Yesterday, Barack Obama and Melinda Gates visited TechBoston Academy, a public school founded with Gates Foundation money:
“You guys are a pretty impressive bunch,” Mr. Obama said to a science class of juniors and seniors, quizzing them on where they were applying to college and what they wanted to do after that.
Mr. Obama had some fun at Mr. Gates’s expense, noting that both of them had attended school in Boston — he at Harvard Law School, Mr. Gates at Harvard College. But Mr. Gates, he said, “couldn’t hack it in school here, so he dropped out. Then he started a modestly successful computer company.”
When nobody laughed, Mr. Obama said, “That was a joke, guys,” adding that he had actually started a big computer company.
Reminds me of a story a high school teacher emailed me in 2008:
Student Named Yesenia: ""Mr. X, Mr. X! I have a question."Teacher: "Yes, what is it?"Yesenia: "Who is Son of Aladdin? Why are they always looking for him in a cave?"Teacher: "Huh?"Yesenia: "What's so bad about Son of Aladdin? Why are they trying to catch him?Teacher: "Oh, you mean … Osama bin Laden?"Yesenia: "Yeah, Son of Aladdin."Teacher: "He's a terrorist."Yesenia: "Oh."Teacher [trying to make this into a Teachable Moment]: "But don't confuse Osama with Obama."Yesenia: "Who's that?"Teacher: "Barack Obama. He's running for President. The African-American candidate."Yesenia:Teacher: "You know, the black guy?"Yesenia [Eyes widening]: "He's black?"Teacher: "Yes."Yesenia: "And he's running for President?"Teacher: "Yes."Yesenia: [With wide-eyed alarm:] "That's bad."