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Connecting the Dots: Seniors to Seniors

By Staff | Oct 1, 2013

Editors note: This is article one in the series “Connecting the Dots” written by Journalism seniors at Montgomery High School for seniors.

MONTGOMERY – We have all sat through the same old “back in my day” speech that Grandpa gives at one point in time or another. Have you ever actually stopped yourself from zoning out and legitimately thought about how it was for them back in “their day” though? Choices such as college, clothing, and technology have changed between 50 years ago and today.

To start off, college options for our older generations were almost nonexistent. We interviewed senior citizen Mary Shaffer and she told us, “I was one of thirteen children so we couldn’t even think about sending everyone to college.” She then proceeded to say, “No one in my immediate family went to college, but my two sons did.” Stating the obvious generation difference, she proved that it is more realistic to think about college today than it was in her adolescence.

Clothing is another choice for comparison. Today, it’s nothing to see teenaged girls in spaghetti strap tank tops and shorts that are “denim underwear.” If that would have happened years ago, girls would not only have been scolded and scorned, but would have also been forced to march “back up the stairs” and change into something more appropriate. Besides what was considered socially correct years ago, the methods of clothing purchases have also changed. “We’re lucky to be able to go to a store and pick our own clothing out rather than have our parents make choices for us,” our own grandparents have pointed out. Thanks to the stories we have heard about mothers hand stitching jeans and sewing dresses, we are fully aware that clothing options have certainly changed over time.

Technology is also something that falls into the zone of separation for our generation gap. The Montgomery Area School District has recently had the privilege of providing an iPad for every student enrolled in the middle and high school. From personal experience, our older generation does not seem to understand the functions of these devices as well as we do. Within the first week of school, the iPad has been referred to as the ‘thingymabobber’ multiple times. With a laugh and a sense of confusion coming from grandparents, we correct them with the terminology ‘iPad.’

The correction usually follows with a statement similar to “sorry, I’m just not used to this new fancy equipment you kids have.” Every time this is said, we are reminded of how lucky we are to live during a time of such technological growth. It also opens our eyes to how new it all really is. Perhaps we can give our grandparents a lesson on the “thingymabobber” and open their eyes to a whole new world of possibilities.

So, next time Grandpa is talking, take a second to reflect on how his childhood was different from your own. Really listen to his words and always remember to try and help to ‘Connect the Dots.’