Posts Tagged ‘Television’


Although I am not a television junkie, there is one show that I love to take the time to sit and take it in. That is the ‘reality’ program “Undercover Boss”.

As a skeptic, I recognize that it is a television program, and it is, therefore, at least somewhat scripted. That said, I love the premise of an owner of a company doing the work of the peons in his company. It provides an opportunity to live out the words of Atticus Finch in “To Kill a Mockingbird” (Harper Lee),

You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view – until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”

I like that!

4f9e4a96bd48c9c55051d941f58006e2Often I think of “Undercover Boss” when I take a student out on their Work Experience blocks.

The opportunity of this course is that students who are not particularly strong academically, yet who do not ‘fit’ in an apprenticeship program, can participate in a variety of work experiences to provide exposure to different types of work, workplaces, and to build their resumes.

I love facilitating this task!

In my role as facilitator of this course, I get to work alongside of my student, in their appointed work experience placements. In this, I get to be their not-so-undercover boss.

b1f93450af5b928c39f87951bd6b2b0fLike the bosses on the television program, I get to know so much more about my student by working with them than I ever do working in a classroom or across a desk. In a retail store, a greenhouse, a pet shelter, etc. my student opens up their thoughts, their heart, their life to me, knowing that I have nowhere else to go, and nothing else to do. In these instances I get to be that allusive fly on the wall.

It is here, in these work experiences, that I get to do what I am not paid to do … “climb into his/her skin and walk around in it.”

And, like the bosses on the television program, knowing the heart and experiences of my ’employee’ (student) means that I also have the opportunity to feed into their life in practical ways … at the very least (hum, maybe greatest) of which is knowing what to pray when I bring their needs to God.

Without working alongside of the students, I would not have opportunity to know them, and to feed into their lives.

Without working alongside of them, I would not have opportunity to teach them through modeling the way to do things … whether it is how to fill a pot with dirt or a pie crust with fruit filling … or how to fill a heart with gratitude for the little things in life.

Working side-by-side … that is the best way to teach … and in doing so, like the bosses on T.V., the ‘boss’ gets to learn something from the employee/student too.

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I came home to my daughter watching “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.” After just one minute I just had to ask my daughter why she was throwing away a half hour of her life.

I admit, I am not a big lover of reality television. It seems so very far from … reality.

Do people really live like that? That is the question that settles into my mind when I dare to check out what is on the tube when I flip from station to station. Do men and women really lie and cheat as much as dating shows indicate? Do people really think that getting on a reality television program to show their musical talents is the only hope they have left? Do people really make a living from buying storage lockers? Do people really treat total strangers, who they live with, while their every move is recorded, so vindictively? Do the ‘housewives’ of various cities really live such hollow and ego centric lives?

Reality TV is not something new, as it’s beginnings go back to 1948 when “Allen Funt’s Candid Camera” first appeared on television, after a very successful year on the radio as Candid Microphone. I can vividly remember watching “Chuck Barris: The Dating Game,” when I was a child back in the late 1970’s. And of course the many “Funniest Home Video” programs over the years.

For over ten years reality television has been a … reality for viewers, in an increasing and in varied ways. There’s been the reality competitions that vary from surviving to dancing and singing. There’s the reality programs that give us a glimpse of different occupations from doctors to police to bounty hunters. Then there are the shows that allow celebrities to share more of their lives than we truly must want to know. And, to top it all off there are those whose ‘uniqueness’ makes them a celebrity, from many children to being ‘little’ to being ‘heavy’ to being a hoarder.

I have to wonder why we watch reality television? Do we watch to be entertained, educated or to feel better about our own lives? If it is to be entertained, is our inquisitive nature at the expense of the individuals we watch (how many families whose lives have been our education, fallen apart?)? If it is to be educated, we need to ask ourselves if a reality show is the best, truest way to learn something (after all, the goal of the networks is NOT to educate, but ratings, and they will show anything and tell us anything that yanks those ratings). If it is to feel better about our own lives (and I have to say, watching “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” does make me feel  like I have it together compared to what I see of their ‘reality’).

Admittedly I too have been sucked into the world of reality TV. I have enjoyed watching “The Voice”, and seeing that talent be chosen based simply on the quality of a person’s vocal ability. I love the various home renovation shows. “Undercover Boss” has been one I have truly enjoyed. And, if I was totally honest, I love “Storage Wars” … YUUUP! So, I’ve admitted that I do actually watch realty TV. That said, I really do not think our world is a better place because of the existence of it.

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Way back when I was a girl …

Sometimes it is so difficult to not start a sentence that way in reference to ‘the good ‘ol days.’ We can be so very selective with our memories of days gone by, throwing out the bad and remembering only the good.

When I think back to my childhood, television watching was a big part of our recreational time, as individuals, and as a family. I can remember watching TV shows with my parents, and the conversations that would follow the episode. As I think back, some of the most teachable moments were when a show would end, and Mom or Dad would say, “so, what did you think of that topic?” TV was the catalyst for learning opportunities in the house I grew up in.

“Little House on the Prairie” taught me all about a family that loves each other. Their lives were tough (no dishwasher … yikes), and life did not always go as they would have liked. They had a daughter who was deaf, and they took in a boy who needed a family, and made him fully part of theirs. They dealt with a fire, drought, poverty and Nelie Olsen! The show dealt with real life issues that are not relegated to the Prairie, such as death, poverty, alcoholism, thievery, adultery, illness, and single parenting, just to name a few.

Then there was “The Waltons” who introduced me to another time in history. They also taught me about a family who loves each other. There lives were tough, and life did not always go as they would have liked. They lived in a multi-generational house, had a home business, and almost everyone under the roof was a type A, strong willed personality. The show dealt with real life issues, not relegated to the time of the Depression to WWII in the mountains of Virginia. They dealt with issues such as death, poverty, alcoholism, abuses, a house fire, and single parenting.

