Tuesday, June 30, 2009

New Teacher, New Decade

So today in my class we had a new teacher to teach us about the 50s. She talked about image vs. reality and that our image or perception of the perfect 50s were basically false. She explained that the 50s is more complex than we think and that there were still post-war anxieties. We also talked about suburbanization and appliances.

With suburbanization, our teacher elaborated about the ideal of the nuclear family and how this ideal was advertised a lot on TV. For the housewives of these nuclear families, appliances were a must. New appliances for cooking were most popular, especially with supermarkets becoming a phenomenon.

We then watched a documentary about the 1950s that discussed religion, fear of another Depression, emotional crisis revolving around splurging, and especially advertisements.

After the documentary we talked about it and the lecture. Surprisingly we were able to leave class early. Hopefully tomorrow will be the same kind of fulfilled learning day.


Charles Tillman Ramsey said...

I was not born in the 50's, but as a history major I did a lot of research about that decade and I concur that it was not all loves and hugs. However, we can say that about any decade. Avauna, in the end, like has its challenges no matter what the day or the decade.

What one has to take from history is the common threads that run through human life. What are the political, social and economic situations that impact us.

What I would find helpful is how does this impact us here in West Contra Costa? Has this experience with A-bombs, Milkshakes and sit ins shape your opinions and views. Both of us had a great time on the college campus tours and I saw that you were very prepared and taking good notes, well how does being in a college class at Brown make you feel?

When we spoke Columbia appeared to be your top choice, what impression has Brown made on you during your time on campus?

We would all love to hear your views about campus life and your impressions about the other students who are in your class.

Take care.

Charles T. Ramsey, Esq.
School Board Member
West Contra Costa
Unified School District

Don Gosney said...


Unlike that youngster, Mr. Ramsey, I WAS born in the '50's. I fondly remember how idyllic it all was. We watched Leave it to Beaver, Ozzie and Harriet and Father Knows Best. We had a President who spent all of his time playing golf so why would anyone worry?

Of course, we also had duck and cover drills so that when THE bomb hit our school our desks would protect us. [By the way, the US Government even had a plan to deliver mail and keep the IRS open after the nuclear war.]

We also had Madison Avenue who convinced us that smoking was not only perfectly safe but that it was healthy (9 out of 10 doctors recommended Lucky Strikes).

The idea, Avauna, was to convince the public that even though we were at risk on a daily basis of a nuclear war being waged over the smallest slight, that we should put our full faith and trust into our government and those we elected because they knew what was best for us.

By the way, we honestly believed that a nuclear war could be fought and won. We had plans to use nuclear weapons to dig canals. During the Korean War we had plans to blanket the Yalu River (the border between North Korea and China) with nuclear bombs to drive home the point that we had them and they did not (and to remind the USSR that we were willing to use ours). We sat soldiers by the thousands in trenches near nuclear tests to see how the blasts might affect them. [Nuclear weapons are our friends!]

But, we had Howdy Doody on TV in the morning so we knew that all was well with the world.