Saturday, September 12, 2009

school supplies

A note came home with Pook, from his gifted teacher. It listed a few more school supplies the kids will need for the 3rd grade gifted group. Two more folders, two more notebooks, a highlighter... a flash drive. Wah?

I've seen CD's flash drive; I'm not completely clueless. I even know what it does and could probably figure out how to... well, I'm mostly clueless. But my eight year old needs one of these things? I thought I'd let CD buy it, and avoid having to ask for help. No, that wouldn't work, so I needed to get one for him. I asked. "Where?" "Oh, anywhere." "Anywhere? Like... (with that leading, go-ahead-and-finish-that-idea sound)" So, with the basic information that I needed only 1GB (that is pronounced gigabyte, for those even more clueless (love you!)) I stopped at Office Depot.

I asked. I went "over there" and then searched until I found them, all encased in large plastic packages with key locks. They were all 2GB, but one was on sale for $12. Seemed like the one. But the teacher had suggested getting one on a wrist or neck strap and since trusting an eight year old with this small item without one seemed unwise, I asked. I went "over there" and found packages of 100 lanyards. Finally got a two pack. We'll use the second one for something.

So, my kid had his own flashdrive. Little turquoise thing (had to go for a cute one) on a black lanyard. For a school supply. At the register, the guy says, "Just two gig?" I explained that it was for a 3rd grader. "Wow, when I was a kid we just had to bring a floppy disk! I'm old!"

Him, old? I most definitely did not need a flash drive, or a floppy disk when I was in 3rd grade. We used pencils and paper Back Then. Crayons, not even markers. Slates maybe.

To make myself feel better/younger, I told all this to CD. "I think I got through my undergrad years without any computers. In mechanical engineering too." Me, well, I had a computer, sort of, but telling about it makes me seem old again. I got a Tandy laptop-ish computer for high school graduation. It had an 8K memory with a cassette tape which could hold the equivalent of a six page term paper. I never learned how to use the cassette tapes to extend the memory (assuming that I could have) and remember one night I had to start over when a paper was lost. I began using university computers, strictly for word processing still, and then had no need for any type of computers after graduating. In 1996, CD's friend Marvin was tossing out a PC and it ended up on my desk at home. I was introduced to Windows, and to email. Ironically, when the school where I taught got PCs for teachers, I became one of the people to go to for help. Still, when Pook was born and I left my job, the schools had not yet networked rooms or schools and I did not yet have any way to print in another room without a 3" disk.

My kids haven't had much experience with technology at home. They have an 8yo laptop to use, but it is so slow they don't bother using it much. They've played wii at the homes of friends, and other games I know nothing about, but in general I have stayed ahead of my children in knowledge of technology. Unfortunately, my progress has been slow and I have a feeling my days are numbered.

1 comment:

  1. We had a computer at home in high school, but it was still easier to type. I got through college with an electric typewriter, although my theory professor made me promise to buy a computer before she would write me a recommendation for grad school. I'm sitting here editing code for my husband's website and feeling pretty tech savvy, especially since I'm self-taught. But I'm sure they'll be on to something else in a minute or two and I'll be left in the dust once again.