2011 Post · Childhood · Children · Complaint Department · Current Events · Education · Family · Rant · School · Technology

The Writing on the Wall

I’m older than many of my mom counterparts. I was almost 31 when The Tweenager was born, and I was 41 when Little Darth was born. I’m a  Gen Xer where many of the moms in The Manimal’s class are Gen Y’s.

Having young children and working at a university make me forget that I’m getting older. I can remember my college days like I’m approaching graduation instead my 20 year reunion.

Last month, The Huffington Post published a list of 20 things that became obsolete this past decade. I’m always fascinated by those types of lists, but they also make me feel old. A few notables on the list:

VCR’s and VHS Tapes–Amazing devices, if you didn’t have to actually program the darn things. I have to say that DVD’s and DVR’s are WAY easier.

Travel Agents–Sad farewell, because of the loss of jobs, but with the advent of travel and hotel websites, so much easier for people to book their own. And that gnome is so darn cute!

Bookstores–I love books. I love bookstores. I love the idea that I can get a cup of coffee and browse for books at the same time. I do, however, LOVE my Kindle, which sadly, is driving bookstores out of business.

Watches–I used to be LOST without a watch. When I was pregnant with The Manimal, anything on my wrists drove.me.batty. I haven’t worn one since. Apparently because of cell phones, nobody else wears one either.

Perhaps one of the saddest losses of the 21st century is the handwritten letter. This one was no surprise, but actually frustrates me the most, probably because I have small children. When I was in grammar school, we actually had to write legibly. We were graded on it for pete’s sake! When it became clear to me that The Manimal was never going to win a prize for his penmanship, I asked his teacher about it. Her response made my jaw drop.

“Well, we don’t really stress handwriting too much because by the time they’re in middle school they’re using computers for pretty much everything.”

By the time they’re in middle school? Did I mention that she was his second grade teacher?

Second grade.

I don’t know about you, but in our district, middle school starts in sixth grade. And I did well enough in math to know that was four years away.

Uhm. Okay. So basically what you’re saying is that you don’t need to be able to read their writing now because when they’re 11 or 12 they’ll be doing their assignments on computer.

There is a big difference between “not stressing” handwriting and “not teaching” handwriting. Apparently, though, it’s not just my children. Talking to friends in other school districts around the country, I’ve found that very few of their children really learned HOW to write properly.

So I’m not likely to ever get a handwritten letter from my children. I’m okay with that.

However, I’d like him to bring home a spelling test that I can actually read.





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