Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Important Nature of Context in Learning and Knowledge Sharing

Back in 1982, the first half hour animated televised special based on the Garfield comic strip was aired - Here Comes Garfield. In it Desirée Goyette sings So Long Old Friend as a vehicle for remembering Odie before he is to be euthanized at the pound (he's rescued of course.) In the context, it's a real "tear jerker" of a song that never fails to tug on heart strings if you transpose the song/lyrics to your personal experiences of losing a friend or loved one. I was touched by the song, and have remembered it ever since.

Interestingly, the song was also used in the recently released Sweeney Todd movie featuring Johnny Depp. I rented the movie and watched it at home. Because of the context of the movie, I believe, I never connected the song in Sweeney Todd with the Garfield special until someone mentioned it - though it is exactly the same song performed in both instances by Desirée.

Perhaps it's a little like meeting up with an acquaintenace in a totally different/new circumstance and not recognizing them. I've heard many people share that experience.

Below are YouTube clips of the song in the two circumstances if you too need a reminder.
(Apparently it was also used on Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.)

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