Tuesday, September 23, 2008

In Praise of School House Rock!

It's amazing to think that it's been 35 years since the first episode of School House Rock was broadcast on ABC back in 1973. I honestly cannot remember a Saturday morning between 1973 and 1980 or so when I didn't turn into ABC in the mornings for their regular programming, but also to see these short educational snippets. I loved School House Rock, and I'm sure there are quite a few others out there who did as well.

While it's been broadcast on and off for the better part of 35 years now, I think it's safe to say that the Generation X kids that grew up with it the first time around probably have the fondest memories of it. How can you tell if you are one of these people? Well, here's a few possible clues:

The phrase "it's quite interesting, a noun is a person, place, or thing" brings an instant flashback of the Statue of Liberty covered in snow.

The word "conjunction" brings to mind a train yard.

You cannot repeat the preamble to the United State Constitution without breaking into song.

The number 9 is referred to as "naughty number nine".

The phrase "see you later, Alligator, and don't forget my my my mashed potatoes" is forever associated with the 19th amendment of the Constitution.

You cannot hear the phrase "the shot heard around the world" without humming the rest of the song.

You know all of the words to "I'm just a Bill" and can recite them 30 years later.

I can say "Lolly Lolly Lolly" and you can automatically complete the rest of the line.

If you can fill in the blank for "________! that's what's happening!"

You know who Interplanetary Janet is.

Honestly, I could go on and on and on about this, but suffice it to say that, in the 70's, many kids of my generation felt like the school systems let us down, but we pulled through because School House Rock taught us all of those things we didn't adequately learn in elementary school. Yes, some of the shorts are firmly rooted in their time, and would be seen as more than a tad bit corny by today's kids and tweeners, but that only adds to their charm, IMO.

So here's to you, School House rock, and all of the madcap people behind your creation. Thank you for being a part of my childhood and thank you for being such a wonderful memory for me today.

1 comment:

Beefche said...

I learned how to count by 5s from these wonderful lessons! I bought the DVD when it came out and watch it once in a while to brush up my math skills.

My favorite one is "Interjection!"

"Ow! That's not fair shooting a guy down there!"
"Hey, you're cute!"