Monday, September 17, 2012

How I'm Like: Gretchen Grundler

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

I asked a handful of people to name a television character that reminds them of me, thinking that it would be good to get other opinions of who I should be writing about in this series of articles. Five suggestions were made... one I'll have to research because I've never even seen the show let alone the character, one is from a show I've already discussed so I'll save that one for another time, and a few others which I'll need to digest. Today, we look at the similarities between myself and Gretchen Priscilla Grundler, a fourth grade student on Recess. This comparison is one which I don't think I ever would have come up with on my own, but it's not a bad place to look! After all, Recess was one of my favorite cartoons in high school, and if I had to pick one of the main six characters to be like, Gretchen is probably the most likely selection!
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Gretchen is "The Smartest Kid in Third Street School," and in examining the stereotypes on this show, I labeled her "the brain" who could do great math problems and science projects, and had a talking, handheld computer." Well, I'm going to confess... that sounds a lot like me in my elementary years. I went to the regional spelling bee in fifth grade, won third place in a county math competition, was on Principal's Honor Roll for having straight As every term, and actually had Talking Whiz Kid.

It was a super cool toy (well, maybe only us Gretchens of the world thought so!) so I kinda had to include a video in case you aren't familiar with it. [sidenote, I'm actually surprised that these things seem to be worth nothing! $15 used and $40 MIB on eBay!] Gretchen had a Galileo instead, which featuring a frog mascot instead of a bear. In one episode, Gretchen even tried to act dumb so she wouldn't be sent to a better school... and I tried to fail the Gifted and Talented screening in first grade so I wouldn't have to leave my friends. Gretchen also was the Class President in fourth grade, and I was the school President in fifth grade - though I believe she hand-wrote her speech and I used a typewriter! More interestingly, Gretchen does other people's homework for money... and I did that, too. I made quite the bundle in seventh grade by doing extra "periodicals" every week! We also both tend to be pretty verbose and use long words when short ones would suffice. So, yeah... academically, we're pretty similar.

Gretchen and I both play the piano, and we both seem to really enjoy welcoming "new kids," as seen when she takes it upon herself to be nice to Gus, and how I go up to anyone who seems new in a group and introduce them to others. She tends to freak out when something (anything) goes awry in a plan, and anyone who has spent more than a day with me knows that I'm also pretty by-the-schedule. We're also a bit naive... and, just like Gretchen was friends with Ashley A. in a single episode, I had a few moments in seventh grade when a popular girl befriended me for the time being, only to leave me in the cold as soon as her clique was around once again. Luckily, she always had her old gang to return to, Spinelli in particular. Likewise, I went right back to my old friends as well. [though they were interested to hear what those popular girls were like, LoL!]

The movie that ended the Recess series had Gretchen and the others in fifth grade (it never could have gone further than sixth grade because of the dissolution of recess in middle school), and there weren't all that many episodes made, so I think that probably about covers how I'm like Gretchen, but if you can think of other similarities, fire away!
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