The amount you learn is up to you. A teacher can lead you to the fountain of knowledge. Do we teach you how to drink as well? I don't think so. Learning is an inborn trait. Whether you like it or not, you are programmed to learn. Your brain wants to see and hear it all! There will never be enough hours in life to satisfy this thirst. This means that learning is lifelong. Get use to that - and for some of you - stop fighting it!
Success in life comes directly from learning so - Love to Learn. I love to learn. I love to apply what I learn to life. I have a causal interest in most things and a carnivorous appetite for a few things. They tend to be things I'm good at. It is the way all of us are wired. What are you good at? Learn everything you can about it. Read every book on the subject. Apply what you learn. I urge my students to let their talents and interests guide their lives. Your talents and interests are like a compass, pointing the direction you should go. Those talents and interests will lead to a life of fulfillment. Ignore them, and you'll find life more difficult as you try to take a round ball and shove it into a square hole. You understand my meaning.
I encourage you to give education the highest priority during the next nine months. School is your work. It is a vital link in the chain of civilization. Education will give you the tools necessary to take responsibility for this world when my generation retires and passes on to our reward. It is part of the great circle of life.
Take a minute and set academic goals for this year. What grades will be acceptable? Set your goals high enough to reach realistically. Let' s take life one step at a time. After each step, pause and get your footing and bearings. Realize where you are. Look behind to marvel at how far you've come and then look forward. Set the next goal and move on.
What about the bumps in the road? Ask any adult about bumps in the road. Anyone with gray hair has survived multiple pot holes and bumps in the road. We have the aches and pains to prove it! We've learned that life is an awesome teacher - it has been for me. I call it LIFE 101. Don't expect sympathy from LIFE 101. The tests are the tough and they usually come unannounced. Handle LIFE 101 seriously. When the bumps come, lean heavily on your family and friends for support. Remember, they can't take the bumps for you but they can help keep you steady and on a straight course.
Don't forget your faith. Understanding the broad picture has a very calming influence when faced with trials. Faith is the best shock absorber I've encountered.
Well Troops, That is all. I've given you the talk I wish someone would have given me when I was `getting' by in school. Do your best - what more can we ask and expect? Thank you for including the Space Center in your life.