Wind Blown

My speech classes are studying persuasiveness and debate, so I showed a movie. (My being absent one [1] day may or may not have contributed to this decision).

The movie is Inherit the Wind, which I first saw as a high school junior in my American History class. It's based on the Scopes Monkey Trial, though it is highly fictionalized for dramatic purposes. (But y'all, the SMT itself was pretty dramatic too. It was one of the 10 Days That Unexpectedly Changed America).

So my sub left me a note which said, "The students did not seem too interested in the movie." To which my response is, "So? I gave an assignment; they should do it." The note continued, "They perked up some when they debated at the end of class."

Item 1: Class is 90 minutes long; the movie is 2 hours and 8 minutes long. There is no WAY they should have been doing anything but watching the movie.
Item 2: THANKS FOR RUINING NEXT WEEK'S LESSON PLANS!! I am about to be OVER subs, for reals.

I knew it would be a tough sell; it's from 1960 and it's black and white, but that does not take away from the fact that it is UNBELIEVABLY AWESOME.

My third period class, which I had today, was really into it. (which: I KNOW!) Maybe it helps when I am there to take cell phones out of their hands or bang on desks when they try to sleep. But they got the jokes, and they were into the emotion of the trial itself, and they did NOT tell me whether or not they were interested, which is good because I MIGHT have had a thing or two to say about that. (I will save it for the other class. It would be a shame for a good dressing-down to go to waste like that).

Anyway, I was thinking today, as I was looking at my kids, about how I was when it was MovieTime in class. I NEVER slept during a movie. I don't know if this was the result of my incredible nerddom, or because I have THE strongest phobia about falling asleep in public (I am totally afraid I will drool all over myself; when I went to London I stayed awake for 40 straight hours because of the Sleep Phobia--I couldn't sleep on the plane, even though I took sleeping pills and listened to soothing music and I even used that stupid eye mask thing).

The only time I was ever even tempted was when we watched Julius Caesar, because I did not like that play and I really did not like the movie, but every time my head dipped down, I had a vision of myself all sprawled out with my mouth open and a huge bucket of drool on my desk. It was terrifying enough for me to be one of only four people who actually did watch that movie.

So today, I was specifically thinking about when I first saw Inherit the Wind. I was ALL into that movie, because I was thinking about becoming a lawyer, and also because Gene Kelly is a reporter in the movie and probably I was the only person in the whole school who knew who he was. (My nerd tendencies know no bounds).

It was all very exciting to me, and throughout the film I kept changing my mind about who was right and who was wrong, and I would get all charged up and mad and then victorious and I'd be like, "Wow! What a great line of questioning!" because even though I was just a young'un, I was a full-blown dorkarina.

And I wondered, today, if I was the only person who had watched Inherit the Wind, back in my junior history class. Was everybody else as bored by it as my first period students? Was I just oblivious because I thought it was super-fantastic? Or is my first period class so jaded and desensitized that any film without, like, bombs or guts or car chases is stupid?

I guess I'll find out next week, when I MAKE THEM WATCH IT AGAIN.

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