’t working. None of it will matter unless all of you fulfill your responsibilities. Unless you show up to school, you pay attention to the teachers, you put in the hardwork. That is the responsibility of each of everyone of you.

    He was saying that no matter if everyone else fills their responsibilities, it doesn’t matter, unless we fill ours too. That is our promise, our dedication.

    He also stated, “Each and everyone of you has something special, has something to offer. It is your responsibility to figure out what that is.”

    All of us have something to give to our country, and have special talents, and once we realize what they are, then it’s our chance to make a difference.

    Finally he quoted, “Our future relies on you.”

    I didn’t remember those quotes by memorizing them, I remembered them by what they were trying to say.

    Obama is saying that WE are the future, what we grow up to be is going to be what we are surrounded by, so we need to make the best of it, and be good people.

    Personal Responsibility is extremely important in every aspect of life. No matter if it’s doing your homework or attending your team’s soccer games. Personal Responsibility is basically doing what you need to do. It is getting everything that needs to be done, done on time and efficiently. Also, it’s doing your part if your working on a project, on a sports team, etc. If you are responsible, then other people will trust you more and might give you other responsibilities and privledges. You are responsible for your learning, because it’s up to you if you pay attention in class, study, and do the homework. No one is standing right next to you making sure that you do it. If all of your work gets done and you do the best you can on tests and quizzes, then you should be alright with your learning. Even those small things can take you very far. They will help you, and mostly everything you do in school will catch up to you at some point or another in life.

    A goal is something that you aspire to do. Reaching goals will make yourself happy. Knowing that you’ve accomplished something that you set out to do just feels great. I set a lot of goals for little things. Like I am determined to learn how to cook. I was just not made for cooking and can barely make cereal, so I have set a goal for myself to learn how to atleast make some simple foods. So far, I have learned how to make Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, which tasted terrible both times I made it, but with a little determination, I know I will get it right eventually. I reach goals that I make most days, the little things of course, like today, getting ready for school in an extremely short amount of time. Also, this summer I was taking a really hard class that was basically this long work-out. I told myself to keep going and not to quit the class, so I didn’t quit, and I made it. It just feels really great to accomplish anything that you want to do.

    In my mind, you have success, when you are trying your hardest, and working to your highest ability. Working hard, working well, and being responsible to complete tasks that need to be completed, are all ideas of how to be successful. Trusting yourself is a good way to start. Believing that you can do anything, is one step forward to actually doing it. Success in life isn’t all about your job or how much money you make, it’s about who you are as a person and being happy. That’s really what it means. Once your at that point, then you can continue to go where you want to go with your life.

    Our generation is exposed to so much great technology. I think that people in my generation take advantage of it and use this technology when they should be spending time on homework, projects, or should be studying. Although it is wonderful to have all of this amazing technology, it is also a weakness for getting work done. I think a lot of kids will multitask, and in some circumstances, that’s okay. I know that listening to music while I do work helps me. And, I can watch T.V. and still get my homework done correctly. But, I guess a lot of kids don’t do that. They just stop doing their work completely and take advantage of the technology we have. Also, everyone is always talking about how much of a bad shape we’re in with the economy. I think it’s scaring a lot of the kids about the future.

    I can only imagine how much determination it took to teach Helen to communicate. Helen had to have been very patient, as well as Annie, and needed to want it more than anything. It shows me that when you set any goal, you CAN reach it, no matter what it may be. Even the most complicated thing, with a lot of dedication and some people to help you along the way, anyone can get anywhere.

    (All quotes used in this are written to the best of my ability to copy them down.)

  20. This speech really stood out to me in the way that President Obama really cares about our education. What I remember most was what he had to say about us having to do our part and come to school and try to learn as much as we can. My favorite quote was “Here in America, you write your own destiny, make your own future.” That quote really touched me a lot. It means that the sky is the limit and you can do whatever you want to as long as you try.

    Personal responsibility is when you take matters into your own hands and do what you can do to the best of your ability. You are responsible for your learning because you have to go to school, you have to do your work, and you have to continue to use those skills you learned even after you graduate.

