Springfield Leader and Press from Springfield, Missouri on June 16, 1986 · 11
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Springfield Leader and Press from Springfield, Missouri · 11

Springfield, Missouri
Issue Date:
Monday, June 16, 1986
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Ann Landers .-. Page 2 Crossword Page 2 Classified , Page 3 Monday, June 1 6. 1 986 Leaders. Press Columnist terrorized ' by 2-year-old A 2-year-old child visited my house last weekend. I lived through it and no one was hurt, but I think there will be one less Christmas card on my mantel next Christmas. . ' I'y f i . ..,., !-' " : f X V 1 The varieties of human motion, f rom athletics to dance to simply walking, will be explored in a human motion class taught by SMS physics professor John Northrip. The class is part of Drury College's Summerscape program for academically gifted children in grades 6-9. Physicist explores 7 1 o tie Boeirv oi mono Summerscape course is for 6th- to 9th-graders n ffWi "Hs By Al Carlson The Leader A Pree fow do you move to look happy? How do you move to Jooksad?" John Northrip, a walking answer to hi first question, will explore these and other movement-related topics in a human motion class. The course is a movement primer. In everything from gymnastics and walking down the street to diving and death scenes in movies, there is method to motion. : . "The first thing we'll do is look at how we describe motion and how we measure the way things move," said Northrip, a physic professor at Southwest Missouri State University. "Next, well talk about how human beings move, anatomy and the physiology of motion. Then we'll talk about how the eye, brain and muscles coordinate, and how that fits into the purposes of motion." The course is part of Drury College's Summerscape program for the academically gifted. Northrip considers It appropriate his students are in grades 9. "They are in this stage where motion patterns are changing rapidly," he said. "Particularly, ( find gifted students tend to be conscious of lack of coordination and so forth. The chance to teach gifted students at an age where they're conscious of motion is a very rewarding experience." Students witl study the aesthetic impact of movement in such areas as dance, theater, gymnastics and diving, "where we judge the beauty of motion, rather than how fast and how strong one is," Northrip said. Field trips, analysis of movies and television programs, and four very special guests will contribute to the learning process. Northrip's four grandchildren ages 3 years, 2 years, 1 year and 6 months I.,., i., i .. ,i .. im..L reflect stages I 1 of f ' ' ' . 1 1 development . i in motion " " patterns. "That's an age span where one , year makes a world of I ' difference," ,' Northrip said. Students unfamiliar with the movie "Royal Wedding" 4 v John Northrip will discover Fred Astaire dancing on the ceiling. For "Singin" in the Rain," study emphasizes Gene Kelly's dancing in the title number. Northrip will examine the death scene from "Dial M for Murder," focusing on the motion involved in showing the . villain falling on a pair of scissors. Some subjects have practical applications that may not be immediately apparent. Students will learn, for instance, how to hold their arm out straight and turn their elbow without turning the hand. Archers use the movement. "It's an example of motion the brain never learns unlets you specifically set out to do it." Northrip said. The course is flavored with sports. "My background in the study of motion began with sports," said Northrip. "In athletics we're trying to move in the very best possible way. You're really focusing on all the fine points of motion. "We look at gymnastics as one thing and dance as another. Much of what : dancers do gymnasts do, In fact, you see a number of reasonably good dance move In basketball." One aspect of dance that occurs in basketball has spread to other activities. "Body control in the air used to be a part of dance. You see it everywhere now. That's a special problem. Once in the air, you don't have anything to push against," Northrip said. Walking will come under scrutiny. The ways in which people accomplish this task are as varied as fingerprints. "Everyone has their own characteristic gait," Northrip said. 'To a great extent we recognize people by the way they walk. You can recognize someone bundled up in a coat halfway across campus." Among the field trips Northrip is attempting to arrange are excursions to a fitness center, hospital therapy unit, and the kinesiology lab and Tent Theatre at SMS. Apparently, students also could benefit from observing the deep end of a swimming pool. "A good diver has everything in control," Northrip said. "Others of us leave the board with pieces kind of everywhere," Let me pref- .,,lii....,)HIIIU U.Ml.. H - . i,"" w .... it Sarah - - , Overstreet "i ' ..if11 " ft .:. - ;.; . ... -L iLJ ace this by saying I am the youngest child in my family, I do not have any children of my own and I have never spent a ' great deal of time around anyone else's 2-year-old. So perhaps I can be excused for not going through the house before his arrival and getting up everything that 'Wasn't bolted down and putting it out in the street where it would have been safer. To make a long and harrowing story short, I will only run through the highlights of my daymare: The kid banged my computer keyboard, banged the buttons on my telephone, pulled the knobs on my stereo, pushed