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The Schoolhouse Rocker : Bob Dorough educates with a song and an animated dance


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Writer's note: Rufus Xavier and Big Bird
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Schoolhouse Rock
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Schoolhouse days

Schoolhouse Rock got Christina Boenisch ('95) through her high school government class.

While some of her classmates struggled to remember the Preamble to the Constitution, others like Boenisch bopped along to the Schoolhouse Rock version.

"I could see other people singing the 'Preamble' song, too," she recalls. "I remember feeling sorry for the people who'd never heard it before."

She passed the government class and eventually earned a UNT degree in mathematics. She now teaches high school math in Grapevine. And Schoolhouse Rock is still a part of her life.

"I remember all of the songs," she says. "My favorite is the pronoun song called 'Rufus Xavier Sarsaparilla' - that's why I named my cat Rufus.

"We were calling him Rufus Xavier Sarsaparilla, but it was too long just like the song. So now we call him Rufus," she adds.

Gotta love those pronouns.

Schoolhouse Rock has that kind of influence on thousands of today's adults who grew up during the '70s and '80s when the songs aired on ABC.

Jason Rainey ('97) remembers waking up each Saturday morning at the slightest hint of sunlight to watch cartoons.

"I appreciate Schoolhouse Rock more now than I did as a kid," he says. "There's something cool about this being so fun, and yet there's this subliminal learning, too."

Rainey's favorites were "I'm Just a Bill" and "Conjunction Junction," both of which apply to his current work writing political columns.

"I can't say I went into my work because of Schoolhouse Rock," he says. "But I know it provided my first experiences with government."

Boenisch even hears some of her high school students humming Schoolhouse Rock tunes today.

"They may not know what a record is, but they've at least heard it on CD or seen it on video," she says. "And that makes me feel not so old."

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