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Change Your Underwear Twice a Week: Lessons from the Golden Age of Classroom Filmstrips Paperback – April 1, 2004


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Artisan (April 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1579652638
  • ISBN-13: 978-1579652630
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,516,484 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Book Description

With simple illustrations and quaint photographs that evoke a more innocent era—presented in Technicolor or rich black-and-white in a broad range of illustration styles—Change Your Underwear Twice a Week is a chronicle of the classroom filmstrip experience. It will instantly transport baby boomers back to fifth-period social studies, the smell of art paste, the sound of the recess bell. It's the first book to collect dozens of these treasures together, creating a panorama of four decades of inadvertent humor embedded in earnest lessons on how to grow up healthy and strong, the mysteries of outer space, faraway lands, and the "modern" world.

Readers from the Internet generation will get a good chuckle over what appears to be electronic cave art. But they'll also discover the great subtexts of the Cold War world in filmstrips that explained why America was great and our way of life the envy of the world. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Publisher

Funnier than your favorite episode of "Huckleberry Hound," and more satisfying than a Velveeta cheese sandwich, this clever new book by Danny Gregory will zap you back to your elementary school years faster than your mom could bark "stand up straight!" Change Your Underwear Twice a Week transports us back to tender years, when life was simpler and America was innocent.

This is the first book to collect the popular film strips, once widely shown to U.S. school children in the decades following World War II. Designed to make us feel safe, tow the line with authorities, or get excited about the moon and outer space, the lessons are brought back here in vintage Technicolor or black and white.


More About the Author

I spent most of my life not believing I had the right to consider myself an artist in any way. But then I started drawing about eight years ago and it changed my life. It led me to travel, to meet people, to get books published, but most of all it transformed the way I see the world around me and how I experience every day.

I believe that everyone has the same opportunity. Not to become a Professional Artist but to make art into a regular part of your everyday life. It doesn't matter what your elementary school art teacher said, or your parents, or your boss. You have it in you to draw, to play an instrument, to write poetry, whatever you choose. You can and should express your self. Regardless of what you fear anyone else may thinks of the results, you can become a creative person and achieve a new view of the life you lead.

I often wonder what the world would be like if every adult was as creative and free as we all were as kids. I think it would be calmer, lovelier, more peaceful place. And I'd like to do something about it.

Several years ago, I started writing about my experience of creativity and sharing it on my website, dannygregory.com. Within a few months, the Everyday Matters group was formed and now over a thousand people get together regularly to encourage each other in drawing and painting and making beautiful things. They chat on the Internet and they get together in cities and towns around the world to collaborate and share.

My book, The Creative License, was written to help the sorts of people I met in our group. Some are students, some were artists and designers. But most were just people like me who had suddenly decided, when they were well into adulthood, that they wanted to return to making creativity a regular part of their lives. Most of them don't want to make a living painting or have their drawings hung in galleries and museums. They just want to have the pleasure and satisfaction of creating things.

If you would like to incorporate more creativity into your life, check out my new book, visit my site and drop me a line. I'd love to be inspired by you.


Meanwhile, here's some more of my story:


I was born in London, which we left when I was three or four. We moved briefly to Pittsburgh, Pa. then to Canberra, Australia. When I was nine, I went to live with my grandparents in Lahore, Pakistan. Next we went to a kibbutz in Israel then moved to a small town called Kfar Saba. As the Yom Kippur War broke out, we relocated to Brooklyn where I went to a Quaker high school. I was editor of the school paper and organized a Marxist study circle. I graduated from Princeton University, summa cum laude, with a degree in Politics. It was my 21st school.

When I was eleven, I began my first job - assisting the vet at the local slaughterhouse. I've worked in a record store, in one of New York's finest restaurants, and my congressman's office. I was a White House intern (Jimmy Carter lusted for me only in his heart) and a McDonalds' fry cook. I have also worked in a half dozen advertising agencies, and illustrated books, newspapers, and magazines. I am currently Executive Creative Director of a NY ad agency and Contributing Illustrator to The Morning News.

I live in Greenwich Village with myson, Jack Tea, and our miniature longhaired dachshunds, Joe and Tim. If you are in the area, come draw with me and my group.

Customer Reviews

If you are old enough to remember the wonderful world of filmstrips then you will probably find this book fun.
Kim
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.
Timothy Kearney
After borrowing the book from the library several times (and paying overdue fines), I went ahead and bought the book.
Astrobooker

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Timothy Kearney VINE VOICE on December 1, 2004
Format: Paperback
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.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Rachel Rhodes on November 10, 2004
Format: Paperback
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.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By K. Vanderstraeten on November 6, 2004
Format: Paperback
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!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Robyn on November 6, 2004
Format: Paperback
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.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Astrobooker on April 3, 2010
Format: Paperback
I first discovered this book by it unique title. The photos are based on obsolete 35 mm film strips that were made from the 1940s to 1970. The audience targeted were post World War II school children. The topics ranged from the importance of good behavior in school to science, technology, careers, food, transportation, even good hygiene ! Cultural matters such as the Cold War shadow many of the topics. One also learns odd facts like the delivery of USPS mail to a household TWICE a day! It is a fascinating look into a period of American culture that no longer exist today. After borrowing the book from the library several times (and paying overdue fines), I went ahead and bought the book. It is a wondrous historical document.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Lbo on October 28, 2004
Format: Paperback
I'm not sure why the reviewer below only gave this three stars with such a nice review? But this book is a trip down memory lane, often funny and really quite beautiful and fun to look at. The images are amazingly reproduced, and the author gives context to the filmstrips, and organizes them by subject. I promise, you won't be disappointed. I had to buy another copy because a colleague took mine!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Kim on June 16, 2005
Format: Paperback
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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