Doris Day Class - Part 2

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paul
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Doris Day Class - Part 2

Unread post by paul »

Had to share, briefly, a few comments about the "More than Freckles - The Amazing Career of Doris Day" class that I just finished teaching at an area college.

Some of you may recall that last fall I taught this class in Concord, NH to a rapt classroom, filled to capacity for the four week source.

Because of the popularity of the class, I agreed to conduct it again, this time in Manchester, New Hampshire where the 29 available slots filled in a matter of minutes with a waiting list of more than 40.

This time I expanded the time of the class from 2 hours to 2 1/2 hours to accommodate the scope of Miss Day's career and, naturally as you all know, that barely scratches the surface.

That being said, the last class of 4 was this past Monday and there were many tears from the students who hated to see it end.

One woman was so amazed at the range of Miss Day's career that she visited Amazon.com and purchased 30 Doris Day films at a cost of more than $ 700.00. Another bought CD's and DVD's on-line telling the class, "I lived through that era but had no idea what I was missing out on because some people didn't think Doris Day was cool enough....."

During the first class, because of the length, about an hour in, I offered the class a five to ten minute bathroom or stretch break if they wanted it. Not a soul budged and finally someone said, "We'd rather stay here and watch clips and hear songs......"

After showing the justly celebrated scene from "The Man Who Knew too Much" in which Jimmy Stewart sedates Miss Day prior to telling her about their son's kidnapping, one student raised their hand and said, "That was one of the single most impressive pieces of acting I have ever seen anyone give.....where did she study acting?"

I assured them she had never studied acting.

There was thunderous applause at the conclusion of "I'm Not at All in Love" and countless other times throughout the four weeks.

Due to popular demand, I will be offering the class one more time....this time in Portsmouth, NH in September and I only wish all of you could eavesdrop on the class and hear the comments, especially as the "light comes on" and students suddenly get why Doris Day was and remains a one of a kind entertainment force. This isn't a class of fans.....some of the students come in with an attitude of "what's the big deal", so watching them suddenly sitting there laughing, grinning, applauding and wanting more is a true revelation.

Because the school is affiliated with the State University System, I am prohibited from videotaping it or audiotaping it - even for my own private use, so I unfortunately cannot share it with all of you. If I could I would, gladly. It's validation of what we've all been feeling, thinking and knowing for so many years.

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howard
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Re: Doris Day Class - Part 2

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Paul, it warms my heart to hear about your class, and the wonderful response to it. I know it was a labor of love for you, and I'm sure it warmed your heart as well. Wish we all could have been there!
Like Irene Dunne done.

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paul
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Re: Doris Day Class - Part 2

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Thanks so much Howard....I'd have loved it too. Another comment.....there was one person in the class who had just retired after 42 years of teaching. He was "dragged" to the class by his wife who enjoyed Doris Day films while growing up in the 50's. By the last class he was an even bigger admirer than his wife, noting, "Is there nothing Doris Day can't do? She sings, dances and acts rings around everyone. You can't take your eyes off her. There's been nobody in films in the last 40 years that has skills in every department......"

So right!!! There are certainly fine actresses who can do comedy and/or drama, but not also sing and dance and do it with such a natural ease and believability.

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paul
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Re: Doris Day Class - Part 2

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Lest anyone think I am turning my lifelong admiration of Miss Day into a moneymaking deal, I receive no monies whatsoever for teaching the class. The program is part of the OLLI (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute) program that is available throughout the USA at various colleges and universities. Those who teach the classes do so in order to share their love of a particular topic/subject. In my opinion, not being paid only seems to add to the enjoyment and spirit of the class. In the NH "system" topics range from hiking through NH's White Mountains, to visits to historic places, finding humor in accounting, to the classes I teach. To attend you must be at least 50 years of age and the tuition is $ 30.00 for a four or five week class - just enough to cover electricity in the classroom, etc. It's not a moneymaking venture but a way to provide the opportunity for individuals to expand their horizons of knowledge.

