Avtive Viewing and Literacy

Digital Archive of Literacy Narratives

Avtive Viewing and Literacy

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Title: Avtive Viewing and Literacy
Author: Lessman, Shay
Description: engaging in recreational activities outdoors, I turned to watching television. I watched television (cartoons mostly) while I was in the stage of my life where I should have been gaining a greater literacy. My parents believed that I should be gaining literacy through the act of reading books. My parents often would set limits on the amount of time that I was allowed to watch television because they said that it would “rot my brain,” but I would often ignore their rules and watch MTV and other entertainment-based programs late at night when my parents were asleep. I was watching programming that was not necessarily geared toward children, and that left me with a number of questions that I could find the answers to if I was willing to perform research. I inevitably started to take notes while I watched television. It started out simply. I would write down words that I did not know the meaning of and I would then look up definitions, practice using those words in context, and I inevitably began using those words as part of my everyday speech. My vocabulary was largely based on the words I heard while watching Looney Tunes cartoons (which were originally intended for an adult audience). I began watching shows like Cheers and Roseanne when I got older and this led me to bigger questions like “Why were some families in America living paycheck to paycheck?” and “Why were United States Postal Workers portrayed as lunatics?” For the answers to these questions I had to dig a little deeper. A dictionary was not going to answer the questions that I had so I had to turn to the all powerful Internet in order to know more about the workings of my society. I quickly learned Google, and to some degree, developed a digital literacy. When I incorporated digital sources my concept of Active Viewing truly exploded. I was able to read social commentaries (at first I did require the help of my parents to tackle more complex writings) while also learning more about the world as it was portrayed by television. Television inspired me to continue reading and ultimately blossomed into a love of reading independent from the large and small screens. While I still watch television more than I read, which I understand is taboo considering my Masters degree candidacy in a literature and writing based program, I believe that my fondness for literature has morphed from a researching standpoint to an enjoyment standpoint. Once I understood that there were worlds constructed in books that could be just as interesting as the microcosms found in different sitcoms, reading became a delight and my literacy developed to a point where I became an English major and began writing as a form of investigation and entertainment. Please ignore the low quality of this video, the camcorder that I used to create this piece became corrupted during the shooting. I apologize and hope to replace this file with another soon.
Bookmark: http://hdl.handle.net/2374.DALN/2809
Date: 2011-12-04

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If no Creative Commons license notice appears in the description of this narrative, it is covered by a deed of gift and is available for use/reuse/remix as long as the DALN and the original creator(s) are acknowledged, along with information allowing end users to access the original narrative. Citations should include the full name of the Digital Archive of Literacy Narratives, the name of the original composer (or “anonymous,” if applicable) the title of the narrative, and the DALN URL for the narrative (e.g., http://daln.osu.edu/handle/2374.DALN/151).

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