29 June 2016

How TV Can Lead To Education

So we dropped the kid off at camp the other day. And every time I tell someone where she is and what she's doing, I find myself explaining that it all has to do with the Gilmore Girls.

Back in the fall, the girl and I embarked on some mother/daughter TV watching: we set out to watch the entirety of the Gilmore Girls - all 153 episodes. This is not a show that I had ever watched, but enough smart women that I like told me I'd like it, and that she would too. If you have no idea what it is, it's a TV series which ran from 2000 to 2007, about a girl (Rory) and her single mother (Lorelai) who is only 16 years older than she is. Frankly, it's kind of adorable. And Rory is a pretty good role model for a tween, because Rory is a good girl who loves books and is educationally aspirational: at the beginning, she is dead set on going to Harvard.

A couple of weeks into what turned into a seven month marathon of kicking Daddy off the couch so we could watch another episode (or two), the girl came downstairs and told me "Mama, I want to go to summer school at Wellesley. I searched it up and I found this program. I really want to go there; can I?" I don't know about you, but when my kid seems hungry for something that isn't a new pair of shoes or lousy fried rice from the local pan-Asian restaurant, I pay attention. We looked into it, and found that it seemed like a really interesting summer camp - more geeky/academic and less sportsy/crafty although there are plenty of sports and lots of crafts. It's just that they take courses like Girls on Film and So, You Want To Be A Doctor? every morning - and they live on a college campus, in the dorms (and have to do their own laundry). And I swear, the reason that my daughter decided she wanted to go to summer school at Wellesley was because Rory Gilmore wanted to go to Harvard.

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She needed to be there on Sunday. While we could have driven up and back in one day, it occurred to me that it would be nice to break the driving into two days, and stay overnight in Boston. So we found a hotel room, checked in on Saturday afternoon, and played tourist. We went to see the USS Constitution, which was in dry-dock - a phenomenal structure built of granite in 1833 when Andrew Jackson was President. From there, we took a ferry across Boston Harbor to the aquarium, where we consorted with rays and tortoises and sharks. We migrated back to our hotel by way of Quincy Market, which was depressing as hell - so crowded and tawdry. Sunday morning, after a nice breakfast, we continued our touristing, and rode to the top of the Prudential Building so we could look at the Hancock Tower,

and the boats on the Charles,

and even Fenway Park.

It was a nice mini-vacation.

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Because this started with the Gilmore Girls, I'm going to leave you with this sweet tweet video, in which Rory drops in on Michelle Obama to give her a pile of books to read on her flight to Africa for Let Girls Learn:

Because girls everywhere need to get the education they deserve.


Anonymous said...

Inspiring watching "the girl" grow. My sister and my niece (her daughter) watched Gilmore Girls in real time back in the day. Thank you for your blog as always. Michelle Obama clip made me weep!

kathy a. said...

Oh, how wonderful about camp! Gilmore Girls is next up in my power-watching old show lineup.

Liz Miller said...

Such a cool story about WHY EXPLO? Ours is more mundane, my nephew went there when he was my son's age.

Which comes full circle, because my sister lives in the town that is shown in the opening credits of Gilmore Girls. Yes! Tunbridge, VT plays the part of Stars Hollow!

Liz Miller said...

Oops, I mean South Royalton.