Posts Tagged ‘Cinema’

Have Our Children Stopped Dreaming?

December 19, 2013


I’ve thought it all out. We’re going to
live on a horse ranch, my husband and I.
I’ll work for NASA. And my husband…
he’ll do something completely different.
And we’ll offset each other. Like we’ll
have some things in common but we’ll also
have all these other dimensions that we
bring to the relationship. And that’s how
I know it’ll work.
Sounds like a dream.
(right back at him)
It’s good to have dreams. Don’t you

Above is dialogue from the best teenage drama I have seen in many years, The Spectacular Now.

It got me thinking. Do our children have dreams like our parents did? Like we did?

The generation of the moon landing always remind us that the event of man on the moon was not the main cause of celebration – it was the feeling that if we can walk on the moon, we can achieve anything we put our mind to.

Maybe those ambitions and dreams were dashed, leaving my generation feeling less convinced that vision and the determination to see it come to fruition is enough to make it happen. We still had dreams, but perhaps our faith in our capacity to see it through brought on a more lackluster work ethic and more brittle resolve.

Today’s children seem to have taken on our worst habits and abandoned the thirst for achieving something special. They don’t seem to know what they want to be or want to do. They often seem to lack the spark of self-belief to even contemplate achieving something monumental, or at least unique.

You might think I am being pessimistic when it comes to the next generation and their prospects for the future. This is certainly not the case. I have so much faith in our young. They have so much to offer and are extremely willing to learn. They just need to be ignited – to start believing again.

And they don’t need a moon landing or a Mars mission to get them dreaming again. They just need to look at their parents and teachers and role models and feel assured by what they see. If they see us living lives of integrity, taking smart risks, following our dreams, taking pleasure in our lives, they will understand that the hard work required is for a good reason. An achievable reason.We don’t want to raise a generation of children that shelves dreams in preference for the safe and boring road.

It’s up to us.

Kids Films You Might Regret Sharing with Your Children

December 11, 2013





Courtesy of Betsy Bozdech:

  • Bambi
    Why you should watch out: Bambi’s mother’s death takes place offscreen, but it’s still the first thing most viewers remember, even decades later. Bambi’s subsequent frantic search for her is almost as upsetting. Read the full review.


  • 2
    Why you should watch out: Dumbo’s mother doesn’t die, but she’s cruelly separated from him after she’s provoked into a scary rampage. The follow-up scene in which she cradles him with her trunk through the bars of her cage window is gut-wrenching. Read the full review.


  • 3
    Finding Nemo
    Why you should watch out: Some parents we know just skip the first scene of this movie altogether until their kids are old enough to handle Nemo’s mom’s untimely demise at the jaws of a menacing predator fish. Read the full review.


  • 4
    The Land Before Time
    Why you should watch out: Young dinosaur Littlefoot’s mother is killed by an aggressive T-rex in this otherwise generally upbeat prehistoric adventure. Read the full review.


  • 5
    The Lion King
    Why you should watch out: Not only does Simba’s dad get trampled to death by a herd of stampeding wildebeests, but Simba unfairly blames himself for the tragedy. Read the full review.


  • 6
    Why you should watch out: This story about a family dealing with divorce and remarriage takes a tragic turn when the kids’ mom is diagnosed with fatal cancer. Read the full review.


  • 7
    We Bought a Zoo
    Why you should watch out: Here, the mom passed away six months before the movie begins, but the impact on her family is very much in evidence. Sometimes watching characters deal with grief can be even more painful than the death itself. Read the full review.


  • 8
    Why you should watch out: While Ellie isn’t a parent (which is another emotional aspect of the movie), her death at the end of an extremely poignant montage early in the film has a powerful impact. Read the full review.


  • 9
    Bridge to Terabithia
    Why you should watch out: Anyone who’s read the book that this touching drama is based on knows what’s in store for fearless, imaginative Leslie — misfit Jess’ only friend — but those expecting a fantasy adventure à la Harry Potter should be warned: Tragedy ahead! Read the full review.


  • 10
    Grave of the Fireflies
    Why you should watch out: Beautifully animated but unrelentingly sad, this heartbreaking WWII-set anime tale centers on two children — brother and sister — who sicken and die. Read the full review.


  • 11
    My Girl
    Why you should watch out: The unexpected death of preteen Vada’s best friend (by bee sting, no less) hits many kids very hard, especially since much of the rest of the movie has a sweetly nostalgic feel. Read the full review.


  • 12
    The Odd Life of Timothy Green
    Why you should watch out: Technically Timothy doesn’t die, but he disappears forever, causing pain for those who loved him, which can be just as hard for kids to deal with. Read the full review.


  • 13
    Why you should watch out: No, E.T. isn’t exactly a child, and no, he doesn’t really die — but for a few moments, it seems as if he has, and those few moments can be enough to send young fans of the spunky little alien into a tailspin. Also, plenty of kids who love the little alien are still afraid that he might be living with their stuffed animals in the closet… Read the full review.


  • 14
    Charlotte’s Web
    Why you should watch out: When Wilbur’s dear friend and constant champion weaves her last web after doing so much for others, many kids are caught unprepared. Read the full review.


  • 15
    Marley & Me
    Why you should watch out: Many families decided to watch this based-on-a-true-story tale because of ads featuring silly dog antics… and were left distraught by Marley’s sad death. Read the full review.


Ron Burgundy Gets School Named After Him (Video)

December 7, 2013



Click on the link to read Nine-Year-Old Stands Up for His School (Video)

Click on the link to read Inspiring Kids who Look After a Sick Parent

Click on the link to read The Perfect Example of Courage and Self-Respect

Click on the link to read Woman Re-Mortagages Her House To Feed School Kids

Click on the link to read Insensitive ‘Parent Bashers’ Take Aim at Grieving Colorado Parents

The Christmas Film That Inspired Me To Become a Teacher

December 26, 2010


Ok. Confession time. The above picture is highly misleading.

I was in the first year of an Arts degree, and like many teenagers, wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted to do.  I hadn’t even given teaching a moments thought.  Too many bad memories from my own school days to give teaching a single speck of consideration.  But then one night I happened to watch the Jimmy Stewart classic, “It’s a Wonderful Life” and within hours that all changed.

The movie portrayed a character on the edge of his tether who attempts suicide when he realises he is worth more dead than alive.  Enter an angel named Clarence who shows him how he, without even realising it, touched the lives of the people around him.  Everyone wants to leave the world having achieved something – having made the lives of others more enjoyable and secure.  I started thinking about what I could do to make a contribution to society and in what area is there a need for someone with my limited talents.  Within two hours I went from never coming close to considering teaching to having the burning desire to teach.  This desire kept intensifying throughout the rest of my Arts degree and the Teaching degree that followed.  My passion has never cooled.  Actually, I love teaching more every day.

I’m interested to find out what inspired you to become a teacher.  Was it due to a brilliant teacher you had growing up?  Was it out of a love for a subject like Maths or Music?  Did you just want to offer the next generations something better than you had growing up?

Michael Grossman is the author of the hilarious new children’s book, My Favourite Comedian. You can buy a copy by clicking on this link. Thankfully, he has nothing to do with the utter disaster that is Christmas with the Kranks.

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