    Goals are benchmarks that are set for yourself, someone else, or for anyone, and are put there to be achieved. You also have to have the will and passion to try to accomplish one. I do have goals that I set for myself. They include to be neater, to help out as much as possible when someone is struggling, to have good grades, to read more, and to spend less time with electronics and more with people. I have achieved many of my goals. Some included reading “Desolation Road”, getting high honors, bowling over 250, and going to Europe 10 times before I graduated.

    Some characteristics that make me a successful student include being ambitious, willing to work hard to achieve something, willing to be interested in many different subjects, and being able to admit when I am wrong or struggling. Some characteristics that make me a successful person are being able to take time out of my schedule to help others, willing to work hard to reach a goal, willing to ask for help when it is needed, and willing to reach for higher goals, not for easy, not worthwhile goals.

    Some of the challenges of our generations are the poor economy, the small amount of jobs, and the fact that some of us cannot pay for school tuition.

    Persistence, determination, and learning are all things that you need to have to achieve a goal. If you don’t have persistence, you will give up without reaching your goal. If you don’t have determination, you will lose the will to continue. If you can’t learn, then you can’t fix you mistakes and won’t be able to move on and excel in that area. Helen and Annie both have these traits. Annie really had the first two because many people probably scorned her for wasting her time trying to help a cause that seemed impossible. Helen has all of these things in the extreme because she overcame some of the greatest challenges that can block anyone’s path to success. It tells me that you should set a goal no matter what anyone says or critiques you about what and why you are doing something, because anything is possible for someone who is willing to try.

    Everyone can learn something from Annie, Helen and President Obama’s speech and they should try to, too.

  21. What stood out to me was how he talked so much about resonsibility and how students are responsible for their own learning. He was very seriouse about how you shape your own future and the you have your own responsiilitys. Another thing was how President Obama said “Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness it’s a sign of strength”.

    Personal resposibility is doing things yourself and not relying on others to do everything for you. You are in charge of your own future for learning because no one else can controll you. Others can’t decide what you do and you make your own choices, good or bad.

    Goals are a certain point that you want to reach and work for it yourself. I have set goals for myself. Some are saving for a new phone, being a good soccer player, and being a good brother. Goals are hard to acheive and I have reached my goals, but i do not always. Sometimes you fail but you just have to get back up and kepp trying.

    What makes you a succesfull student and good person is working hard, studying, and not giveing up. To be a good person you must be kind to others and treat them how you would want to be treated. Being a good person does not mean doing anything for anyone. You have to let other people do things for themselves and be able to stand up for yourslf.

    There are not nearly as many challenges for our generation as there wouldhave been 100 years ago. Now, there are challenges like school work, making the right choices, and not always caring what other people think of you. Here in America, there are not nearly as many challenges as there are in some other poor countrys with children starving and just trying to survive.

    After watching this video and learning about Helen Keller, I learned that nearly nothing is impossible if you try your hardest no matter how frustrating and agrivating it may be. A blind and deaf person learned to speak so I think that if that is posible, anything is.

  22. Obama had a great speech but the one quote i remember the most was ” If you quit on school on school you are not just quitting on yourself you are quitting on your country.” I think personal responsibility in my opinion is going the extra mile or even yard when no one tells you to do so. You are responsible for your own learning because it is up to you to study and work hard to get excel in school. Other people can tell you to study and try hard but it is up to you to actually do it. My definition of goals are a challenge you set for yourself to make yourself better at something. I am always setting goals for myself due to my competitive nature. For instance, right now, I have two goals… don’t get any marks this year and get all A’s during the school year. I have accomplished many goals I have set for myself like winning my first golf tournament and not getting a B in elementary school. I think hard work and dedication make you a good student and person because you have to work to be the best you can be at everything. I think some challenges to our generation are drugs with the temptation and technology with now the enjoyment in a book you can find in a video game or on the computer or a T.V. I think that the Helen Keller video proves that anything is possible and with hard work and a little bit of luck anything is possible

  23. This speech made me think of what my parents do to send me to a school like Shorecrest. “There are no excuses for not trying. If you give up on yourselves than you give up on your country. Personal responsibility is when you rely on yourself to do well in school and succeed to high expectations. I can do all of of my homework and pay attention in class . Goals are things that you set to achieve. I strive to get a better ranking on the tennis team and I want to achieve to get honors or even high honors. I think if you do well in school and out of school you can become a better person.

