You know you’ve heard your parents and certainly your grandparents say it.
“Back when I was your age we had to walk a mile and a half in the snow up hill both ways just to get to school.”
And yes, I used to be horrified when I heard those words coming out of my mouth, but Holy Cow! Now I can’t help myself.
I was the running water when I was a kid. Me, a ten year old girl with two metal pails and a hand dug well. We really did have a party line, and if you wanted to use the phone you might have to wait for the neighbor to get done visiting before you could get on it. We did not have electricity, it was wood cookstoves (even in the 100 degree heat) and kerosene lanterns. And no, we didn’t have indoor toilets. If it was snowing outside you still went to the outhouse to potty and it was cold.
So I realize that I have an unfair advantage on the hand on the hip, finger wagging, “Let me tell you something about how good you got it…” I don’t whip that out on just any occasion.
But this week, back in college again, things have changed. I mean really changed.
I remember when people were outraged by the idea of voice recording their phone message. The mere thought of leaving a message was absurd. If a store clerk was on the phone and a customer came in, the clerk would ditch the phone call in favor of the real live human in the flesh in front of her.
Ten years ago when I graduated with my baccalaureate in English, we still used paper and pen. It was still rude to answer the cell phone in stores and public situations. They were simply not tolerated in class.
Now, in a classroom, students are on their phones and their laptops are open. The teachers all have every power point for the semester posted on a mysterious website called Blackboard that everybody in my Microbiology class knew about but me on the first day of class. I made an ink and paper note to myself to Google that, which by the way is a strange word to have infiltrated the English language. We didn’t Google stuff when I was a kid.
Tests and quizzes are now taken online, notes are taken on computer or stored as a picture on the phone. Heck, my whole Masters degree in Nursing is going to be done online.
Not only have I had to learn where my classes are, like a Freshman, but I also have had the experience of finding that the Campus Bookstore is not in the Union anymore, Hillside auditorium is GINORMOUS these days (it seats 450 kids in one classroom). I’ve had to learn what Blackboard is and how to use it, where the buses run–will they let me haul my crazy stroller around, how to access the internet on campus with my laptop, where the new computer labs are and how to print a million things, and I think the most bewildering thing is trying to decide if I can let go of my old learning habits–using pen and paper–and adopt the new, more efficient way of collecting data. I’m feeling a little lost.
I’ll figure it out, but there is a whole lot of information that I need to prioritize.
I like Craig’s approach (my husband is also starting school for the first time in 20 years). Freak out! Take all of your stuff to the computer lab, print out every single power point from every single lecture for the next 15 weeks. Then resume breathing normally.
I’m not going to do that. But I like it. He’s ultra prepared.
So yes, when I was a kid you could freeze a pan of water in my bedroom. But these days, not only do we potty indoors, but we get information at the speed of light and it can be a little intimidating.
I haven’t even stepped foot in the spa this week (well, except to drop off paychecks).
That’s all right. I may be older than dirt, but I got this!
Wendy Finn is the mother of 4 boys, owner of I.M. Spa, a Raw Food Enthusiast and educator, a world traveler in pursuit of superior massage education, a Master Massage Therapist of 20 plus years, a gardener, and a nursing student. She’s passionate about touching people and sharing health.