Happy National Intern Day! (a.k.a You’re Getting Old Day)

It has come to my attention that I’m getting old. This revelation occurred to me while I was conversing with our summer intern at the agriculture office. Starting next month, he will be a sophomore at NC State University. Despite his enrollment in a premier institution of higher learning (I also attended NC State), he confessed that he cannot write in cursive. 

“How do you take notes in class?” I asked.

“Laptop–nobody takes notes on paper anymore,” he said, with a sense of bewilderment, as if paper was as antiquated as papyrus.

“Do you have textbooks?” I asked.

“Well, kinda, we have e-textbooks,” he said.

Oh, I miss the days of tangible tomes–you know those big heavy textbooks that could be repurposed as an anchor once they’re out of date. Sadly, kids these days will never know the pure joy of getting assigned a used textbook that already has the answers written in it. Nor will their back muscles develop adequately. I swear the backpacks in our day had their own gravitational pull, and likely weighed more than the kids wearing them. Nowadays the only reason kids wear backpacks is to advertise for North Face; they certainly don’t use them to lug around textbooks and Trapper Keepers. 

FYI: The intern didn’t know what Trapper Keepers were either. I had to explain to him that Trapper Keepers were basically overpriced folders, in which middle school boys stuffed all their papyrus; meanwhile, middle school girls used them to neatly organize and catalog their correspondence, that is the notes that were passed back and forth on the information superhighway, also known as the back row in class. 

It makes me sad that kids these days never experience the excitement of passing notes, of making shadow puppets in the overhead projector, of playing pencil break and paper football, of piloting paper airplanes that fly straight and true. 

Now, with only electrons used for learning, school sounds a lot less electrifying.

5 thoughts on “Happy National Intern Day! (a.k.a You’re Getting Old Day)

  1. Reminds me of the time my nephew was at my house and had no idea what a typewriter was, probably in the early 90’s

  2. I must be old too. Even though I have a laptop, I can’t write anything until I’ve written notes and a rough draft on real paper first. Otherwise I feel weird, or like I’ve done something wrong.

    And I love actual books! I homeschooled our girls, and we still have an 11 year old I’m homeschooling. Most items and homeschooling are available online, but if I can’t touch it, feel it and go through it, I won’t have it. Besides all the experts agree that no more than 2 hrs max is recommended for developing brains.

    1. I’m the same way. Sometimes when I’ve got writer’s block, switching back to writing on paper can get me going again and then I’ll switch back to laptop once thoughts are flowing.

  3. Backpacks! Luxury! We carried our books stacked and tucked under our arms with an extra tome in each hand as we sprinted across campus from class to class. (Insert curmudgeon-obligatory ‘uphill both ways in the -deep snow’). No wonder you youngsters have such feeble grip strength.

  4. Good news! Paper textbooks are still very much in vogue (in Europe, anyhow). Just as well, as the royalties for e-textbooks suck royally. In other news, schoolkids here in Australia carry vast backpacks from the age of five. No idea what’s in them, but they look heavy.

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