In the last 5 minutes before I walked out the door to work yesterday I dumped a directory full of cartoon theme songs to CD, to listen to at work. I collected them all back in the heyday of Napster, and I haven’t listened to them in almost 5 years. Two of my all time favorites cartoon themes are on there:
Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors
I used to run home after school in 5th grade to watch M.A.S.K. It came on right at 2:30 and if I cut through the neighbor’s yard (and of course I did) I could make it in the door just as the opening credits were finishing. Also in 5th grade, I was invited to join a program called E.T. (Follow me, this is going somewhere…) Sadly, it had nothing to do with friendly stumpy-legged aliens. It stood for Exceptionally Talented. It was a very free form classroom environment, where the students pretty much picked their own projects to work on… and then spent their time goofing off. The course culminated in your Type III project, which was supposed to be the chilled glass of creative and imaginative juice that each student could squeeze from their mind grapes.
Knowing what I do now, I think it was somebody’s attempt to inject Waldorf/Montessori style education into the deeply regimented public school system.
In Dalton, Massachusetts.
At Nessacus Middle School.
In one classroom in the basement.
To that end I guess they succeeded. They also succeeded in making me very upset that there were no Reese’s Pieces involved. I have no idea how or why I was selected. I do, however, remember my “interview” with the program’s director, Ms. Graham. When she got to the topic of the Type III project, and asked if I had anything in mind that I’d like to do, I told her that I thought it’d be cool to make a M.A.S.K. mask – with blinky lights and everything. It wouldn’t actually do anything, like make me levitate (sooo cool!), because as my cousin Eric loved to point out, “Light can’t do that”. (Blasphemer!)
This is when Ms. Graham rewrote the selection criteria for the E.T. program.