fbpx

Back to School? More Like Back To Recess!

#17: Recess is a show about six brave 4th graders who take on the social dynamics of the playground. Stef and Ariel discuss this beloved 90’s animated series, and how studies find that recess is an important part of a child’s social-emotional learning.

Resources for this episode:
1. Verywell Mind: Quality Recess Gives a Boost to Children’s Mental Health, Study Says
2. Journal of School Health: Recess Quality and Social and Behavioral Health in Elementary School Students
3. Photos of School Lunches From Around the World Will Make American Kids Want to Study Abroad

Become a member of Geek Therapy on Patreon: http://www.patreon.com/geektherapy

Transcription

Ariel Landrum 0:11
Hello, everyone, welcome to the happiest pod on Earth. I’m Ariel.

Stefanie Bautista 0:14
And I’m Stef, and we’re Disney fans. But we’re really so much more than that. Ariel here is a licensed therapist who uses clients’ passions and fandoms to help them grow and heal from trauma and mental unwellness.

Ariel Landrum 0:24
And the lovely Stef is an educator who uses passions and fandoms to help her students grow and learn about themselves and the world around them.

Stefanie Bautista 0:32
And here at Happiest Pod. It’s a place where we dissect Disney mediums with a critical lens. Why do we do that? Because just like we are more than just fans, we expect more from the mediums we consume. And so today, what Disney the media or experience are we dissecting and sharing on this episode?

Ariel Landrum 0:49
I think this is one that you are highly familiar with as an educator.

Stefanie Bautista 0:53
Yep. Yes, it totally is. And I’m really, really excited to talk about this. And we are talking today about recess.

Ariel Landrum 1:03
Recess!

Stefanie Bautista 1:05
And I’m sure all of you are like listening to that theme song from Recess in your head, because I loved it so much. I wish we could have it here on the podcast, but we probably need to license that. And there’s the gardener in my house. Low and behold gardeners are not part of recess, but we’re going to be talking about Recess the show, and also recess as it plays into how it works in our kids lives, lives of kids who we know if you don’t have any, and also the impact that it has in our lives growing up.

Ariel Landrum 1:39
Absolutely. So recently, I got to respond to some research in an article that talked about the importance of recess for students and their mental wellness. And some of the things that they identified was that recess offers an opportunity to support just the healthy development of children. So that they became come well, whole humans and entire experience of themselves. And that the biggest factor was quality recess; factors such as a safe play environment, sufficient play equipment, and even supportive adult engagement, along with student autonomy and minimal disruptive conflict. Would you agree with some of these findings?

Stefanie Bautista 2:24
Absolutely. I think recess as it has evolved over time, I know that us playing recess in the early 90’s looked a lot different than how recess is conducted today while I’m working at a school. But I remember recess being the time that you are your whole self. In the classroom, you’re in front of an adult, there’s expectations, academic expectations, mannerisms, that you kind of get used to as you’re going into school. But when you’re on the yard, you are really who you are outside, just without your family. And this is where interactions with your peers, interactions with different ages of kids, interactions with other adults who aren’t your teacher, those connections and those opportunities only happen on the recess play yard. And that’s why I think A. I love the show Recess, because it was such a fun way to describe that, obviously in a way more fantastical setting. I did not have a king Bob at my recess yard. But the sixth graders were hecka scary.

Ariel Landrum 3:24
They were.

Stefanie Bautista 3:24
Like I did not want to interact with them at all. But absolutely, recess is so integral in, you know, a child’s development socially. And I think this past year, having not had recess really had an impact. But I know we’ll talk a little bit about that later. I know for my school in particular, we do more of a structured recess where we have TAs leading different games, only because we do have limited space on my campus. But at the same time we realize that kids loved structured play. Recess doesn’t have to be a free for all, maybe in kindergarten, as we saw that there, you know, little unruly human beings in the beginning, not really knowing how to socialize yet. But definitely, as you see in the older upper grades, third, fourth and fifth grades, they’re longing for that structure, and they want to use those structured structures to learn more about play and evolve the way they play.

Ariel Landrum 4:18
Absolutely, absolutely. And research that was published in the Journal of School Health, titled Recess Quality and Social and Behavioral Health in Elementary School Students. And the article that featured my comments was in VerywellMind.com, and the title of the article is Quality Recess Gives a Boost to Children’s Mental Health Study Says. I’ll be sure to link both in the show notes. I agreed with some of the findings in regards to and and again, I think this might be something that you can talk to you because I believe this is maybe similar to your educational environment. But something new that when I came out here had not experienced; in the show Recess, they have a fixed building. And they have a fixed play yard. And there are a lot of schools here that the buildings are not fixed they’re not permanent fixtures.

Stefanie Bautista 5:11
Yup.

Ariel Landrum 5:11
Play yard is just asphalt there aren’t there is an equipment, there isn’t toys, there’s maybe just a chain Link fence that separates them from just the street. And it that disparity and access to just play is really disruptive to just the the mental wellness of youth and causes disengagement from adults. Though they’re finding that I definitely agreed with was when the anyone supervising the yard actually wanted to play with the youth and was very attentive, versus, you know, now, maybe on their phone when they shouldn’t be or talking to the other adults and not really paying attention, that that attentiveness created positive memories for for youth in regards to engaging with adults. That play is something important; its the way that they communicate and that it was a thing that was encouraged.

Stefanie Bautista 6:01
Absolutely, I think that there’s two really important things that you touched upon. The first part is that growing up here in the San Fernando Valley, and also other parts in LA, you have really old schools, and then you have schools within schools. That’s something that’s common here. Because we do have things like charter schools, private schools, and depending on which school you attend, sometimes they have a play apparatus. Sometimes they don’t. Sometimes, because they’re located on a school, there’s an apparatus there, but they can’t necessarily play with it. So you have to kind of be creative. And depending on the resources of your school, you can, you know, do structured play, like I mentioned before at my school, but other times I remember being probably in middle school where you don’t really see like a play apparatus, it was more so like you were participating participating in organized sport like soccer, or you know, basketball. And otherwise, you were just hanging out on the yard. And that’s where you see, like you mentioned ‘The Yard Ladies,’ which is like our favorite ‘Yard Lady’ on Recess being her grumpy self. And I remember that was so much more prevalent in public schools. We always called them the ‘LAUSD Yard Ladies,’ they were always frowning. They were super upset everything, they just wanted to, you know, share the gossip with their, you know, your their coworkers and they weren’t really paying attention. And when you went to them, ask them for help or something, they were just like, whatever, figure it out on your own. And that was definitely something that I experienced in public school, as opposed to now working for a charter school. And also knowing other kids, other friends of mine who went to private school, those yard ladies actually played with them on the yard, they were leading games, they were helping do arts and crafts on the side, they had those materials. And unfortunately, that’s just the reality of funding when it comes to public, private, and charter schools in the United States across you know, from coast to coast. But it really does affect the way that kids view play. And it’s no surprise that by the time High School rolls around, they don’t want to play outside anymore.

Ariel Landrum 8:06
Aboslutely.

