Before I was considered a toddler, the only peer that was always near me was my sister. The only influence she had on me was an example of how to get grounded, whether it was kissing a white wall with red lipstick or showing a complete refusal to follow rules, that’s what she taught me. Around this time I was also around my cousin quite a bit, as she is the same age as me. She didn’t influence me much, as she was only a few months older than me, and she was a clueless as me when it came to what was going on. Peers didn’t influence me at this time in my life, because I was never around any peers.
When I was little, our television was nothing more than one channel. We didn’t listen to the radio, instead we had tapes that we listened to. Digital mass media was not a large part of my life, but my mom sang to us a lot, and every night we would read at least one book. One song that I know for sure was a large part of my childhood was the song mister sandman by the chordettes. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9xMCNmUaGko. I don’t know what drove my mom to singing it for the first time, but soon that was my favorite song, even as a little kid. Books played a huge role in my childhood. One book that my mom admited she eventually started to hide in order to avoid having to read it again, was The Foot Book, by Dr. Suess. Of course, my sister and I loved books like Pat the Bunny. The only shows that I know for sure we watched were Sesame Street and Cow and Chicken, and we watched both more times than I can count. Obviously, mass media did not have much of an influence on my life when I was really young. If it did, it taught me to count and know which things are not like the others. 🙂
When I was a toddler, I started to come in contact with more kids my age. Mainly in preschool, I learned to make friends and get along with people. Their influence was very prominent in my growth as a person and I know that I started to be slightly harder to deal with because of some of my friends. No matter what my peers taught me, or told me was right, my family’s influence was still much more prominent in my life. What few peers I had influenced me to be more ornery, but my parents easily swooped in with damamge control and taught me otherwise.
Elementary school probably had the largest influence on my life from Kindergarten to fifth grade. All of my teachers influenced me in different ways, but the teacher that stands out most in my mind is Mr. Brown. Being the ELP math teacher, he was the one that got me interested in Engineering, and triggered my great (extremely nerdy) love for math. The other teacher that influenced me greatly was Mrs. Boatwright. Also an ELP teacher, she pulled the group out of class once a week for reading ELP. Her influence largely taught me responsibility and doing the assigned work on time, because it only took one instance of me not reading the assigned chapters and I was too afraid to do it again. Of course, all of my teachers taught me different things, whether it was being slightly more aggresive to avoid being pushed around, or being more open about my feeling on certain topics, elementary school had a great influence on me, and without having the teachers that I did, I would be a much more passive person, lacking one very importnant passion of mine.
The Mass media in my life currently consists mainly of crime shows and books of various genres and messages. Never having been very influenced by the messages of television, the facts in these shows came as a surprise to me. My favorite, Criminal Minds, has taught me a lot about useless, random things that I simply store for later. My personal favorite charecter, Reid, has influenced me to stive for intelligence rather than fitting in and being popular, because my social status isn’t going to get me a job in the future. Various books have taught me different things. Very few have had an influence on me, but the occasional book tugs at my mind as having taught me an important lesson. The Book Theif taught me that not everyone in history had a happy ending. Some were extremely depressing, and the book itself made me cry on many occasions. The Circle Series taught me to trust in God, because with him anything is possible. Mass media has overall had a good influence on me, teaching me lessons that I feel can take me far in the future.
When I was a toddler, just growing up, learning to walk, going to preschool, my family had a great impact on me. They influenced me in ways that taught me what was right and what was wrong, and they began to teach me our beleifs and values. Their influence taught me how to speak and how to act and what was acceptable and what wasn’t. Like with any toddler, I did nearly everything my parents told me to do and assumed that everything mommy and daddy did was okay. Of course, family is not just parents. My older sister, Sydney, had an interesting influence on me. Seeing her misbehave and get punished made me reluctant to break rules. My younger sister, Gabby, was a baby and I was influenced by her in no more than learning how to treat those younger than me. My grandparents played a large role in my toddler years. My grandpa and grandma both helped teach me to speak and walk.
When I was in elementary school, mass media consisted largely of PBS kids. Clifford and Cyberchase were some of my personal favorites, but that being the only kid’s channel we got, I watched whatever was on. These television shows didn’t influence me much, as I thought I was too old to be learning from talking dogs, like most kids do at that age. Still, I never missed a Cyberchase episode and I learned quite a bit about math. Mass media was not a very large contributing factor to my elementary school experience.