Be A Sports Blogger . . . Or Just Pretend

By Ellen Rothberg

As a starry-eyed seventh grader, back in the late 1960s, I had aspirations of being a reporter for the New York Times. Lofty goal, some might say, but I was in the IGC (Intellectually Gifted Children) class in elementary school; I made the 2 year SP class (Special Program? Special People? Stupid People? I never could remember what the acronym stood for) in Junior High; and almost, that’s right, ALMOST, received the very coveted (at least by me) English Student of the Junior High School Graduating Class of 1970 Award. I believe I was the first (ok, maybe second) runner up to this award. I think that the student who won wrote a very poignant, heart wrenching story about her pet parakeet. I, on the other hand, wrote a blazingly, far superior story about my precious pet turtle, Koo-koo-ka-choo (my brother was a huge Simon & Garfunkel fan). As usual, I am straying from the real story.

While a student in Junior High, I served as a reporter for the school paper, hence the strong desire to work for the Times. I didn’t particularly love reading the Times. I was more of a Daily News girl, especially when it came to picking a current events story and summarizing it. I was gifted, but not terrifically motivated and those Times pieces could get rather lengthy. Anyway, I wrote one story for the George Gershwin Junior High School paper about an extremely young and cool teacher, but by far, my best work was a sports story about a basketball game. I came across that story recently and, I have to say, it was really well-written, but, considering I must have been about 12 or 13 when I wrote it, I’m not sure it was all me! Apparently the teacher in charge of the paper must have been heavy handed with the editing hat! I know this to be true because while I love basketball to this day, I don’t thin k I knew all that tricky terminology back then. I don’t even know for sure if the same moves were popular in 1970. So, armed with the knowledge that I was over-edited as a student, how would I approach the idea of having my own sports blog? Hmmmmm.

I would start off by coming up with a very catchy title for my blog, like, Just Girl It! Or, how about, Pick and Roll Report. Or, maybe, And One Woman? OK, so maybe I am not going to start a career now as a basketball blogger, but surely I should be able to take credit for having written an awesome story about a junior high school basketball game? I wonder if I can find that teacher and ask him if he really did over-edit me? I wonder if he is dead? Continue reading

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What’s On Your Backpack?

By Ellen Rothberg

Backpacks are icons of personalities. One would never consider carrying a backpack emblazoned with a picture or caricature of something or someone they were not connected to in some shape or form. The advent of the backpack is a real nineties phenomenon, one that obviously earned tons of money for an industry previously employed by Colorado hikers. Have you ever thought about what we carried our books around in before the big backpack bang? I had a red rubber book band. It had two metal doohickey things on the ends that sort of connected to each other and tried to keep the books sort of together, but didn’t actually work well in the New York winters. It didn’t help that I had a pretty long walk to and from school in those cold winter months either because the red rubber band invariably froze and disintegrated on the long, snow-laden treks home. This musing is not, however, actually about my school experience or how I managed those miles and miles of walking in the snow . . . it is about the backpack phenomenon and how each generation is characterized by the apparatus chosen to, well, lighten the load that students have to bear.

Back in the nineties, my children were introduced to backpacks depicting the Transformers and Strawberry Shortcake. There might have been a Batman one school year and I think we might have done Barbie once. There were Nike bags when in middle school and cartoon characters were no longer cool. We had a Jansport era in high school, I think. I can visualize the many backpacks, but there are no photos of them. I don’t think that we record those items the way we do Halloween costumes and holiday sweaters. If I were to ask my son and daughter to name their favorite backpack, I know they would give me that look. The one that says, “Oh, she’s writing something about us” or “Oh, she’s about to remind us of the trials of growing up in an apartment with only one bathroom”. This musing is not, however, actually about my children’s school experience or how their backpacks defined or didn’t define their school success, popularity or ability to roll their eyes at things their mother says. . . it is bout the backpack phenomenon and how each generation is characterized by the heavy-duty canvas surrounding their load of books.

Now tht I have a grandchild, I know that the backpack phenomenon is coming full circle. Will students really contiune to need backpacks? After all, one only needs to have a small tablet computer, right? Do kids really need a whole backpack just to carry their electronic device to school? The answer is a resounding YES! The backpack is here to stay. My precious granddaughter, age 4 1/2 has three current backpacks. The first was purchased at her birth and has the beautifully embroidered words “Aggie Class of 2033” underneath her name (courtesy of her Texas A & M parents). The second one came from Pottery Barn Kids and also has her name embroidered on it (a very Twenty-First Century thing). The third one and her favorite, was purchased at Walmart and has the cartoon character Sofia the First beautifully screen printed across it. It ranks up there with the Strawberry Shortcake and Transformer ones. This musing is not, however, actually about my granddaughter’s school experience or how the more things change the more they stay the same. . . it is about how each generation is cherished by the ones that came before and how, when you get right down to it, we will always be carrying something to school in something that is popular at the moment. Oh, and that we love grandchildren!