Stefanie Bautista 8:07
Because they never really had those, like positive opportunities when they were younger.

Ariel Landrum 8:11
And you definitely talked about school funding, right? And one of the I think in the very first episode of the series, we see The Swinger; not not to be taken as a related to Austin Powers. The Swinger is a little girl dressed very much like Amelia Earhart…

Stefanie Bautista 8:29
Amelia Earhart yup.

Ariel Landrum 8:29
On a swing, who is wanting to soar to new heights, and getting essentially injured. And one of the characters says, “Oh, we’ll have to talk to her when she comes back to the school from the school nurse.” And I do know that a lot of American schools’, maybe the school nurse shows up two days, maybe there’s no one at all.

Stefanie Bautista 8:45
We don’t have one at all. And you know what, I was just watching that episode again. And now that I’ve been educated, I haven’t seen it since I was, you know, way younger. And I was like, “Wow, we would just give them an ice pack. But who knows where she flew to. She could have flown in a bush, she could have flown out a bunch of kids. She got a foam flat face on the asphalt. We don’t know that. But we could only give her an ice pack.” And, you know, that goes into the limitations of what you can do as a staff member. That’s a whole nother list of do’s and don’ts. What because we’re not medical professionals. We study education, not you know, minor, or at least, you know, a little bit more than first aid on the yard. But you know, like, I think the nature of play is getting hurt. And it’s just a part of it. But unfortunately, because of funding like we mentioned, kids experienced that in different levels. Could be in extremes also.

Ariel Landrum 9:44
I think the other thing in regarding to like funding in schools and disparity. Again, in that sort of first episode we see a discussion in regards to American school cafeteria food, which is not good.

Stefanie Bautista 9:59
Nope.

Ariel Landrum 10:00
And a joke about the good food being hidden and locked up and essentially for the adults. And sure, I can remember a couple of things that I enjoyed eating. But I mean, I’ve seen artwork of cafeteria food in schools around the world, right?

Stefanie Bautista 10:17
And it makes you feel so sad to be in America.

Ariel Landrum 10:19
So sad to the things that we feed our students. And these are disparities that are still happening today. Right?

Stefanie Bautista 10:26
Yes.

Ariel Landrum 10:26
And so the fact that there was kind of a nod to that in this show that was created in the 90’s…

Stefanie Bautista 10:31
In the 90’s, and you know what I think so our at our school for a little insight we, we don’t serve the same LAUSD food, even though we’re technically you know, under the LAUSD umbrella, so we’re not exactly serving like that coffee cake, and you know, those like weird calzones that tastes like rubber and feel like rubber. However, because I was so scarred from those things. The coffee cake was good, but the calzones I don’t know. Chalupas I guess I was trying to say. But it took me all the way up until this year to actually say, “You know what, I’m okay with eating a school lunch, because there’s extras I don’t want it to waste.” And that’s me thinking as an adult, however, “It’s not so bad.” But I think it’s because we have like a private vendor that we go to.

Ariel Landrum 11:17
Oh okay.

Stefanie Bautista 11:18
You know, that was it’s way different. Like it has vegetables it has, you know, like chicken nuggets that actually look like chicken. But I it took me you know, how many decades to be okay with even like thinking about touching that food. And consuming it just because we have, you know, these images especially perpetuated in media. Like shows like Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide on Nickelodeon, and, you know….

Ariel Landrum 11:43
Yeah.

Stefanie Bautista 11:43
Other school shows that it’s just basically slop. And it’s very reminiscent of the way prison cafeterias are. So many parallels there. And also…

Ariel Landrum 11:53
Yes

Stefanie Bautista 11:54
And mentioning that first episode, where essentially, TJ is kind of shamed for wanting to go inside ‘The Good Food Refrigerator,’ that like platform that they’re on totally looks like a jail type of platform.

Ariel Landrum 12:09
Yeah. Like this bars above in the cafeteria, where the adults can essentially literally look down at the youth. Yeah, definitely looked institutionalized.

Stefanie Bautista 12:22
Absolutely. Um, but yeah, I mean, like, the school lunches, and I must say, yes, there is always a fridge in the school that has the better food.

Ariel Landrum 12:31
This is true? Not urban legend.

Stefanie Bautista 12:33
But, but they’re brought by teachers, so you probably couldn’t eat it anyway. And even sometimes, the teachers don’t want to put their food in there ’cause they don’t want it touching other teachers food. And I’ve yes, I’ve had somebody eat my lunch and not tell me.

Ariel Landrum 12:43
Disrespect. Disrespect.

Stefanie Bautista 12:51
Super rude. But I anyway.

Ariel Landrum 12:55
So some of the other findings was that when children had quality recess, and so again, they used the factors of safe play, adult engagement, sufficient play equipment, student autonomy, and minimal disruptive conflict; when they had those criterias met, the students always returned to class with a better ability to have executive functioning, better emotional self control, and adaptive classroom abilities. Which all of these things were impacted if they didn’t have recess or if they did. And these things were vastly improved if they did have recess, and it was quality recess. And I think…

Stefanie Bautista 13:36
Absolutely.

Ariel Landrum 13:37
That when we go back to the show, we kind of see this, right?

Stefanie Bautista 13:41
Yeah, definitely. I think the kids first and foremost long for recess in the second part of that first episode, they change the clock so that the recess bell rings earlier than normal. And it’s a real thing, because you know what, wiggle brakes, just that outside, just getting up and moving. That is such an important thing to staying focused. I mean, even as adults, we need to get up at least once an hour, if you’re sitting at a desk, just so that you can get your mind right, like take a break from the screen. Even if you’re writing something you just got to take like that mental break, get your body moving, because your body isn’t going to, you know, the blood isn’t gonna go to your brain if your blood isn’t, you know, moving because you’re not using your limbs, you know?

Ariel Landrum 14:21
Yeah yeah.

Stefanie Bautista 14:21
And I, we incorporate so many wiggle breaks in the younger, in the younger grades for kids to get up and dance a little bit before they sit down and do some really tough math. All the way up until fifth grade. I mean, they’re not called wiggle breaks anymore, but we want to go just so that they don’t feel like little kids. If we want to go outside and you know, play a really quick game of, you know, foursquare or something. We’ll do that. Just because we know that if those kids get antsy in their seats, now you’re all of a sudden trying to play whack a mole. Like, as a teacher. You’re trying to keep one kid down and then you’re trying to keep another down and another kid down, and then you’re trying to keep another kid down. But if you just have them all do that mental break, take a walk, it helps so, so much. And you can essentially get more done out of the day and the week. And the kids feel like they have a well rounded experience not just being locked inside a classroom.

Ariel Landrum 15:18
Yeah, yeah. So getting into the show.

Stefanie Bautista 15:21
Yeah.

Ariel Landrum 15:22
It is a 30 minute cartoon format is animated series, made in 1997, I believe. And it’s the format of 2 15 minute segments. So you’re actually watching two episodes in one. And if you go on Disney+, there’s actually more than just the original Recess.

Stefanie Bautista 15:45
Yes spin offs. And a like a movie.

