Thursday, July 24, 2014
A Call to Arms- English Teachers Recalled!!!
Now that I own my own small transportation company, I’m discovering wonderful things that I haven’t enjoyed in a long time, like Saturdays and Sundays off. Back in the days of driving a cab, I drove literally seven days a week for years. Not anymore. Happy days.
A few Saturdays ago, our 11 year-old granddaughter spent the morning with us. This is not out of the norm mind you, because she or her 7 year-old brother has spent many a night with us before, but the thing is, as I mentioned above, I’ve not been there to experience the entire visit before. This particular visit was just for Saturday morning as her mother was working and her brother and father were attending a Little League baseball awards picnic. Madelyn wanted no part of that so she asked if she could seek refuge at our house.
When she arrived at around 8:30, my wife, who does not like to get up early on the weekends, crawled out to greet her. I, of course had already been up for hours. I had been playing around on my laptop. Lana and I both ran a fresh cup through the good ole’ Keurig and sat down in our recliners, catching up on the latest pre-teen gossip.
The next thing I know, Madelyn comes over and plops down on the loveseat next to my recliner and steals the remote control from me. My left hand immediately began to twitch from withdrawals. Not just anyone can get away with doing that. I looked up over the top of the laptop, somewhat excited, anticipating Saturday morning cartoons from yesteryear. Buggs Bunny, Road Runner, Bullwinkle, Mickey, Johnny Quest. What was Madelyn going to watch? Something similar I bet. I closed the laptop.
What comes on? A new modern cartoon with incredible graphics? Not hardly. It’s a pre-teen sitcom. Oh boy! I sip my coffee and watched this thing. We have kids running around that are in a band supposedly famous, making lots of money, deciding to go a birthday of a fan, who captures them for the night because she likes them so much. Yeah, pre-teen stalker with no parents around. I won’t bore you with all the details with this one, but the point here is this; hey networks, you have an opportunity here. You have kids watching! You could write scripts with a positive influence on the kids watching. Also, on this show and the next three I saw after this one, I heard repeatedly lines containing double negatives as well as other examples of poor English.
I know we are dealing with kids of pre-teen ages and so plots should be silly and fun. I sat there and watched two hours of shows like Girl Meets World, Jessie, and Austin & Ally. Yes, I really did watch them. The acting by the young people was really pretty good, but that writing! Come on.
The parents and grandparents of all kids who watch these shows should call out for a call to arms! I propose for a recall of retired English teachers to come forth and be assigned one per show to watch over each team of writers. I’m not saying just any sort of English teacher either. I want to see the hair-up in a bun, glasses on, holding a ruler, never smiling, sentence diagraming English teacher. You know, THAT one. I want her to snap a ruler over the knuckles of those writers and smack them up the side of THEIR heads before they finish another script. A birthday party without adults present? I don’t think so. Double negatives? What are you thinking?
I’m worried enough about what my grandkids are learning in school these days. I would hope on Saturday morning they would get some sitcoms directed at their own age groups written well enough to influence them positively. Oh, and Madelyn, quit changing channels during the commercials just to avoid commercials. Watching another show for three minutes is annoying. Your father does that and your uncle (my son) with the radio as we drive to Canada to go fishing. It is another topic for another time, but after 14 hours of that, it will make you want to climb over the seat and wrap a shoelace around their throats.