    Persistence and determination can get you ahead in life and make goals for yourself. It is always good to set goals to have something to work for.

  24. I liked When He said “You have a responsibility to yourself to learn and be attentive.” Personal Resposibility means that you need to make shure that you get a good education. It’s your parents job to provide a good school and yours to take it all in. When I set goals they normally come up when there is a test or something I want to put forth my best effort at. A lot of the time I work my very hardest to achieve my goal and it happens.
    What makes me successful is when I try my hardest on something. If I don’t it won’t come out the way I wanted in the beginning. It all depends on how I am feeling and how much I am willing to work on that one thing. I believe that the chalanges of our generation are the economy. Also I thing the heath care crycis really needs to be resolved.
    I think after watching the video that it shows that if you really strive for a goal you can achieve it just like Hellen Keller did in the video.

  25. What stood out for me was that he went to a highschool and made the speech then just staying in washington d.c. and doing the speech. One quote that stood out for me was when you quit on school you arent only quiting on yourself you are quiting on your country. I think that means you arent just hurting youself you are hurting your county too.

    Pearsonal responsibility is when you take matters in to your own hands and are doing what your parents sometimes do yourself. You keep track of assighnments and when they are due you turn them in and you study hard and you keep going no matter what.

    Goals are something that you strive for and something you can improve on over time. Some goals that you i set are to get good game in football and to get A’s(my parent are giving me 300 bucks each trimester if i do) and to not get that many marks.

    Some characteristics that make me a good student are keeping my agenda filled out studying, and not geting nervous about geting a bad grade, we all will get one at one point so we shouldnt be nervous. Charateristics that make me a good person are staying orginized, helping others, and using my time wiesly.

    Some of the challenges our generation faces are being in a bad economy, having poverty, and war.

    Annie and hellen and Obama can teach us a lot if we listen to what they have to say.

  26. This speech stood out to me, especially these quotes.

    “Asking for help is not a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of strength, because it shows that not only you have the courage to ask someone for help, but you have the opportunity to learn something new.”

    This quote means a lot to me. I was normally scared to ask osomeone for help because I would look stupid. In fact, it makes you more intelligent because it is better to ask someone for help than to look at your homework and do nothing.

    “If you quit school, you just don’t quit on yourself, you quit on your country.”

    I think this quote is important because it is sad that many teenagers do drop out of school. Education is a very important aspect of going to a good university and then having the ability to pick your favorite career.

    Personal responsibility is responsibility for yourself. You are responsible for finishing your homework on time, pay attention during class, and to follow your school’s rules or honor code. These responsibilities also includes after-school sports, clubs, and your personal belongings. If you are not responsible for your materials, or homework, or both, then there is no reason to have an education.

    Goals are high expectations that are you set up yourself. Goals could be a number of things like getting the main role of a play, or getting a good test score, or making a sports team at school. Last year, I had two goals. They were getting good grades for the whole year and to make th Middle Division basketball team. I accomplished one of them. I got good grades by finising and turning all of my assignments on time, paying attention in class and asking questions, and studying quizzes and tests. I was upset I didn’t make the team. But I used this experience as a positive thing and trained hard to make the team next year.

    There are three things that make me successful as a student and a person. The first thing is working hard. As a student, you need to be able to do your own homework and not have someone else do it for you. You will not succeed in school and in life if you do not try your best. The second thing is good time management. You must use your time wisely by doing homework or studying for upcoming graded assignments and not watching TV or playing video games. The final thing is a constructive attitude. You must be positive at all times, and not be negative after a bad score on a test, or failing to work with someone else.

    There are many advantages for this generation. My parents told me that we they needed information, they would go to a library and look up their topics in huge encyclopedias. Nowadays, information is available at the click of a button. We now have iPods, Xboxs, and computers. But with these amazing electronic devices, kids are expected to do better in school than kids twenty years ago. I think that we, the current generation of kids, should use this technology and to do great things.

