Looking Back: The Education of a Sixth Grade A.V. Monitor

From 1970 to 1971, I was in Mr. Bogh's sixth grade class at Canoas Elementary School in the Meadowbrook neighborhood (now Canoas Garden) in San José.

A.V. Monitors

Image: The door to the old audio visual closet at Canoas Elementary School.
Image: The door to the old audio visual closet at Canoas Elementary School.

During the course of the year, students were given the opportunity to act as audio visual (a.v.) monitors for several weeks. The monitors worked in pairs, and when my opportunity came, I was paired up with my classmate Rick, who we called "Moose". Every morning, the a.v. monitors would pick up the a.v. request form from the office. This form listed what equipment was needed where and at what time. If there were no requests on a particular day, we would occasionally write one in, usually around math period.

Fake A.V. Requests

When we had a request, we'd go down to the a.v. closet, which was right off the entrance to the boy's restroom, we'd roll out the requested equipment (e.g. movie projector, television, slide projector, record player, etc.), take it to the particular classroom, and then set things up. Later we would go back and return the equipment to the closet. On the days that we wrote in fake requests, we'd go sit in the a.v. closet and talk.

On one such day, Moose decided to share with me some new information that he'd discovered about "the birds and the bees". Now my mother had pretty much covered the topic, except for a few details. On that day Moose provided a few additional details, so I'd have to say that even playing hooky in an a.v. closet could be an educational experience.

Our Rewards

giant Hershey candy bar
Image: A.V. monitors were rewarded for their service with giant Hershey candy bars.

At the end of a monitor's tenure, they would be rewarded with a giant Hershey's chocolate bar. My particular reward evoked some laughter, as Mr. Bogh presented me with a giant can of raviolis. This was in recognition of my well-known love for the Italian dish.

giant can of Chef Boyardee raviolis
Image: Instead of the traditional giant Hershey's candy bar, I was rewarded with a giant can of raviolis.

Further Reading in the California Room