You may or may not have noticed I was MIA yesterday. Unfortunately, I was going down with…. something. My sister had been sick the day before and I knew it was only a matter of time before I got it! I experienced wooziness, nausea, headaches, cramps, and tiredness yesterday, and by dinnertime I had a fever! Once I ate dinner (and was some experiencing tummy troubles), I laid down on the couch and watch tv :).
When I was a kid, being sick was license to watch anything you wanted for the duration of your sickness.
These says I don’t normally watch tv, although this was not always the case. When I was younger, the Disney channel held me captive, and my mom put a limit on television (half hour a day). Unfourtnatly, when I ‘homeschooled’ in the fourth grade, after leaving an extremely stressful teacher in grade-three, all I wanted to do was watch tv….. so my mom only put a limit on Disney and cartoons, and allowed us to watch unlimited tv– on the condition that we could only view documentaries and educational programs. And so I did….. I watched the cooking channel and animal planet for my whole fourth grade year! I wish I were joking– but in my defense I belive all that zone-out tv may have panted the cooking and animal loving seeds in my brain.
That whole year, I was hateful to every book that looked vaguely educational. Curriculums were shunted, even the math book I bought so I could “keep up” with my ‘peers’.
Though this may sound to some like a kid who could not possibly succeed without school, it was a badly needed vacation. School had stomped it all out of me and I was sick of any structured learning whatsoever. This year was, in my mind (and to many homeschool expert), a badly needed “vacation”, where a kid beginning to unschool may not appear as though they are learning (though of course we learn through everything we do). It’s where we unwind from the stress of a structured classroom and begin to let our creative minds become receptive once more.
Unfortunately, by the end of that year, I wanted to go back to school. I was smitten with the idea of going to the one-week nature camp that fifth graders went to, a few hours from town, but the principal, uneducated about homeschool law (as were we at the time), told us that I had to enroll full-time to get that privilege. So I did. I then continued to sixth grade (bad year), and half-way through seventh I called it quits. I couldn’t stand it anymore and, though I kept a couple of my favorite classes for the rest of seventh grade and the whole of eighth, I was happy to indulge in my favored activities– namely animals, blogging, cooking, and my budding love for photography.
Somewhere in this jumble of school history, my mom made the decision to quite our cable. Byebye Animal Planet. Byebye Cooking Network. Though I was slightly upset I had lost my “educational konk-out” stations, I had been watching television very little leading up to the decision. I was finding that I liked not being prey to the tv and it’s programs. I was enjoying the freedom that comes with not being bombarded with commercials advertising products I find ethically awful every five minutes.
Nowadays, the tv is a real treat– to be enjoyed in the form of a family movie, a cooking show on the local access channel (seen every once in a while), or when I’m sick, in the case of last night. However, I no longer pick up the remote when I am “bored”. And I’m currently breaking the habits of aimlessly surfing the internet when I “bored”, too. Instead, I’ll listen to an audiobook– an engaging thing to do while I lay about or do chores!
I’m overall very happy with my decision not to watch regular tv– and when I do it’s because I pop in a cooking DVD or movie I picked up at the library, seen as a novelty (much as ice cream was before freezers). I will often play those DVDs in my computer, so as to hang out with the rats! I find that when I watch regular tv, my attention gets distracted away from what is really important to me; my rats, my blog, my cooking, and my life!
And besides, these guys are my real entertainment!
What are your opinions on the telly? I’m open to different views. Let me clarify real quick though, that I think TV is a great medium for reaching out to an audience that would not otherwise be aware of a subject– such as veganism, animal rights, etc.