October 1, 2008

Peter's First Week of Classes--How Times Have Changed

Peter had his first college classes on Monday. He's happy with them and feeling more at home there all the time. He's taking German and Calculus and Greek literature and sociological inquiry or something like that. He'll also have a PE course of some sort. He says the food is great and he's met a lot of interesting people. Last night he tried out for their improv group, but he said there was a lot of stiff competition, so he's not getting his hopes up.

I'm doing very well. With communication as it is today, I can IM him or call him on his cell phone and he can do the same, so we're still pretty connected.

What did we do before instant communication, computers and the Internet became such a part of our lives? Today I was looking through an old home decorating book and I showed Melissa an office set-up. I told her to notice the absence of a computer. She gave me a funny look and asked, "How did they look anything up?" I just pointed to the bookshelf.

It's hard to believe how much the world has changed. Peter's college experience will be very different from mine. In my day, writing papers meant white-out and "cut and paste" required real scissors and magic transparent tape.

9 comments:

Traci said...

Oh me! Melissa's reaction was priceless! Did you tell her we HAD to go to the library to get info?

Anonymous said...

I always love to tell my students how easy they really have it. Research for me meant going up into the 'stacks' (the highest floor of the library) and spending days at a time up there. They of course look at me as though I have three eyes...a library????? What's that??? A typewriter....huh???????

Anonymous said...

What parents did was call the dorm and hope someone would go find their kid. And if they hadn't heard from him in a long time and got worried, they'd call the dean or someone to enquire. I had a friend once who was called into the dean's office to be told to phone his mother!

Glad he is enjoying it. Chicago Sociology used to be quite influential a hundred years ago. Not sure who is there now. But it's a great discipline (though I'm a bit biased).

Jena said...

I was hoping you all would chime in with your prehistoric research memories. Thanks for the great comments! And microfilm--scrolling through film of old periodicals on a huge machine. It's a wonder this civilization progressed to where it is today. :)

Jena said...

Peter says the college is building a new library where the stacks will be underground with computers on the ground floor. When you need a book, you request it and the bookshelves will rotate up to where you are. Crazy!

I love that story about the kid and his mom trying to reach him. It reminds me of driving in the winter with little kids, hoping the car wouldn't break down--how would I contact anyone?

Mindy said...

Gosh, I remember being a student and having to go to the library to do research. It's convenient not to have to but when I was young I always enjoyed going to the library to do research, it was like a little learning adventure. Glad to hear your son is doing so well!

Anonymous said...

I had this one teacher who thought that if you got research out of a book, you were plagiarizing. Period. So we had to do interviews for ALL of our papers in that class. If it didn't come from a person to person interview, it wasn't acceptable. It was a cool experiment that actually made me want to be a journalist for a little while (but oh, internet research is SO much more fun!!). Oh, and does anyone remember when you used to have to stick those white-out correction papers down into your typewriter to correct a letter or word?? Good times. Good times.

At A Hen's Pace said...

My poor parents. When I went away to college, it was a big deal to make a LONG-DISTANCE PHONE CALL! I only talked to them once a week after the first week or two. I guess that must have been pretty hard on us all...

Jeanne

Anonymous said...

You brought back memories of writing college papers on loose-leaf, in pen. Can you imagine a professor today having to deal with individual hand-writing styles? I doubt they'd tolerate it!

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