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Change Your Underwear Twice a Week: Lessons from the Golden Age of Classroom Filmstrips [Paperback]

Danny Gregory

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Product details

  • Paperback: 213 pages
  • Publisher: Artisan Publishers; First Printing edition (1 April 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1579652638
  • ISBN-13: 978-1579652630
  • Product Dimensions: 2 x 20.3 x 23.5 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,046,645 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Change Your Underwear Twice a Week With simple illustrations and quaint photographs, this is the first book to create a panorama of four decades of inadvertent humor embedded in earnest lessons on such topics as how to grow up healthy and strong, the mysteries of outer space and the "modern" world. Full description

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Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  18 reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Nostalgic Look At A Time Gone By 1 Dec 2004
By Timothy Kearney - Published on Amazon.com
There's something almost magical about filmstrips, even today. When I began teaching, it was in the mid-1980's and the school had a VCR. All the best educational materials were on video, but every time I found a filmstrip that might be useful and showed it to the class, it captured the students' imaginations the way that nothing else did. Sure they were old fashioned, and sometimes out of date, but the kids loved them. They would be fascinated with the old machines which were used to show these little stories that taught some sort of lesson or told a story. Some of the filmstrips were "high tech" which had a cassette or LP which accompanied it. The story would be told by a narrator and a beep would be provided to move the strip along. Of course the kids thought they were stepping into a time machine. When I was in school, filmstrips were a part of everyday schooling.

Anyone who attended school in the 1950's-70's will enjoy this book, and may even find a filmstrip that will recall a memory or two. The book is divided into sections and actual filmstrips used in classrooms are provided as graphics. While the author has some fun with the strips themselves, he also provides lessons about why the filmstrips were used and the role filmstrips played in education. Filmstrips kept students informed, taught lessons on citizenship, and what was appropriate behavior. The America of the filmstrips was white, middle class, and patriotic. While readers cannot help but be amused at this nostalgic trip back in time, it is also a bit jarring to see how a large segment of society was excluded from filmstrips.

I got a laugh out of what is called "the propaganda" section of the book. It had a filmstrip on bread and the importance of bread in the diet and showed bread in production. While it was probably produced by the bakers of Wonder Bread, the actual plant where the bread is baked has the generic name "Your Local Baker" so it would not be too commercial. I remembered seeing this actual filmstrip and I'm sure believed every word. It recalled rainy days in elementary school when we missed recess and as a "treat" got to see filmstrips.

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So happy! 10 Nov 2004
By Rachel Rhodes - Published on Amazon.com
I'm a great fan of vintage classroom filmstrips as well as the Bell & Howell projectors usually used to project them. This book filled my heart not with nostalgia, but the actual joy that invaded the entire classroom when the teacher said, "We're going to watch a filmstrip today, kids!" Even upon simply hearing about the project, the smells of my elementary school wafted into my nostrils from a long-lost file in my brain. Then my amygdala picked up the ball and started running. This book makes me happy! And I plan on spreading that happiness -- I can think of at least five of my friends who need this for Christmas. You probably have at least one friend who does an impersonation of the announcer's warped voice from any one of these stills, and, believe me, that friend needs this book.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars hilarious 6 Nov 2004
By K. Vanderstraeten - Published on Amazon.com
I didn't grow up in America, so these film strips are wholly alien to me... and a great discovery! The way they are presented, with dry wit and lots of information, sets them into a context that is relevant for today. A great gift, for my American and non-American friends alike!
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nostalgia 6 Nov 2004
By Robyn - Published on Amazon.com
I didn't grown up in America and sometimes when I see things about America on the TV news, I wonder how another English speaking country can be so different to mine - and then I read Danny's book and realised that it isn't. I think that producers of the film strips (as they were called in Australian schools) must have all come out of the same mould. It brought back memories of rainy Friday afternoon, when sport was cancelled. The whole school was packed into the hall. We all reeked of damp Dunlop Volley's (sandshoes) and unwashed hair. The lights would dim and the teacher who had lost the toss (of the coin) began winding the afternoon's entertainment projector. Thanks for the memories, Danny. I had some hearty chuckles.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun but could be better 16 Jun 2005
By Kim - Published on Amazon.com
If you are old enough to remember the wonderful world of filmstrips then you will probably find this book fun. But don't expect too much. I have to disagree with another reviewer. This is NOT a scholarly look at filmstrips- just a fun jaunt. The text has a few good laughs and sometimes Gregory's social commentary is annoying and predictable. He sometimes sounds like one of these filmstrips by spouting the obvious. The photos from the strips could have been presented better. They were far to small and difficult to follow.

But this book works as a fun evening read. Don't expect much more then a fun few hours stroll down memory lane and you will be pleased. Also worth checking out is Mental Hygiene by Ken Smith- an excellent and fun look at the film equivalent of the film strip.
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