- Being an exception; uncommon.
- Well above average; extraordinary: an exceptional memory.
- Deviating widely from a norm, as of physical or mental ability: special educational provisions for exceptional children.
Despite it’s diminutive size, every day after school for those two weeks I sat transfixed, my face inches away from the screen, as the narrator laid out the details of the second world war from the rise of the National Socialist Party in Germany all the way through V-J Day. I don’t know why a second grader would be so interested in that part of history, but I was. The part that really stuck in my mind was the sudden change from black and white to color. You see, almost all of the footage shown in the documentary was black and white. The invasion of Poland was black and white. The Battle of Britain was black and white. The attack on Pearl Harbor was black and white. The flag raising on Iwo Jima was black and white.
In fact, the entire documentary was in black and white until it came time to show the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This was in color. I remember being very impressed with this sudden transition from black and white to color pictures. From then on the footage that was shown was entirely in color.
A few months after I sat and watched all of this I was sitting in class and the subject of the afternoon was science. At one point I remember very distinctly the teacher asked, “Do any of you know why the sky is blue?”
Being the deductive genius I was, my hand shot up faster than ever.
“Shawn, tell us why the sky is blue.”
“You see what happened was we dropped these two bombs on Japan in 1945 and ever since then everything’s been in color.”
“Yeah, the atom bombs. That’s why we can’t use any more of them. We don’t know what’s going to happen the next time one goes off.”
I spent a lot of time taking special tests after that.