GENERATION GAP

Letterparts

My daughter doesn’t have classes in penmanship. She has computer class. This is something that I never had offered in
any of the schools I attended. We did
have typing class.

I remember that noisy room full of girls, with its dings and
slamming carriages.

The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog. ::return::

The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog. ::return::

A room where I sat
next to the girl who always had INXS scribbled on her arm. I wonder – if we’d been going through school
ten years later would she have had it (or some grunge band’s name) tattooed
there?

Yes, gone are the days of writing the same letter over and
over again, in order to make it look exactly like the one over the 6th
grade chalkboard. Oh yeah, those are
gone now, too. They’ve been replaced by
the shiny, bright white board. And it’s
a shame if you ask me.

One of the fun geeky things that I did when I was in sixth
grade was attending an after school calligraphy
class at a local art store. I garnered a
certain sense of pride and accomplishment from learning to coordinate the ink,
nibs and strokes in a way that left the paper delightfully illustrated, rather
than simply a mess of smudges. I wonder
why anyone would even bother these days, what with being able to just highlight
and change without a second thought to Celtic
Garamond the 2nd,
Bridgenorth, or even samarkan.

I figure it’s only a matter of time before everyone attends
classes with their handy dandy PDA. At
least those still use some approximation of writing. But the big difference is that when you get
bored in class these days, you’ll never be able to do this with a stylus.

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15 thoughts on “GENERATION GAP

  1. I graduated in 1988, and while my high school had a computer lab, heck if we could ever use it! My husband and his geek friends who were “in” with the computer teacher got to use it, though.

    In college, I had to use the university’s Mac Lab to type up my papers. I could never manage the double click thing, and I used to ask people sitting next to me to click my mouse once I’d gotten it where I wanted it. 😮 It was bad. Of course, after all of the typing classes I took, I could at least do that part OK.

    My kids have been pointing and clicking since they were toddlers, and I bet you’re right…soon all kids will have computers in schools.

  2. Oh, and Shelli. When I went to register at the college, the woman laughed at me because I graduated the same year that most of the freshmen were born.

    She was older than I, so I think she was trying to share in a joke with me. But I was too busy reeling from the knowledge of such a heinous fact, to be very amused.

  3. Yikes Jenn. Can you double click now? ;-P

    When I went to college, I had a Brother typewriter that showed one line of type in a little screen. I thought that was pretty amazing.

    I didn’t buy a computer until 1997. The guy I was dating at the time convinced me it would be a good idea. I couldn’t figure out, for the life of me, why anyone would want one.

    Little did I know, eh?

  4. I think my school had a few computers and a computer class, in addition to the typing class. However, schedules were set up so that anyone taking honors classes could never take the computer class. Not sure who was the genius behind that.

    I think it is a shame that some of the basics, such as handwriting, spelling, geography, have fallen through the cracks. I just wonder to what benefit since no study or test can show that our public school systems are vastly ahead of other countries.

  5. Ahead? You’ve got me chuckling with that one.

    I think that part of the problem it in the tests. The teachers spend so much time teaching to the tests, that they barely have time to cover anything else. This is great for evaluating teachers and pleasing corporations, but at what cost to the students.

  6. Yes, I can double click now, thanks for asking! 😉

    My mom had a computer (an Apple III) when I was in high school, so I understood the need to have a computer for word processing. And, it was pretty neat to be able to play solitaire on it. But MAN if I didn’t think that whole internet thing was a stupid idea. I had no idea why anyone would want to get “online” and “chat” with a bunch of other people who were no doubt just as geeky as they were. Um, duh! I know when I’m wrong…

  7. Well, as long as we’re talking “the good old days”. When I was in school there were no computers. I did have penmanhship in the sixth grade for all the good it did. I was convinced by my counselor in high school to take typing instead of Latin. His reasoning was that typing would be immensely more useful than Latin, and Ms. Pride, the Latin teacher would likely fail me and eliminate any chance that I would get into college. He was right in every respect. Who could have foreseen PCs in the 1950s. Anyway,at that age, the sultry looking Cajun girl sitting to my right who had moved upfrom South Louisiana that year and who had no interest in me or typing was more ineresting than typing.

  8. Boy. Your good old days sure are old. ;-P
    Who could know how much Latin you’d end up using in your career?
    It sounds like we both had some interesting classmates..

    Again, it is absolutely wonderful to see you here.

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