And . . .speaking about books, Come out and Celebrate Local Authors at the Maud Marks Library, 1815 Westgreen Blvd., Katy, Texas on Saturday, October 24, 2015 fom 12:30 PM — 5:00 PM. Mingle with local authors of children’s and adult books. Books can be purchased and autographed. The library will also host presenters reading excerpts from a variety of genres. Attendees are eligible for door prizes! Come in costume for a bonus door prize ticket!

What Vacation Type Are You?

By Ellen Rothberg

I’m on vacation. I have been on vacation since July 1. It’s an experimental vacation, as my husband calls it, because he is working, remotely, from our vacation spot in Vail, Colorado. Working remotely, is a new phenomenon brought on by smart phones, computers and other electronic geniuses we now possess. I am not working remotely, unless you consider trying to orchestrate the movements of the people in my life that I left behind in Houston. Electronic gadgets do not work quite as well for my purposes as they do for my husband’s. His experiment has been a limited success. Mine, not so much.

So, why when I left the heat of Texas for the beautiful, coolness of Colorado, am I not considering the experimental vacation a success? Well, there are several reasons, most of them pretty reasonable. Let me share them in no particular order:

  1. I have an elderly mother, well taken care of, but still pretty dependent on me for social interaction. .Unfortunately, she often thinks that close friends and family are out to get her. This leaves me to smooth over the hard feelings and try to help her reframe the misconceptions. This feat, despite being a mental health professional, is often too much for me at home, let alone from 1000 miles away.
  2. Colorado is a young, vibrant, fitness-minded, outdoorsy place. I am not young, vibrant, fitness-minded or outdoorsy. I will not wake up one morning and say to myself, “I can’t wait to go on a five mile hike at 8200 feet above sea level”. I live the other eleven months of the year in a city at or below sea level. My lungs can’t take the altitude change and anyone who’s ever been to Houston knows there is nothing to hike up to. This is not to say that I can’t enjoy a nice walk by a babbling creek in 65-70 degree weather in July. I am just not going to dream about it.
  3. One of my children is about to be married. The wedding is two weeks after I return home. I think that anybody who has ever been even remotely involved in the planning of a wedding knows what I am thinking. Enough said!
  4. I am one of  number of education professionals who have some part of the summer off from work. I won’t get into the debate about how educators have the whole summer off or how we are paid enough for the job we do. I will only say that my school year kicks off on August 10, the week after my return from the month long experimental vacation in Colorado.
  5. Oh, did I mention that my month long vacation in Colorado took place in a fancy condo rental? Yes, it is beautiful, but I still did laundry, dishes, cooking (OK, not that much cooking), and cleaning up. The hourly rates to have the condo cleaned on a daily basis was more than I make per hour as an education professional. Oh, I forgot, I wasn’t going to talk about that.

What is my ideal vacation? One where I sit on the beach, holding my second or third frosty rum or tequila concoction of the day as natives serenade me with whatever island specialty tunes they choose to play that day. Oh, and where the trials and tribulations of my real life back home take care of themselves for the time I am gone.

 

 

Mother’s Day By Ellen Rothberg

Mother’s Day has always seemed a bit superfluous to me. After all, isn’t every day Mother’s Day? The moms, more often than not, are the conductors of the daily life around the house. Aren’t we the ones who wake the children, dress the children, make sure the children have their homework tucked safely inside the blue folder in their backpacks? Oh, I know, Mother’s Day is our day off from those responsibilities, but really, do we ever have a day off? Even if dads are supervising mom’s day off, the potential for disaster is looming in the distance in the form of a missed playdate or, heaven forbid, a lost baseball uniform. So, on this Mother’s Day, I offer the top ten things we don’t want for Mother’s Day. You can call it the “Yes, I’m a Mother ________________. Don’t Mess With Me Day!” official Mother’s Day anti-gift list.

