Time Marches On
I did not grow up with technology. We had a rotary dial telephone, three channels on the television, one each for the networks ABC, CBS and NBC, and a manual typewriter that absolutely fascinated me. I remember being so thrilled to get my cream-colored portable transistor radio that would only pick up AM radio stations by dialing them in, my all-time favorite being AM 540, WDAK. When I received a Polaroid Instamatic camera in which pictures would miraculously develop right before my eyes, it was a momentous occasion!
Being a teacher and taking advantage of professional learning opportunities has allowed me the luxury of immersing myself into the world of technology. Not being a pioneer in this area by any stretch of the imagination, the journey has been uncomfortable at times and worthy of celebration at others. Still, there are people willing and patient enough to teach me these new ways which have become so valuable to me.
Today, when I come in contact with non-English speaking people, it is not difficult for me to understand their struggle. Although I have not physically moved to another country or culture, there are times when I look back to my childhood in which I feel that I now exist in a whole new world. If someone could somehow pluck that 10-year-old girl that I was from that day and thrust her forward to today's world, I believe it would be fairly safe to say that she would feel like a complete alien. Taking it another step, pluck that 14-year-old girl and bring her to the world of today (I teach 8th grade), nothing would appear familiar. The common slang would be like another language. References made would have no meaning since that girl would not have experienced them. The multiple technological devices would overload my three-channel, AM-radio-self. The subject matter, please! We teach algebra in the 8th grade, not what I was doing back then. Needless to say, my straight A confidence would definitely take a dive, since my background would not have prepared me for such. That self-motivated yet introverted girl's confidence would most certainly be at risk if not crushed altogether!
I do enjoy reminiscing about my childhood and those simpler times I failed to fully appreciate. However, it serves to remind me to be ever aware that the many and varied people in which I interact also have a unique background. Not everyone is in the same position in this race we call Human. That being said, I feel it is my responsibility to welcome each individual into my world as if each one is on a journey, because we are all traveling through time as it marches on.
"For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'" Matthew 25: 35-36, NIV of The Holy Bible