My personal goal, when I was in Hazelton was to go without TV for eight days. It's easy to forgo watching it when I'm at home, I can watch clips from youtube instead...but not so, when one is staying in a small motel room that has nothing in it but a bed, an alarm clock and a television set.
So I changed my rule...television only in the mornings.
Which is not the best idea because most morning shows are the ones that could really rot the mind.
One morning, I decided to watch Extreme Makeover...Home Edition. In the show, a construction crew goes to South Carolina, to help four kids and their grandmother, living in a dilapidated trailer. The TV crew interviews each child, and sends the family off to Disneyland while they demolish the trailer and put themselves to work, building what looked like a mansion in that small lot.
When the kids come back, each one now has a themed bedroom. The ten year old boy gets a Spiderman room, with rope netting on the wall that he could climb up, and a closet full of Spiderman toys. The host of the show reveals a surprise: the family gets a free trip up to New York to attend the premiere screening of the Spiderman movie! The Grandmother and the kids scream, they cry, they are overcome with gratitude.
I always feel so manipulated by shows like these. Also, I'm skeptical about whether or not the Grandma could afford to pay the electricity bill for all the chandeliers and the big screen televisions they put up.
In the next scene, they visit the eight year old's room. Earlier in the show, when the designer asks him what he likes, he says "reading". Boy, he must regret saying that after seeing the cool Spiderman room, I think to myself. The host leads him to his 'library room': a junior sized bed and walls filled up to the ceiling with books. His eyes light up, he runs over to caress a heavy 500 pager, and yells "cool! books!!!". I don't know why, but this unravels me - tears stream down my face and I can't control it. Books are my weakness. And kids who genuinely appreciate them are even more precious.