10. We don’t want flowers from 1-800-FLOWERS. They usually require us to do our own arranging which, unless we’re Martha Stewart, we can live without.
9. Don’t BBQ and call it a Mother’s Day meal because we know we will be the ones doing the dirtiest part of the clean up. You know that’s true!
8. See #9 we are not OCD about cleanliness, so we don’t need a t-shirt
proclaiming “People With OCD do it over . . . and over . . . and over”. 7. Breakfast in bed — this is really not necessary since we hardly ever eat breakfast unless you call driving by Starbucks for a Skinny Latte, breakfast. I know it looks cute and cozy on tv, but it is just messy and uncalled for in reality.
6. Bath salts in provocative fragrances. We rarely bathe because we’re too busy trying to do everything else!
5. Like #6, we don’t want perfume in a scent we’ve never worn. Do you know what we usually wear?
4. Here’s a hint — don’t say I’m not your mother and therefore you do not need to do anything special. That’s lame.
3. Anything the children made. I know, that sounds awful, but do we need another clay jewelry holder? How about some new jewelry to place in the fifteen holders we already have?
2. Time for ourselves. Well, we do like that, but it doesn’t mean that we all stay in the house and the family tries to give us some quiet space. It either means that everyone leaves (yes, the father will probably be the driver) or I leave and get a massage, pedicure, manicure or all of these indulgent things.
1. Ah! The number one thing that we don’t want for Mother’s Day is the
total absence of our beloved families. Because we work hard, we totally love hard. Being a mom is the hardest, best job anyone could have and we do it with pride, fierce protectiveness and a sense that in the end, we wouldn’t trade one minute of our family memories . . . Well . . . there was the time the kids ran through the neighbor’s sprinkler as we were leaving for their aunt’s wedding . . . that’s a story for another time.

Is the Greeting Card Dead?

By Ellen Rothberg
Valentines-Day-2015-Hearts-7-133x90It’s almost Valentine’s Day and stores are packed with items designed to illicit the loveliest of lovers’ romantic dreams. I wonder, though, why I haven’t seen more greeting cards filling the shelves of my local grocery store (where I purchase most of my cards, trying desperately to keep them from getting stuck to the milk). Is the greeting card dead? It’s not to me, but I wonder if I am in the minority now. And if so, how will the demise affect my ability to express myself to my loved ones?

When my husband and I were dating a long, long time ago, he bought me a card one Valentine’s Day that was clearly meant to be from a girl to a guy. I do not consider the comprehension of greeting cards to be higher level, and so, felt it necessary to point out the error immediately. People are sensitive about their choices when it comes to these tokens of love and my then, maybe-to-be-husband, took it very personally. This is not a completely accurate reenactment of the what was said, but you will get my drift.

Me: It’s not a big deal. You don’t have to be so sensitive about it.
Him: I don’t really see this as a guy or girl card. It’s generic.
Me: Well, maybe I just don’t care for generic, love cards that speak to me as if I were male.
Him: Well, maybe I just won’t get you any more cards!

You can tell where this conversation was heading. Although very sad, several years passed before he bought me another Valentine’s Day card. We didn’t talk about it, and I kept buying him cards. My cards were very thoughtfully purchased. I spent a great deal of time reading the cards in the store and trying to decide which one represented my feelings for him the best. I resisted the urge to purchase cards that said the following:

Roses are red, violets are blue,
Didn’t buy me a card? Well, sc–w you!

or

Like the sky above our love is vast;
If you don’t buy me a card, how can our love last?

or

Know how much I love you? (unfold super bulky card with bear image)
Not that much because you didn’t buy me a card!

In all fairness to the guy I married almost 38 years ago, he buys great cards for other occasions. This year he nailed my January birthday with a card that I will always treasure. As I read it, amazed at how well he obviously knows me, I smiled and let him know how much I loved the card and the fact that he took so much time to pick out the perfect one for me. He looked at me and said, “Can this count for Valentine’s Day?”. He obviously will not be saddened by the demise of the greeting card.

I love greeting cards. People who know me, know that I love cards, but I love my husband more, so, I am going to cut him some slack and give him a pass for this year. I will expect a really awesome, you-know-me-so-well Valentine’s Day card next year . . . and a dozen roses wouldn’t hurt either! What is your favorite, can’t live without it, Valentine’s Day surprise?

