Nonna's Favorite Quotes:

Nonna's Favorite Quotes: "The best way to make children good is to make them happy." — Oscar Wilde, author and poet

Monday, October 31, 2011

Thanks Mr. Cosby

Mèmè Shares: 
Bill Cosby was such a great influence on my life and my children’s.  I first heard his stand-up comedy in the late sixties on a record album (anybody remember those). The album was "Bill Cosby is a Very Funny Fellow...Right."  He did a routine about Noah building the Ark.  I memorized the whole routine and used to do it to entertain my college roommates.  We would laugh until we cried.  Eventually, I had all his albums and often quoted funny lines from them.
My own children were introduced to Bill Cosby by way of his television show.  We taped every episode on the VCR (anybody remember those) and would re-watch them often.  One winter, about the third snow day in a row the kids were home and bored, I got out the old albums and our record player (remember those).  We spent the whole afternoon listening to all the great comedy – Tonsils,” “Go Carts,” “Noah,” and my personal favorite, “Chicken Heart.”  The kids had a new respect for comedy that could be so funny and never included even one bad word.  This was about the time that comedians like Eddie Murphy and Richard Pryor were doing stand-up and Saturday Night Live and were really stretching the boundaries.
Fast-forward to the nineties and my first years teaching here in Memphis.  At that time in a self-contained classroom we taught all subjects – including religion, as we are a parochial school.  Sixth grade religion curriculum is the Old Testament and on went the light bulb.  Dragged out the albums again for a new generation of listeners, and found an old record player in the library with a still working needle. (Anybody?)  The kids laid on the floor and found the record going around as fascinating as the comedy.  Even though we are now departmentalized and I teach only literature, imagine my excitement when I found a selection in our literature book from Bill Cosby.  So, I still get a chance to introduce my favorite comedian to another generation. 
Probably one of the finest moments in my teaching career was when an autistic child who heard “Noah”  performed, chuckled out-loud and kept repeating the punch line..."Riiighhhhttt!"  He later asked he parents to purchase the CD’s (y’all know what those are) and memorized the routine.  He did it word for word with a perfect mimic and went on to be a starring member of our Middle School competition Forensic, Public Speaking and Drama team.
Thanks, Mr. Cosby for all your contributions to entertainment and education.

Mary C. Prus, B.A., MATL. (Mémé) taught and administered Early Childhood Developmental Programs in Erie, PA. for 20 years, including the Maura Smith Child Learning Center on the campus of Mercyhurst College, where she had received her Bachelor’s Degree (many years earlier). Which only proves - what goes around, comes around!  Currently she is teaching sixth grade Middle School in Memphis, TN. She is a long distance grandmother to three grandchildren.

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