THE PRESIDENT’S PERSPECTIVE - Darren Danyluk


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 you.

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 profanity.

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 each other. 

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!