Remembering School Assembly Programs
Everyone loved Assemblies...
Back during the 1950’s besides the basic three R’s in schools, oftentimes the entire student body would be called to gather in the auditorium or gymnasium for special programs throughout each school year. These were programs designed to be either educational or sometimes one planned just for sheer entertainment. Remember the Assembly Programs and the break they would provide from the sometimes drudgery of constant studying? All the students and as well as I remember the teachers also enjoyed the break in studies and would respond with laughter and applause with the students when something of interest happened.
'You can't learn when your talkin'...'
The whole idea of school was a remarkable fascination to a small boy during the early 50’s. I still remember the words of my dad as I left home each day to walk up the hill to my school, “If you use you two ears twice as much as your mouth, you’ll learn something today.” He also told me about what Benjamin Franklin had said about ‘one not being able to learn anything, as long as their mouth was open.’ I know I talked a lot. I ask a lot of questions as a child and used the excuse, “how else am I supposed to learn…”, but I soon found out just what he meant. Learnin’ can be fun, especially if the teachers and the subjects are presented in different and interactive and interesting ways. I guess that’s why I did better some years than others; some teachers were tyrants I thought back then and knew only one way to teach – just drive the point home.
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'March in single file...'
Every now and then we would hear the principal’s familiar voice on the public address system call for everyone to come to the gymnasium for an assembly program. I guess the teachers knew in advance but it was always a surprise to me maybe because I wasn’t listening when the announcement was first mentioned. Remember how we were told to stand and then ‘march’ out in single file, then wait at the water fountain for the teacher to make sure we were all there…, goodness, where else would we be? After the teacher made sure no one was hiding in the clothes lockers at the back of the room she would catch up and lead her class to the gym for the special announced program. I believe I learned more in assembly than I did in class sometimes.
Every program was different but they were all educational; and geared to get us kids to think and ask questions like how and why. Often times our questions were answered before we had a chance to ask. There were science shows and magic shows; math shows also and sometimes one show might stand out in the mind of nine or ten year old boy as being a special assembly. I remember that once a man came from Duncan Yo-Yo’s and put on a demonstration of all the tricks you can do with a Duncan Yo-Yo. He would ‘walk the dog’ or ‘rock the cradle’ even ‘loop-d-loop’ and drop the yo-yo right into his pocket. I was spell bound, I’m sure I sat on the edge of my seat with my mouth wide open. He ask for volunteers to come up on stage so I went with three others to try and guess what color trick yo yo he had in his pocket. I guessed red and won. It was the first thing I had ever won before. I read the little booklet and learned how to do some tricks but nothing like the guy in the following video…
© 2011 SamSonS