Thursday, September 10, 2009

Jst N Tme

I have spent a great deal of time sifting the following ideas through my mind, mixing them with ample amounts of experience, and now I am ready to pour this brain batter out in this square cake pan of a post

If you are reading this, it means you are reading a B-L-O-G. This is good. It makes you very cool. If you are above the age of 50, it makes you very, very cool.

When I told some of my older friends in my book club I was writing a blog, naturally I expected them to flock to their computers and start pecking away to get to it. Instead, they smiled politely and I recognized the looks on their faces as the same ones they had when I showed them my Kindle and my entries on My Library Thing. It was the look that said, "OK, that's nice. now please back away." It was like telling someone how really, really great it would be to take a road trip with him/her and having that person nod politely, as if he/she agreed that it would be great, but you know, you just know there is no chance in hell they are going to get in a car and take that road trip with you.

Now these ladies have computers and they do send e-mails. (I have warned them I am NOT opening any forwarded e-mails from them. They get carried away with those pet pictures and Sylvia cartoons.) Some even consented with to Facebook when told by their children it was the best/only way to see the latest pictures of their grandchildren. However, reading a blog was out of the question.

So here's what I've noticed about people closer to my age. Some of them, when confronted with a new trail up the mountain of technology will take a deep breath and head up the sometimes rocky path. Some will go halfway up the trail and come back and some will say, "No thanks. I'm fine right here. This is enough." However, most of us are pushed forward by our jobs that demand that we learn new technology. There are forms, applications, information we can only get online.
However, in our personal lives we have to make climbing/camping decisions too. I must admit, I had sort of decided to be a camper, not a climber when it came to texting. One of my students tried to show me how to do it once, but I was not very successful at it. Then, one time when I was at work, I had to reach Evan and texting was the only way. I was sitting in my office and I actually went out on the sidewalk looking for a student, any student who could help me. It was late afternoon, it was raining and the campus was abandoned. I stood out there like the little match girl, my phone held out in front of me, looking pathetic.

That incident and Evan's tremendous appetite for texting drove us to an unlimited texting plan which coincided wth a new, full QWERTY keyboard which resulted in me being one of those people who used to annoy me--walking around texting while walking. Mostly I text Sonny Boy and Evan. (They are SO happy Mommy is texting now!) Since my letter"o" is on the same key as my number 9, and I often mistake it for zero, I have also texted A LOT to some poor guy who has a similar number to Evan. He finally wrote me back and asked me who I was. I texted back: "Sorry. New Phone. Middle-Aged Woman Learning to Text." He sent back "LOL."

To me, e-mail remains the greatest gift of all presented to me by this brave new world. I awake to find letters from my sisters and mom, all of who live in different states, every day. I am so proud of my mom who, at 86, e-mails on a regular day and reads our letters to her from her screen.

So, there I was in our computer lab at at school the other day and since the printer was broken, I suggested that the students e-mail their work to their homes and print it out there. I saw a few of them looking at me, puzzled, so I asked one about it and he said he had an e-mail account but he didn't really use it and couldn't remember the password. I said, "Well, how do you get by without e-mail?" "Well," he said, "I text all my friends. I really don't need e-mail unless I am dealing with, you know, old people."


In education, the buzzword these days is scaffolding. If you want students to perform a task, you break it down into smaller tasks at which they can be successful and then go on to the next, slightly bigger task. I have been fairly lucky in my path up the technological mountain. My workplace, my on-line class, my students and my children have all helped build that scaffolding for me.

What's next up the mountain? Well, I see Twittering around the bend, but I'm pretty sure I'll pass on that trail.

Of course, that's what I said about blogging a few years ago....


LoisW said...

I tried the twittering, but was not impressed and it really keeps you tied to your computer. Worse than Facebook! I have found that i am blogging less and less and living my life more and more. That's a good thing! It is funny when friends and family find out about the blog. It can also get hairy!

Susan said...

I love your blog, Betty!

Bossy Betty said...

MAWB: It can indeed get hairy! I have many very hairy friends and family.

Thanks for reading.


Bossy Betty said...


Betty Loves Her Blog Readers!