When I was in grade school, we’d have movie day right before Christmas. All of the grades would pile into our gym/cafeteria and the principal would project movies on to the painted cinderblock wall.
I think the teachers stood outside and smoked.
There was usually one longer-length main feature that was about the importance of family or some such thing. But there would be filmstrips, too.
Remember filmstrips? If you were super cool, you got to run the filmstrip while the teacher went out for a smoke. The cassette soundtrack would beeeeep! and you’d turn the little dial to change the slide.
Now, I distinctly remember one of the Christmas movie day filmstrips being about … the birth of Jesus.
Yes, I went to a public school.
And no, there weren’t any Jewish people in town.
And no, I don’t think Kwanzaa had been invented yet.
And no, I don’t think cultural sensitivity had been invented yet, either.
This all makes me laugh – teachers smoking in the breezeway while 250 kids crammed into a sweltering gym with one always-on radiator learned all about the birth of our lord and savior from a filmstrip.
You know, if I had to spend the week before Christmas with 25 overstimulated little kids, I’d probably a) start smoking and b) abandon them to pretty much any filmstrip – Jesus? Charles Manson? Fine.
So, to all my old teachers – no hard feelings, ok?