USAO course takes TV back to 'old school'
Gas was less than a dollar per gallon. Records were physical objects that one placed on a record player in order to listen to music. Television came into the home via an antenna and was, for all intents and purposes, free.
As the song goes, “Those were the days…”
Dr. Brenda Brown, professor of English, is planning a unique college course this summer that seeks to revisit the decade of disco and bellbottom jeans through the medium of television.
The class, entitled “Social Commentary in 1970s Sitcoms,” is scheduled for Tuesday and Thursday nights from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma.
With shows like All in the Family, M*A*S*H, Sanford and Son and Mary Tyler Moore on the syllabus for consideration, Brown hopes the class will generate interest among members of the community as well as younger students curious about the decade.
“I was born just a little too late to appreciate these shows for their full cultural value,” Brown said, “but my older siblings were among their target audience and they were always playing in the house where I grew up.”
“Television was different back then. With so few networks broadcasting nationwide, these shows were part of a conversation that engaged most, if not all, of America. They became part of our mythology.”
Class participants will be asked to keep a journal as part of their television watching experience. Other grades will come from in-class quizzes, two examinations and a presentation at the end of the course.
Members of the community may take the class for credit, but those wanting to engage on a more casual level have the option of auditing it instead. All participants enroll in the registrar’s office in Troutt 204.
In addition, individuals over the age of 65 can take the class for the cost of materials.
“In accordance with the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, senior citizens can enroll in any class at USAO with a tuition and fee waiver,” said Mike Coponiti, vice president for business and finance.
The class is scheduled to begin May 29 and run through July 31. More information about the class can be obtained by calling 574-1239.
Enrollment for the summer trimester at USAO is already underway and will continue through June 1.