Back to School

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Back to School

Create Challenge September 2021 by Freewayriding

One of the most common anxiety dreams is the type where you are taking an exam and nothing makes sense. I've had plenty of those dreams.

My school days happened in the 1960s, a period that happened so long ago that they almost seem like something from another planet or a movie plot. (In "Hearts in Atlantis," Stephen King wonders if the events from that era even really happened. He was writing about college days at U. Maine during that period, which, King being King, he made even more improbable than they had to be. Go, King).

High school days: I remember 1964 and 1965, when I was taking two years of Latin (my best subject). The teacher wanted to be a priest, but he was kicked out because of his bad temper. I don't dream about Latin exams, deo gratias.

I remember getting on buses to to go to regional and All-State choral performance and rehearsals. Nowadays, singers go on Zoom and record their own vocal parts so the director can stitch them into a unified performance. I liked the old way better. Even if you are allowed to attend a church service in person nowadays, you'll have to do everything (including singing the hymns) wearing a mask. Thanks a lot, Covid-19!

Laptop computers did not exist in the 1960s. Computers then were enormous, and involved push-cards and light bulbs and tape. Students didn't have their own computers. We had notebooks and pens and pencils and slide rules. A nerd was someone who had a pocket protector for the pens in his shirt pocket (I doubt that girls had similar pockets). The world still has nerds, though I'd bet that what they put in their pockets isn't pens.

College days: There were huge lecture classes, usually conducted by Teaching Assistants. We would take notes by writing them with pens in notebooks Teaching Assistants probably still exist, but students in my state are required to have laptops. They would type notes on their keyboards. Homework could be assigned online, though blackboards are still used. At least they will be in late 2021. In 2020, because of Covid-19 they gathered dust.

In my last year of college (1970), student protests were everywhere. Nowadays, it's the adults that protest. And it isn't our foreign wars that are being protested.

Yep, I imagined all of it.

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