Rhymes With Fuchsia

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Ten on Tuesday

Ten ways the world has changed since I was in school:
  1. Cell phones. I can't imagine how parents ever survived without them, and yet there is persuasive evidence, in the form of my writing this sentence right now, that they did.
  2. Early-release days: schools didn't have 'em. You went to school from nine to three, every day. There was no extra time off for conferences, either. We had gym two or three times a week; now kids have it once a week if they're lucky, as "more classroom time" has translated to "everything else gets short shrift."
  3. On the plus side, teaching methods seem to have improved. There's more phonics and more old math.
  4. The word sustainability was never mentioned; we learned about food chains and phosphates and DDT poisoning, but no one ever thought about climate change. I take that back: Mr. Campbell, my seventh-grade social studies teacher, said that reducing pollutants was all well and good, but we were still adding way too much heat to the atmosphere. This was in 1970. (All right, mathematical genius, just keep that thought to yourself.) Why don't guys like him ever get elected president?
  5. A lot more people had jobs doing things that machines handle now: answering phones, taking messages, transacting routine banking business, finding the best plane fare by comparing flights on different airlines. Sometimes this makes life easier, and sometimes not. Not spending hours on hold to make a plane reservation, good. Automated phone systems seemingly designed to prevent people from ever actually speaking to one another, not so much.
  6. A few doctors still made house calls.
  7. There was no Internet, of course. No email, no blogs, no Facebook (can someone please tell me what the hell Pack Rat is and how I'm supposed to play it when all it shows me is five silly cards?), no online library catalogs.
  8. Medical science has changed beyond recognition. Taz's oncologist told me during his original hospital stay that only five years or so earlier they could have done nothing for him. (As an aside, people who rhapsodize about the good old days forget that polio, diphtheria, tetanus, and trichinosis, among others, were alive and well and serious health hazards; TB and Type A diabetes were automatic death sentences, as were most forms of cancer; diagnostic tools were extremely primitive; and so on.)
  9. Goodbye, 8-track tapes, hello, iPod.
  10. The world is brighter and also a bit askew, because now I know Roxie, who is making me look like a cheapskate with her latest game: show her a picture of yourself knitting in public, and she'll donate $5 to MSF. The trouble with knitting in public, of course, is that you may find some curious dude looking over your shoulder, but, Roxie, this one's for you.

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7 Comments:

  • I think I was in school when you were in school!

    By Blogger knitnzu, at 7:17 AM  

  • I love this meme. Probably because I'm getting older. And next year is 20 years that I've been out of high school - it's very hard for me to believe that. But anyway! Thanks for sharing with us! :-)

    By Blogger AngeliasKnitting, at 9:19 AM  

  • OK, I'm up to fifteen dollars so far. And you had to go publicize this, didn't you? I may have to sell something to follow through on this challenge.

    Great photo! Fun meme!

    By Blogger Roxie, at 9:37 AM  

  • I don't think anything is the same from when I was in school. Great meme.

    By Blogger Margene, at 9:56 AM  

  • That looks suspiciously like a lunch hour shot to me! If so, I wish there was a nice quiet place like that where I could knit on lunch break, too. (We do have some benches but they aren't very conducive to quiet contemplation.)

    By Anonymous Beth S., at 11:15 AM  

  • I wonder when docs really did stop making housecalls.

    By Blogger Laurie, at 8:10 PM  

  • How clever of you to find someone to hold the knitting bag. Is this your version of Steph's Yarn Boy? :)

    By Blogger Lene Andersen, at 12:26 PM  

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