The Young New Mexican Puppeteer

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Obadiah, Apr 10, 2018.

  1. Obadiah

    Obadiah Devotee

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    Apr 10, 2018

    I had just turned 14 in March 1972. Like the other young teenagers, I relished in my new privilege of starting the family car and bouncing among the three popular radio stations while waiting for the rest of the family to arrive. A new Tom Jones song caught my teenaged attention and although it only reached the top 80, it instantly became my favorite. It told a story about a teenager in Albuquerque who grew concerned with the attitudes of people around him. He decided to enrich others' lives by carving marionettes and putting on puppet shows. As he grew older, this became his profession.

    The young New Mexican puppeteer
    He saw the people all lived in fear
    He thought that maybe they'd listen to
    A puppet telling them what to do
    And so he got some string and he got some wood
    He did some carving and he was good
    And folks came a-running so they could hear
    The young New Mexican puppeteer

    Several recent threads reminded me of this song. I located it on You Tube, sung by Tom Jones and also by Tommy Cash. I thought, what if students modeled this boy's ambition. Not that they need to become puppeteers, although that wouldn't be a bad idea. Creating puppets, stages, and plays would be quite a positive school activity. But the idea is, rather than just sitting around doing nothing, what if students searched for productive ways to enrich the lives of other students. (Hmmm...what if adults did this also). This would create an uplifting atmosphere within the school.

    Here are some initial ideas that floated through my head this morning. Perhaps students can add positive songs to the school jukebox; I don't know how these newer machines work, but perhaps this is a possibility, perhaps even going retro and reviving older songs, such as the one I've mentioned. Perhaps an afterschool homework help could be established; this would not only allow students to assist each other but also help develop new friendships. A simple activity was suggested in last Sunday's comics in The Family Circus, go up to another person and smile. Another thought, early elementary students could have a silly face signal, when, at the sound of the bell, they try to make another person laugh with a silly face. Just some initial ideas and I'm sure we could come up with even better ideas--in fact, if our students brainstormed, they could come up with ideas we'd never be able to think of.

    But my point is, we need more young New Mexican puppeteers in New York, Sacramento, Columbus, all over the United States, all over the world for that matter.
     
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  3. blazer

    blazer Groupie

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    Apr 11, 2018

    Always preferred Delilah myself;)

    Mind you, having driven across New Mexico anything that relieves the boredom would be a distraction from putting bullet holes in the road signs!:rofl:
     
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  4. Been There

    Been There Cohort

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    Apr 11, 2018

    Your post reminded me of the tremendous influence that multimedia, in all its forms, can have on motivating students. Somewhat similar to the used of puppetry, I would often use animations to engage my most difficult students - even those with autism. Through the use of voice-overs, a single animated character that appeared on-screen addressed students by name (guaranteed hook) and would invite them to participate in an interactive session related to their academic needs. Music, sound effects, reflective questions and a variety of animation effects would be used selectively to facilitate the learning process. Students were mesmerized by the cartoon character that reached out to them from the computer screen!
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2018
  5. Obadiah

    Obadiah Devotee

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    Apr 12, 2018

    Awesome idea! I think such use of animation is a spectacular idea! (I must still be sleepy this morning; I meant to quote your post but somehow it didn't copy).
     

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