    I was amazed that in the video Helen Keller said “I am not dumb.” She was blind and deaf and still managed to speak and write. You could tell that both Anne Sullivan and Helen Keller were very persistent because no matter how long lessons took, Helen wanted to learn. Helen Keller’s parents wanted Anne to teach Helen to talk and be a normal child and adult. But she became so extraordinary, she helped make laws so that education for people who are blind, deaf, or both, possible.

  27. “There is no excuses for not trying,” President Obama declared September 8th, a statement that stood out to me. What does it mean to try? Give it a chance, consider it for a minute or two, or simply make the motions. Then President Obama explained how the first lady, Michael Obama, reached collage, effort. Her family and her reached her dreams not by just by trying but putting their full effort to their goals. The other segment that stood out to me was that asking a question or asking for help is a sign of strength not weakness. It is a sign you are willing to except your challenges and are ready to meet them.

    Personal responsibility is understanding your skills and accepting your weaknesses. Once we have achieved this, our responsibility becomes using our skills to help ourselves, friends, family, our country, and all of those around us. You are responsible for your education because it is you that will decide to seek education. You may have your mother or a counselor that pushes you to strive to succeed, but they cannot force you to listen, behave, or put effort into what you do. That is your choice.

    Goals are expectations and achievements that we set for ourselves. The culmination and resolutions of our plans aimed at success. I try to set goals for myself. I strive to remain opportunistic with a smile on my face. I hope to learn all I can and apply that knowledge to my life. I also strive to be proud of who I am and what I have done, among many other goals. Some goals I have meet, such as an “A” here or a compromise with my brother. Others I may never meet, such as remaining positive, for we all get discouraged sometimes. However, for these goals we can always get closer having on a smile a little longer or laughing a second more.

    I believe a successful student and person comes from the effort that they put in to what they do. A man can be the smartest in the world but if he never tries or takes the time to consider and use what he knows his knowledge becomes for not. I believe I can be a successful student through trying out new thoughts and considering concepts with an open mind.

    Our generation will face many challenges, we well struggle with global warming, energy sources, resources, and communications with to many twitters and emails that are wrapped in technology. To me personally I believe our greatest challenge could supplely be the sheer massiveness of the myriad of opportunities presented to us, and the challenge of making the right judgment from so many options.

    Helen Keller and Annie Sullivan set a goal that was one that may have seemed impossible. From here to reach that goal they were determined and never giving up. It may have taken many lessons to learn a single word. Even at such a slow grueling pace they kept at it. They strived to take syllable to word and word to two words and so on to a single sentence. Trough this perseverance and determination they reached their goals of the, “impossible,” from nothing more than a skill all around us.

  28. President Obama made so many good points in this speech that it is hard to pick out just a few parts that stood out to me. However, one line that I remember is one that he said multiple times. This is the quote in which he said that when you do not work hard in school, you not only let yourself down, but you also let your country down. This makes sense, because, as he said, we are the people who will be running our country in the future. I also remember that he said that there is no excuse for not trying. We should remember this, because even if it seems like there is no way for us to do well in school, we can always try, and we always should.

    Personal responsiblity is taking whatever happens to you into your own hands, doing everything you can to succeed, and not blaming others if you fail. We are all responsible for our own learning, because, no matter what situation we are in, we can always overcome it and do well if we try our best, instead of blaming our teachers or our families or our neighborhoods. As President Obama said, where we are now does not determine where we will be in the future.

    When someone sets a goal, they are not just stating something that they want to do, they are saying that they will do all that is in their power to accomplish it. I do not normally set formal or long-term goals for myself, but in a way, I set goals for myself all the time, perhaps just by something as little as trying to finish all of my homework assignments for the night. I almost always, if not always achieve what I set out to do when I set these goals, so I believe that setting goals is as much about these little things as it is about huge, life-changing, long-term goals.

    The word “successful” encompasses a lot, but I believe that what it means to be successful as a student is very similar to what it means to be successful as a person. Being a success does not necessarily mean you have the best grades, or have the most money, or are the most popular kid in school. Being successful means trying your best in everything that you do. You shouldn’t try to compare yourself to others, but instead to yourself, and you should commend yourself if you tried your best and got a better grade than most or all that you had recieved before, even if other people scored higher than you did. This sort of thing should not only apply while you are in school, but also throughout your entire life.

