Thursday, January 26, 2012

January 26th, 2012 - A Tale of Two Generations; Well Hello Again Nancy Lou!

It’s Thursday night and we’re finally towards the end of what has turned out to be a long week for me, especially at work. Though I promised myself I would stay away from the pc long enough to find other things to occupy my time, like sleep for instance, I find myself once again at the pc, typing away…

A Tale of Two Generations

Yesterday, another friend of mine posted a short little essay on Facebook. It concerned something I’ve had in my head for awhile now. Being a teacher and a constant in the lives of young folks, I plainly see a lot of things that worry me about the next generation. With the advent of technology has come a change in the way kids grow up, and to me it paints a troubling scenario of the way the world may eventually become when they’re the ones running it. Read on…

Anyone who was born in the 50's - 60's - 70's... We are the last generation who played in the street. We are the first who played video games & the last to record songs off the radio on a cassette tape. We walked over a mile with no worries about being taken...learned how to program the VCR before anyone else…played from Atari to Nintendo...We are the generation of Tom and Jerry/Looney Toons & Captain Kangaroo…We traveled in cars without seat belts or air-bags & lived without cell phones. We did not have flat screens, surround sound, iPods, Facebook, Twitter, computers & the Internet...But nevertheless we had a GREAT time!

Having been born in the 60’s, I can definitely relate to this. I did have a great childhood, even without all of those technological thingys that are everywhere today. I was just reminiscing recently with my brother about how we used to play sports with all the kids on our block. Every day it was a different game or activity: wiffleball, hockey, building forts, swimming… you name it. I grew up on a block of about ten to fifteen boys all around the same age and we all spent our afternoons together, face to face, enjoying the simple things kids were meant to enjoy. You don’t see that anymore.

I was telling a friend just a couple of weeks ago about an impromptu football game we had all played on a snowy December night when I was around 15. There had to have been thirty of us, even kids from neighboring blocks came out on this bright, moonlit night to play a simple game and it was special. As I told the story, my friend made an observation:

“You know, I never see that anymore. I mean, I never have to stop or go around kids playing together on the street like I used to while I’m driving around. Nowadays they’re all inside chatting online, playing video games, or toiling with their phones.”

She was right! It’s been a long, long time since I came across kids playing a game of pick-up basketball on the street or even riding their bikes. Too often, I fear, these youngins are isolated to the world, connected only through a little device they hold in their hand, and missing out on many of the social aspects of growing up that are so important.

One of the most difficult things about being an educator is getting kids to focus on learning. It’s extremely arduous these days considering the distractions they now have at their disposal. Technology is a great thing, but it’s also a terrible thing!

Smart phones are everywhere these days, and distract us all, not only kids, from what we used to call living. At school, these things can be seen virtually every moment of the day, hidden in palms and under desks, or right out there in the open in school hallways. Does anybody really need to be that connected all the time? Oh, I could write a book on this topic, and perhaps someday I will, but for now I just wish that one child would read the above caption and realize that maybe, just maybe, they should put their cell phones away for just a little while and live.

Well Hello Again Nancy Lou!

Earlier this evening I had a reunion of sorts with an old friend, Nancy Lou. He and I have been getting together for coffee at his place on and off again now for a couple of years, but for the past couple of months we’d fallen out of touch. Though being out of touch with him has been bothering me, I’ve been too busy to do anything about it, but I knew that he kept up with me through this space.

Nance has been a faithful reader of this blog for some time now and I very much appreciate his readership and occasional input, and earlier this afternoon I got a surprise text from him. All it said was “coffee?” Of course I smiled at the sight of the text and even though I had some things to take care of after work, I knew I had to make room for a cup of java with an old friend, and guess what? We haven’t skipped a beat! Nice to see you again Nance!

Well tha-tha-tha-that's all folks! As always, thanks for checking out my space and I look forward to sharing with you again really soon!

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