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The Day the Friday Blog Roundup Didn’t Post

In elementary school, if for some reason we couldn’t go out on the playground for recess; for instance, if there was going to be a nuclear war between DC and the USSR, we’d stay in the classroom and get to see one of the two filmstrips the school owned.  I always wanted to be the film projection helper, but I didn’t actually know how to thread the film so I was never chosen.  This is still a source of sadness for me.


One of the films was The Red Balloon, which was fine.  But my favourite film was the other film: All Summer in a Day. It was based on a Ray Bradbury story and it was about children living on Venus where it rains every day.  The children (save one) have never seen the sun, though scientists have predicted that the rain is going to stop and the sun will come out for two hours on this one particular day.

One child is beyond excited about this because she is from Earth and she remembers the sun.  Moving to Venus has been impossibly hard for her, and this is her one chance to enjoy her old life.  But she is the victim of a prank and the loss used to (and still does) make me feel physically ill.

I’ve found the film in three parts (apologies, you’ll have to watch them one after the other for this indoor recess) on YouTube.  Wait, why are we having indoor recess?  There isn’t inclement weather.  There isn’t a threat of the USSR attacking our playground.

Because I’m at BlogHer and doing the Roundup properly will be too difficult on the technology I brought with me.  Since I can’t give you your normal playtime, I’m giving you an alternative recess rather than moving straight into the next lesson.  Because that’s the other option, you know: extra math.

The Friday Blog Roundup will be back next week. In the meantime, use the comment section below to add your favourite blog posts and I’ll have all the ones from last week and this week in the next Roundup.

And tell me what your elementary school did for indoor (or alternative) recess.  Did you also have this film?

Part One:

Part Two:

Part Three:



1 Rebecca { 08.05.11 at 8:40 am }

When it rained we watched All Summer in a Day!!!! For the longest time, I couldn’t remember what the movie was but the story had a HUGE impact on me. I would try to describe it to people and they would have no idea what I was talking about. I sometimes thought i was making it up. A few years ago, i finally figured it out. The story made me so upset that I cried out loud even as a child. And, it still does just thinking about it. I identified so much with that little girl.

On a happier note, sometimes we watched The Wizard of Oz instead!

2 Kymberli { 08.05.11 at 9:08 am }

This was always one of my favorites, too, and the loss in the film still makes my heart ache. My mom first introduced me to this film when I was a little girl (age 5 or so). I think she used to tell me the story, and then one day it happend to come on TV and we watched it together. Come to think of it, this story was probably my first knowledge of how cruel people could be, and I remember being fascinated with the idea that there might actually be people like that in the world. Though I knew the story was fiction, even as such a young child, I understood that the cruelty was the substance of reality.

3 Blanche { 08.05.11 at 9:18 am }

Our staples were “Riki-tiki-tavi, “The Apple Dumpling Gang,” and “The Electric Grandmother” (which as it happens was also based on a Ray Bradbury story, and my favorite of the three although it wasn’t played as often). I don’t remember them as rainy day recess replacements but pre-holiday break time killers.

4 Esperanza { 08.05.11 at 9:24 am }

I LOVE that story but didn’t know there was a movie. I look forward to reading it. Thanks for finding it for us.

That girl’s loss still haunts me to this day. It really does.

5 Mrs. Gamgee { 08.05.11 at 9:24 am }

I remember this movie! I don’t think I saw it in school, but perhaps on a saturday afternoon on tv. I remember being horrified at the cruelty of the prank. One of the things that has always stayed with me is her sense of frustration when no one believes her when she talks about having seen the sun on earth. To not be believed seemed to be the greatest injustice…

6 Angie { 08.05.11 at 9:31 am }

We watched that too. When you mentioned it, chills ran up my spine. That story is haunting and sad, and after I watched it, it stayed with me, deep within me, for a long time. It is still there getting touched every time I mourn. I am sure of that.

I know this is not a post, but I just got the most comforting, comment ever. Are you still doing the comment awards? For all the people who lost babies and wonder what it is like for your living children, Esperanza’s comment is about the most comforting, lovely thing to read. Seriously. http://stilllifewithcircles.blogspot.com/2011/08/across-universe.html

7 a { 08.05.11 at 9:43 am }

I was part of the A/V group but all I did was go around with the monthly list of movies and ask the teachers what they wanted to see and when. The boys would take the movie cart around and the teacher would set up the movie.

