Reading, TV, and parenting
Dave Tutelman --
August 26, 2021
I tripped over this Baby Blues
strip on August 26, 2021. Immediately, it brought to mind what happened
when my kids got their first reading lessons in school. (Cue the
When Jeff was about to start first grade (Fall 1977), the TV set went
on the blink. I didn't yet know what the problem was, but it was
probably within my capabilities to fix. Hey, I had two degrees in
electrical engineering and had taken an evening course in TV repair. No
Then I remembered my own first grade experience in 1947. The theme of
that semester was reading: start to learn to read in earnest. My family
did not get a TV set until 1954, so I never had that distraction.
Learning words and reading turned out to be challenging, exciting, and
fun. And, unlike TV, it was active; you didn't just sit there and let it wash over you. It was a lot of fun, and I got hooked on reading pretty quickly.
|Remembering that, i decided to defer fixing the TV for a few months,
until Jeff was enjoying reading. Let him get over the first and perhaps
most important hump in a kid's education. So I missed the NFL football
season that year, the TV was not repaired until November, and Jeff
became an avid reader.
I finally got around repairing the TV, the problem was very simple. A
fusible resistor in the power supply had blown. Think of it as a blown
fuse, because the damaged component was exactly where a fuse would have been. I got a
replacement and wired it back in, and the TV worked just fine again.
But wait!I realized
that Dan would be in first grade in four years. This worked so well, we
might want to plan to repeat the experience for him. So instead of
soldering the fusible resistor back into place, I soldered a screw
terminal into the TV and attached the resistor that way. I could detach
it with a screwdriver anytime I wanted to. And that is exactly what
happened. In late August of 1981, our TV set mysteriously stopped
working. We missed three months of TV while Dan was learning to read.
Then I got around to screwing the loose lead on the resistor back into
Guess Darryl MacPherson and I have different priorities.
(It is possible that reading this is the first time Jeff and Dan will know what actually happened way back then.)
Last changed - 8/26/21