Childhood memories involving TV
In March 2015, Ronnie Maier brought a piece of anti-technology art, and asked people to... well here's what she asked and clicking it might take you there (if facebook is still around, if you're able to read Ronnie's wall). And then there are a few I saved, starting with what Karen James wrote (which Ronnie knew I would love, and would help future unschoolers).
Links added below are my own, to related places on my site.
I remember the year JR was shot on the show Dallas. I waited all summer for that show to resume so that I could see who did it. I remember coming home from school in the fall all excited to watch with my mom. She was excited too. It was something we did together.
I remember for some time Tuesday nights I would watch Charlie's Angels, followed by The Love Boat, followed by Fantasy Island. Three hours of tv that I looked forward to every week.
When I was younger I loved The Donny and Marie show. I still have the tattered barbies of both those characters in an old suitcase here at home. I have Farrah Fawcett's character from Charlie's Angels too. I cut their hair because I fancied myself quite the stylist.
At dinner time every evening I would go off on my own with my plate of food watch a show called Polka Dot Door in Ontario, followed by Gilligan's Island. Saturdays I would get up early and watch Saturday morning cartoons. Sundays I watched The Three Stooges on channel 43. Much of the rhythm of the week was influenced by what was playing on tv, and that comforted me. It was familiar, predictable and fun.
I remember hiding behind my mom's recliner to watch The Exorcist on tv one night. I wasn't allowed to watch it. I was supposed to be in bed. I was terrified when Linda Blair's head spun on her shoulders. It was hard for me to not reveal myself. I hid behind my mom's chair on several occasions, watching late night shows when I suppose to be sleeping. To my knowledge she still doesn't know that I did that. Or, maybe she did know but let me believe she didn't. I'm not sure. I'll have to ask her!
I was a big lover of the outdoors as well. For me the outdoors was often an extension of some of what I experienced inside. I would run through the forest as Kelly from Charlie's Angels, looking for clues to a mystery I'd made up in my head. The nature shows I watched with my dad had me dreaming of finding all kinds of exotic animals and insects as I explored the open fields around my parents' home. In the winter I skated on the frozen ponds like Dorothy Hamill. In the summer I did back flips in my back yard like Mary Lou Retton.
What I saw on tv influenced how I saw the world. It gave me so much to play with, so many more hats to try on, so many more diverse fantasies to dream up. I'm glad I didn't have adults telling me I should be doing something different or that what I was choosing to do wasn't good for me. I wouldn't be the person I am today without those experiences.
Best memory: Watching Branagh's Much Ado About Nothing on VHS and seeing my 10yo son fall in love with Shakespeare. more Shakespeare & unschooled kids
I will never forget how I realized that I could be an independent person from watching That Girl, or how seeing Barbara Jordan give the DNC speech as the first Black Woman ever to do so impacted me in ways that stay with me to this day.
There are specific Star Trek moments I remember vividly from my childhood that made a big impression on me. Spock mind-melding with the rock monster and discovering everything they thought they knew about it was wrong. And the "Venus drug" challenging ideas about beauty.
But my favorite tv memories are of watching tv after school with my brother when we were in high school - cooking shows and painting shows and once, Koyanisquotsi (sp?). And we'd cook up some weird microwavable cake and eat the whole thing. It was warm and sweet and undemanding, a refuge, with The Frugal Gourmet saying "I bid you peace" at the end.
another cooking story
The tv westerns when I was a kid fueled my love of horses. Bonanza, Gunsmoke, it didn't matter which show, I loved them because they were filled with horses.
My favourite will always be watching frozen (twice in the theatre and twice at home) with 4 16-19 year old boys and singing all the songs to each other.
I was just talking with my sister about this! Because The Wizard of Oz is playing on the big screen here today. I remember every year when it came on TV, getting our baths & putting on our pajamas early so we could watch it, both sitting right in front of the TV. We were allowed to stay up late! And we'd be there for each other when Miss Gulch took Toto, and when the flying monkeys were released. It was magic!
The day I watched the movie Born Free as a 9 year old child! I remember everything! It was a weekday on an afternoon and it was sunny. One of those moments I will never forget!
Watching Saturday Night Live with my dad. And documentaries - Jane Goodall, sign language, far away places, exotic animals - my world was absolutely opened up and expanded by watching tv.
Sandra Dodd (written early on):
When I used to watch Gilligan's Island in 4:00 re-runs after school every day, I would wonder whose idea it was for the plot, how many writers there were, how they decided who could come and visit, what device they would use to prevent the visitor from rescuing them, how they must plan in advance not to have too-similar plots near each other, and the re-runs must be kept in that same order too....
So to all outside appearances (except to my cousin, Nada, who was my age) I was just zoning out, involved in the plot of another 25 minutes of Gilligan's Island. That wasn't true at all.
Gilligan's Island, Deep Thoughts and Science has the rest, and more
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