Wednesday, April 13, 2011

You're never too old.

ABC kid’s was Australia's answer to a free baby sitter for most parents between the hours of three to five thirty pm on weekdays. The fact that it came in the form of a black box wasn’t the only difference, it didn’t discipline, but simply entertained.

In the 90’s it would normally start with Sesame Street then to Play school, to plastic Gumby and then later on would feature Degrassi High and eventually would end with a music video clip from Rage, making all primary schoolers feel very grown up when we knew the words to Killing Heidi's ‘Mascara’ the next day at school, despite the fact we had no idea what the lyrics attributed to.

One of my favourite G rated songs however that was commonly featured in the Sesame Street education programme was the ‘Pin ball number-countdown’ featured above. My brother Samuel and I would frantically run around the room singing to the psychedelic lyrics and at other times sat mesmerised by the colourful journey the pin ball would make through the duration of the song.

I’m not sure why, but as I was sitting in my room today this song started to replay in my head. A sense of nostalgia crept over me, and I instantly was transported back to being seven again, when sitting on the lounge room floor, eating celery sticks smeared with peanut butter in front of the tv was a common- place past time.

Sesame Street not only entertained me, it was an education tool that was first viewed by Americans in 1969 and was set in busy New York City targeted towards children from socially and economically disadvantaged areas such as Queens and the Bronx which both have high rates of low employment and domestic violence.

One of their initial and primary goals was preparing young children for school, especially children from low-income families. Its producers and researchers focused on “thinking skills” while addressing education goals indirectly, because they believed that focusing on indiscrete learning would increase children's self-esteem and feelings of competency.

If this simple, very repetitious song could start re-playing in my memory after no obvious mental-tapping by a hypnosis' specialist after fourteen years, I think that Sesame Street’s education objective has been served. I will never forget how to count to twelve.

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