Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Maturation Movies

Do you remember the maturation movie from your elementary school days? The one used in our district was horrible! It was made in the 50's and was a lovely version of black and white. The trembly orchestra music faded in and out and did the close up shots of the mother and daughter. Here's what I remember most about that movie:

The meaningful non-verbal exchanges between mother and daughter, which were surpassed only by

The meaningful vacant stares from the mother, followed always by

The meaningful comment by the mother, "Sometimes I can't believe how much she's grown up."

The movie told us that the school nurse would help us and that was very meaningful since we didn't have a nurse in our entire school district.

At some point, the movie transitioned from a mother/daughter tale to a science lesson and then to celebration mode - all of which was entirely meaningful.

The movie ended and we were then threatened to keep this meaningful information secret from the boys. Because if they found out...well, who knew what tragedies would transpire. And being the very good girl I was, I hid my "gift bag" (what a disappointment that turned out to be) while more adventurous girls quickly turned the gift bags over to the boys on the school bus. End of story.

Fast forward a few decades, and now I was invited to preview the maturation movies (yes, plural) my children would see. The first movie was okay. Cartoony characters in full color and graphic images. This movie actually explained puberty in both genders. That confused me because the maturation movie I saw in 6th grade made it very clear that only girls went through puberty... Anyway, back to the modern version. The second movie was the "AIDS" movie. It was only slightly less confusing than my own maturation movie. As one mother said, "I'm so glad I saw the AIDS movie because now I know that if someone two classrooms over gets a nosebleed, we will all get AIDS." Glad to know how clear the movies are these days. And you know what else shocked me? A man/male/non-female principal ran the preview for the parents. Wow. Progress.

Now onto the kids' viewing. I am happy to say that the kids were segregated, but boys and girls saw the same movies. No more secrets! I am also happy to report that although one boy did pass out during the maturation movie and another ran from the room to throw up, my child sat calmly through the movie and was non-plussed at the information. And that, my friends, is meaningful in its own way.

Next on the list is the 8th grade AIDS movie, part II. Rumor has it that it is a doozy. We shall see...

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