256/365 – people to thank who have had an impact on me. Growing up pretty much on my own with my younger sister, I didn’t really have many influences to guide me on my choices. My mom, being a single parent on her own not by choice (as my dad was in Riverview because of his schizophrenia for most of my childhood), was working constantly so me and my sister basically made our own decisions. My mom would work 6 – 7 days a week so our surrogate parent was the television and me being the senior by 2 years would do the picking. Television was my escape – I could watch cartoons on Saturdays and I would watch cartoons as I would get out of bed to be ready to get my view on at 8 am with a large bowl of Fruit Loops (or is that spelled Froot Loops – weirdly that latter spelling seems to right). Right after school, I would rush home to sit down with chips and my favourite 3 – 5 double hour of comedies. Evenings would be campy tv shows or over the top serials. My values and morals did not come from Disney books as my mom didn’t know how to read English so most of it came from the television shows that I watched relentlessly and as I reflect back, I am so glad that my role models were so clean cut and simple and the values that were portrayed and thereby instilled in me were of the highest calibre. I watched Gilligan’s Island and learned about faithfulness, camaraderie, relentless pursuit and spirit. I watched Scooby Doo’s Mystery Machine and learned about believing in your instincts and teamwork. I watched I Dream of Jeannie and Bewitched and developed a sense of curiosity while retaining my naivety and sense of wonder. I watched Dallas and Dynasty and learned about putting yourself forward and demanding what you deserve. I watched the Brady Bunch and Partridge Family and was taught about family, bonding and the importance of honesty. I watched Charlie’s Angels and basically learned about valuing yourself for your looks and your ingenuity. I get criticized to this day that I am obsessed with pop culture but I don’t deny it – I love it. I grew up on it. It shaped me – dare I say for the better when I had no other options and I think that the choices I made for my viewing habits were, for the most part, exactly what I needed to become the person I am today. Yes, I may be viewed (key word) as less knowledgeable/in touch with the world but I would disagree as I make the conscious choice of living my life with the values of the 70s tv shows that I viewed – a time when everything could be solved within one episode. Thank you to all the television shows and their characters who had an impact on the person I have become – yes, you weren’t “real” per se but you got me through my tough times so you were real enough for me!