Was this so long ago?
Epiphany in the classroom....
When you become "of a certain age" it is difficult to articulate information to younger people who have not lived as long as you have. Case in point: this evening in my rhetoric course, I spent time, as I always do, asking my students to relate a more modern day example of a Sophist. As we were studying the Sophists who lectured in the days of Socrates and Plato, and were foreigners and considered to be bad influences on the youth of the day, it makes sense to offer up examples that might solidify their understanding in the type of people they were.
I also offered information on those who have "taken"over the lives of others through persuasion. Jim Jones and David Koresh came to mind, as religious cult leaders of their day. I also was reminded of others and the students offered their suggestions as well. Most of my students in this particular class are in their mid to late thirties or forties in age. There was one young woman who kept asking who anyone we mentioned "were" and it was revealed she was 22 years old.
This means my student was 11 in 2001 and does not really remember (as an adult) what life was like before the 9/11 attacks. And also it means that "The Simpsons" had been on television longer than she had been alive. She never knew life without cell phones, computers or I-pods, to name a scant few of the many things that we have had since her birth. I am always humbled by the idea that my students at the college level are products of this new world. They were not here when we faced the fate of the Vietnam War or the eradication of the "Iron Curtain". They did not probably use VHS tapes to watch their cartoons for too long and have no idea who Captain Kangaroo was or Mr. Greenjeans. I always aim to stay up to date with the trends and people in the news, but it does not seem that long ago that these things happened. Columbine, 9/11, Waco, the Invasion of Grenada, the death of Lady Diana. What seems incredible is that when Iook in the mirror, I see a woman looking back at me who is not the woman I remember or feel like inside.
I have no desire to dress and act like a young woman, but inside it feels as though I still have that part of me that is a giddy schoolgirl, desiring to dance the Hustle and sing loudly in the shower. To envision someone is not aware of something that occurred only a few short years ago, albeit it probably 20 or 30, seems surreal! Where did the time go? And some of the information is history, isn't it? When I grew up, I was exposed to Big band music and stories of things that happened in the 1940's. True, I would not be born for some 15 years later, but I was curious, searching, interested, informed....wasn't I???
Life sure is a kick in the pants sometimes...no wonder there are days I feel obsolete!
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