Ariel Landrum 15:46
Yeah. Which I have no idea exists, right?

Stefanie Bautista 15:49
Yeah. Those were made like the early 2000’s, I believe. Right?

Ariel Landrum 15:54
So we’ve got Recess, Recess: School’s Out, Recess: All Grown Down, so this is them as kindergarteners, and Recess: Taking The Fifth grade. So that’s them growing up into the fifth grade.

Stefanie Bautista 16:07
Yeah, you know, what, and Recess to me was so like, I loved it so much, because it was very reminiscent of Rugrats. But they were just a different age, it was 2 15 minute segments, easily digestible. They had a problem, they were going to rally their friends to solve it, they solved the problem, and then we go on to the next day in their lives, or the next recess in their lives. And on top of that, as the show progressed, you see them getting older, but then they also toyed with “What happens if they were younger?” And Rugrats, we would, you know, they had a whole nother spin off of Rugrats All Growed Up where they grown up.

Ariel Landrum 16:40
Yeah. Yeah.

Stefanie Bautista 16:41
And I love that show, too. It was so successful. And I feel like recess probably took a lot of cues from Rugrats, because it was such a groundbreaking animated feature that, you know, we could grow with these kids and look into Child Development really in a different way. And see things through the eyes of a child, because I think also watching these shows as adults, we then think about, “How did I see things as a child?” And I think so many of us resonate with that, because we see these images, and we see like, the playground essentially is not a big place. But when you were in fourth, third grade, it seemed so huge and vast, like to the point where you had two kids digging on the side trying to get to China.

Ariel Landrum 17:21
Yeah, yes.

Stefanie Bautista 17:22
You know, these these worlds within that playground.

Ariel Landrum 17:27
Yeah, that’s what made the playground so big. And even in the show, the playground is a character itself.

Stefanie Bautista 17:33
Yes.

Ariel Landrum 17:33
It has accepted laws and was lived through like a social hierarchy in regards to the the youth that were engaging with it, and had even its own moments of commentary. And when it comes to the actual core group core characters, and even with all the students, it was that anticipation for recess. I remember antas, like looking at the clock and counting it down for when this, like, I could just bolt out of here and go and just let myself loose on the playground. And when I think of my like moments at recess, I remember that having that autonomy, and I remember there being social rules and norms. And that, really, that my lived experience of socializing was on the playground, it wasn’t in the classroom.

Stefanie Bautista 18:26
No, not at all, especially when you were confined to your own desk. I mean, as you get into the upper grades, you don’t share a desk really anymore with other students. I mean, definitely now you would not share a desk.

Ariel Landrum 18:37
No definitely not now.

Stefanie Bautista 18:38
Not during the current COVID climate. But I mean, you didn’t have circle time anymore. You didn’t have rug time, as you know, an older student. So I mean, all the interactions you had were outside. And then you learned who hung out with who what type of kids hung out in a certain place. What type of kids hung out in the cafeteria? Where did eat? Did they even get school lunch? Did they bring their lunch from home? All of those social hierarchies and, you know, social challenges that kids need to navigate around, start at recess on the playground.

Ariel Landrum 19:08
So in talking about Recess, I know that you and I both watched it again to to get an idea. And I feel like for just to remind ourselves and I feel like for this show, it’s one of Disney’s most well rounded social commentaries.

Stefanie Bautista 19:23
Oh, yeah.

Ariel Landrum 19:24
I find that the the social dynamics that they sort of displayed on the playground and the the stereotypes really of different kids. I could think back in my mind to someone that was similar to that. So you mentioned The Diggers digging to China. They had Upside Down Girl. I remember plenty of kids that always hung upside down. They really liked that that kinesthetic feeling of like feeling the world being the other way. Right? If we’re thinking of even just like now with a Black Widow.

Stefanie Bautista 19:55
Oh, yeah.

Ariel Landrum 19:55
“Oh we’re both upside down.”

Stefanie Bautista 19:56
Yeah.

Ariel Landrum 19:59
I’m thinking of King Bob totally made sense. He was he was someone of an older great.

Stefanie Bautista 20:05
He was a jock.

Ariel Landrum 20:06
He was a jock. There was the Ashley’s…

Stefanie Bautista 20:11
Oh my gosh…

Ariel Landrum 20:12
They were Valley girls, which you’re from The Valley. Does anybody talk that way?

Stefanie Bautista 20:18
You know, it’s funny because I feel like once the media started perpetuating how we, how they talk, I guess how I I don’t even know if I talk like this. I was hyper aware of how many times I say ‘like’ in a sentence at one point of my life. But like that, I there’s a word for it. It’s like that. The roadie like way of like elongating your syllables very much like how Kim Kardashian talks like, “Oh my god.” Like…

Ariel Landrum 20:48
Yeah very pulled.

Stefanie Bautista 20:50
Definitely know people who did talk like that, who totally bought into you know, “I’m like, Mandy Moore. I’m Britney Spears.” Or because it was the late 90’s you had these icons to look up to and The Valley, there were those girls who, probably richer than me, richer than most people about that hustle, you know, highest rung of the social hierarchy that only hung out together and probably didn’t talk like that. And the Ashley’s totally reminded me of another show, Daria, which had The Fashion Club also 4 girls who talked like they were from The Valley led by Daria’s sister and they were exactly like I was like “Oh the Ashley’s just grew up to be the fashion club. Cool. Cool. Cool.”

Ariel Landrum 21:36
Yeah. Yes. a clicker for wearing skirts. Right?

Stefanie Bautista 21:40
Yeah. Skirts.

Ariel Landrum 21:41
They were very, very Clueless.

Stefanie Bautista 21:42
Yes, very Clueless, very Clueless.

Ariel Landrum 21:46
And then, like, there were in the even in the first episode, we meet The Guru Kid, and I can distinctly remember in my mind, there was one kid that just seemed so like…

Stefanie Bautista 21:55
Zenned out.

Ariel Landrum 21:56
Yeah, like smarter. I was like, on another plane, and we will regularly seek out advice from this kid was a really good mediator. So…

Stefanie Bautista 22:04
Yeah.

Ariel Landrum 22:05
But I have that I have that in my memory as like someone that to me, I like immediately when I heard guru kid because they they’re like, “We have a problem we need. We talk to Guru Kid,” it’s like, “Yeah, you do.”

Stefanie Bautista 22:18
Yeah. And it’s so funny how he literally gives the same advice to somebody who wants to make a great higher. And it was the same analogy, but like, so it wasn’t really The Guru Kid that was giving advice. It was just the interpretation of the person asking for advice ends up giving their own advice to themselves.

Ariel Landrum 22:33
Oh, very similar to how it happens in therapy, but thats a different podcasts

Stefanie Bautista 22:37
Interesting. We will definitely have to catch up on that one day. But yeah, I think those different characters that’s what I loved a lot about the show because like you said, you could identify other people but also you could identify yourself as one of the main characters because they were so diverse. And they were so different, but yet they all hung out together and all work together as a team. So Ariel, who did you identify with in the Recess crew?

Ariel Landrum 23:05
Okay, so in the recess crew, there are 1,2,3,4,5,6. There are 6, 6 people in the crew in the gang or posse, I don’t know whatever you want to call them. For the girls, there was Ashley and Gretchen. Ashley was more of a tomboy Gretchen is would be considered the smart kid I guess.

Stefanie Bautista 23:27
You mean Spinelli.

Ariel Landrum 23:28
Yeah, yeah. Ashely Spinelli. I apologize. Spoiler alert.

Stefanie Bautista 23:33
Spoiler alert.

Ariel Landrum 23:34
Her name is Ashley. But they call her Spinelli. My bad.

Stefanie Bautista 23:36
It was like, one of the best reveals I think of a show. I loved that. But anyway, go ahead.

Ariel Landrum 23:45
Yes, Spinelli tomboy. Gretchen smart kid. Then we have Mikey whose sort of like a big teddy bear. We have TJ who’s the leader. And I would say like, plan guy. I don’t know. Yep. We have Gus who’s coming along for the ride. Seems to just kind of absorbing everything. And it is it was the new kid. And then we have Vince who is the the sports guy or jock, right?

Stefanie Bautista 24:14
Yeah. Yeah.

Ariel Landrum 24:15
So I think for me, I really gravitated towards Gus.

Stefanie Bautista 24:21
Yeah, I knew you’d say that.

Ariel Landrum 24:24
And the reason why is we get introduced to guest because he’s a new kid, and he’s a military brat. And he says, like, I think he says, “I’ve been to like 12 schools in 6 years,” or something like that. And I remember the distinct difference of going to school off base and on base. And on base, it was a way more healing experience because we all knew we were the new kids. And we all knew that we were going to move. Like it was it was actually easier for me to make friends with kids on base because we we were always trying to develop ourselves and create a unit and we knew that the unit was going to get disrupted. When I went to school off base, it was really those clicks. It was really people who had known each other since diapers. And I was the new kid. I was othered. I, in the episode, they talk about a rule where you can’t talk to the new kid for 48 hours, a new kid doesn’t get a name. And I remember a lot of people having trouble remembering my name. And I was like, “But it’s a Disney Princess, like, how do you not know who Ariel is?” And that like being not having anybody to sit with not having anybody to talk to you. And remembering the few times where someone reached out and someone talked to me and someone tried to be a friend. I know, it took, I would say months before I actually had a friend group and some of my off base schools versus going to school on base. And I knew that experience of like, consistently being uprooted. The other thing was the the trope of his military dad, introducing him is like a cadet. And like if you go to their house, he’s got barbed wire and a Humvee like that, that stereotype that is exactly what the off base off base kids thought my life was like. And thought my dad was like, and if any of you, and I know Stef has met my dad, he is far from trope.

Stefanie Bautista 26:20
No he’s more of like of The Guru kid.

Ariel Landrum 26:22
Definitely more like The Guru Kid. So yeah, I really resonated with with Gus and how much he just like he cried. So that to me was also important because we see a male figure crying, and being open about his emotions. And he cried, saying, “No one’s been so nice to me. Thank you guys.” And I remember that. So yeah, I’m wondering who you identify with?

Stefanie Bautista 26:46
Oh, my gosh, well, I love that Gus gave you a little bit of visibility in a cartoon. And I think that’s so important, especially for you know, all of our kiddos who are military brats, they are so special and you know, they go through just as much as their, you know, their parents do. And you guys do deserve that visibility, because it’s a real lived experience that a lot of people have. But for me, so I know straight out, I probably identified with Spinelli, Ashley Spinelli.

Ariel Landrum 27:14
Yes.

Stefanie Bautista 27:14
Just because that’s how I look like when I was in elementary school, I was…

Ariel Landrum 27:18
No no no. Not just elementary school. I’ve seen that exact outfit on Stef with the combat boots…

Stefanie Bautista 27:24
Regularly.

Ariel Landrum 27:24
And the leather jacket and a dress and some sort of beanie and or hat, or coverage.

Stefanie Bautista 27:29
Literally throughout my life.

Ariel Landrum 27:31
Yes.

Stefanie Bautista 27:31
Yes, I lived Spinelli’s outfit. I should have royalties for that. However, I actually identified a lot with each and every character because each and every character was a bit of me. So if we’re going down the list, I was Spinelli because I dressed like her. And sometimes I just didn’t care about stuff. And I was just like, “You know, whatever. I’m grumpy.” I was Gretchen a little bit because I really loved science. And I really loved figuring out things and that was one of my favorite subjects in school. I was a little bit of Mikey because I was like the mediator and also I was not the skinniest girl. I was very like, I guess athletic, you could say in my body type. So I didn’t really I didn’t wear like tank tops or anything like that during school just because I was so self conscious about my body, not being super super skinny as a girl. And leading into that I was a little bit of Vince because I really loved sports. I did dress like a tomboy.

Ariel Landrum 28:28
You do love sports.

Stefanie Bautista 28:30
I love sports so much. And then I think I identified the least with TJ just because he was just the troublemaker.

Ariel Landrum 28:37
Yeah scheming.

Stefanie Bautista 28:39
Without without Vince he was literally Zack Morris just causing just wrecking havoc on everything and…

Ariel Landrum 28:45
Yeah.

Stefanie Bautista 28:45
You know, Vince was like his, his his foil I guess you could say and…

Ariel Landrum 28:50
Moral compass like a Jiminy Cricket.

Stefanie Bautista 28:51
Moral compass, for sure for sure.

Ariel Landrum 28:53
Now, you could say that Vince is a essentially a stereotype and that he is a Black athlete. And that was a common stereotype especially in the 90’s. But then you miss a really some important part of regarding his depth of character. And that he was kind and calm. And then he had a lot of integrity and he was the reason that the group was grounded. So it makes sense that he was TJ’s is Jiminy Cricket. His conscience. I also want to just mark that one of my favorite episodes is where he is essentially teaching Spinelli what to do in regards to an upcoming beauty pageant. He spent all night watching some pageant videos and he learned how to sashay, how to walk and step. And I would say that was very forward representation of a Black male walking in heels and modeling with no embarrassment in regards to what he was doing. He just knew that this is a competition and this is how you win the competition. I’m going to dive in it headfirst and fully engage. Essentially, what could have been made fun of for walking around these heels, so shout outs Vince.

Stefanie Bautista 30:07
Gus I identified with not because I was a military brat I didn’t, you know, I was not introduced into being a military family till I was older. But I moved schools a lot in LA. So in elementary school, I think I attended 5 different elementary schools. So I was also the new kid, but in a different way. Like I was a local but also I wasn’t a local because I never had a peer group that I knew from diapers like you Ariel.

Ariel Landrum 30:34
Yeah.

Stefanie Bautista 30:34
And so I always had to find my way into these specific bs actual circles very much like Recess where it was just an amalgam of different people who were outcasts in their own I guess social ways coming together and just hanging out together. I remember my group of friends in late elementary just being you know, kids who back then guys, anime was not cool. You were lame for loving anime and, and cartoons, so I hung out with like five other kids, and none of us looked like we would ever be friends. But we all like the enemies. So we ended up hanging out together. But I think that was also the beauty of recess is that you… Just because you’re a jock, you didn’t have to hang out with just jocks. Just because you were a nerd didn’t have to hang out with just nerds. If you were, you know, Mikey, you didn’t just have to hang out with other kids who looked like you. You could be friends with different people. And it was okay. And you did great things together.

Ariel Landrum 31:30
And I think that you’re you’re also noting the difference between us following the narrative of like one character and sort of like our Disney media and a core group. Because you’re saying, like, “I identify with components of each and that’s okay.” And sometimes it’s one of the things that turns us off in regards to media is, “I just don’t like this main character. I could not be them. I can’t, I can’t find I can’t find relatability.” And in this case, you had options. And you could switch in episodes like, “I totally agree with Gretchen in this moment, or I totally agree with Mikey in this moment.” And that you that narrative change allows you to again, see more of a holistic kid, because there was definitely in this group, moments of infighting because of disagreements. And I think the really, again, beautiful thing about this group is that they were so diverse. What we did see was literally clicks on in the Recess playground. People only playing with people that were of similar interests. And this group accepted each other just because they were fun to hang out with. And then that was it. They didn’t have to have completely similar or same interests. And then they never seem to poke or make fun of each other for having differences. It was just we were automatically introduced to Gretchen being smart. And she was saying things that were smart, and no one questioned it. No one made fun of it. And no one tried to have her like, explain in a different way. If they said they were confused, she would and it was never seen as her talking down on them. And it was never seen as them telling her she was a dweeb, right?

Stefanie Bautista 33:07
Yeah.

Ariel Landrum 33:07
It was like there was just like, “Oh, she just likes to be smart. And we like her. So let’s like learn a thing or two.”

Stefanie Bautista 33:12
Exactly, exactly. And, you know, like, seeing them as a group. It was it was so nice that I don’t know if you remember this, were they all in the same class? Were they all in Miss Grotke’s class?

Ariel Landrum 33:25
They were shout out to the best teacher.

Stefanie Bautista 33:28
Best teacher.

Ariel Landrum 33:29
More woke than I even I am today.

Stefanie Bautista 33:32
More woke in the 90’s, too. And I remember I think I had tried on a pair of like Harry Potter style glasses, and I had just cut my hair really short. And my husband was like, “You look like Miss Grotke.”

Ariel Landrum 33:43
Yeah.

Stefanie Bautista 33:45
And I was like, “Oh my gosh.” But then I was like, “That’s not like, that’s a compliment. She was the coolest teacher.” I wish. I wish that I had, you know, like a ‘woke teacher’ like that when I was growing up. Now I know teachers that are woke just like her, but I can’t be their students anymore. They’re my counterparts. But she was so compassionate and so loving. And I think with the chaos of the playground, it was such a nice way for them to come back and be grounded. Whenever they did come back in the class, even though they still wanted to be outside. They appreciated her and she always had their back.

Ariel Landrum 34:16
Yeah, and I remember having really good teachers, formative teachers and I remember teachers that did not like their job. Did not want to be there did not want to engage with kids like a like our Yard Ladies. And I feel like Miss Grotke was she was the maybe like the epitome of like what a teacher should be or how I imagined or hoped that they would be if I had kids that were being taught.

Yeah. Let’s I you know, it’s funny because when as we’re talking about adults in the school setting that you know, had their had their roles to play in our lives. Like you know, Miss Grotkewas the ideal teacher. What is the name of The Yard Lady? I literally just saw it like a couple minutes ago. What is her name Ariel?

Oh, her name is Miss Finster.

Stefanie Bautista 35:04
Miss Fist… Yeah, Miss Finster. Miss Finster was the grumpiest oldest lady that you could ever have on a yard. But for some reason, she was like built like a linebacker, and she could chase a kid down.

Ariel Landrum 35:15
Yeah.

Stefanie Bautista 35:17
there, lunch lady was just as miserable. Their principal was just as you know, they always paint the principal is so oblivious to what’s going on. And just always concerned about like, the administration of everything and not the actual happiness of the kids.

Ariel Landrum 35:33
Is that a trope? Or is that real from your knowledge as an educator.

Stefanie Bautista 35:37
Not in my school, however, more traditional schools that I have worked that there is definitely a gap between up and coming teachers who are my age who have just graduated, and also the tenured teachers who have been there when through you know, multiple generations of students.

Ariel Landrum 35:55
So bright eyed and bushy tailed or seen shit.

Stefanie Bautista 35:58
Seen some shit and you have the ones in the middle who have seen some shit but are still, you know, trying to bridge the gap between like the non technological and technological I think that’s the best way that I can describe it. And sometimes the principles just don’t follow that. Thankfully, for me, I have a boss that is way in tune with like a lot of things that are going on and she’s great. But I remembered student teaching on like other sites and the principal just kind of being aloof, or just being that figurehead and not much more else. And I want to know if you think this but I always thought that Randall Miss…

Ariel Landrum 36:38
Miss Finster.

Stefanie Bautista 36:38
Er, yeah, her her little pet. Miss Finster’s pet? Yeah, I always knew Randall. And I was like, “This kid always screwing up everything.” And the she treats him like a little dog because she gives him a treat like a puppy.

Ariel Landrum 36:53
Yeah she throw a cookie at him.

Stefanie Bautista 36:54
Yeah she throw a cookie at him. And I was like, oh, it was always just like, weaselly looking kid that just like, never really fit in anywhere. But I guess found safety and being next to an adult.

Yeah, I feel like the one of the things that this show does well is it gives you a way to simplify social challenges in regards to having characters identified in your mind on how to tackle these social challenges. So it’s like you think of Randall, he thrives at being used as a pawn to carry another person’s favor in order to maintain really social hierarchy, relevance, importance. He’s like a literally aligning himself with power. And if you look at that, you can look at it in a strength based way. And that is probably a kid who survives as a kid who can align himself with power.

Ariel Landrum 37:46
And if it means not having friends that are your age, and just align yourself with adults, then so be it.

I think like even in some of the other sort of character tropes, you can see like, are you struggling with someone who kind of, in your mind seems to match that of a sixth grader. They just want to maintain dominance, they just want to maintain control. And that’s their motivation. That’s the reason you’re having a social impasse with them is because somehow in this moment, they feel like you’ve removed control and you have asserted your own dominance, and they don’t know how to respond except to push back and be aggressive. And then even mentioning like The Swinger Girl, are you working with someone who has such daring desire and drive that they are doing so much, despite potential danger. That they don’t even see the risk or the potential harm that they’ve put themselves in? I feel like in watching the show, it gives you these snippets of the simple characterization that you can then use to tackle complex social engagements.

Stefanie Bautista 38:52
Yeah, definitely. And also the performativeness of Swinger Girl. Maybe she was doing it to be popular because you know what she maybe she just ended I want to know, the backstory of Swinger Girl now. Because you know, it’s wishing doing it for attention, like, did she not have anybody to go to and that’s why she was like, “You know what swinging is going to be my thing.” Just like Upside Down Girl, that’s going to be my thing. The 2 Diggers I’m pretty sure they’re brothers. Right? So they’re twins, I believe.

Ariel Landrum 39:19
I think they are. Someone correct us if we’re wrong, we haven’t actually like fully rewatched all of the episodes.

Stefanie Bautista 39:27
Yeah.

Ariel Landrum 39:27
I was very young when I seented them. So my memory is but wasted.

Stefanie Bautista 39:32
Yes. Same here. But yeah, they I mean, they look exactly the same. They’re both digging and they argue like they’re siblings. So I’m assuming that they are siblings, and you know, maybe they just didn’t have anywhere else that they could fit into. So they were just like, “You know, we’re just gonna dig our way out of this.” And for some reason, no staff member decided, “Hey, there’s a hole in the ground. Next to a fence.

Ariel Landrum 39:55
This isn’t safe.

Stefanie Bautista 39:56
This is safe.

Ariel Landrum 39:58
Why do these kids have shovels in the first place?

Stefanie Bautista 40:00
Who gave them tools? Also, I mean, blathering safe. They have a hardhat. But, I mean, why are they in this hole? This is this is not okay, guys. Another one of my…

Very primitive ways of doing it. Not like an actual, like construction site with a sign that they made that says “China or Bust.” That was well thought out.

Ariel Landrum 40:21
Well thought out.

Again, it’s elementary, right? So I do remember in elementary school kids just randomly digging holes. Like that was that was like with objects with sticks, just like making digging sound effect

Stefanie Bautista 40:23
Very primiative ways of doing it. Not like an actual like construction site with a sign that they made that says, ‘China or Bust.’ That was well thought out. And without any notice, for whatever reason. But yeah, I mean, it’s so funny that you, you mentioned, just the ways that we perceive things now, as opposed to the way we perceive them before as kids. And I think that’s the fun part about looking back on shows like this, like Recess, especially one that kind of stands the test of time. And I think that there’s a there’s many things that we already said that, you know, hasn’t stand the test of time, because this is really how kids navigate their way socially in the world, right? But there are some things that don’t test, you know, stand the test of time, right? I think watching it, I was just like, “I don’t know about this.”

Ariel Landrum 41:13
So for me, that was the kindergarteners was that for you? So the kindergartners are, they’re described as being sort of wild and unpredictable, but they’re shown using really what’s called like an Indigenous Savage trope. So the this trope is in media, it’s used to show how Indigenous people are beneath Western white society by showing us that we need to fear them, that we need to fight them, and essentially convert them to our ways. And we see this by the kindergarteners having tribes having painted faces, having…

Stefanie Bautista 41:54
Feathers.

Ariel Landrum 41:55
Feathers…

Stefanie Bautista 41:56
Face paint.

Ariel Landrum 41:57
Face paint. Having rituals that involve tying kids up, and like saying they’re going to eat kids, like all of this is to portray that they’re primitive. And even Gretchen says in the first episode that these ‘primitive grades’ really saying like lower grades, and when when they go to visit, they say like, “We are from Big Kid land.” And “Here is shiny tinfoil we give you a few help us.” Like really just feeding into that trope. Now looking. I know, I know, seeing it as a kid when I was watching, I didn’t get that. I was not woke. I was not a woke ass kid. I was dead asleep. I did. I saw that as like, “Yeah, kindergarteners, like they don’t have… Their lawless. Like they just want to see the world burn.” But I didn’t see that they were portraying it using this trope. Now that I do see that, I know that that could easily be removed, and it would still be a good show. And I do know there’s an episode where TJ like goes and visits the kindergarteners and has a whole day there and enjoys a nap time. And so essentially realizes that they are not lawless, and they do have their own social norms and that they’re different. So maybe that was a little undoing of that.

Stefanie Bautista 43:08
Yeah.

Ariel Landrum 43:08
But I would say that anybody who wants to pick this show up now that hasn’t seen it from childhood; that doesn’t have like maybe some nostalgia connection, those are going to be those, like points of disruption for you.

Stefanie Bautista 43:21
Yeah, I agree. Definitely the kindergarteners and working with kindergarteners, yes, there is an amount of lawlessness to them. They do like to bite each other. They do spit on each other. They are just learning and because they’re babies still like a lot, especially these ones coming from preschool. They’re coming from like daycare and they don’t have… They don’t know how to stand in a line. They don’t know how to hold their crayons correctly. They don’t know how to sit in a chair. So yes, there is a element of them not knowing but the way that they portrayed them as savages not knowing was you know, kind of probably the wrong direction. And like we said, it’s the 90’s it was a different time, we had different ways of perceiving other other norms, I guess you could say in other lands. However, I think now if you were to look at it, you would really have to look at it from a developmental standpoint, saying, you know, like, take away the, you know, feathers, we use feathers in arts and crafts, we use, you know, paint in arts and crafts, like kids are going to be messy. They literally look like that all the time. If you’re looking at it from an arts and crafts standpoint, and not an Indigenous people standpoint. You could always make that argument that you know, when TJ did go over there and was just like, “Oh my gosh, I love kindergarten like they got to take a nap. They get to do fun stuff like everyday seems like recess.” But also you know what, someone might bite you and like that’s okay, it’s normal.

Ariel Landrum 44:50
It’s normal.

Stefanie Bautista 44:51
It’s super normal. I think when I first was a teacher in kindergarten I literally thought of Recess. And I’m like, it’s scary, because you don’t know what these kids are gonna do. It is like being in a foreign country because you can’t really speak their language you, they don’t understand you. You have to learn the lingo of “Let’s all come together. Let’s clap, clap clap to pay attention.” Or, “If you can hear me match me. If you can hear me match me. Let’s shh.” And like you get this whole nother vocabulary and whole nother like way of talking to them. And sometimes when you don’t talk to an adult after being in kindergarten, for so long, you forget to form sentences. It is like being a foreigner in their land until you get used to being around them. So there are parallels to that. But I think as we are moving away from looking at Indigenous people, as people who are just never gonna get it, we can definitely form this in a way where it’s more true to child development, and not so much looking at foreigners in that way. Another thing that really, that I noticed watching it again, was the fact that a lot of the grades didn’t really interact with each other. The grade levels always stayed with their grade level. Like, if you’re in elementary school, now you have opportunities to talk to fifth graders, you have opportunities to talk to fourth graders as a first grader. And we actually encourage those connections, because then you can see where you want to be in the next couple years, like “Do you want to, you know, maybe you can identify with this person.” Like, or say, “You know, what, being a sixth grader is not so scary.” I think…

Ariel Landrum 46:34
Like do you guys assign like peer mentors or?

Stefanie Bautista 46:37
Yeah, we’re very much. And we also have a lot of fifth graders sometimes go into the younger classes, be a mystery reader, and say, “Oh, we’re going to actually hear from a fifth grader.” And they get to ask them questions like, “How does it feel to be in fifth grade?” Like, “How does it feel to be going into middle school soon.” Like, “Are you scared?” And you really get to establish those connections, and then now the younger kids have a wider, a wider vision of who they can be in the next couple years, as opposed to them just sticking with their grade. And because by the end of the year, you want them to grow.

Ariel Landrum 47:08
And removing some of that fear, right? Because there was definitely a lot of fear of the the older grades, because there was uncertainty, it seemed that they, they because they were bigger, they were stronger, they can bully you they can push you around. And that sounds more developmentally appropriate and that you are encouraging children to engage with diverse people. Including age as diversity.

Stefanie Bautista 47:33
Absolutely. And I think that’s the beauty of having different grades intermingle with each other is that you get those different levels of understanding that a teacher just can’t give them. They see each other as peers and not necessarily as enemies you don’t pit them against each other because I feel like that’s how it felt like being in elementary school. The the the scariness, the fear, it’s just it’s gone, essentially. And you don’t get those opportunities until you go to like a summer camp, or if you go to any extracurricular activities, so why not use the recess yard as one of those places?

Ariel Landrum 48:11
Absolutely. And I would say something else that was, again, just problematic, still very heteronormative. Again, it was the 90’s. There was a episode that involves kissing. First of all, TJ and Spinelli were like, forced to kiss each other out of peer pressure. And it was guise to science. And I think that sort of cohesion. And now I will say that, that on the playground, I remember levels of affection being performative. Like everybody gawking and watching.

Stefanie Bautista 48:46
So awkward.

Ariel Landrum 48:47
This case, it was we were accepting that they were doing this because because their peers are pressuring them. I think that that already is problematic. And then the reason that it all started was because a another youth was telling them that their future was girls were gonna like kissing boys and boys were gonna like kissing girls. So that just just that narrative, very heteronormative and then really wanting to explore if that was true, and what would happen, and “No, we’ll never kiss you.” I think that again, that’s another probably narrative that that doesn’t need to stay could be thrown out. I think talking about essentially kissing is a form of sex, sexual attraction, finding a way to show these elementary kids really uncovering that in a different, more safer way, I think would have been better social commentary.

Stefanie Bautista 49:40
Absolutely. And I think that knowledge just wasn’t there yet in that day. So I would love to see how people decide to portray that now if, you know they decide to do a remake or if they decide to do a show, similar to Recess. I think will be impactful to kids nowadays.

Ariel Landrum 49:57
Or even what these new episodes are like, right?

Stefanie Bautista 50:00
Yeah.

Ariel Landrum 50:01
Because I think they were made in the 2000’s.

Stefanie Bautista 50:04
Mm hmm. Yeah. Maybe it’ll be interesting for us to revisit this topic again after you know, a Recess Part 2, or instead of just recess, it’s lunch recess now, which is always Recess Part 2. Because, you know, like, you know, we mentioned like we I was only watching the original Recess series. And like, when you look it up on Disney+, I did the same thing where I typed in Recess, and I’m like, “What are all these other things?”

Ariel Landrum 50:29
“What is this?”

Stefanie Bautista 50:29
“What is this? Feeling like an old lady here? What is all this new stuff these newfangled contraptions.” But I’m really interested to see if they did evolve from these tropes and stereotypes, because the knowledge of students and parents now are evolving so fast. And with recent events, were restructuring the way we look at play. The way we look at child development, the way we look at social interactions, not just with how we learned it in the past, but also how we’re teaching our kids how to do it. So yeah, maybe we’ll come back to this.

Ariel Landrum 51:04
I’m curious. What do you think recess is for adults?

Stefanie Bautista 51:09
Oh, recess for adults?

Ariel Landrum 51:12
Yeah. What do you think that looks like?

Stefanie Bautista 51:13
Happy Hour! You know, recess to me, as adults is like when you and I go, “Let’s get coffee.” That’s recess. Yes. Yeah, that’s like us just chillin, getting, you know, some snacks, nice cup of coffee sitting down, forgetting all of the things that we have to do for the day, just reserving that hour. And it doesn’t have to be 15 minutes, y’all. I don’t recess back then was just like 20 minutes of get out and get your body moving. But it can also be going to the gym. It can also be you know, having a picnic. It could also be engaging yourself in maybe some sports or with a league or something. I think that’s also considered recess. What do you think recess is?

Ariel Landrum 51:58
Well, I know if you’re thinking larger organizations and companies they’ve sort of embraced play, right? They, they have playing fields, I know lots of people who are on like a softball team at their job. And and take breaks for to practice or to prep for the next game. I think of when you’re talking about company and employee development, we have like here in the state of California mandated breaks, right?

Stefanie Bautista 52:26
Yeah.

Ariel Landrum 52:27
You’re supposed to take every like your 2 15 minute breaks on your lunch. It and I feel like the the part that’s missing is the equipment and quality engagement. Like here’s a break for you. But I know that a lot of people will work. They’re not supposed to you into their lunch hour, they will check their email, they will respond to….

Stefanie Bautista 52:50
Me included. That’s so me.

Ariel Landrum 52:54
Yeah, yup. And so I feel like recess is that respite that we need. But we have to have some sort of equipment. I know. Definitely games, mobile, mobile phone games have become a way to create that, that respite and that release. I just I think that for that intentional break, just like when when you’re at school, like you had that intentional break, there needs to be intention to release to get out of your office, if you can…

Stefanie Bautista 53:24
Take a walk.

Ariel Landrum 53:26
Take a walk, walk your dog, if you’re working from home, you know, anything that you can do to remind yourself of your whole body. To remind yourself of the environment around you. I think that is what recess should be for adults. I definitely think that many of us have forgotten that we need recess that we need to play.

Stefanie Bautista 53:46
Or even translate recess into a vacation. I know sometimes we…

Ariel Landrum 53:50
Bing long recess…

Stefanie Bautista 53:52
A big long recess.

Ariel Landrum 53:53
Snow day.

Stefanie Bautista 53:55
I mean, whether it just be like a drive up the coast, if you live in California or drive, you know, to the park or National Park, if you’re near one or like just taking that day you actually use your weekend not to be productive. But to like we mentioned in self care, just do you is really important, because as you see, I mean, in other countries they have mandated vacations that you get paid for. An integral requirement. I know that you so…

Ariel Landrum 54:21
America do better.

Stefanie Bautista 54:23
We are sucky at that. The worst of. It is the worst. So I mean, as Americans, sometimes you have to equate having your recess as a vacation, and to intentionally be like, “You know what I’m going to unplug. I’m going to unwind. Don’t talk to me.” Put on that out of office message on your email, and really…

Ariel Landrum 54:42
Yes.

Stefanie Bautista 54:43
It’s just it’s a little sad to say that we have to work so hard to create these little recesses for ourselves, but the frequently that you do that I feel like the more productive you’ll be. For myself, I totally look forward to planning all my vacations, whether it be like a drive away. I’m going to be driving pretty far in tomorrow. I’m going out to, yeah, I’m going on my reassess to a National Park just to get some air. So definitely those instances of play, of doing things that give you pleasure, are super important to maintain that quality of life and to maintain sanity.