Why Social Media Will Never Replace a Warm Puppy

by Ellen Rothberg

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I was going to write about the amazing anthology recently published by Space City Scribes when a funny thing happened. My granddaughter spent the night with us last Saturday and like many grandparents, we believe that her mere being is cause to celebrate on my Facebook page. So, at approximately 9:20 P.M. on Saturday night I posted the picture you see here to my page. My experience with posting important things to Facebook like the book signing for our anthology on November 8 from 2-4 P.M. at Katy Budget Books has been a bit underwhelming. After all, I posted the absolutely stunning cover art from the anthology about two weeks ago and sat back, contentedly to watch the “LIKE”s roll in. I waited and waited . . . and waited. After about two hours, I had six “LIKE”s. And, one didn’t even count because it was from my mom’s cousin and she “LIKE”s everything. On this particular Saturday night; however, there must have been a lack of good tv because twenty minutes after posting, my little granddaughter and I had twenty-two “LIKE”s!

Well, you can imagine my confusion. The Anthology has action, drama, tension, history and criminal activity. My granddaughter has a little under four years of daycare to boast about. By 10:55 we were looking at thirty-five “LIKE”s and six comments. Of course by that time my granddaughter had gone to sleep and most normal people had turned their clocks back and also prepared for bed. Oh no, the “LIKE”s kept pouring in. By Sunday morning we were at fifty-eight and they were circling the country. We had “LIKE”s from my childhood pals in Brooklyn and “LIKE”s from school friends and colleagues; there were “LIKE”s from relatives and from people who hadn’t given me the time of day in high school; “LIKE”s from fellow writers and “LIKE”s from friends I didn’t even know I had. It was amazing.

My granddaughter is really cute and precocious and I wouldn’t trade her for the world, but how does she rank so well when Space City scribes has written a terrific anthology of Houston based stories to entertain and entice you. Surely a good read should measure more acknowledgement than a picture of a cute kid having a sleepover with her nana. That’s why social media will never be taken seriously as a marketing tool. Now, if I could just figure out a way to write my next book about a darling little shih tzu!

And just to make my point, Space City Scribe authors are presenting a workshop on Saturday morning at 10:00 A.M. at the Maud Marks library in Katy. The scribes will talk about everything Indie Publishing, from how to format ebooks to Indie publishing illustrated children’s books; from marketing plans to best practices for Indies. Don’t miss it.

Write This Way To A Successful School Year

by Ellen Rothberg

I can feel it. I can taste it. I can smell it. It’s the beginning of a new school year and it’s right around the corner! Unlike a New Year’s Resolution, we don’t have to make a promise to get fit, lose ten pounds or even find a new love interest. We  just have to put on our new shoes, pack up our freshly sharpened number twos and head out, with a sense of great expectation, to find our educational fortune. Ah, but what if you are, in fact, the teacher? Or the assistant principal? Or, like me, the guidance counselor? Then we have double-duty. We must find a way to reach our returning students, while garnering a bit of self-fulfillment, a sort of “cherry-on-the-top” of the sundae that has become the Back-to-School Restaurant Week!

So, in honor of Back-to-School, Houston Restaurant Week (which is really a month), and my never-ending search for the perfect beginning of the school year pair of shoes (both stylish and able to leap small children in a single bound), I offer my top ten positive goals to increase career satisfaction and keep my mind off the donuts that will undoubtedly be lining the workroom for the next few weeks.

10. I Will Climb Every Mountain. I hiked this summer in Colorado. I am not an outdoorsy type, but I accepted the challenge. This school year, I will hike the four city blocks between my office and second grade, five, no, six times per day, even if I am not looking for a second grader.

9. I Will Let A Smile Be My Umbrella. Rainy Day Dismissals? No problem! Can’t find the extra shoes I always keep on hand. No worries. This year I will realize that dry feet are highly overrated.

8. I Will Conquer  Pink Eye. Is there an app for that? I will wash my hands until they feel like sandpaper and buy all the hand sanitizer I can find on sale at Walmart.

7. Is That a Roach or a Longhorn? Roaches in Houston are so big, we can saddle them up and ride them around the playground. This year, I will rope and tie me a big one and show him off at the Livestock Show & Rodeo.

6. I Will Know That Elvis Has Left the Building. At the same Livestock Show & Rodeo, I will sit ringside for Blake Shelton, and not in the nosebleed section. I will politely decline when he asks me to sing a duet and then gradually give in after several minutes of coaxing.

5. I will Convince the Houston Texans that Manziel is Not  Too Little to Play in the NFL. I will turn back the hands of time to the point where the Texans forgot that they needed a quarterback and offer my opinion, which they will quickly acknowledge and agree with.

4. I Will Eat at Every Houston Eatery Offering a Special Three Course Meal During Restaurant Week and I Will Not Gain Even One Pound. It’s for a good cause – feeding the homeless. This is my crazy goal list – I get to say whatever I like.

