Nov 20, 2020 Message to Members
“Come on and zoom, zoom, zoom-a zoom!”
Remember that refrain, followed by
“Everybody’s doin’ it, everybody’s movin’ it…”?
If you do, you’re revealing your age; if you don’t, let me enlighten
Back in the early 1970s, I would
tune in daily to a kids program, coming to me ‘on the PBS (the Pubic
Broadcasting Service) affiliate station WGBH, in Boston, Massachusetts’. Like the theme song, these details are etched
into my mind: I can recite this, in the same way I can recite my home address
and phone number as my parents taught me when I was six. Both are muscle memory
from a time that encouraged children to share personal information when they
couldn’t find their mom.
The program that captured me in
1972 was called … wait for it … Zoom! Oh, the wonderful things Zoom
taught me, not the least of which was the crazy fluttering arm
thing that Bernadette could do! But I’m
getting ahead of myself.
Zoom was a kids’ variety
show, co-hosted by seven or eight kids who were not much older than me at the
time. And those kids never wore shoes! They would sing and dance, teach cool
crafts, feature guest kids, and hold a ‘zoom rap’ session. The zoom rap was
like the library confessions scene from The Breakfast Club – but, without
The hosts were not celebrities but they
were my first rock stars. However, they had a shelf life and each disappeared over
time. They hit puberty and eventually had to put on their shoes and leave, sort
of like members of Menudo. The best thing a fortune-teller could have
told the 1972 Darren was that he would grow up and be on Zoom, every day.
As Vancouver and the Fraser Valley
continue to report spiking numbers for COVID-19 prevalence, provincial leaders in
government and health are calling for responsible behaviour that excludes
travel. Anticipating this potential, the BCPVPA planned early for our first
virtual Chapter Council meeting. My initial address to the representative
membership of our Association will be on Zoom. Dreams do come true!
This entry to eNews is not about to
decend into a hatchet job on virtual learning platforms. And while ‘zoom’ now enters our lexicon as
did ‘bandaid’ and ‘kleenex’, our society has adopted a number of virtual
platforms for meeting, celebrating, teaching, and learning. In fact, we’ve come
to embrace and engage this visual medium and we are using it in remarkable ways,
where access allows – that will have to be a whole other entry!
The theme song from my childhood
ended with the line “Everybody’s havin’ a ball, yeah!” But with the Zoom
of today, I’m not so sure that’s always the case. Although virtual meetings
remove the barrier that distance can impose on participants, thereby increasing
their number, the online events will always leave us wanting more – more of
The craving we feel to be connected
without a screen will keep us hopeful for that time to come. I didn’t want to
be on Zoom so I could be on TV; I wanted to be on Zoom to sing,
dance, laugh, and learn barefoot, with kids just like me!