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Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: Learning for Life (08/23/04)

TITLE: Educating Grandma
By darlene hight


I read an article this week about how many ‘Fortune 500 companies’ are doing what they call reverse mentoring programs. This reverse mentoring began due to the realization that many of their top executives weren’t as computer savvy as their new, straight out of college employees. The idea is to team top executives up with inexperienced but technologically gifted employees. The trade off is that the new employee is able to tap into knowledge acquired over a lifetime while the seasoned exec gains the technological expertise necessary to move their companies into the future.

The article went on to address the need for churches, to apply the same approach, to meeting the needs of the next generation. Now on one level the idea repels me, as I believe Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. However, like most people, I don’t like old tired ideas. Each generation has new thoughts that are influenced by the world that they live in. In my world, we held protests at school for the right to wear jeans instead of the mandated dress clothes. This generation is being told that there are no moral absolutes. ‘Tolerant’ is the current buzzword. Violence and danger are things that children are acutely aware of early in their life.

So, the bottom line is grandma needs to go back to school (of the self-learning variety)! When I call myself grandma which I most certainly am, many of you picture a ‘sit in a rocker, knitting away the hours, keep my teeth in a jar’ kind a gal. I am old, compared to many of you. To my grandchildren, I’m sure that I appear ancient. To my children, I’m old enough that they try to tell me what I should or shouldn’t do. I remember when JFK was assassinated. My after school viewing consisted of the Brady Bunch. I know who Red Skelton and Jack Benny are. I saw the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan show. However, I’m not “crawl off into the woods to die” old. I’m just old enough to be a grandma. I will be 50 years old on my next birthday! Gasp!

I did not feel the least bit old, until today. The article suggested that us "oldies" should go to select web sites and begin getting in touch with the wave of the future. When I went to the suggested web sites, suddenly, Alice stepped into a rabbit hole! What I found there was a whole different view of the world. Every article spoke of things that, quite frankly, I never even considered. It was refreshing to break out of my narrow little view of life and look at things differently. Sometimes, I got tripped up with the basic terms that people on these sites throw around as common dialog. But, the ideas were new, fresh and insightful. The language just took some extra effort.

When my youngest son was a teenager, my husband and I got a kick out of his TV watching habits. Many a time, we would come home and find him deeply engrossed in a documentary on Marilyn Monroe or some other celebrity from our era. Steve’s viewing habits were fascinating. He used the TV as a way to self-educate himself. Steve is different than your common, everyday history buff. He has an insatiable curiosity about many things. A newspaper dated before his birth would hold as much interest as a huge historical event.

I remember a night when he had the whole family engrossed in a show about the reverence of cats in Egypt. It was interesting but not something that we normally would be watching. Today, as I read articles and listened to ideas from a generation that I am not a part of I tasted a little of that intrigue. Grandma might just get the hang of this reverse mentoring thing but there are a few terms that still have me a little confused such as ‘blogeology’? Now, that is an interesting word but not one that is recognized by my spellchecker.

Copyright 2004

Member Comments
Member Date
Al Boyce08/30/04
Whew! For a second I thought I was old, but I am TWO years from 50!! Some good insights Darlene. I found myself wanting more details about the new things you found on those web sites, but a good read nonetheless. Thanks!
Lynda Lee Schab 08/30/04
This was a truly enjoyable piece - from beginning to end. What's important is that no matter how old we are, we never stop learning, never stop growing! Great entry! Blessings, Lynda

And for the record - you are one hip grandma! ("hip" means cool, by the way!) LOL :-)
Tammie Smith08/30/04
Hey my grandmother who is closer to the 70's and is a computer whiz. LOL Her favorite saying is your not getting old you just have more mileage. I liked this article.

darlene hight08/30/04
For those of you who were curious like Al, the afore mentioned websites are www.emergentvillage.com
John Hunt08/30/04
Great article. I, too wonder if I am becoming a stick-in-the-mud, or if I'm just a traditionalist. Hmmmm. Maybe I'll check out the websites.
Kenny Paul Clarkson08/31/04

Your thoughts remind me of Paul advice to Titus (chapter two) to teach the "aged men" and the "aged women."

When I was young, I was disappointed in older preachers who took the whipper-snapper view of younger men. Such men were not mentors, they were tormentors.

Thanks for making me think!
L.M. Lee08/31/04
Bravo for you!

I was at a restaurant one day and at the table next to me was a grandma with her 4 grandsons...various ages. She was bubbly and alive and kept right in step with all of their interests and activities. I thought how unlike the "older" people in my life.

When I left I told her what a great job she was doing. I also asked God to help me be that way...if I have grandchildren one day.
Lucian Thompson08/31/04
Boy…reading your reviews has got me all blogged down in my blogged up mind. Does that make me a blogger? O, bloggest me! And…old…I remember Howdy Doody! Your article was great, by the way.