"...Remember when thirty seemed so old
Now lookin' back it's just a steppin' stone..." - song "Remember When" by Alan Jackson
So you may be scoffing and smirking as you think, "Um, Patty's not much past 30 years old. So what is she talking about?" Hey, I'm not ashamed of how old I am ... or am not ... and to just be clear, I'm 33, but lately I've been feeling my age plus some.
I love teaching and I really enjoy my students, but sometimes I feel like we don't speak the same language. Sometimes cultural references I make in class are received with blank faces and glazed over eyes. According to the Beloit College Mindset List for the college Class of 2014 (you can read the whole thing at http://www.beloit.edu/mindset/2014.php ) only a few of my students know how to write in cursive; Pizza jockeys from Domino’s have never killed themselves to get your pizza there in under 30 minutes; Nirvana is on the classic oldies station; and Clint Eastwood is better known as a sensitive director than as Dirty Harry.
Is there a generation gap? Um, yes. Most of my students were born in 1992 -- the year I was a sophmore in high school. These same students weren't even hitting the double digits when September 11th occured. To them, there's always been a war on terror, but Operation Desert Storm and the Cold War are only things that occured in history books. And the Soviet Union? Well, it's never existed for them.
So do I feel old? Yes, and I think this is karma payback as I used to take perverse joy by telling my boss (one of the Police Chiefs I worked for) that the year he graduated from college was the year I was born.
Yep, karma is a ... evil and vindictive woman.
Lucky for me is the fact that I'm only in my 30's and I still have a lot of "Remember When's" to live through. Hey, remember when blogs were new and you used to talk to people on the phone or -gasp- face to face to see what was going on with them? I know!