all the buttons on my television, poured water on my desk, walked on my couch in his hard shoes, spun the spokes of my great-grandmother's spinning wheel, pulled a piece of Formica off the kitchen counter that I didneven know was loose, and grabbed onto a . Levelor blind covering my picture window that cost more than mycarandl)entitina90-degreeangle. While this child went through my house like a train, I ran along behind him saying, "No-no, Timmy, no-no," and tried to visit with his parents, who looked at me all the while as if to say, "What's the matter with her? Got ants in her pants?" It was obvious they couldn't understand why I was making such a big deal over a few buttons and a little piece of Formica that was put in 20 years ago and which I couldn't match for all the money behind a gold American Express card. Now I admit I don't know much about children, but I noticed that kid could understand some words and even say some, like for instance "Shoes, shoes, shoes," which he demanded that everyone take off their feet or he cried. So (and I will probably get. letters for this, if not from a concerned parents' organization, then the S.P.C.A.), I concluded that this kid was at least as smart as my dog, Lucky, who does not know the word "shoes," or even the word "Lucky." And Lucky does not push buttons, pull Formica or even walk on the couch, even when he wants to. And I'll admit I would probably even get morejetters if I suggested these people break little Timmy the way I broke Lucky, which was in a class with about IS other dogs where we popped their choke collars when they did what we didn't want them to. So let me go on record right now as being opposed to putting dog collars on 2-year-olds and running them around a ring until they learn "No." Let's just say I'm wondering out loud why a dog, which doesn't have any vocabulary at all and only responds to numbers of syllables and voice inflections, can do what a kid with a vocabulary of about 75 words can't. And since I do not have any children, and since it is a well-known fact that the only people with sure fire advice on how to rear children are those who don't have any, I am willing to concede my suggestion that those people snatch a knot in that child might be ill-founded. I am willing to consider thoughtfully the idea that I am perhaps too attached to material things, and should be happy to sacrifice a few big-ticket items to the conceptual and motor development of little Timmy. After all, I was taking teacher education' courses in the early "70s when it was thought discipline impaired a child's creative flow, and caused potential rocket physicists to choose careers as telephone solicitors, or say, newspaper reporters. So, I guess I haven't come to any solid conclusions here, and probably haven't added anything to the considerable bodies of knowledge on either child psychology or child development. I think I have decided upon a course of action should little Timmy and his parents ever roll down my drive again: Lock the door, turn off the lights and hide in the bathroom. Soroh Overstreet Is a feature writer and columnist for Springfield Newspapers. Her column appears each Monday In The Leader & Press. TV at a glance 30 p.m. WTBS: Baseball Tha Atlanta Bf avot face tha Cincinnati Reds at Fulton County Stadium in Atlanta. 30 p.m. Th Movl Channel Testament" (183) Compelling, restrained what-lt movl about tha effecls of a nuclear war's aftermath on on family which survive tha initial blast By dwelling on Intimat day-to-day vnta and allowing views to know tha family Involved, th film make us percrv tha tragdy m painful, personal terms. A quiet, powerful statement agamat tha nuclear nightmara. With Jan Alexander and William Devan. 7 p.m. NBC: "Main 8trer Airing for th first tim )n prim time, this news show targeted at tens and young adults reports Oft th emotional Impact of sex on American teen-agers. Bryant Gumbet la host Popular sex therapist Dr. Ruth We the mer is on of th guests. 7 p.m. Showtime: "Oremlln" (ISM) A box Office blockbuster horror film with laughs An Inventor who ideas are better than hia finished - product (jut Mi tfw film) go looking for th frerfoct Christmas girt for his son in Chinatown. When given a "mowgil," he' warned never to enpote the tiny creature to harsh light, never to got it wet. and never to foed It after midnight. When the rule are Ignored the cute creature apawna horde of vicioua grmim (and th film go out of control). Starring Hoyt A ton. Phoeb Cat, Zach Galllgan and Polly Holliday. I p.m. PBS: "tn Search of the Trojan War" Part 5. "Empir of th Hitlite" Mor acholarty than previou hours but still vastly Interesting. Hot Michael Wood unearths the possibility of a Journey taken by the Emperor of th Mittlte along the Aegean coast which ended in a dash with the King of Greece, Michael Wood piece together this extraordinary Information from fetters and tablets Currently kept In Esst Berlin, f I p.m. NBC: "The Lords of Discipline" (1613) i David Keith takee a step towards stardom In hS military drama. Keith la dynamite fn a film jhat has a driving power despite Its metodramtic plot. Set at a U S military academy m 1064, it is a iJiui.nm..L.ii in iiiiji BmmmLwmmwm.mvmiims ' i V i l -'J . , : t f V ' 4 NBC takes a (somewhat) bold step Bernadette Pcten re-creates her ttage role in the television version of Stephen Sondheim's "Sunday In the Park with George," tonight at? on PBS. tan lough and often shocking story about th twitted valuea and false