We didn’t get to watch any fiction, though. At least not until high school when my AP English teacher showed us El Norte (memorable because there was a scene with lots of rats and the guy who sat behind me though it would be funny to run his fingers over my back as that was playing) and a pretty gory version of Macbeth. But by then, it was all on VCR anyway.

8 Nicole { 08.05.11 at 10:15 am }

That movie still upsets me. I remember it vividly from elementary school… that and the book Bridge to Terabithia both messed me up for a while.

9 loribeth { 08.05.11 at 10:47 am }

I never even heard of this story. We didn’t get shown movies at recess (although we might, the day before Christmas vacation or something like that — we were just expected to amuse ourselves quietly. Although recess was very seldom cancelled, unless it was pouring, or blizzarding, or very, very cold outside. I used to wish it WAS because we HAD to go outside unless we had a note from our parents, & I preferred to stay in & read. ; )

I miss the Roundup! But I hope you’re having fun at BlogHer.

10 Chickenpig { 08.05.11 at 12:42 pm }

I’ve never seen this movie! On rainy days at school we played beaten up board games with half the pieces missing, or we were allowed to read whatever book we wanted. JOY! When I was in Junior High I would go to the band room and practice the flute.

11 Keiko { 08.05.11 at 2:44 pm }

Like Loribeth, no movies at inside recess. We usually had open reading, coloring or art or played some kind of game – 7-Up usually, and sometimes Around the World, this crazy fast-paced game where the whole class went head to head doing times tables. I loved Around the World b/c it was SO fast – I never won. Math + Keiko = No good.

I don’t really remember a lot of movies from elementary school other than the “Laura’s Story” sex ed film where I learned what a tampon was and some truly frightening documentary about the rainforests burning down from 4th grade. And I think Pippi Longstocking at one point.

12 Queenie { 08.05.11 at 3:32 pm }

I’ve never heard of the story/movie, but I’m not going to watch because I’m all too aware of how mean the world can be. I only want to focus on the good stuff.

I am seriously depressed that I have no idea what we did when it rained. I am so old!

13 HereWeGoAJen { 08.05.11 at 4:55 pm }

When it rained, I don’t remember watching movies. I remember playing Thumbs Up, Seven-Up in our classroom. I also remember playing in the gym. And I also have some memories of schools where we just had to stand under the covered parts of the playground.

I do remember reading that story though. Awful.

14 Baby Smiling In Back Seat { 08.05.11 at 7:58 pm }

No movies. We did stuff like play Heads Up 7 Up. Or read.

15 LC { 08.06.11 at 9:15 am }

One of my favorite movies is/was Donald in Mathmagicland. I need to own it. We’d also do Heads up 7-up and Around the World (the game that made my teacher tell my Mom I needed glasses).

16 coffeegrljp { 08.06.11 at 6:38 pm }

I’m still trying to remember the wacky seemingly psychedelic filmstrip we watched in which a young boy has to learn to play the piano and then has this dreamlike sequence involving (among other things) a trip to a donut factory maybe? It was all kind of creepy and maybe I’m remembering it totally wrong, but I felt like someone was forcing the boy to play piano and he really didn’t want to and that has always bothered me. I’d love to hear from anyone else who remembers this!

I know we sometimes watched filmstrips but I don’t remember that being associated with rainy days. It probably was, but I couldn’t say for sure. I know I never saw this Bradbury film and I’m glad! At a tender age this would have scarred me for life.

17 Tamara { 08.07.11 at 5:12 pm }

Watched “All Summer In A Day” in elementary school and it resonated with me so much, I named a blog post after it! I often reference it in conversations with people and they often think I’m strange.

18 Amy Elaine { 08.19.11 at 7:50 pm }

Finally finished watching these – so poignant! I remember reading the short story, but never saw the movie. Really touching. Wonder if they still show this – it would start good conversation about bullying.

(c) 2006 Melissa S. Ford
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