Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Fun with Fruits and Vegetables

Each day in the first grade class I observe, the teacher sets aside time for her students to get their "wiggles" out. This is a part of their morning routine, just before she begins teaching the various subjects that first graders focus on.

The "wiggle" time generally involves a YouTube video that inspires the kids to dance and move around. In my opinion, some are better than others. Some are downright annoying. The videos, not the kids. Okay, sometimes the kids, too. Anyway, the video below is definitely in the annoying category.

Before you watch, I sincerely apologize for sharing my suffering. But you really need to watch the video to understand my rant afterward.

Are you still with me? I know that was brutal. And I do apologize to Dr. Jean for the fact that I have such a low opinion of this particular video. I'm sure she's a lovely person with the purest of intentions.

I'm not even sure what it is about the video that gets under my skin so. Is it Dr. Jean's singing voice? Is it her dancing? Is it that it sounds like they're playing the song on the tiny Casio keyboard we had when I was a kid? Is it that I'm not a big fan of vegetables in general?

Maybe it's because the song gets stuck in my head every time I stroll through the produce section at the store. And I mean every time. I see an ear of corn, I'm humming this song. I eat a banana, I'm humming this song. I see guacamole on the menu at the Mexican place, I'm humming this song.

Having watched this video so many times, I've gotten kind of nit-picky about it. For one thing, she's lip-synching the thing. At 0:40 when she sings about shucking the corn, her mouth clearly says peel at the first shuck. Come on, Dr. Jean! If Beyoncé can shake her booty all over the 50 yard line at the Superdome and sing "Crazy in Love" at the same time, you can certainly raise and lower your arms while singing about shucking corn. Rookie move, Doc.

And then there's the mango verse. At 1:18 she instructs the children to do the tango. I'm sorry, but if you're a "real" doctor, then you should know that it takes two to tango. I think it's wrong to teach our future generations that it's okay to tango alone. And by watching Dr. Jean tango by herself, they're learning just that. Also, she totally just said doo doo.

I also have a problem with "forming" the rounded fruits and vegetables. She puts her arms straight up in the air. That works great with the banana or the carrot. But an orange? I don't think so. What kind of crazy oranges are you eating, lady?

Finally, what are we supposed to do to the bunny in the carrot verse? There's no real word there... "____ the bunny...?" Dr. Jean, are you censoring yourself? If so, that's not cool. I don't like where dirty minds could take that unnecessary censorship. Kimmel would have a field day with you, ma'am.

I complain about the video because I'm a cynical grown-up who can't find joy and magic in doing a dance inspired by fruits and veggies. But apparently this Dr. Jean is kind of a big deal. If you'd like to learn more about her and her career, feel free to surf on over to her website at

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