Impressions of manlin and racism In a restricted fraternity. p.m. ABC: "The First Urn" (Mad for TV, 1982) An lntrting twist on a them that should keep your Interest peaked. A teen-eger follows her boyfriend to San Diego and the girl's mother sets out to find her. Along th way, th woman Sake an old friend, a Navy captain, to help her in her desperate search. The plot fails to cover nw ground but a goo cast including Susen Anspach, Peter Barton, Edward Winter and Jennifer Jon Leigh make It seem fresh. p.m. KSPH: "FooUtape of Giants" A retrospective of U S. manned apacetlight. Highlights of the early Mercury missions, th moon landing, Apollo-Soyul. &kylsb and th apac shuttle, with a took at possible space programs of the future, King Feature Syndicate You might expect Ralph Nader to denounce "the Nielsen rating tyranny" that rules network television, but you probably wouldn't expect a television network to give him free air time to do the denouncing. NBC has done that, however, as part of a new series of image-enhancing spots keyed to the theme "NBC, Tuned in to America.1 Nader the consumer advocate, is one' of nine citijum viewers who'll be seen in the 30-sfcond announcements which begin airing June 23 in prime time, and will eventually be seen in all hours of the day. Each spot consists of one or two people holding forth, spontaneously and in their own words, on tha subject of television. In addition to Nader, participants include humorist Steve Allen, former astronaut James Irwin, National PTA President Ann Kahn, and Donna Deen and Dorothy Swan-son, cofounders of a group called Viewers for Quality Television. Much of what they -sy about television is positive snd Innocn--out, but some of what they say is negative and trenchant. That nukes the campaign highly unusual in the annals of network self promotion. "We wanted to have people offer their observations and ideas of what television Is all about," says Frank Pintauro, NBC vice president in charge of the project. "We wanted to com across as being very audience responsive." One thing, among dozens, that networks have always been criticized for is not listening to the voices and protests of viewers, only to the statistical data of ratings services. These spots make NBC look nobly open minded. However, Ralph Nader thinks NBC's open minilednett isn't exactly open-ended. "It's really fascinating what they selected out of the 40 minutes that we filmed," Nader says. "They didn't us the real revolutionary stuff that I said. They showed an f bj! Tom ' -r" A Shales unerring instinct for taking the most bland of all the material." Nader says he agreed to take part because "I figured some of the things I wanted to say would come across," and says of NBC and its project, "I couldn't quite figure out what their game is." Pintauro says NBC submitted transcripts -of all the planned Nader spots to the consumer advocate once they'd been edited for broadcast. "He approved them all," pin-.. tauro says from Maul, Hawaii, where he ' presented the new campaign to NBC affiliates gathered for a real hoo-rah of a convention. M.S. Rukeyser Jr., th NBC executive vice president whose office of corporate communications came up with the campaign, says, also from Maul, "Blandness was not on pur minds. W wanted a provoc-.ative spot that gets people's attention. Ws didn't go to all this trouble to be bland." How much trouble? NBC hired director Norman Seef, who did those terrific Pizza Hut testimonial spots, to direct the filming of the NBC messages. Very soft-sell. Very classy. Especially for a network. One of the Incidental revelations of the campaign Is what a skilled TV communicator ex astronaut Irwin is. When this guy look you in the eye and lays it on the line, you perk up and take notice. In one of his spots, he talks about the Impact of television's coverage of the Challenger disaster. t William R. Hutton, executive director of the National Council of Senior Citizens, also took part, as did Amy Marotta, a New Jersey school teacher. NBC says the participants "received no compensation" from the network. Among the remarks included in the spots: " "If you think television is doing anything wrong or having any kind of negative effect on your child . turn the damn set off for a while ... Human beings are more important than their imngijs on television." Steve Allen "Even if television had nothing but perfect programs on it, I think it would be Important for people to limit the amount of television that young children watch." Ann Kahn "When the quality isn't there, television can be mind numbing. When the quality is there, it can be breathtaking." ; Dorothy Swanson O ne of Nader "spots win be lhe one that kicks off the year-long campaign during the broadcast of "Highway to Heaven" on June 25 at, according to the schedule, precisely 8 56:33 EDT. What Nader says may seem "bland" to him, but when you consider a commercial network has voluntarily given him the time and space to say it, NBC comes out looking awfully good. "What needs to be done Is to take all those frustrated great script writers and programmers and producers." Nader says In Spot No. I, "and give them greater elbow room, which all spells greater respect for the limitless potential of the American people to rain their expectations and demand a higher quality TV." Tom Shales Is O Washlngton-bosed television critic for Gannett News Service. His column oppars fr-quentlv In Th Leader 8. Press.

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