Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Still Trying To Be Cool

So the other day, I got a good review from my students in a course evaluation, my article got accepted in The Writer Magazine, I sent my second YA in to Flux,the always lovely Marcia Hoehne mentioned me in an I Love Your Blog Award, and my best friend won $1000.00 in a lottery scratch off. It was one of those afternoons when you think how everyone who told you not to:

- have a third child

- leave a good teaching job

- move out of state


- write (ever)

was wrong. Really wrong.

I was feeling like I was pretty cool, and I don't feel that way too often since I am solidly middle aged and have been known to wear old maternity pants backwards to run to the store. (When I do this, my kids slink down in the seats as we drive).

Then my kids came home and I was quickly deflated.

First, the boys came home, and asked me why I didn't text them back about a question they had about an afterschool game.

"I never figured out how to text," I confessed.

This caused disbelief, guffaws, and glances of sympathy.

"So, like, how do you talk to anybody?"

"On the phone. Email. In person."

(Poor old thing glances)

"Mom, you don't call a car a horseless carriage, do you?" my oldest boy asked.

"She doesn't have an AIM account either," my middle guy offered (meaning -- she is
as hopeless as they get)

So fine. Leave that stuff to high school kids. Then my daughter's elementary school bus came. I knew I would be redeemed. She gave me the wonderful news that she had a book report due.

Now I, along with six other people on the planet, loved book reports as a child. (This gene is rare; none of my kids inherited it).

"Oh, that's great! Do you want to do a diorama? I have shoe boxes in the basement. Or did she say you could do a timeline? Those are such..."

"Um, Mom," Emma says (patiently, slowly)

"I also have poster board and new acrylic paint...what?" She is trying not to laugh.

"We don't do those now. I have to do a web page for my book, okay?"

"A web page! But you're ten! And you weren't even ten last month!"

"It's okay; I already know how to do it. But you can check my spelling, all right?"

"Oh. Right. Sure."


I always thought it was me who would have to be patient with them.


Mike from NY said...

The kids I teach are constantly on AIM, with ipods and texting -- must be universal.

GutsyWriter said...

My kids are surprised to see me blogging. Of course I e-mail and am addicted to the Internet, but I don't text, and we've eliminated texting from our sons' accounts. They no longer complain.
I have a few friends in Europe, who refuse to use the computer, and since I no longer write letters with stamps, I have to e-mail their husbands, who then print the letters for my friends to read. When they write to me, they hand write, then the husbands scan their letters and I receive a scanned handwritten e-mail. Strange. We are more up to date than we think.

Anne Spollen said...

Hi Gutsy - and thanks for stopping by.

That IS weird about your friends who refuse to use the computer and have to have printed letters. Old habits die hard...

I think the real difference is I still remember not being able to see a show when I wanted (Tivo), and having to wait more for things. My youngest began using a computer in preschool.

But you're right; there are things we do and know that might surprise these guys.

Marcia said...

It's like technology has a thousand handles we could grab onto, trying desperately to keep up, and we all grab the few that we can.

I text with #3, but our phone account includes free texting. I have a site and a blog; he has Facebook. #2 has none of the above, just cell phone, email, and Internet. But she can sell stuff on ebay, which I've never tried. #1has a cell and emails me from work, but doesn't have the Internet at home. NONE of us have an ipod, though #3 has a voice recorder. When we got our very first VCR I was the only person in the house who could program it. But now? I don't know how to use either the VCR or DVD parts of the machine, and the number of buttons on the remote makes my eyes glaze over. DH and I tried and failed to record a football game last weekend. And we even used the instruction book . . .

Marcia said...

But I forgot the other half of my comment! Congratulations on all the good stuff that's been happening, Anne! A great review, an article in The Writer, and a finished book. Woo-hoo!

Anne Spollen said...

Thanks, Marcia. Sometimes I get so...bleh :(
with my kids texting night and day (they and their friends sometimes get/create upwards of 20,000 texts a month -- of course these include hundreds of OMG and LOL and BRB), and the phones ringing while I drive and people clicking my name into their Blackberries that I want to go live on a prairie and raise wheatberries alongside the howl of coyotes.

Well, maybe not the coyotes, but
something along those lines.

adrienne said...

Oh, I miss those creative book reports! I hate that kids don't draw much anymore. When they need a picture for a report they just google it.
-jlinsky from Verla Kay's

Kelly said...

I used to love book reports, too!
I am a SLOOOOOOOOOOW texter. I don't text often, but when I do I wonder why I didn't just call the person in the first place (though I'm usually answering a text, I never start them!)
Kelly (blueboards)

Jacqui said...

Oh, I am text obsessed, I'll admit. But I'm also very aware that someday my kids will be as frustrated about something computer-related with me as I have been watching my father fight with the remote control...

TerriRainer said...


I have learned to text, and I have AOL, so that whole AIM thing is covered.

AND I LOVE BOOK REPORTS, or at least I did when I was in school.

I'm still a big weirdo dorky mom though. Some things never change!

:) Terri

Anne Spollen said...

Ok, so that's Adrienne, Kelli and
Terri (and thanks for stopping by!)
that I can add to the six people on the planet other than me who liked book reports as a child. I'm going to go out on a limb here, and assume Marcia liked them, too.
We just need to find the other two folks...

Jacqui said...

I LOVED dioramas. Count me in.

Anne Spollen said...

Duh - NOW we need two more -- I said six people other than me on the planet liked book reports -- so I'll add diorama-loving Jacqui, and with Terri, Adrienne, Kelly and Marcia (who never said one way or the other -- I just politely drafted her) I'll meet just two more folks to prove my point.