The formative years of President Elect OBAMA

I took much pleasure in reading more about Barack OBAMA. It is believe that the formative years of a child mould the adult. Moncef Guitoni, an imminent scholar specialist of Parenthood and emotional intelligence taught me that much can be learned from the early childhood (0-6 years)of a person. I note from the documents available from the net, that Barack went through several break ups: first divorce of his parents, when he was only two years; then the challenge of living in a new environment in Indonesia, break up in culture, language and environment; and later yet another uprooting to continue the schooling in Hawaii, away from her mother in the lap of her grandmother. Does he carry the traumas of these breakdowns or have these dramatic changes honed his ability to sustain external environmental ruptures and overcome them? Does he speak Indonesian or does he understand the language?

Seeing the achievements of the later years, he surely has benefited from the wide variety of different experiences and culture. He has definitely a view of the world more enrich that most Americans possess. He himself wrote: Reflecting later on his formative years in Honolulu, Obama wrote: “The opportunity that Hawaii offered — to experience a variety of cultures in a climate of mutual respect — became an integral part of my world view, and a basis for the values that I hold most dear.”

I always have great respect to persons who have taken the task of putting to ink their life history. He did it. This demonstrates amongst other qualities, the ability to think orderly and in a structure and to write and communicate excellently.

St. Francis Assisi Catholic

First through third grade

Jakarta, Indonesia

State Elementary School Menteng 01

Fourth grade

Jakarta, Indonesia

Punahou School

Fifth through 12th grade

Honolulu, Hawaii

High school diploma

Occidental College

Freshman and sophomore years

Los Angeles, California

Transferred to Columbia

Columbia University

Junior and senior years

New York, New York


Political science major with international relations focus

Harvard Law School

Three-year program

Cambridge, Massachusetts

J.D. magna cum laude

President, Harvard Law Review

Childhood through high school

Born in 1961. Throughout his early years, Obama was known at home and at school as “Barry.” Obama’s parents met while both were attending the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where his father was enrolled as a foreign student. They separated when he was two years old and later divorced. His father received a Masters degree in Economics from Harvard University, then returned to Kenya, where he became a finance minister before dying in an automobile accident in 1982. His mother married another foreign student, Lolo Soetoro, and the family moved to Soetoro’s home country of Indonesia in 1967. Obama attended local schools in Jakarta, from ages 6 to 10, where classes were taught in the Indonesian language.

Before his time in Indonesia, he first attended St. Francis Assisi Catholic school for almost three years. When his family moved to a new neighbourhood, Menteng, he attended the secular, government-run SDN Menteng 1 school for his fourth year. Obama’s stepfather was “not religious”, and “never went to prayer services except for big communal events”, according to Obama’s sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng. When Obama was in third grade he wrote an essay saying that he wanted to become president. His teacher later told the Chicago Tribune that she was not sure what country he wanted to become president of but that he said that his reason for becoming president was that he wanted to make everybody happy.

Obama returned to Honolulu to live with his maternal grandparents while attending Punahou School, a private college preparatory school, from the fifth grade until his graduation in 1979. Obama’s mother, Ann, died of ovarian cancer and uterine cancer a few months after the publication of his 1995 memoir, Dreams from My Father.

In the memoir, Obama describes his experiences growing up in his mother’s middle class family. His knowledge about his African father, who returned once for a brief visit in 1971, came mainly through family stories and photographs. Of his early childhood, Obama writes: “That my father looked nothing like the people around me — that he was black as pitch, my mother white as milk — barely registered in my mind.” The book describes his struggles as a young adult to reconcile social perceptions of his multiracial heritage. He wrote that he used alcohol, marijuana, and cocaine during his teenage years to “push questions of who I was out of my mind”.[ Obama has said that it was a seriously misguided mistake. At the Saddleback Civil Presidential Forum Barack Obama identified his high-school drug use as his greatest moral failure. Obama has stated he has not used any illegal drugs since he was a teenager.

Some of his fellow students at Punahou School later told the Honolulu Star-Bulletin that Obama was mature for his age as a high school student and that he sometimes attended parties and other events in order to associate with African American college students and military service people.


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