Confluence Chronicles 9-3-12 |

Confluence Chronicles 9-3-12

Current teachers have traded in their blackboards, as shown in this 1940 elementary school, for SMARTBoards and other new fangled tools.

Think of all the changes a century-old person has seen, from horse and buggies to men walking on the moon. It must be as hard for them to process some of these happenings as it is for others of us to understand, and perhaps master, the gadgets and gizmos that are so readily available, especially in electronics.

There’s quite a buzz over the e-book readers such as Kindle. People that use them tell me they have thousands of books at their fingertips and can access them no matter where they are. Since a person can only read one book at any given moment, it seems like overkill to me. Yet those who travel often or their trips take hours to reach destinations, having only a small, lightweight reader could be most welcome. The most practical use is for reading textbooks because the electronic versions are vastly less expensive and when the course is over there is no 10-pound book to sell or toss. I haven’t joined the craze yet; maybe someday. But truth be told I don’t like to read anything lengthy on a screen. I like the paper versions.

Then there is texting. I saw a young woman in a restaurant eating with one hand and frantically using her calculator with the other. Well, I thought that’s what it was; turned out she was texting. My fingers don’t move that fast even when I pay full attention. I did feel bad for the woman with her — I think it was her mother — who was being ignored. Technically I suppose one could say they did have lunch together, but there wasn’t much interaction involved.

All of this new fangled equipment makes me feel so old — yet 60 is the new 40, I hear. There are so many terms like “cloud,” which is explained on a high-tech website this way: “While ‘the cloud’ is simply a buzzword for most consumers, it plays an important role for businesses. By moving software services to the cloud, companies can share data more efficiently and centralize their network security.”

Now you know. For non-techies, we could say information stored on a cloud is just up there somewhere and that is good enough for me.

While talking with my then 6-year-old grandgirl I asked her about the “white board” I heard her teacher was using. Indignantly she replied, “Grandma! It’s a SMARTBoard.” More terms to learn.

There may be hope. One Sunday in church an older lady sitting next to me kept using her Blackberry during the service. It turned out she has the Bible on her device! It was one of those aha moments we have from time to time. It surely shows that age is no barrier to keeping up with the times.

Peggy is grateful to have grandchildren who can teach her new tricks. Even without e-mail on her phone, she can still be reached through ❖

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