    Our generation is faced with a huge number of challenges, but I believe that two of the biggest problems to be solved are the environment and the world’s economy. We will need to work hard and get educated to solve these problems, because, as President Obama said, the skills that we are learning in our classes will help us to found companies that will help the economy, and develop alternate energy sources to help the environment. It is very possible that in the future, our generation will be the one to face these challenges, but we cannot do it unless we work hard in school and get a good education.

    It is remarkable that someone who is both deaf and blind, such as Helen Keller, could learn to speak. Annie Sullivan says in the video that as soon as Helen realized that other people could communicate with their mouthes, she desperately wanted to be able to do so herself. Even with Annie Sullivan’s remarkable tactic for the placing of the fingers to feel the vibrations from a person talking, one can tell that it must have taken a tremendous amount of effort for Helen to learn to speak. However, she wanted to do something, she tried her best, and she succeeded. This really shows us that if we are determined, we set our goals right, and we persist, we can do or learn anything. We should always keep this in mind, both in our schooling and in our everyday lives.

  29. He was very serious about it and for him to be a president without going to college is impressive. I remembered the main line that interested me was“don’t ever give up on yourself or else you give up on your countries”.

    You can be responsible for yourself by giving your homework on time, having enough sleep so you are not tired at school, and listening and paying attention in class. If you do these responsibilities, then you will have a broad choice of work when it will be time to choose your job.

    Goals are things you strive for so you can make yourself a better person or something you desire. Yes I do because I know that I am not perfect and I know that I can improve myself in many ways. For example being polite, don’t wait the last time you have to do your homework if it was assigned two or one days ago, and be a nicer person. Yes I have already achieved goals but it took me time because it wasn’t easy.

    I am just a normal person who is nice, who tries to be polite all the time, funny and athletic. I think that since know we have electronics: it is hard to not use electronics for school work, free time at home, and even for fun.

    When she first learned how to say “I am not dum now” she never forgot it because she had not learned a lot of things yet. I think that deciding to learn how to speak is a great achievement and learning how to say it is very hard for her. I think her goal was to always think that at one time she could speak or see or hear or al three of them.

  30. There many things that stood out in Obama’s speech. Such as these five quotes.

    “We can have the most dedicated teachers, the most supportive parents, the best schools in the world, and none of it will make a difference, none of it will matter, unless all of you fulfill your responsibilities.”

    “Every single one of you has something you are good at. Every single one of you has something to offer. You have a responsibility to yourself to discover what that is.”

    “The future of America depends on you.”

    “If you quit on school, you are not just quitting on yourself, you are quitting on your country.”

    “At the end of the day, the circumstances of your life, what you look like, where you come from, how much money you have, what you have got going on at home, none of that is an excuse for neglecting your homework or having a bad attitude in school”

    Those quotes mean a lot, and everyone in the world should considerate those words.

    Personal responsibility it is the responsibility you have for yourself. It means that you will take blame for what you have done. It is your duty. You are responsible for your learning because you choose how you want to learn or not learn. The teachers are responsible for giving you the information, you are responsible for listening to them. You can choose to learn by doing your homework, or be careless and blow off your homework and learn nothing.

Goals are achievements that are set to urge you to get better. They direct you to achieve high standards. If goals are not set the person may not expect themselves to do well, therefore they will not try. I set different goals in all areas in my life. In school, my goal is mostly to get all A’s on my report cards. In football and soccer, I want to be able to start in at least two games. Last year I achieved one of my goals because I had stared for almost every game in soccer.

    A successful student is someone who listens in class and does their homework. They study for test and quizzes and respects the teachers. Being a successful person comes from being a good student. If you are successful, you can go to a good college and get a good job. Treat others as you would want them to treat you. You will surly gain some friends along the way. Hopefully you will make a favorable salary and live in a nice place.

    I have a lot of challenges I have to overcome. My schedule is hard because after school I have to attend football practice until 5:10, therefore I lose a lot of time to do my homework. That is one of the reasons I have turned my blog in so late at night. I also have to put up with bad habits that I am into like procrastinating (another reason I have this done so late). I guess I just have to try my best and will overcome these issues.

