Eric Hodel (drbrain) wrote,
Eric Hodel

Educational Videos

While riding the bus this morning I somehow reminded myself of the horrible "educational videos" I was subjected to in middle school Home Economics. One of them I don't remember more than the title ("Cipher in the snow", the teacher made sure we all new that "cipher" meant "nothing") and the beginning.

It began with a kid getting on the bus, and he had no friends. He then "didn't feel well" and got off the bus where he promptly walked up to a snow bank on the side of the road and dropped dead. (I think he was dead.) I'm not sure what the message of that video was supposed to be, maybe something like "lack of friends is fatal".

I don't recall the title of the second movie, but it was horribly out of date. It featured a first-chair violin player (apparently the first chair is really important, like varsity football) who, over the summer, joined a punk-rock band or something. There was a sequence of him putting on his white face makeup, the dyed hair and the clothing. When school came back he really liked his makeup, dyed hair, and clothing. He was also still better than all the violin players, but couldn't get first chair because of all the makeup and hair colors and whatnot.

Instead of everybody being supportive of his budding punk-rock carreer, his parents and band teacher made him sell-out to The Man. I think the lesson in this was supposed to be "Don't do cool stuff in front of authority figures". (In a modern, civilized society, the parents would have sued the school for discrimination.)

I'm not entirely sure that these were the correct messages I was supposed to carry with me into my adult life.


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