3. I Will Remind Every Politician in America That Children are the World’s Most Important Asset. They will agree with me and act accordingly when it comes to legislation affecting those seeking to enter the U.S.

2. I Will Abolish School Paperwork.

1. I Will Make a Difference in at Least One Child’s Life.

Someone please rescue me from what has become a full on nightmare of positivity! I know, I know I am totally off topic. This year, I will probably not conquer my fear of the infamous Houston tree roach, especially the one who invariably shows up in my office and then hides out just waiting to scare me. I will not conquer the mountain of paperwork haunting me at school and home. I will not learn every name of every child in my school by Halloween. I will try, though, to make a difference in the lives of my students. And that is my goal for the new school year! What’s yours?

Yo Ho, Yo Ho! A Writer’s Life For Me!

By Ellen Rothberg

Writing is kind of like a trip to Disney World for me! I think about doing it often, I plan, plan, plan to do it and after what seems like an eternity of waiting, the climax swings by like a comet and I am deposited back at home with only my memories to relive the magic. Actually, the reliving the magic applies more to Disney than to my writing product. The writing doesn’t always produce a magical memory or moment. In My Disney-esque way of thinking, I plan to write the way I would plan a visit to the Magic Kingdom. I want to get the best bang for my theoretical buck. I don’t want to wait too long in the lines. I don’t want to miss a thing. So, what would my day really look like if writing were a Day at Disney?

What day at Disney wouldn’t begin with a trip to Adventureland (Adventureland is best visited early in the day or late in the afternoon)? I write in the shower. It’s my Adventureland. Writing without paper and pencil is such a challenge. Imagine the adventure involved in hanging onto that fabulous idea while trying to simultaneously dry off while dragging a squeegee across the glass. I emerge, wet hair leaving a trail from the bathroom across the carpet to the pad and pen I leave on my bedside table. The trek from bathroom to getting the idea on paper loses something in the transition. It sounded so much better in my Adventureland shower.

Continuing the Adventureland experience brings me to the Pirates of the Caribbean. Like my writing, the Pirates ride made me feel awesome while experiencing the thrill of being caught in a pirate battle. It is so difficult, though, to capture that sense of adventure and thrill in the written word. I can always tell someone what a great time I had at Disney, but will they really get what I mean? Isn’t that sense of adventure really something one has to experience for themselves? Being shot at by Disney pirates isn’t really the same as staging a gunfight scene in a novel. Where’s the real terror? Well, I guess we can’t go scaring the Disney visitors to death now, can we? But, that would be a fantastic piece of writing!

On to the Swiss Family Treehouse, which I hear, may be tinkered with in the not too distant future. It appears that the Disney know-it-alls think that it would be more in keeping with the times to have it become a Pixie Dust Tree, home to the Tinkerbell fairies so popular in the Disney films. “No,” my writer senses scream! One should not mess with anything having to do with Johann David Wyss. Shouldn’t I be able to write an adventure book that could stand the test of time for two hundred years? I would be happy to write something that could qualify as important for two hundred minutes.

And the Enchanted Tiki Room. I’ve read some comments online from parents of preschoolers who thought the Tiki Bird Show was scary. I write for children. I don’t get how the Tiki birds could scare even the most timid child. When I write for children, I am conscious of trying to write on their level and I always try to protect their little minds, but, my beloved Tiki birds, scary, really? I am always writing (well, not really always) with the Disney songs running through my head. I have never been scared by the Tiki birds. I will, however, ask my grown children if the Tiki birds left a scar.

Oh, the metaphorical thrill of writing as a Disney Adventureland experience. Real or imagined. It’s an adventure for me to muster up the time and energy to finish a piece of writing. Finishing my writing, hmmm, Fantasyland up next?

Mother’s Day

by Ellen Rothberg

It’s Saturday morning and tomorrow is Mother’s Day. I have been thinking about Mother’s Day all week and this morning I had some free time which is a rare occurrence. I was tooling around the internet and came upon an excerpt from Rob Lowe’s memoir, Love Life, which was recently published by Simon & Schuster. The selection was about taking his eldest child to college. More pointedly, it was about the heartache of separating from your child as they go off to start a life that, essentially, does not include you.

