Friday, April 14, 2006

On Reading

Even though Cobalt isn't speaking yet, he sure seems to like his books. In fact, reading is one of his favorite things. I got to thinking that one of the reasons is that we no longer have a TV (well, at least it hasn't been hooked up since the World Series and I have it listed to sell on craigslist.)
Then, I saw this post today by Dutch about how he's gets so much shit for expressing his opinion about moderation and TV viewing. So I thought I'd go a little deeper about it here.

I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, in a good Lutheran household. We had the TV on from the moment we got home from school until the last person went to bed. In fact, I had a 12" black and white in my room, and would stay up to watch Letterman and endless hours of M*A*S*H every night. This continued through college. Although my father was an educator, I can't remember ever reading anything for pleasure. Just the thought of reading for pleasure was such a joke. So anyway, I'm a bit bitter about it, and have been for some time now.

Along with improving my reading skills when I got older, I also had to work on my conversational tactics. With the TV on all the time, it was rare that we got past "how's your day, dear?" I don't blame TV or my parents necessarily for that one, but I'm sure it didn't help. I feel that that is more the result of self-esteem issues than anything else.

I regret that I was never pushed to explore a creative side. Now, maybe I'm just not as creative as I'd like to be, I don't know. Afterall, I was given some opportunities, like being enrolled in a Talented and Gifted program between 8th grade and high school, but never really pushed to take advantage of it or explore it. I'm sure part of the blame rests on me, and probably more blame goes to my older brother and his influence on me.

So anyway, I'm hoping that by minimizing his exposure to television, and giving him time, patience and opportunities to explore creative paths, Cobalt will come to realize that there is more out there than just what is considered normal, standard, in the box or whatever the hell you want to call it.

1 comment:

achiappanza said...

Shoot, now there's a blog entry.

I used to have a Friday Night Potluck tradition. Every Friday night I'd have six friends (plus my girlfriend) over to my house, where we'd all make different dishes. I'd pick the theme (usually ethnic) and assign categories, but other than that it was a free-for-all. The social mix often crossed known circles.

Then after eating, we'd sit in the living room and put on our Philosopher King hats and discuss the kinds of questions that often appear in books like _The Book of Questions_.

That's very un-TV. Maybe you should try it.