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Topic: Learning for Life (08/23/04)
TITLE: Educating Grandma
By darlene hight
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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.