“Come in, have a seat, Barack.”
“Thank you, Principal Sam.” Barack struggled to climb into the chair, which seemed uncomfortably large for him.
“Barack, I want to talk to you about your grades.”
“Let me be clear, these grades don’t reflect…” Barack said quickly, but Uncle Sam waved him silent.
“Right now, you need to listen. I’ll come straight to the point. Your grades in your first year here are horrific, Barack. There’s no other way to put it. Social Studies, F. Science, F. Economics, F. Your economics teacher has complained that you insist upon a “grade multiplier”. You do know there’s no such thing here, don’t you?”
“But, but, other students have used it…” Barack responded meekly.
“…Geography, F. Son, how can you possibly think there are 57 states in America?”
Barack stammered, “I, ah, uh, was, um, tired, uh, sir.”
“Which brings me to your English grades. Your Engish teacher considers you functionally illiterate when you’re not in front of those television things you always lug around with you.”
“That’s my teleprompter sir.” Barack said meekly.
Sam continued, “Yes, I know. The other students are beginning to make fun of you for that, plus you clog up the hallways moving it between classes.”
“I always try to be considerate of my fellow classmates as I travel the hallowed halls of knowledge in this great institu, uh, hey, what, um, just, ah, happened?”
Uncle Sam returned to his chair after unplugging the teleprompter. “See what I mean, son? This thing controls you, you don’t control it.”
Barack stared at the floor, “I, I, I… “
Sam leaned forward, “Look, I’m here to help you. But you’ll only succeed if you want to succeed. You do want to get better grades, don’t you? And not just in gym class.”
“Yes, sir! You should see my outside shot…”
“Listen closely, son.” Principal Sam’s voice became serious. “This institution has been in place for well over two hundred years. Through floods, tornados, hurricanes, wars and depressions. But I’m beginning to wonder if it will survive you. Every other day I receive a memo from your teachers about something you haven’t done, assignments you haven’t turned in, classes you’ve missed. And yet, you still think you belong among the most famous names in history.
We have very high standards here, but your academic performance leaves much to be desired. You tried for years to gain admission, now it seems as though you don’t want to be here. Do you want to be here, Mr. Obama?”
Barack looked up with determination. “Yes sir.”
“Then I’m going to tell you how to succeed.” Uncle Sam opened a desk drawer and produced a large book which he placed on the desk with an authoritative thud. Barack looked at the title, “American History.”
“You’ll begin by studying this book. In it, you’ll find out how this country was founded. You’ll read the founders thoughts about freedom, liberty and the inherent goodness they found in humanity, a goodness that gives people the power to run their own lives responsibly, without the interference of government. You’ll also find the rules for governing those people and what they expect from you. Qualities you’re struggling with, judging by what I’ve seen. Things like honesty, integrity, sincerity, and the Golden Rule.”
You’ll also learn about the principles that your more successful fellow students took to heart: individual freedom and liberty, the rule of law, equality in the court system. There’s a lot in there, so you’d better get to work. By this time next year, I hope to be congratulating you on your progress."
Prinicapl Sam leaned forward, "Don’t disappoint me."
With that, Barack skulked out of Principal Sam's office, mumbling under his breath. Ms. Ross, the principal's secretary, tried to cheer him up by saying, "Don't feel bad. He really likes you, he just wants you to live up to your potential. Just consider his little talk"tough love."
"I'll try to do better. But it's so hard, having to follow that last class. They really messed things up for me, especially that guy Bush."
Ms. Ross looked at him. "Blaming others for your shortcomings is part of your problem, Barack." She scribbled something on a note and pressed it into Barack's hand. "Here's the number of a tutor who can help you. Her name is Mrs. Palin."