Friday, July 29, 2011

Three Simple Steps...

Ahh…children’s television.  We like the PBS and Disney stuff but darn if those tunes don’t get stuck in my head and eventually drive me crazy!

Most likely anyone with preschoolers out there will recognize the "three simple steps" I titled this post. Yes, Secret Agent Oso is a cartoon where a cute bear teaches kids how to do just about anything by breaking it down into three simple steps. Tooth brushing, tying shoes, you name it.

Which always sort of humors me because in essence, as those of us who work in project management or enterprise architecture well know, decomposing anything down into its smallest "atomic" components is how you create work packages in a plan or...oh my gosh...what gobbledygook--just do what Secret Agent Oso says.

Have you ever noticed that kid's TV shows nowadays are all about teaching? None of this Roadrunner and Coyote, drop anvils on each other’s head stuff.

No. Today, Curious George teaches us all about how to measure and think critically. Sid the Science Kid? You guessed it. You can learn all about observations and formulating and then proving your hypothesis.  Imagination Movers is all about solving problems too, and of course Mickey Mouse is about figuring out the best tools to do the job (and practice your counting while you are at it!)

I read once that the Flintstones was an ode to “The Honeymooner” which was Jackie Gleason’s show.  “To the Moon Alice” Ralph would rail, much like Fred did to Wilma on the cartoon. I don’t recall much educational value, but maybe there was.  After all, we learned how to lie and scheme our way out of problems that we ourselves caused, (but never really got away with.)  

So I guess in closing, what I’m getting at is that if those of us who grew up in the ‘60s and ‘70s were influenced by TV and turned out the way we did, how will today’s kids turn out?

I guess if I thought about it hard enough, I could break it down into three simple steps.

Or could I? -M

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