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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Museums and childhood television: "If you grew up to be a bat, what would the neighbours say about that?"

I was at the ROM recently for the TerraCotta Warriors exhibit. Actually, I saw the same exhibit while I was at the British Museum. It compared well, lots of good information, and I think I retained a bit more of it this time, probably due to repetition. But it is nice to see things at 'home.'

For me the ROM does feel a little bit like home. When I worked at Huronia Historical Parks or the Ontario Travel Center in Barrie I used to get free or discounted admission to several of Ontario's attractions, or at least the ones that were part of the reciprocal program. Some people didn't always take advantage but I did. I have never had trouble being a tourist in my own backyard. But it meant that I got to go to the ROM for free for basically six years. And I did take advantage of this. I have seen the armour exhibit a good twenty times, since it is right next to the late medieval art that they have.

But my love for the ROM goes back further. Back to the field trips of grade school, the several times I went with my parents and to one very special television show that I had on tape when I was a kid.

I, like most kids, watched things over and over again. This meant that I saw Homeward Bound, Lady and the Tramp and The Cat from Outer Space more times than my dad would care to remember. But I also watched this tape that we had of Sharon, Lois and Bram where they spent the day at the ROM.

This was my first exposure to the song Good Morning from Singing in the Rain, to My Ship sailed from China, and to many aspects of the ROM. I am not sure that this wasn't my first exposure to this museum, since we taped it when I was really little. If I had been to the ROM before I saw this I don't remember it. But because of the frequency with which I watched it I feel it has actually had a lot to do with my development. I certainly think of it when I hear the song Good Morning, or anytime I see a bat (part 2, around minute 5) and certainly, pretty much without fail, every time I go to the ROM.

I found the episode recently on the internet. So here, without further ado, is a big piece of my childhood.

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