This past spring I taught a class entitled, "Dynamic Duos - It Takes Teamwork" in which the focus was on a different screen team during each of the five weeks. I saved the best for last - Doris and Rock - and rented a local art cinema for the screening of "Send Me No Flowers". Seeing it with dozens of people on the big screen was amazing with several declaring it to now be their favorite "Day-Hudson film.

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Re: Doris Day Class - Part 2

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Paul,
This sounds like the dream of a life time for Doris fans. Thank you for this labor of love. I wonder if the school would consider making it an online course. I'm sure you would have many people who would love the chance to participate. I know I would.
Best,
Jill
"Someone drops a sigh and down you tumble"

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Re: Doris Day Class - Part 2

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Paul- I reiterate entirely what Howard and Jill have said: thanks so much for sharing with us and being the absolute font of all knowledge on Miss Day- you were so lucky too to have known her and been a friend. Thanks seems so tame - a million thanks.

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Re: Doris Day Class - Part 2

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Paul, hope I can attend one of these days! :D

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Re: Doris Day Class - Part 2

Unread post by tonysimone »

My goodness, Paul, you should have someone record the sessions and post them, not for sale, but to those of us who can't come to New Hampshire (much as I'd like to). Just a thought and what a marvelous idea to begin with!

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paul
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Re: Doris Day Class - Part 2

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In the past I've asked the school if that would be possible and because of their being affiliated with the University of NH school system, the response was an emphatic no. However, I plan to make the request for the third time, hoping that the third time is the charm as opposed to "three strikes and you're out!". The class will be offered for the third time in October/November and all available slots (28) were filled in 11 minutes, so I'm hoping they'll see the value of allowing the classes to be recorded for historical purposes if nothing else. I'll keep you apprised!!

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Re: Doris Day Class - Part 2

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Paul, what would we do without you? I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you (and US!).
Like Irene Dunne done.

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Peter Flapper
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Re: Doris Day Class - Part 2

Unread post by Peter Flapper »

Hi Paul,

Can't you give your Doris Day Class around the world? I would love to attend and I think a lot of other Dutch people will... I think there's a world wide interest in this great lady!!!

Or one Day you'll tape one of your classes in a smaller setting anywhere... and all your and Doris fans can watch it online....

Thank you Paul for all your stories and your updates on this wonderfull project/lady!

P

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Re: Doris Day Class - Part 2

Unread post by tonysimone »

Too bad that the folks there in NH won't allow you to document your own material ("Live free or die", right?), but then again, who's to say you couldn't have someone record the proceedings for your own use, as you are the copyright holder and owner of your own material. Hell, I'd put the thing up on a website of your own as a pay podcast. I'll be glad to pay to learn something. Again, cheers to you for doing it.

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paul
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Re: Doris Day Class - Part 2

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Next Wednesday the 10th, I go before a group of 5 who will hear my reasons for wishing to record the class. I will cross my fingers (and eyes) and only need to sway 3 of them to get the okay!!! Otherwise, ala "Glass Bottom Boat" and "Caprice", I'll wear a hidden device!!! :)

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Re: Doris Day Class - Part 2

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Paul, tell them Vladimir sent ya!

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Re: Doris Day Class - Part 2

Unread post by dayfan1962 »

I am so thrilled to hear and read about your Doris Day class. I am a longtime fan and admirer of the Lady Day. She became a part of my life at the age of 12 and I am now 52, still ever grateful for her career and everything she brought to the world of entertainment.
You must walk on clouds as you impart to others the rare gift she is as a human being and entertainer! I would enjoy taking your class if it were ever offered near the St. Louis area. Because Doris was never "show bizzy" or ambitious for recognition or praise she was quite taken for granted in an industry that can be so self-absorbed and driven. Your class helps to spotlight the tremendous talent of one so touched by gifts from the Divine.
Thank you for sharing what you could with us here, I am happy to know you do what you do.
I wish so much that I could tell her personally how her being the person she is lifted me to and cultivated in me a lifestyle of joy and lovingness. Maybe your class will say it to her for me and all of us who truly love Doris Day.

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