As a mother, I have twice been through the trauma of separating from my children in this way. It’s awful! It’s thrilling! It’s horrible! It’s exhilarating! It’s terrifying! It’s the single most depressing event(s) of my life. Yes, I may be overstating, but when faced with that moment, disconnecting from the people I spent 18 years nurturing, consoling, guiding, arguing with (yes, we are a pretty normal family), I broke down. I remember thinking that we would never be the same. And, the fact is, we are not the same. So, at the risk of being one of those people who bore others with incessant chatter about their kids, I am going to list the ten most outstanding memories about mine. It’s Mother’s Day – cut me some slack!

  1. My son had some pretty cute pronunciations as a toddler. His very favorite book (and I can still quote it almost verbatim) was Don’t Forget the Oatmeal, a Sesame Street Bert & Ernie saga that involved listing almost every item you could purchase at the grocery store. One such item was hamburger meat, which came out as “hamburger eat”. My husband and I still call it that to this day!
  2. First trip to Disneyworld. This has to be one of the more popular parent memories. We actually witnessed our child’s first glimpse of magic.
  3. Same son – with a freshly earned driver’s license – taking his grandmother to cancer treatments when his parents could not get away from work.
  4. Still going with child number one – graduating from college after nearly 8 years, defying the odds (according to experts who compile statistics about teens who drop out of college), and dispelling the previous notion that he didn’t have to earn a college degree for his parents.
  5. The years of watching him play basketball. And helping him through the disappointment when he no longer played.
  6. Little sister arrives and basically follows her brother around for years. She was pretty cute although big brother would probably disagree.
  7. My daughter didn’t mispronounce words much, but when she started speaking, she had some pretty funny things to say. During one visit with her maternal grandmother, she hurriedly found me to state, “I like your mother”. She was two at the time.
  8. Observing my daughter’s ability to deal with her first major “real life” disappointment and her subsequent comeback. While it was awful at the time, it turned out to be a defining moment for me. Pride does not come any stronger  unless it involves . . .
  9. Watching said daughter not only graduate from college with honors, graduate from law school and finally be admitted into the State Bar to practice law . . .
  10. Having the unbelievable experience of witnessing the birth of my first grandchild. I have no words that can describe this miracle and the privilege I felt to be a part of it.

Oh – motherhood! It’s a roller coaster of firsts. And just when you think the ride is done, you become a grandparent and it starts all over again! I am lucky. I am a Guidance Counselor by profession and I always try to teach positive self-talk strategies to my students. On this Mother’s Day, I will wake up in the morning and say to myself, “Happy Mother’s Day to me. I have a beautiful family and I am so fortunate to have had the opportunity to raise two adults who are successful and true to themselves.” And, if I am really lucky, perhaps one day, my granddaughter will go to her mother and say, “I like your mother!” Ah, exhilaration!

Before the Technology Parade Passes By

by Ellen Rothberg

I believe the technology movement has passed me by. I can pretty much interact with my iphone, and I understand that there is a cloud where my phone and personal electronic devices meet and compare notes about me, but there are some things that I know I will never master. For example, I will never get tweeting. #amidumborjustold. I don’t think anyone should expect me, at my age and stage in life, to acquire the skill set to put all my feelings, thoughts and compulsions into a tweet. #wowcholesterolunder190. Just trying to figure out how to grammatically use tweeting in my writing makes me break out in a sweat. Of course, my real take on the written computer language is that no one really uses correct grammar anymore anyway. #learnhowtospellstupid. As you can probably tell, I am just faking the whole social media phenomenon.

For me, learning to use new technology is like my 11th grade trigonometry class. I am a writer. As far as I am concerned, writing and math do not go together. We still have the written word, but trigonometry is apparently gone. So, there will always be the written word, but technology might just be a flash-in-the-pan. This convoluted thinking has worked for me in the past, so maybe I should just go with it now.

I have a job and one of the things that my job requires is that I be somewhat proficient with technology. That brings me to the second example of something I don’t get. Excel – how in the world is that spreadsheet program talking to the data in the online information system at my school? It’s amazing! Data goes in and out and appears miraculously in a spreadsheet! Well, it appears miraculously in a spreadsheet if you press the right button #Ineedhelp.

I am technology challenged, but I have many young people in my life who were born with the technogene and help me (while smirking behind my back, no doubt). They are pulling me, kicking and screaming, into the 21st century. It reminds me of the late 1970s when I babysat for a fancy Dallas agency that provided bonded babysitters to elite families. While in charge of two rather precocious preschoolers, I was tasked with preparing a nourishing dinner in the form of SpaghettiOs. I located a small pot and proceeded to empty the can of pasta with the intention of warming it on the stove. The little 4-year-old said, “Aren’t you going to use the microwave?” I am not in the habit of smacking little kids, but . . . #techless?