Songs to get you motivated!

"You can do it!" "Reach for the stars!" "Never give up!" These and other motivational platitudes echo endlessly through the cubicles and classrooms of modern-day America, in mind-numbing lectures, posters and songs. At work or in school, they blend seamlessly into the background, but out of context -- on YouTube, for instance -- some of them become miraculously, inexplicably ... awesome. Let's take a magical mystery tour of some of the best motivational music the net has to offer.

BE SOMEBODY by Mr. T
T delivers a rap-lecture to a ragtag bunch of street-wise city kids: be somebody! But is T really the best role model?

BELIEVE IN YOURSELF by N'Sync
N'Sync takes their message to the street -- Sesame Street.

Much more after the jump.

WE ARE APPLE by Steven Jobs
Actually, unless Jobs also wrote the 80s classic "What a Feeling," which "We Are Apple" shamelessly rips off, he probably doesn't deserve cred. But back when Apple was battling IBM for survival -- circa the Mac rollout of 1984, when this corporate video was produced -- they certainly needed a motivational kick in the pants! Watch and laugh.

OH HAPPY DAY by Ernst & Young
Another corporate motivational song, jaw-dropping in its use of gospel stylings to motivate Ernst & Young employees: "Oh happy day / when Ernst & Young / showed me a better way!"

BEING THE BEST by Jim Wearne and James McDunn
The Jims have a bunch of motivational classics on their YouTube page, but this one is definitely required listening.

CHANGE by Professor Albert
I was on the fence about including this one, but the fact that it's a motivational song by an Albert Einstein impersonator -- this being mental_floss -- put it over the edge.

TREAT YOUR MOTHER RIGHT by Mr. T
It's not exactly motivational, but it might be the funniest thing I've seen on YouTube recently. When did T become such a nagging goody-goody?

nextArticle.image_alt|e
iStock
College Board Wants to Erase Thousands of Years From AP World History, and Teachers Aren't Happy
iStock
iStock

One would be forgiven for thinking that the Ides of March are upon us, because Julius Caesar is being taken out once again—this time from the Advanced Placement World History exam. The College Board in charge of the AP program is planning to remove the Roman leader, and every other historical figure who lived and died prior to 1450, from high school students’ tests, The New York Times reports.

The nonprofit board recently announced that it would revise the test, beginning in 2019, to make it more manageable for teachers and students alike. The current exam covers over 10,000 years of world history, and according to the board, “no other AP course requires such an expanse of content to be covered over a single school year.”

As an alternative, the board suggested that schools offer two separate year-long courses to cover the entirety of world history, including a Pre-AP World History and Geography class focusing on the Ancient Period (before 600 BCE) up through the Postclassical Period (ending around 1450). However, as Politico points out, a pre-course for which the College Board would charge a fee "isn’t likely to be picked up by cash-strapped public schools," and high school students wouldn't be as inclined to take the pre-AP course since there would be no exam or college credit for it.

Many teachers and historians are pushing back against the proposed changes and asking the board to leave the course untouched. Much of the controversy surrounds the 1450 start date and the fact that no pre-colonial history would be tested.

“They couldn’t have picked a more Eurocentric date,” Merry E. Wiesner-Hanks, who previously helped develop AP History exams and courses, told The New York Times. “If you start in 1450, the first thing you’ll talk about in terms of Africa is the slave trade. The first thing you’ll talk about in terms of the Americas is people dying from smallpox and other things. It’s not a start date that encourages looking at the agency and creativity of people outside Europe.”

A group of teachers who attended an AP open forum in Salt Lake City also protested the changes. One Michigan educator, Tyler George, told Politico, “Students need to understand that there was a beautiful, vast, and engaging world before Europeans ‘discovered’ it.”

The board is now reportedly reconsidering its decision and may push the start date of the course back some several hundred years. Their decision will be announced in July.

[h/t The New York Times]

nextArticle.image_alt|e
iStock
North America: East or West Coast?
iStock
iStock

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios