About Me

Twenty years ago I asked a Tarot card reader what would I be doing when I was 50. She replied, “I see you doing something so wildly creative, it defies a job title.” Only recently did I realize that was a slick way of saying, “I have no idea of what you’ll be doing.” But that prediction kept me charging ahead to the fifties with zeal and anticipation. Now that the future is today, I’m ready for anything!

A Movie that Rockets
Young Dreams to the Stars

It surprises me when I hear about movies being shown in school. I suppose it makes sense, considering how visually oriented kids and teens are. One movie that should be shown in every math and science class is the 1999 movie October Sky. The story takes place in a West Virginia coalmining town during America's space race with the Soviet Union. Eighteen-year-old Jake Gyllenhaal plays student Homer Hickam, with Laura Dern in a lovely role as his science teacher. Homer's imagination is fired by rockets and the space race, and wants to transcend the life of a coal miner that everyone says is his destiny.

October Sky is about breaking free from the gravitational pull of predestined limitations. It's about kids accepting other kids even if it isn't socially cool to do so. And it's about parents allowing their children to chart their own course. There are a couple of instances of non-PG language and one brief, disturbing scene of an alcoholic parent striking a child. But those moments are lost in the sheer joy of the overall story. Plus, students will love the many, many rockets that blow up before the Rocket Boys discover success.

Considering how the price of college has skyrocketed, and how space exploration is considered unnecessary in the face of a budget deficit, I don't know how possible the October Sky story is today. But it prompts parents to hold our kids, ourselves and our lawmakers to a higher standard -- and to shoot for the stars.

Which movie do you think should be shown in school, and why? Please share it below in a comment. 

Photo from HollywoodJesus.com: Pop Culture from a Spiritual Point of View.

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  1. Wish I knew of them. I'll add to my Must See Lists! :) Both sound fantastic.

  2. By all means rent it! The movie is based on a true story, as told by the real Homer Hickam in his book “Rocket Boys.” What I love about the movie October Sky is how teens can excel even if they aren’t sports superstars. While people associate Jake Gyllenhaal with Brokeback Mountain or Prince of Persia, I think of this wonderful movie -- Susan


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