05 October 2008

kids today

What happened? Seriously?

What just happened to good ole paper and pen (she asks as she writes types her blog)?

In my Spanish class, there are 8 students, most of them my age (29...tail end of GenX) or older. We all use paper and pen to take notes in class. The Millenials in the class (Gen Y, if you will) have laptops and use that for notes.

The laptop has become the accessory de riguer of college students everywhere. I remember getting my first laptop prior to my junior year of college. The only reason I got one was because I wanted to have a computer with me during my studies abroad. It was a heavy old clunker . . . and I still have it sitting in the top of my closet.

It's just funny to me, I guess, to walk into a classroom and see every student with a laptop - and expected to have one - plugged in at their desks and ready to go (as was the case in Monterey last week). It feels very foreign to me, I guess. I mean...I learned how to type on an actual typewriter. I learned MS-DOS. I remember the first computer games! hahah.

All that to say . . . when I needed to log online to the McGraw Hill website just now for part of my Spanish homework, well, the website was "undergoing maintenance." I should know better than to have saved this part of my homework until the last minute, I guess, but still. Everything else is finished, it's just the online portion left. Ahhh...technology. So convienent (when you're working.)

Kids today will have no idea what it is to go to listening labs and libraries to complete part of their assignments; to have to share a single cassette tape or - GASP - even an LP with 20 other (procrastinating) classmates. But give me those late-night library jam sessions any day over the sit-at-home-by-yourself-ease of online resources. Some of my best nights in college were the ones spent listening and studying with my friends and cohorts in the wee hours of the night the differences between Schubert & Schumann's lider; the dances on which Chopin based his music; and why on earth would an Austrian composer write an Italian opera based in the Orient?

Convenience, instant gratification and self-reliance are replacing our concepts of patience, hardwork and teamwork (or so it would seem.)


lea ann said...

You expressed my thoughts perfectly!

I didn't attend college when everyone had laptops. we had notebooks, pens, binders, etc. no one even had a cell phone (I know..what century did I live in?)

And that was FIVE years after I first went to college. Where few people had a computer at home so we all used the Computer Lab.

I assume there is no such thing anymore??? "computer lab" practical then...but now extinct. Buh-bye.

oh yeah, our first "computer" at home was a Commodore 64 (that's right, 64K of memory in the whole computer) and it had a cassette tape drive. To get to the next "program" you had to press FF on the tape player. woah.

Bag Blog said...

I remember penciling in bubbles when my high school moved to a computer system report cards. In college I took a computer math course where we learned Cobalt (?) which was never useful. You had to go to a lab to use the huge computer. I could go on and on.

I used to write letters all the time. Now I just blog and hope my friends read it.

insidethesparkling said...

Yeah, those listening-room nights were fun, weren't they? I'm trying to imagine how much easier those music classes would have been with a laptop, wifi and a pair of ear buds. It WOULD have been easier, and faster, and I probably would have remembered more of it. But we had a good time in the bowels of Hamon, too, so whatever:)

insidethesparkling said...

Oh! Oh! And do you remember the "Internet" our freshman year over the "ethernet" connection? The one with the black screen and the green letters? And to find out if someone was at their computer to be able to "IM" back and forth, you would send some arcane letter combination out and wait for them to respond?

Good times.