Friday, February 23, 2007

Not Much of a TV Fan....But

Only last year around November, when I returned home from the Catskills, did I turn on the television one evening--Tuesday? Wednesday? and got hooked.

I'm talking about "American Idol." As I wait anxiously each week for another segment, I examine my taste in television. I'm a mystery fan, but few of the detective shows interest me. I enjoy the History Channel, Discovery, but why, all of a sudden, am I involved in kids auditioning for a place on Idol? Education...that's the only answer I can think of.

I was a high school teacher for nearly 30 years and traveled with my students of Spanish to Mexico for one or two weeks each year. I loved and appreciated these kids, showing them a different culture, teaching them the history of Mexico. Spain and South America. And I thoroughly enjoyed the new method I used enabling them to speak and understand Spanish within six weeks. I enjoyed seeing them excel in this language, in their lives. I had hoped they'd be travelers in their adult life as a result of classroom learning.

So I think watching "American Idol" allows me to cheer the talented young people who become a part of the show endeavoring to achieve the goals they set for themselves. I'm horrified at the some of the early losers who used profanity to express their idea of the unfairness of the judges decisions and demanded a second chance. Where did these kids grow up? Didn't their parents teach them that losing was a part of life? Who gave them the authority to believe that they're entitled to be the next "American Idol"?

Entitlement is not a part of "American Idol." Entitlement needs to be overhauled and many young people should learn that to get somewhere one has to pick oneself up after being knocked down. It was heartening to see a number of earlier years' losers who were auditioning again, having learned to improve their singing.

School hasn't been a part of my life for over 10 years. I still have a tightening of the throat when I hear a high school band play, see local talent in plays and shows, hear a debate between schools. I see in them the future of my community, my state, my nation.

So if I keep my television set on Fox Tuesday and Wednesday nights, I know I'm seeing a show devoid of crime, sex and vulgarity. Why would I want to change channels?

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