Sanders: Old becomes new | TheFencePost.com

Sanders: Old becomes new

For those of a certain age this glossary may help bring you into the current day. What is amusing is these are new terms for old actions, though today's younger generation may think they have invented something other than a new name. And they would be wrong.

Let's start with graphic novels. They are, simply put, comic books printed on better paper and bound with a soft book cover. Some may have a longer storyline than our comic books but really, that is what they are. Now you can use the phrase with confidence.

A play date boils down to the pre-arranged version I heard often when I picked up our sons from their rural school. "Can Matt come home with us and play today?" Play dates take the spontaneity out of kids playing together without going through an elaborate mother-to-mother, calendar-to-calendar arrangement. Particularly in a small, rural school parents didn't have to visit each other's homes to check out the environment prior to a play date. The parents knew each other and probably their parents and maybe grandparents too.

A farm shop particularly fits the definition of a Makerspace, which is defined as "a collaborative work space inside a school, library or separate public/private facility for making, learning, exploring and sharing that uses high tech to no tech tools," in other words, make things and play. Makerspace is a word that we used to call kids getting together, or working by themselves, and making something. Farm kids have always done so, it just didn't have a name. For example, kids see hours of enjoyment in sticks. They may be arranged into livestock pens, used to write in the dirt, be the perfect system for roasting wieners and marshmallows or pretending they are guns. Somehow I don't see children in a Makerspace making mud pies or slingshots, but they would fit the definition.

“Let’s start with graphic novels. They are, simply put, comic books printed on better paper and bound with a soft book cover.”

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Closely related is STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). In a farm kids' world that could entail seeing how water runs downhill and how to change the direction of the water (irrigation); it might take the form of planting rows of corn in three small "fields" in different locations and observing how each field develops; it might be creating a useable bench out of a pallet, or using duct tape to lash a sharpened piece of metal to a stripped down corn stalk and fabricating a small sword.

If you have been to government-sponsored meetings recently you have heard the word stakeholder. What used to be called invested or involved, caring or concerned individuals have now been lumped into the sterile word of "stakeholders," which holds people at arms' length. The cold, unsympathetic word put a lid on the fire of compassion and shut off the oxygen to the fire. I hope student councils will not adopt that word.

Keep things simple. Leave out the jargon of the month. Let kids be kids. It appears to me that "new" ideas seem to be more complicated than the "old" ways of doing things. ❖