Posted by: gdevi | July 21, 2012

“Only connect . . .”

I am writing on my new ipad from the Jersey Shore pool where the district is hosting its annual championships. My daughter’s team is doing well; the kids are trying hard. I am sure there will be some medals at the end of the day.  I like this new ipad–it is a 4G –  LTE with wireless and cellular–which means that I can get internet wherever I go. It is very strange for me, since I am one of the last people on earth without a cellphone. It has all kinds of gadgets, but as  is the case, it is all wasted on me. I don’t do anything other than type on this. K and D find my use of technology bizarre, which I can understand; all I want is an advanced typewriter, really. I don’t listen to music, play games, watch movies, text or anything these things are supposed to do for you. I use these things only to write.  My students find my lack of  internet savoir faire pathetic as well.  When I tell them that I wrote a 200 page dissertation on a typewriter, they look at me as if to say, you pathetic woman! When I tell them that I wrote the draft of a 200 page dissertation by hand in notebooks they look at me very very sadly. But you know what kids, I tell them, I am very comfortable writing by hand or typing and I don’t need electricity or satellites or any of these things without which you cannot function. Isn’t that a good thing? Me and the Amish, we would be perfectly fine without all this stuff.  Anyway this is a good typewriter for me; I bought one of these separate keyboards as well. Totally cool.  My daughter has downloaded the Netflix and Pandora internet radio apps for me to use as well; I think I will use those.

I plan  to  use this for teaching though;  I  am teaching a small writing class for the Williamsport Area High School. I have never taught high  school before; it is actually a  very good group of students. Very sweet  kids–they range between 10th and 12th grades. I felt like I was a teacher in one of those turn-of-the-century one-room-one-teacher rural village schools–like Goldsmith’s village schoolmaster–last week; the high school had to shut off electricity for maintenance or something and they moved us from the high school to the middle school. And the middle school was low-tech and they were doing renovations as well–there was a blackboard and somebody had left a crayon instead of chalk. I walked around and found some chalk pieces in another classroom.  Anyway, my students were wondering how we can learn without smartboards and gadgetry etc. Relax, I told them, I am from India; I can teach with nothing at all. A good group of kids; keep in touch, and if you should come to LHU for university, stop by and say hello, okay?

My high school teaching gets over next week. K and D and our niece are all going to the UK this coming Monday for two weeks. I am staying home with the dogs; it is hard to board them for two weeks. I plan to read a lot–I am reading this fascinating book on the cultural history of the periodic table of elements by Hugh Aldersey-Williams–I have always loved chemistry — work on my book, watch a lot of movies, work in my garden, and clean my daughter’s room; sorry, honey, you will be shocked when you return. D is so excited; she gets to see the Olympics quarter semi-finals for women’s soccer, and she gets to go hiking in Scotland. Bring back a tartan kilt/skirt for me. Scottish men have such good taste in clothes.

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