Ariel Landrum 55:24
I’m curious for you, what have you noticed with students when they don’t get recess?

Stefanie Bautista 55:28
Oh, it’s the worst. It’s actually literally so hard to get A. kid focused if they don’t have recess. That’s why we never ever use no recess as a punishment at my school. Just because if you take away that play, you were actually adding work to yourself. You only don’t get a break, but the kid doesn’t get a break. And if you’re going to go through that 8 day, 8 hour day together, you’re kind of setting yourself up for failure. So definitely changing the way that you give consequences. Logical consequences is different. And I’ve seen back then, and other schools that I’ve worked at play being taken away, having them take a break from socializing, it isolates themselves so much more. And now they think you’re the enemy. And now they think that you are taking away their socialization, their play things that they love. And that really breaks that connection that you’re trying to make with your student, whether you’re the TA whether you’re the teacher, whether you’re the administrator, you’re not connecting with them in that way. You are severing the connection, essentially. So it’s something that I feel that all schools should be moving away from. Just because it’s it doesn’t do anyone good.

Ariel Landrum 56:44
Yeah, I think when I see it in adults, right, I get as a therapist, I’m seeing general mental unwellness. I’m seeing actual clinically diagnosed depression and anxiety. But I’m also seeing chronic stress. And people forget that the things that happen when we have chronic stress is we get irritable bowel syndrome, we get GERD, we get acid reflux, because it shuts down your digestive system. You’re not if you’re activating fight, flight or freeze, you’re not supposed to be digesting your food you’re supposed to be running away from like a tiger. In this case, you are feeling that sitting in your office, one on your break when you’re checking your email. Many of the things that I see are, you know thoughts of self harm, inability to engage with people, not wanting to socialize. Forgetting. Lots of memory loss, short term memory loss and inability recall, these are some of the things that we start to notice when we don’t give ourselves a break. And it starts off small we think we can sort of shake off these these sort of frustrations and I think once we we start to ignore them that much. We start to forget to you know, harken back to our previous episode, our self care. And recess is definitely part of lifestyle, it’s part of self care. Shout out to Simone Biles for her ability to recognize that she needed some self care that she needed to to ground herself literally.

Stefanie Bautista 58:17
Definitely. And for her because now that her form of play became her profession.

Ariel Landrum 58:23
Yeah…

Stefanie Bautista 58:24
I’m pretty sure as a young girl and hearing so many stories and learning about her story. Gymnastics is a way for kids to let loose and you know, just be in tune with your body and because she was so good at…

Ariel Landrum 58:35
Your whole body.

Stefanie Bautista 58:36
Your whole body and like push it to its limitations and like go above and beyond what you think is is possible for you know your sport. Now that this is her livelihood. And this is you know what the world sees her as her taking a break from it is actually normal come competitions are so stressful.

Ariel Landrum 58:56
So stressful.

Stefanie Bautista 58:57
I remember being in swim meets just like wanting to throw up in the pool, so that I could be disqualified. And you know, you never, ever really get used to that. And like I think as an athlete, her taking that time to ground herself and and still win two medals is still so impressive. She is still The GOAT. She is still amazing. She’s setting herself as like such a good role model for so many kids in sports, Kids of Color in sports, women in sports, there’s so much burden on her and you know what? Like I say to all these naysayers, you try doing all the things that they do. And do it in front of the whole world on a time difference. Being The GOAT and upholding that at her age.

Ariel Landrum 59:48
Yes.

Stefanie Bautista 59:48
She’s a legend. She’s amazing. And I’m glad that you know, she did that for herself the ultimate form of self care and the ultimate recess for her brain.

Ariel Landrum 59:58
Yes. Yes. And harking back to recess and another Woman of Color who is The GOAT Miss Grotke.

Stefanie Bautista 1:00:07
Yes.

Ariel Landrum 1:00:08
I want to read some of these quotes to end us with?

Stefanie Bautista 1:00:11
Nice.

Ariel Landrum 1:00:12
“I look forward to reading your thoughts on how the male authors of the Constitution helped shape our gender based society.” snaps Okay. “The founding fathers didn’t think twice about excluding an entire gender from their rants. I mean, where were the founding mothers?”

Stefanie Bautista 1:00:29
Where were the founding mothers? I want to know this. She’s asking the questions.

Ariel Landrum 1:00:33
She really is asking the questions. snaps “So the noble Native Americans share their bountiful food supplies with the undeserving European savages.” snaps “And then our hero Beowulf, ripped Grendel’s arm off and beat him with it. A metaphor for man’s cruelty towards endangered species.” Thank you, thank you. snaps Woke. Woke. Woke.

Stefanie Bautista 1:00:55
Woke. Woke. Woke. Love Miss Grotke. She is The GOAT of for not only Third Street Elementary, but to all of us, you know, living as students and now adults. I strive to be like her as a teacher. And just you know, her calm presence. I love it.

Ariel Landrum 1:01:14
Yay.

Stefanie Bautista 1:01:15
Yay. I really like I hope that you all like our talk on Recess. It is, if you are our age, and maybe you are, you know how much this little show really shaped our outlook on being at school, interacting with our peers, maybe even outside of school too. Let us know who your favorite recess character is either on Twitter @happiestpodGT, or on our Instagram when we post about this, to remind you that the episode is out very, very soon. Let us know who your favorite character, whether it be part of the crew or whether it be part of the staff or maybe even just the one off child that was you know, in the background. Because all those kids on the Recess field made Recess, whether or not the remain character. They were all important. And I loved this talk. I really enjoyed it.

Ariel Landrum 1:02:07
Me too. Me too. Thank you everybody for joining us and we will see you next time. Bye everybody.

Stefanie Bautista 1:02:12
Buh bye!

Media / Characters Mentioned
  • Recess
  • Spinelli
  • Gretchen
  • Mickey
  • TJ
  • Gus
  • Vince
  • The Swinger
  • The Diggers
  • Upside Down Girl
  • 90’s Cartoons
  • Mrs. Grotke
Topics/Themes Mentioned
  • Social-Emotional Learning
  • Play
  • Playground
  • American school lunches
  • Punishment
  • Stereotypes
  • Tropes
  • School funding
  • Developmental
  • Excutive funcitoning
  • Emotional self-control
  • Student autonomy

Questions? Comments? Discuss this episode on the GT Forum.

 Website: happy.geektherapy.com
 | Instagram: @HappiestPodGT | Twitter: @HappiestPodGT | Facebook: @HappiestPodGT |
 | Stef on Twitter: @stefa_kneee | Ariel on Instagram: @airyell3000 |

Geek Therapy is a 501(c)(3) non-profit with the mission of advocating for the effective and meaningful use of popular media in therapeutic, educational, and community practice.
| GT Facebook: @GeekTherapy | GT Twitter: @GeekTherapy |
| GT Forum: forum.geektherapy.com  | GT Discord: geektherapy.com/discord |

1 thought on “Back to School? More Like Back To Recess!”

  1. Pingback: Back to School? More Like Back To Recess! – Geek Therapy Network

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top