Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Ahhh, Technology…There's Nothin’ Quite Like it to make a Gal Feel Old

During Reading Group the other day we were reading a book about a girl who was taking pictures of her science project and the next day she discovered the film in her camera was missing.  There were puzzled looks all around the table and two students said, simultaneously, “What’s film?” 

Ahh…how to explain film to 6-year olds who have, in all likelihood, never, in their whole entire lives, seen an “old fashioned” camera? 

I did my best:  “Well, kids, back in the olden days, you know, before there were digital cameras, there were these cameras and you had to put this stuff called film in them, and then, when the film was all used up, you had to take the film out and then you had to take it to the store and then you had to wait, like a week, to get you pictures back.”  (More puzzled faces.)  “That’s right kids, back in the olden days, you couldn’t just go to your computer and upload your pictures and then print them out right then and there on your very own home computer.  Nope, you had to take this stuff called film in and wait, and wait, and wait.”  (Eyes are totally glazed over by now.)  “Okay kids, enough about life back in the dark ages, how about we get back to the book and see what happens next?!”

That little ditty about the film reminded me of my first year teaching (11 years ago).  On the first day of school I was taking pictures of everyone (with my trusty old-fashioned camera) and I thought it was hilarious how the kids all tried to crowd around the back of my camera to see the pictures.  They were crestfallen when I had to tell them, “Um, kids, this isn’t a digital camera.  You can’t see the pictures right away.”  I might as well have told them there was no Santa Claus.  (Not that there’s not a Santa, mind you, ‘cuz there totally is, but, you know what I mean, right?)

And that little ditty lead me to remember the first time, three years ago, that I passed out calculators to my students.  I had to bite my tongue not to totally laugh out loud at the fact that, without exception, every single student held the calculator just like a cell phone and used their thumbs to punch the keys! 

One final trip down the road of modern technology:  About three years ago I finally decided to join the modern age and I bought a flat-screen TV AND a Blue Ray DVD player…fancy, I know!  Only here’s the deal…I had no clue how to operate the DVD player.  No joke!  And neither did my husband.  So how did we solve this little dilemma?  Simple, we have teenagers in the house, and I probably shouldn’t admit this, but my son labeled the DVD remote for us…with a silver sharpie!  Do you think telling the kids they can’t leave home because their father and I can’t operate any of the technology is a valid excuse to keep them around?  Nah, probably not. 

I only wonder what my current First Graders will be lamenting over when they get to be my age.  It’s hard to imagine technology getting any more sophisticated, but we all know it will, that’s for sure!

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