Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Random thoughts today because I'm exhausted...

When I was coming along back in the 1970s and 80s, we had a lot less sophisticated equipment available to us in school for audio-visual teaching aids.  I especially remember filmstrips, which every kid in my class loved because they could "turn" the projector.  I think I got to do that maybe once in my whole life.  Teachers never called on me for that kind of shit.  This morning, I was reminded of filmstrips when someone on RfM posted about Tom Trails, a bunch of filmstrips young kids in LDS seminary used to watch.  Having not grown up Mormon, I didn't know anything about this... but it was a hoot to watch a couple of the cheesy filmstrips online today.  Wonder if they still show them...

It was even more exciting in school if we had an actual film to watch... I mean, one that was threaded on a projector.  We'd usually watch hygiene films or something like them.  It wasn't until I was in high school that the school got VCRs.  At the very end of my academic career in public school, we had laser discs, which were not very popular and didn't last too long.  They looked like big vinyl records made out of the same stuff you'd make a CD out of.  I used to watch them in the library at my college, when I'd sneak off to watch an old movie.  I remember watching All That Jazz many times as an undergraduate.

Teachers also never used to call on me for "taking names".  I don't know how common this practice is anymore, but I remember back in my school days, whenever the teacher had to leave the room, she'd get some kid to play police officer.  They'd take the names of anyone who talked or otherwise misbehaved while she was out of the room.  I'm sure nowadays, it's too risky to take names.  Someone might get pissed off and sue or worse.

I was also never chosen to pick teams in P.E. class.  Invariably, the best athletes would be chosen for that.  Not being very athletic when it came to most sports, I would usually be among the last picked for a team.  Of course, it also didn't help my cause that I wasn't very popular, either.  I mean, people knew who I was and I wasn't an outcast, but I definitely wasn't among the most popular of the kids in school.

And of course, there was the much coveted chore of "passing out papers", which was exciting for kids... I imagine that was because it gave them the chance to get up and move around rather than be stuck in a seat.  And you could peek at your friend's grades too, if you were so inclined.  I rarely was because my grades were usually pretty average and better grades made me feel jealous.

Writing this post makes me feel like my youth has just flown by.  It doesn't seem like it was that long ago, but then I realize that it really was.  Shoot, just look at all the technology we have now that we didn't have back then.  And back then, it seemed so cool to have a VCR so you could tape your favorite shows the way you'd tape a song off the radio.

I'm really tired.  The nights on the air mattresses coupled with Aunt Flow and obnoxious beagles have made sleeping difficult, hence the rather incoherent post this morning.  Tomorrow, will be a good day, though.  We'll get our bed back.  Our morale is already vastly improved by having hot water and use of the oven and stove.

I have noticed that for once, our dogs are among the best behaved.  The neighbor has shelties that stay outside most of the time and bark constantly.  It doesn't annoy me, but it is noticeable.  The other neighbor has a chihuahua and a dachshund.  Our two bark a bit, but not nearly as much.  That's a relief.  One of the reasons we try to pick more rural properties is because we have noisy dogs.  Not in this neighborhood.


  1. You and Bill must be really good parents if your dogs are the best-behaved in the neighborhood.

    I think Tom Trails packed it in awhile ago,but my dad remembers him fondly if deprecatingly. Thegirl who sat next to him in early morning seminary always woke him up whenever it was time for a Tom Trails filmstrip. I don't even now what a filmstrip looks like. I'll have to google it.

    Any teacher who leaves his or her classroom unattended for much more than thirty seconds is risking major liability these days for both himself/herself and the school district, and possibly risking loss of credential. Today's kids just can't be trusted not to do something dangerous simply because the teacher IS out of the room, mainly because their parents would blame the teacher and not the misbehaving child, and the parnets would rarely stand up and assume responsibility for what their child did wrong. Once in awhile the courts will rule against the child's parents, depending upon the state and the age of the child, based upon what is considered reasonable behavior for a child of a particular age if the child is considered to be neurotypical. If a teacher has an emergency , he throws up in a trash can outside the room with the door open, or runs to the bathroom, opening the door of the next classroom to alert the teacher so he/she can stand between the two classrooms and monitor both. If it's the sort of emergency that allows have two or three minutes before a crisis, the teacher calls the office and someone - anyone, even a custodian if necessary, watches the class. The kids won't usually give the custodian any shit and usually like the custodian, anyway. There are no more fifteen minute breaks during class time while a teacher takes a smoke.

    You should come to my house some night I can play the piano and you can sing. If I don't know the song, my mom or dad does.

    1. Seriously, Alexis, if you have a few minutes, you should check out the Tom Trails link I posted. You will learn what a filmstrip is... and probably find some fun blogging inspirations, too.

      My generation must have had it way different. Teachers often trusted the class for a minute or two back in those days and they would get a stoolie to "take names". Of course, in my day, it was okay to paddle kids, too.

      I don't remember teachers taking smoke breaks, though I do remember a lot of them smelled strongly of tobacco. We had a smoking area for students when I was in 9th grade. My school had two courtyards (which they later filled in for more space after I graduated). If you had permission from your parents and were over 15, you could smoke. They did away with it my sophomore year, so everyone smoked in the bathroom. That was fun for non smokers like me who just wanted to pee and didn't want to smell like cigarettes.

      The custodian at my elementary school later turned up on the sex offender registry in my county. That was a bizarre thing to stumble across.

      Something tells me I would really enjoy an evening hanging out with you and your folks. I love musical people and your family sounds funny to boot!

  2. BTW... I thnk our dogs are just more laid back than the neighbors'. It's very unusual.


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