Sunday, October 08, 2006

Three is a Magic Number.

Yes it is; it's a magic number.
Somewhere in the ancient mystic trinity,
You get three as a magic number.

This song has been going through my head for nigh on two months now.

Why? Because OG has discovered my Schoolhouse Rock CD (the "Multiplication Rock" one) that I used to use when I taught math. Also, coincidentally, my sister just gave us the DVD set, with all the videos.

So, OG listens to the whole CD at least once a night, usually falling asleep to it. On the weekends when she has time to watch a little TV, that is usually in the DVD player, and she surfs through the menu expertly to find the best ones.

She's really into the Multiplication Rock videos, of course, since that was the first set she was exposed to. "Three is a Magic Number" is her favorite, but she also likes "Good Eleven" and "Naughty Number Nine." (My memory for items related to pop culture is disturbingly flawless, but there are some on the CD and the DVD set that I don't really remember, like "Lucky Seven Sampson" and "Little Twelvetoes." I mean, I sort of remember that they existed, but I don't remember the videos as clearly as some of the others, like "Figure Eight" and "Ready or Not, Here I Come.")

Just recently, and at my urging (hey, I love SR, but you know how it is with WHATEVER video/CD your child is playing over and over and over and over,) she's branched out a bit into the America Rock and Science Rock videos. She likes "Interplanet Janet," "No More Kings," and "The Shot Heard 'Round the World," and just today watched "I'm Just a Bill" for the first time. We have not as yet touched much on the Grammar Rock videos, which were perhaps my favorites when I was a kid, but I did show her "Interjections," which cracked her up. (YOW! That's not fair, giving a guy a shot down there!)

I am pleasantly surprised that OG is into it; after all, these are from my generation, and some, though not all, look pretty dated. And, I am also surprised at the effect they appear to be having on her. For one thing, she's amazingly well-versed in the multiplication tables for a first grader, in that she knows, well, A LOT of them. (She counted by 12's for me perfectly yesterday, all the way to 136. I swear, you would think she is some brilliant math savant if you just struck up a conversation with her, but it's really just that she knows the songs backwards and forwards!) She and I had a long conversation today about bills and laws, and she and The Man were talking yesterday about the American Revolution.

I don't think I've ever really, truly thought about what Schoolhouse Rock gave me as a child. Just like OG, it's really how I learned my multiplication tables, and of course was helpful in my early understanding of American History. (To this day, if I have to make a point about the Revolutionary War, I remember that the King of England was George the Third because of "No More Kings." And, of course, my flawless rendition of the Preamble to the Constitution came in handy in the seventh grade when Mr. McIlwayne made us write Preambles when we got in trouble.)

It's really too bad that the push towards public service programming is no longer in existence. People used to know, back in the 70's, that the airwaves are, I think they tend to believe that the airwaves belong to the networks and the sponsors. "The More You Know" is a sad and toothless alternative to "Conjunction Junction." But, I'm very happy that OG, and by default, YG, are getting exposed to SR, and like the videos and songs as much as I did.

Even if I CAN'T. Get. That. Song. Out. Of. My. Head. EVER.


P.S. Damn, I got preachy again!! This was supposed to be a lighthearted post!

I'm sorry, I don't know what is wrong with me. I've been in kind of a malaise since my friends left last week. Nothing is wrong in my life, but I feel unfocused and vaguely sad. I think I don't have my cheery boots on. Readers? Anyone have any suggestions for me to get my happy groove back?


Badger said...

I'm in the same funk. Everyone tells me it's due to the recent full moon. Stupid moon!

We have the SR DVD set too and my kids love it. I TOTALLY learned my times tables from SR. On the other hand, I blame it for the fact that I can't just recite the Preamble -- I have to SING it.

And now I can't get THAT out of my head. So thanks.

Karla May said...

That song is also on the latest "Oxford American" music issue CD. And yes, all you have to do is hear it once, and it's stuck in your head for daze.

By the way, a noun is a person, place, or thing.