Higher Learning

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Higher Learning[1]
Series
The Other Side
Original Broadcast Date
11/14/1999
Cast
Friederike Frank, Joe Frank
Format
Absurd Monologue, 59 minutes
Preceded by: The Box
Followed by: Holy Land

"I just, just turned eighteen in November."

Higher Learning is a program Joe Frank produced as part of the series The Other Side. It was originally broadcast on November 14, 1999.[1]

Synopsis

This show is 100% re-used:

Joe's mother (Friederike Frank) tells the story of her marriage.[2][3]

17:40: A beautiful woman invites Joe to a performance of a play in which she has a role. Concerned that she watches him, Joe is self-conscious, puts so much effort into his role that he pays no attention to the play. He thinks about the roles we play, the performances we put on, in life.[4]

21:00: Humans compensate for their inferiority to animals with tools: clothes, cars, makeup …[4]

25:50: When he was a boy, falling asleep, Joe tortured himself with fantasies of making awful decisions.[5]

28:30: Joe tells of his job teaching at a private school in NYC,[6] including Kim and their unfortunate date.[7]

48:10: 'The Earth is 1 of 9 planets that revolve around the sun …' - Joe describes the vastness of space.[4]

49:30: Joe observes how small things look from an airplane, contrasts that perspective with how the city appears at ground level, comments on the ephemerality of life.[8]

52:40: Joe's mother laments the poor health of her husband.[9]

Legacy Synopsis
  • His mom tells of her early adulthood, her marriage to an older man.
  • Straining to appear likeable, the audience at a play as performers.
  • Humans making up for our physical inferiority
  • A child falling asleep imagines being offered hideous decisions: torture of himself or others.
  • Joe Frank the schoolteacher, dating coworker Kim with capped teeth, premature ejaculation
  • Defending against students' intellectual attacks
  • The insignificance of humans in the universe. A city viewed from an airplane.
  • Joe's mother talks about her sick husband, hospitals, nurse revenge.

Music

Shared material

Footnotes

    1. Two shows share this air date on joefrank.com; this and Holy Land.
    2. originally in God Only Knows
    3. Joe's mother was born Friederike Passweg, 1910 December 7. 1929 January 2 she married Meier Langermann. On their naturalization papers they changed the spelling of their names: Friederike to Frederica, Langermann to Langerman, Meier to Meyer.
    4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 originally in Cocktails Before Dinner
    5. originally in When She's Asleep, She Looks Like An Angel
    6. Joe taught at Dalton school
    7. originally in Pretender, in which it was interspersed with Monmouth's story
    8. originally in He Hesitated
    9. originally in The Road To Calvary.
    10. Joe added music to several of his shows when they were rebroadcast or digitized. The updated versions are available at Joefrank.com