I love school. Actually a more fitting statement might be that I love learning. I always have. Evidenced by the fact that I went to 12 years of school followed by at least 12 years of formal education after that. I got a Bachelor’s degree, then went on to get a Master’s and an Education specialist degree. Someday I plan to finish getting my doctorate and you best believe you will be hearing about that! Anyway, I was an early reader; I learned to read at age four and because of that I always did well in school and pleased teachers because I could do well in what was their chosen profession. I still remember and revere my Kindergarten teacher–Mrs. Doeback. And to top it off, I have worked in elementary schools, middle and high schools, and even in college.
I blame Sesame Street. I grew up like so many watching the Sesame Street /Electric Company (remember them?) tandem every single day. Mr. Rogers Neighborhood was in there somewhere as well. I learned to like learning and people and lost myself in all the friends–real and muppet– I had: Bert, Ernie, Mr. Hooper, Gordon, Susan, Roosevelt Franklin,Oscar, Big Bird, Cookie Monster, and Mr. Snuffleupagus to name only a very few. Sesame Street was a friendly, safe place where the real and the “unreal” intersected, where learning was OK, where everyone got along and solved problems with communication and good humor, and where it didn’t matter what color you were. The occasional celebrity showed up, too, which was a wonderful surprise and addition. I wonder if that has anything with my interest in writing and acting? As I think about it, there was so much unintentional learning that took place on Sesame street. I think I may have spent more time at that address than I have anywhere else I’ve lived…I certainly have enjoyed it as much as I have any other place I’ve lived. Now it lives on in my memory and has become a state of mind as much as anything.
Today is the anniversary of its first airing in 1969. And it’s still going on and going strong. Were any of you my neighbors?