The Cosby Show was a favorite in the house I grew up. It was a sitcom that could bring the viewer to tears from laughter as well as from touching scenes. They taught me about a family who loves each other. Although they were a family of means (he, an obstetrician and she, a lawyer), they still lived a life of issues that the typical family could face. They dealt with death, marital stress, teen alcohol use, two income family dynamics, and many child rearing issues.

Happy Days was another of our favorites. The music was so great, and the it had the bonus of dealing with everything from the serious to the absurd (sort of like my blog). The show taught me about a family who loves each other. They were an average middle class family dealing with the average middle class life issues. Issues such as death, marital problems, stealing, heartbreak, and various teen-related issues. It took us back to a day and time when the man brought home and bacon and the woman cooked it up. Don’t think that Marion Cunningham was a spineless woman though, because, although hubby Howard was the head of the family, Marion was definitely the neck that turned that head!

As I pondered the shows I grew up on, I am thankful for the things I learned from them.

I learned that life is not always perfect.
That bad things happen to good people.
That working hard is worth the effort in the long run.
That honesty is the best policy.
That family is important.
That marriage is work, and it is worth it.
That kids have an opinion, and they should be free to voice it.
That there are consequences to all choices and decisions.

I am thankful for the input that I received while sitting in front of the tube … I wonder what messages and input today’s TV viewing adolescents and teens are receiving?

“Summing it all up, friends,
I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on
things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—
the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly;
things to praise, not things to curse.”
Philippians 4:8

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Since it is still the first week of January, I figure it is not too late to talk New Years resolutions.

To be honest I am not a big resolutions maker, but I felt motivated yesterday to make a couple. So, one resolution turned into another and so on (and so on, and so on … remember those VO5 shampoo commercials of the 80’s?), and now I have a list:

iResolve …

-to not use my phone while driving (don’t you get all pious on me … you know you do it too. Your phone rings and you put it on speaker, or you hear that delightful sound of a text coming in, and you pick it up … just ‘in case’ it’s important …). Lets face it, it is dangerous, and stupid! No call or text or Twitter update is that important (how much do you want to bet this will be the ONE post my kids actually read? And they badger me to keep it! That could be a good thing).

-to not turn my phone on (except at lunch break) at work (not that I have ever used it at work … now I’ll have my co-workers badgering me to keep this one … and that could be a good thing too).

-to use myfitnesspal app … every day (sigh, the end to this merry season of gluttony).

-to not look at my weathernetwork app for the sole purpose of ‘guessing’ when there might be the right conditions for a ‘storm day’ at school (no, Mom, I will never grow up).

-to not try to convince my daughters that the P.D. app is fun (the horror on their innocent faces when I tell them that I find my period diary fun must come to an end).

-to finish programing my Find iPhone app on my phone … I downloaded the app over a year ago, and I still could not utilize it’s benefits if I were to misplace my phone (and by now you know just how vital it is to me).

-to stop using my iPhone apps while watching a movie with my kids or hubby … I sense withdrawal symptoms.

-to more frequently (like twice instead of once a year) load my iPhone photos to my computer, and off of my phone (I fear a cataclysmic event happening and losing a year of memories … this must end).

Well that is enough for one year! I am feeling a little drained, so I think I will go to my phone and pre-order my favorite beverage on my Starbucks app, so that it will be waiting for me when I get there.


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With our anniversary just last week, I’ve had marriage on my brain.

After twenty-two years we have had a spat or two. We have had our struggles with co-existing together. We have had times when it has seemed that we have had more differences than similarities.

A few years back I found something that may just have saved our marriage from complete and utter ruin. It is something that is so simple, and is available to all. It is also a cure without any cost (except for those who do not have this at their disposal).

My cure has made such a profound change in our marriage, that I am actually thinking of finding a publisher who would jump at the chance to publish and sell this idea to the public. I am convinced that it could top the New York Times Best Seller list. I am convinced that the title alone is one that Oprah would publish.

Now, you may be wondering when I might be telling you the secret, and the title, of this marriage enriching, life changing book … but, I am a little hesitant to tell you too quickly. I fear that you will read the title of my book, laugh hysterically, and then click off my blog post to look for a more ‘serious’ approach to marriage enhancement. This is a serious topic, and this approach did seriously improve my marriage … particularly in bed!

Okay, if you promise, in your heart (like, cross your heart, hope to die, stick a finger in your eye … kind of promise) to not click off my post until you read to the end, then I will share my secret with you … yes? Okay then, here it goes … the title of my best selling (well, in the future) book is … “How Moving a Television into our Bedroom Saved our Marriage.”

D O N ‘ T go to another blog, or Facebook, or Tetris … keep reading … it might save your marriage too!

You see, hubby and I, we are certainly a study in contrasts. Sometimes I think that the only thing we have in common is our three kids! He likes salty, I like sweet. He likes road trips, I like airplanes. He likes going to sporting events, I like going for a walk. He is a night hawk, I am a morning person.

It is in the last set of contrasts that our marriage was suffering. We almost never went to bed together! I am ready almost any night, any time after 8pm to crash my head onto my pillow … hubby is usually not ready until closer to 11pm. So, one day I (yes, I, not hubby) suggested we move a small television into our bedroom. And we did.

This meant that, finally, we would climb beneath the sheets at the same time. I lay my head on my pillow and start snoring (so hubby says), and he watches every news and sports highlight program available. And we can be together 🙂 Sometimes we even climb in bed and talk about our days, or have visits from one of the kids, or sleep, or don’t sleep …

Whatever it is we do once we get into bed, we get to spend the time there together … it is so much better than climbing into bed alone.

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