Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Back in the USA

"You have to crawl before you can walk!"

That was the sage advice (at least I thought so) that I offered my son this afternoon as he worked on doing an 'ollie' (a jump) with his new skateboard although he can barely ride it for more than a few meters without having to jump off. He looked at me with that withering look that pre-teens reserve for their mothers when we try to impart out-dated wisdom.

"Nah," he responded, "I can walk first," then proceeded to execute a small jump on the board.

I left the US for just five years, but I feel like a time warp has occurred. So much of what was status quo has changed and I definitely have no time to spend crawling if I am going to catch up. Despite my IT background, I stuck my head in the sand before I left, refusing to acknowledge some developments - Blackberry (why did I need to have my email accessible 24-7?), rewinding live TV (how is that even possible?!) and self-check out (I still refuse to use this unless my groceries will cost less) are a few examples. Now I have kids coming to the house and expecting to find all the gadgets to which they are accustomed. They touch screens and wonder why there is no response and marvel at the fact that there is no Wii, PSP or other similar gadgets in my house (my poor, deprived children, I know.)

Now I have to catch up, I can't give my children definitive proof that they are smarter than I am! I have figured out why there is no one in the stores (except Target and Walmart). It's not the economy. Everyone is shopping online. You can browse, enlarge, order samples, check out competitors prices, read reviews and 'talk to an expert online'. Why leave home? I am sure that someone will soon create a way to send sensations so that will simmulate the item's smell and touch through your computer screen ... oops, did I just give away the idea behind my sci-fi novel?

All that being said, it is good to be back in the USofA and although the settling process has been a long one, I look forward to feeling like one of the natives very soon ... and getting back to a space where I can write.

ttyl :-).


Liane Spicer said...

The pace of technological change is breathtaking, and you've got to be on the outside for a while to fully appreciate this.

Self checkout? I remember driving through several gas stations in the US some years ago and wondering why they were all closed because there was no one there to pump my gas. I'm all for online shopping - I've been a convert since the 90s and rarely go into stores - but when I do venture out I prefer the service of humans.

Have fun settling in. And let your children know they don't have to have all the gadgets just because they are there.

Jewel Amethyst said...

Welcome back Carol. After years of being out of the classroom, I've just gone back, not as a student but as a lecturer. I find myself overwhelmed by the amount of technology being used... And I've been in the US all the time.

KeVin K. said...

Welcome back, Carol.
I've envied you your time out of country; living abroad is one of the things I fear I've aged out of.

I've been here all along, but it's been a long all along. I reach for the hand-crank on the car window and expect to have time to make a pot of coffee while my computer boots. And, yes, I have a box of vinyl records and a box of 8-tracks. My children tend to speak to me slowly and in simple terms. But you're young, so don't worry. I'm sure you'll catch on soon enough.

Eugenia O'Neal said...

Whenever I travel out of the Caribbean I'm always fascinated by how technology has jumped ahead. When I was in the UK a couple years ago, the credit cards were different. Mine was apparently like a dinosaur because it didn't have a chip or whatever it was.

Carol Mitchell said...

Liane, I still cant get used to pumping my own gas, that's why I love New Jersey, there are still some gentlemen there.

Lecturer? Good for you Jewel.

KeVin, you are never too old once you are alive. I don't have A-tracks, but I just got rid of some vinyl records last December so I may not be as far behind you as you think!

Eugenia, I know what you mean. The clerks just look at me with exasperation and take the card away from me.