13 February 2009

The Difference 55 Years Makes

This week I spent a large part of one day with teenagers. I started out at a charter school (I have some things to say about charter schools) teaching a class of seniors about researching with databases (a topic that I cannot figure out how to make interesting and therefore do not try) and ended the day wrangling a group of teen volunteers. Today I spent some quality time with my elderly computer class. Here's the difference between our teen volunteers and our elderly computer class:

1. The elderly do not crawl under tables or pull themselves across floors using only their elbows.
2. The elderly do not giggle like hyenas at everything they or their friends say.
3. The elderly do not whisper that they will tell all the secrets they know about the person sitting next to them if that person will not do as they say.
4. The elderly do not develop violent (vocal) crushes on one another.
4. When I tell the elderly that all cell phones must be turned off before we begin, they do not move. They don't bring cell phones to the library. They bring giant handbags and all the handouts I've ever given them and brand new laptops that they can't figure out how to turn on.
5. When I tell teen volunteers that all electronic devices must be turned off before we begin, they have many gadgets to shove into their pockets.
6. After a computer class, the elderly tell me how smart and helpful and wonderful I am. They tell me that they're so disappointed that I'm leaving the library and that no one else will be able to teach them the mysteries of copying and pasting as well as I just did here in this room tonight.
7. After a teen volunteer experience, the teens ask me why I didn't bring them treats.


Heidi said...

Priceless Post. And painfully true.

Anonymous said...

a violent crush? that is an amazingly descriptive statement.


Ann-Marie said...

so true!

EP said...

Wonderful observations! I feel like citing you in my ya observation paper due Wednesday. :)

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