We went to my parents’ house for a visit today. Yesterday was my dad’s birthday. Happy Birthday, Dad! He is now old enough to get a discount on the ferry. It is hard to beat that.

My dad showed a sensitive side when he brought down two bags. The bags were full of school work of mine and my sister’s. Lots of laughs there. Now I actually do have proof that I was a good student, and that I had nice, neat papers. My kids are going to have to believe me now!

I spent my early years at the the Lutheran Day school that my kids went to. After 6th grade my parents sent me to the local public school because they knew that they just couldn’t pull off private high school. Because I am the oldest, they took great interest in things that were going on in the classroom. I must have been quite forthcoming about the things we were watching in the classroom because it prompted my dad to write a few letters.

I barely remember the movie that nearly ended my social life. I remember that nuclear war or something had destroyed the planet and a few people were living in some kind of green house thingy. It was called “Ark”, and I only know that from the letter that my dad saved after all these years.

The letter is dated Dec. 4, 1984. It is from the Assistant Suerintendent, and he tells my parents in the letter that he has had the chance to review the topic of the movie with my teacher (oh, I didn’t like her) and the principal of my school.  He goes on..

The lesson taught by Mrs. ** in which she used the film, “Ark”, dealt with the objective to teach children to identify the tactics used in the film. It might be said that the teacher was trying to do exactly what you are concerned about, that is, to make children aware of tactics people might use to persuade them. This lesson was within the SLO’s of <this school district> cirriculum and is an integral part of the language arts program.

Huh? Really? It was?  I am kind of confused how that would have been an integral part of the language arts program. My dad must have been confused too because I was removed from the class for the rest of the movie days. I remember being very embarrassed because all the kids in my class wanted to know why I was able to leave. I am sure you can imagine it. “Hey! Why does she get to leave?” and “I want to go to the library too!” and “”Why is she so special?” What 13 year old wants to tell them that their dad is writing letters to the school board in protest? See? End of my social life.

I have to say that as a parent now, I am certain that my dad did the right thing. I am scanning my brain and trying to figure out how that movie  could pertain to anything that was language arts related.  No wonder my writing skills are weak.

This was 25 years ago. I hardly believe that this was isolated, and if anything there is probably a lot more junk being used to help children “identify tactics that people may use to persuade them” during language arts. Yep, I will just keep my kids at home. Thanks.

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