Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Forty and Fabulous

Once upon a time we all learned something from watching television. Before the days of a straight ten channels of political talking heads, and when the "girls next door" were really your best friends who you raced your training wheel-equipped bicycle down the street, there was Sesame Street. A whimsical show filled with colorful muppets, songs, and cartoons. Yet all the while, through the laughter and and excitement of it all, something more important was happening: learning. After a half hour you could count to ten, know a healthy food to eat, and even spell a whole new word. Growing up, Sesame Street and Mr. Rogers were about the only shows deemed acceptable for us kids to watch. Which was just fine considering we would look forward to getting back to playing dress up and finishing "art projects" anyway. Things that required the use of our imagination, another value emphasized again and again by Big Bird and his friends.

Just last week Sesame Street turned 40 years old, an age most people consider to be "over the hill." Yet it's still teaching kids how to count and say their ABCs, often times using the same lesson clips my generation, and even the one before learned from. As I say time and again, good vintage is always in style, and in the case of Sesame Street, always reenforcing its lessons learned.

"Bad days happen to everyone, but when one happens to you, just keep doing your best and never let a bad day make you feel bad about yourself." --Big Bird

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