If you know me at all, you know that I'm a total dork and have always loved reading. I'm not sure how it started, my love of reading, but I know it had something to do with being cared for by my Nana, who would make all of the grandchildren under her tutelage study the alphabet and numbers during our days with her. (Not all day or anything, she wasn't a slave driver. But she definitely made sure we were learning.) It also has something to do with my dad reading to me when I was little. Apparently I was a little literary terrorist - I couldn't actually read the books, but I had them memorized and God forbid he try to skip a page. Not happening, buddy! We still have most of my favorite books from when I was a kid, currently being housed at my dad's with Samantha and little Sarah, but I will be stealing them the minute my kid is old enough to be read to. Sorry, kiddos! And it definitely has to do with my third grade teacher, Mrs. Densyl, the best teacher EVER EVER EVER!
I am also pretty positive that I love reading because I grew up watching this awesome show called Reading Rainbow. Looking back, I don't remember anything about the show except that #1) It was hosted by LeVar Burton, who also played some weird guy in space that wore a banana clip over his eyes and how in the world could he see with those things on, anyway? That must have driven him insane! #2) The theme song was very, very catchy #3) I wanted to be one of the kids that did a book review.
I was shocked to hear today that Reading Rainbow is being canceled after 26 years. Partially, I was a little shocked that it is still on the air. It seems like all the good stuff got canceled years ago, or just got really weird. Have you tried to watch a Sesame Street episode in the last decade? I saw the new intro a few years ago and immediately changed the channel - it's just not the same. And Saturday morning cartoons make me feel like I'm having some sort of psychotic episode.....
Anyway, apparently a major reason the show was canceled is because our government felt like educational programming should be teaching children HOW to read, not WHY to read. What the hell? Isn't that what kids go to school for? And if you really feel that way, start another show that teaches kids how to read, but don't touch my Reading Rainbow!!! And if a kid wants to read, won't they figure out how? I mean, kids figure out how to turn every conceivable household notion into a water bong, surely they can learn to sound and blend if a strong enough desire is there!
Regardless of what the Department of Education thinks about Reading Rainbow, I think it was a bad ass show, and I'm happy I live in the age of iTunes so I can (hopefully? I'm sure it's on there...) start buying episodes to store up for my kid to watch instead of the weird crap that's on TV today.
Your legacy will not die, LeVar! And my kid is going to know you are more than a banana-clip wearing crew member aboard the Starship Enterprise, because God knows as the child of Aaron Kautz and grandchild of Fran and Randy Kautz, you'll be watching plenty of Star Trek episodes........