    I was very astonished when I first saw that video. You could tell that they had been working on that for a long time and were very determined to do so. I could not believe that Helen could actually understand every word Anne and knew when she wanted her to do something. The video definitely shows why Helen was such a great student.

  31. The phrase that stood out most for me was the one where Obama said: “When you quit school, you don’t only quit on yourself, you quit on your country too.” I remember too the part where he said: “I am working hard that you get your right school supplies and computers, but you have to do your part too.” Those two sentences had really big impact on me, because they motivate me a lot.
    I think a personal responsibility is that you take care of yourself and check if you have done all your homework or something like that.
    You are responsible for your own learning because you have to be careful that you don’t do something stupid, so you don’t get in trouble.
    Goals are like tasks, but you set goals when you want to aspire goals. You have to work hard to fulfill you goal.
    I set one goal especially for myself that is that I don’t get bad grades. But grades are not the only important thing in school you have to be helpful to teachers and students and to participate in class.
    As I was in 3rd grade, I wasn’t that good in school, and I wasn’t participating in class, but I was somehow guilty about the fact that I got in trouble for not participating in class, so I set a task, aspired for the task, and achieved.
    Sometimes I can be helpful, and mostly I am motivated in class and that is what I think makes a good person and student out of me.
    I think the challenges of my generation are that we don’t built conflicts with our classmates and friends, and that we don’t built conflicts with our teachers and parents too.

    I would just say something in a few words; everything is possible, but it depends how badly you want to aspire for that goal.

  32. There are many intersting points that President Obama made in his educational speech. I believe everything Obama stated was intelligent and had great meaning, and that we can all listen to the statements he made. I liked how President Obama didn’t speak about what he was going to do for us, but what we have to do for ourselves to make America a successful country in the future.

    These quotes are ones that I believe are momorable:

    “Everyone has something special to offer. You just have to discover it.”
    “When you give up, you’re not just giving up on yourself, you’re giving up on your country, too.”
    “Never stop trying, even when you have hurdles to overcome.”
    “How we, the people of the future, are going to contribute and make new discoveries for the United States.”

    I believe personal responsibility is being responsible for yourself and your own actions. I believe that being responsible is not blaming your actions on your parents, teachers or friends but taking the consequences for yourself. You are being responsible for your learning when you do your homework on time, study for tests and quizzes and never give up.

    I have set many goals for myself in the last few years. My goals range from remembering to brush my teeth in the morning to future career choices. I have completed many of my smaller goals and some of my bigger goals.

    I think completing all of my assignments and having a good attitude makes me a good student, but none of that would be possible if I didn’t have good personal responsiblity. I believe that good character plays a huge role in being a good person and a good student.

    There will be many challenges for our future generation, no doubt, but I believe with the right determination and believing anything is possible, we will be able to overcome our challenges.

    Helen Keller is a great role model to kids and adults all around. Even though she was trapped inside her own little world, she still believed that it was possible to make her own dreams come true. She never gave up and never stopped trying.

    Obama and Helen Keller are very much alike in many ways. Even though they are from different generations, they both want to make a difference in the world.

  33. What really stood out to me in Obama’s speech was how he talked about his education story and how he got to where he was today. I think it really inspires kids how much education helps their dreams come true.
    My favorite quote from Obama’s speech was when he said, “Everyone has something special to offer. You just have to discover it.” I think it shows that everyone may be different, but that is what makes us special. Without being different the world would all be the same and there wouldn’t be any creativity.
    I think personal responsibilty means that you have to take action in your own decsisions and do what is right for you. You are responsible for your own education. You have the power to do the best you can do and you also have the power to slack off and not care about your education.
    Some goals I have set for myself are to get good grades in school, to be the best I can be, and to have fun during the process. Some goals I have accomplished are getting on point in dance, getting a good role in my school play, and to have fun during the process.
    I think that having a positive attitude torwads everything really helps you be a successful student and a successful person in life.
    I think a challenge that my generation has is to balance out their school work, their after-shcool activities, and their social lives. I know I sometimes struggle with it.
    After seeing the Helen Keller video, I can say that persistence, determination, learning, and setting goals was accomplished by Helen in so many ways. She was a very bright person and wanted to learn so much that she accomplished things that no one had ever expected. She is a great role model for anyone of any age.

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