Monday, August 13, 2012

Childlike Fun

Friday and today, Monday, I have had the opportunity to revert to childhood things. It’s been so funny, even though I am 32 it doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy the little things in life like ice cream and going back to school.

Last week at work we had “Clean Your Desk Day.” Thursday before you left you had to make sure that your desk was cleaned, passwords and confidential information locked up snug in their drawer…all the security / audit measures met. Then that night “cleaning judge fairies” came and graded your desk. Of course, I got an A+ “Firecracker Clean.” Yay me! The F was “Dynamite Needed,” and I think the fairy judges were kind and didn’t give those to anyone.

As a reward we got ice cream Friday afternoon. I got strawberry and chocolate in a cone. If nothing says fun kid stuff like licking an ice cream cone then I’m just not too sure you had a childhood…unless you were lactose intolerant, then I’m sorry . You can have a popsicle.

What a fun summery thoughtful gesture. I know I appreciated it.

Then Monday at Rotary our guest speaker was our City Superintendent, Tony McGee. Tony is a great guy, a former Rotarian and wonderful educator. He took us on a field trip…on a school bus to the Elementary School. First of all, the average age of our Rotarians is like 76…so when asked the last time I was on a school bus and I couldn’t remember made me feel old - - I had to think about some of these guys who never had the opportunity to ride a school bus because they probably weren’t invented or that was something “big city folks” did. They had to walk up hill both ways in the snow year round.

Once we got to the school it was flashback time. I won’t say flashback from hell because I enjoyed school, as I am a nerd. It was so interesting to see those kiddos and watch them learn and more fascinating to see HOW they learned.

I’m going to sound like one of the 76 year old Rotarians, (in my best old lady voice) “They have these machines that project a computer screen onto a board. The board is touched by a special pen and writes, erases highlights and other technical fancy stuff. So much for chalk boards or over-head projectors that bulbs blew like every day and had clear sheets written on by a type writer then use an erasable marker to write the answer down - or – like when I got into college it was dry erase boards. No more chalk boards as I’m sure that teachers and students inhaled too much chalk dust and got emphysema or something. Kids probably stole the dry erase markers and got high sniffing them. Crazy kids these days. Things just can’t be simple anymore…school busses, technology, yah yah yah.”

Personally, I had just eaten lunch, the classroom was nice and cool and the room was dark (I guess to better see the projector board) - - I was ready for a nap. I’m sure these fancy boards are stupendous. But I really really really (but am willing to be convinced otherwise) don’t understand why we have to invest so much money into these learning devices when education back in my day was very efficient and sufficient. Is it to save on paper usage? That would make sense. Is it more so for the visual learners? I’ll buy that as I am a total visual learner. I’m not dissing it, just trying to better understand. And the fact that I just said, “diss” totally tells you how old school I am.

Computers are great, there were a ton of computers throughout the school. Dr. McGee said that kids these days are learning basic keyboard and mouse functions in Kindergarten. Wow, that amazes me. I remember going to the computer room in 2nd grade and playing the Oregon Trail. I always died of some diphtheria or dysentery or something random. It was in DOS and you used a big ol’ floppy disk and sometimes had to blow on it…which was normal because I had to blow on my Nintendo games too. You know, to fix it and get the dirt out. Oregon Trail was not educational, neither was pong. I liked to get to play on these gargantuan machines tough. It was fun. I think I got my first personal computer in 1993 maybe? I was probably 13. It was given to me by my Uncle Ralph who was extremely knowledgeable, truly a man before his time as he got in on the computer / internet world before most had heard of the internet. It’s now 2012 and Chip’s dad still thinks that the internet is a place somewhere and he’d like to visit this ‘internet’ place sometime. I think he thinks it’s in Washington D.C. Anyway, computers are great.

A lost art is cursive writing. Did you know that they don’t teach cursive in schools anymore? Maybe one day when my kids get to college it will be a foreign language? They can major in cursive.

I enjoyed our little visit to the school. I am scared to death for Hill and Reid to go to school, that means they are growing up. I may just start crying now as the next 3-5 years is all I will have to shelter them in my little bubble of the simple life.

Here are a few pictures…

The ice cream day at the Bank and some of our school tour.

*You can see my friend Hollee saved me a spot next to her on the bus. I told her on the way back to the Square that maybe she could pump me to my house on her bike once we got there.

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