For 5 years the Chenoweth Elementary auditorium was where we gathered many Saturday mornings to watch a Disney movie projected on a huge screen with a Slo-Pok to get us through. I now wonder if parents organized that. One Saturday I gathered there with dad and other sons and dads to watch a movie teaching us something about sex; I don’t know if the girls and moms got their Saturday.

During 6th grade science that auditorium became the lab for an experiment in education.  KET (Kentucky Educational TV) had begun broadcasting classes for Eastern Kentucky students in the Appalachian mountains.   We were the first of the state-wide classes KET would broadcast during the day.  Our entire grade of what now seems a hundred would gather in that large auditorium.  At the appointed time, our teacher would turn on 7 TV sets around the room and we’d watch science experiments from one state teacher.

After the broadcast our teacher would teach us for a short while.  She’d prepare, monitor, and grade our tests.  During TV delays or “technical difficulties” she’d keep us entertained.  She played “Feelin’ Groovy” (the 59th Street Bridge Song) so much we voted to adopt it as our class song.  She helped turn us from individuals into a community when she supervised our May Day festival.  It was our teacher, not the guy on TV that I remember because she cared about us.

I don’t know how the television broadcast classroom experiment turned out, but I don’t think it became the norm.  This past year Nancy and I’ve worshiped online with several churches each week.  The pandemic has allowed us to listen to friends from all over the country.  I’m glad for the variety of voices we get to hear and the communities each pastor personally cares for.  I don’t want to try an experiment with one state-wide or national preacher. 

What “experiments in education” have you participated in? What do you remember about your teachers…. the information they presented or the way they related to you? How do you find a variety of voices rather than one broadcast in your journey of faith?

4 thoughts on “Experimenting

  1. That is an interesting memory. I do not recall something like that experiment in Missouri. This morning, I am recalling teachers who left a positive mark on me, thanks to your post. Thank you, Wally!

  2. I’m a Boomer so my generation is really behind when it comes to movies and videos in school. I do remember being in 8th grade in Mrs. Vanlandingham’s class when John Glenn orbited the earth. Our class each chipped in a quarter to rent a small, very small, TV from Peck’s record store (and yes, it was black and white) to watch the landing. I remember we were all crowded around the TV, I’m not really sure we had an accurate view of the splashdown but we were in awe. Yes, it wasn’t the visual event I remember but my classmates huddled together.

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