A picture of Gilligan from Gilligan's island

Quiet, Gilligan’s Island is On

Gilligan’s Island comes on at 6:00 a.m. If I get out the door by 7:15, I can bike the two miles to school and still make Mrs. Freeman’s fifth-grade class. She’s the kind of teacher who wanders the room with a wooden yardstick slapping desks and grinding her teeth. I’m convinced she’s the twin sister to Matilda’s Miss Trunchbull.

But that doesn’t matter right now, because for 30 glorious minutes, Gilligan and his shipwrecked crew are up to their armpits in comedic survival. I love that they’re happy despite being stuck on an uncharted island.

My television is an old, 16″ black box with thick silver dials. They click as I rotate them to the correct channel and then I adjust the antenna for a clear picture. When the static clears, I wrap my blank around me like an Eskimo’s fur and watch as The Professor makes a radio out of coconuts and The Skipper wrangles up a meal for everyone. My favorite, of course, is Gilligan. I laugh as he bungles up their next rescue attempt.

The episode ends and I take their positive, can-do attitude with me on my bike. Outside, it’s snowing thick, white, fluffy flakes – but I don’t mind. I slap a goofy smile on my face and press on. When I get to class, Mrs. Freeman is yelling at Matt Goddard for standing on his chair and making goo-goo eyes at Olivia Morton. He’s a squat little boy with hair so curly I wonder if it gives him a headache. Somewhere in the school, the janitor is cleaning and the rancid smell of bleach burns my nose. I twist in my seat and stare at the molasses-moving clock. I hate that clock. Fifth grade feels like an uncharted island in an endless ocean. It’s the last place I want to be right now. But then I think of Gilligan and his friends and I know that somehow, everything is going to be alright.


Stories have helped me cope with hardship, loneliness, and frustration. Whether I’m reading a book or watching my favorite show, I learn something about myself that makes life more interesting and possible.

A good story makes all the difference.

Published by

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *