I feel old

Jan. 30th, 2008 09:12 am
hesperornis: (Default)
[personal profile] hesperornis
On Monday, my students went over the concept of geologic time.  We do a silly exercise wherein I have them list events from their lives in a geologic column style, and attempt to match them up with other people (relative dating), then I ask for a single date to use as a correlatable event (absolute dating).  My second class on Monday was the first class _ever_ who did not immediately pipe up with "September 11, 2001" for that one point in time that everybody knows.  I commented on this while the students were correlating their columns, and a brief discussion started about where they all were on that day. 

Most of the students were in 7th or 8th grade.  I was stunned by the sudden realization that here in a very few years, I won't be able to assume that all of my students remember exactly where they were on that day in history, because they would have been sheltered or at least too young to fully understand what was going on.  Even some of my students now admit to only having a fuzzy notion of what was happening that day. 

Of course, then when I expressed my dismay, one of my students correctly guessed my age based on my being a sophomore in college in September 2001.  On the plus side, at least he grasped the concept I was trying to get across.  On the other hand, ouch.

Date: 2008-01-30 06:12 pm (UTC)
cheyinka: A sketch of a Metroid (eeek! a metroid!)
From: [personal profile] cheyinka
There was a recent Something Awful thread, with "what's the first news event you remember". A lot of people answered The Date That Has No Name And Is Simply Referred To As A Date, mostly people who'd be your students' age-peers. (I answered Tianenmen Square, but that's because I was reading Newsweek when I was five...) So, if it's the first news event someone remembers, they're likely to remember where they were. Right?

You've got a couple years, I think, probably until you get into kids born in 1991 - sheltered or not, a ten-year-old ought to remember "I was at school" or "I was home sick" or "Ma said watching CNN counted as homeschool lessons for the day".

...wtf. People born in January 1991 have turned sixteen. You're right, a very few years. And I'm calling them 'kids'. What's next, buying a rocking chair and yelling at people to get off my burned-to-the-ground-by-our-neighbors lawn?

......WTF. There are people on Ansible who could be legitimately excused from remembering the attacks, because they weren't old enough to read yet and their parents probably really did shelter them.

Date: 2008-01-30 11:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] boopsce.livejournal.com
I think the first thing I remember where I was when I learned is the fall of the Soviet Union. If you don't require I remember where I was, I remember things prior to that, e.g. the '88 election, the fall of the Berlin Wall, Tianenmen, even vaguely being afraid of nuclear war prior to all that. Nancy Reagan doing her say no to drugs thing from the Oval Office.

Oh, yeah: there are people right now who can buy cigarettes and porn who were born in 1990. Now that makes me feel old.

Date: 2008-01-30 11:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] boopsce.livejournal.com
That was my first year of grad school. *sob*

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