At the end of almost every school year, most classes have parties, field trips or schedule other fun things for their students. In most cases there are always a few kids with discipline or grade issues that tend to be left behind. On this day in particular, I was set to stay on campus with almost 25 boys and girls while the remaining students were on their way to have fun in the sun at a local water park.
I was asked by the Math and English teachers to show the students some PG or PG-13 movies that were approved for the 6th grade kids. As I looked over the selection of Pixar and Disney movies, I realized that most of the boys in this group would not be entertained by the selection and might honestly cause more trouble while staying with me. So I asked if I could bring some “kid friendly” movies from home. The teachers told me, “As long as you make sure that they are PG-13 and are not too violent, then it will be okay.”
So when I got home, I started looking in my DVD holder and put aside: Sky High, Transformers, Goonies and Remember the Titans.
Sky High – Super Hero High School kids having teenage problems with an awesome 80s soundtrack.
Transformers – The original 80s cartoon movie that truly Kicks Ass!!!
The Goonies – Look, if I have to explain what The Goonies is … your childhood SUCKED!!!
Remember the Titans – Awesome football movie with that “save the cheerleader, save the world” girl.
Anyway … I ended up bringing Sky High, The Goonies and Transformers since the History teacher told me that he had already shown Remember the Titans earlier that year. Well, I started the morning with a quick Math “game show” contest to see who got to choose the first movie. The girls won and chose some cheesy movie called the Ant Bully that I didn’t even know was in the building. I was amazed by how it kept their attention for the very “painful” 90 minutes of my life but then it was the guys turn to choose and they selected Transformers.
I tried my best to not act excited …
But it has Optimus Prime, Iron Hide, The Dinobots,
Megatron, Unicron, The Matrix and of course
All the boys lined up on the floor, anticipating the start of the movie. At this point the classroom door opened up and we were surprised by one of the lunch ladies. She informed us that they had made too many pizzas and since they knew that the other 6th graders were off campus, they thought that we might enjoy a snack with our movie. It was as if God had sent us a little gift.
When the opening credits started, I turned into the wide-eyed, teenager that sat in the SAGE Theater back in 1986. At this point, some of the boys started to talk smack about the cartoon aspect of the movie. That’s when I returned to Mr. OCS and silenced them to appreciate the Greatness that was
For a few minutes the kids would look really bored with Kip, Daniel and Hot Rod on the screen but when Unicron started to eat Moon Base 1 and Spike yells,
You would have thought that these kids had never heard the word “shit” in their entire life. It is as if the years of OCS, detention, possible gang fights, Rated R movies, Primetime TV and God forbid the school playground trash talk hand never touched their “sensitive “ear drums.
They all stopped talking, looked at each other shocked and then turned to me with the whites of their eyes open. I literally had to stop the movie and explain to them that I know that they hear worse words in the lunch room or at recess when they are around their friends. After a few quick giggles they were all sitting back down and waiting to hear the next curse word but they just ended up enjoying the rest of the movie.
When I work with Math classes and a kid tells me that they want to be Video Game designer or programmer when they grow up; I always give them examples of Pixar and Disney movies but on that day … these kids got to see how the magic of the film industry was back in the 80s. Now they can understand what the power of a child’s imagination and some hard work can do for the future of the entertainment industry.