Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Slice of Life: On Being Hip

"We certainly bring the average age up in this room," I comment to my friend, Julie, chuckling as we enter the classroom.  It's the first day of our summer teacher leadership class at OSU.  We thought it might be fun to take a few classes.  We're kind of crazy like that.  Everyone in this class appears young and quite driven.  It's going to keep me on my toes I think as I assess the situation and look for a place to sit down.

She laughs as we find seats in the crowded room.  I put down my bags which have grown quite heavy with my computer, books, and other items needed for a full day on campus.  Opening my computer I realize I cannot get into the campus secure Wifi or my OSU account.  "What was that password?" I wonder aloud as I check my phone to see if I was smart enough to put it in my notes.  It's not there.  I try password after password with no success.

I lean over to see how Julie is doing getting logged in while I find the site on my phone where the password is saved.  "I can't get into the site on my computer," I tell Julie wishing I would have figured this out before class began.  The professor is getting organized in the front of the room so I'm running out of time.

Bianca leans over to me.  She has to be about the age of my son.  She is already organized to start class.  Her computer tabs open to the course web page and the digital space she will use to take notes.  She looks pretty together, and I'm guessing she has already done all of the reading for next week's class.  "Do you have a Gmail account?" she inquires, but her eyes tell me she is doubting that I do.

"I do," I affirm feeling a bit victorious.  I'm pretty sure she expected an AOL account from me.

Her gentle look affirms I am likely the age of her mother.  "I can send the document we need today to you," she kindly offers with soft eyes that tell me she isn't sure I have ever touched a computer before.

I don't have the heart to tell her the documents are on my phone.  It's always good to make a few new friends in a class.  Since I will be able to better view them from my computer I return her smile,  "That would be great.  Thank you so much."

Class continues without a hitch.  I find my way to the site on my phone and can see the syllabus and other items the professor uses in her discussion.  Keeping notes on Evernote, I listen to the lecture looking up sites as our professor mentions names and professional books to consider.

Later that evening, I open up my computer to solve the password problem.  A little time and patience will surely allow me to get on the campus site using my computer.  As I open my email, I have to chuckle.  Bianca has shared all of the modules from the site with me.  I'm sure she wondered if I had ever been on a computer before that day.

That evening, I solved my password problem and got into our course site.  This teacher leadership class will surely be an adventure in learning.  As I sat in the class, I couldn't help but feel a bit old.  I remember the first time I thought the McDonald's employee seemed a bit young.  Then it was bank employees.  In the blink of an eye, it seemed State Highway Patrolmen were younger than I was.  (That was painful.)  When NFL coaches, started to look young I really wrestled with the meaning of life.  I suppose it was that feeling that played into my perception of Bianca's charitable assistance.  More and more I brush up against moments that remind me of my age.  I've decided instead of thinking about how old I am in these situations, I'll just consider myself hip hanging out with such interesting young people.

It's Tuesday.  Today I'm joining the Slice of Life Challenge hosted at Two Writing Teachers.  Stop by today's link up to join the conversation or find some great reading.

Friday, June 24, 2016

They Carried Your Stories Away

They carried your stories
away today
damaged and broken:
the violin that played the music,
of your childhood
the books that rested in your hands,
the Old Maid we slid around the table,
the piece we made 
standing side by side in your workshop
as I listened to your words
weave your lessons into my life.

I held each in my hand
as we said goodbye
trying to reach back in time for the story.
Years have passed.
Your voice fading,
the memories now black and white:
your music playing in the back room
as Grandma and I washed dishes,
the day's crossword puzzle 
in your tired hands,
all distant.

They carried your stories
away today:
the books that shaped your life,
the projector that helped me to see
the world through your eyes.
These pieces 
of your history
that have guided my journey.
How will I remember 
without holding them
in my hand?

© Cathy L. Mere, 2016

It's Poetry Friday!  Stop by Random Noodling where Diane Mayr hosts today's parade of wondrous words.

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