Absent friends??

I miss all of you when I can’t post or read other blogs owing to my busy life, which seems some days to be a round of visits to doctors and dentists. Plus, Fridays are generally difficult for me because I am wiped out from class the night before.  My brain begins to work around 6:00 PM the next day.

I spent yesterday sorting through material for my last term paper.  I am sort of nostalgic because this will be the last paper I write, but not THAT nostalgic (I am not completely nuts). I have loved being in school all these many years, and will miss the stimulating intellectual interaction with other students and some of the professors more than anything else.

One of the great perks of being in class with history students is that they appreciate old people.  We are the living fossils they want to get to know better.  Although I have despaired of the young at times, I really like these young history kids.  Of course this is a ridiculous expression. Most of these graduate students are in their thirties and my professor in his forties (maybe), and I thought I was so old when I was in my thirties and genuinely ancient when I was in my forties.

Truth is, I always worked with people either older or younger than me, and few my age.  But this was the destiny of a genuine “girl” War Baby as my Mom called us kids born between 1940 and 1945.  We are a small cohort (our dads were  often far away) and many of my sex and age did not go to college. Our parents were the ‘Greatest Generation who survived wars and the Great Depression. We missed the 1930s and we preceeded the Baby Boom that took place after the War.  We understand the perspective of most folks because we have been exposed to so many different kinds of people over our lifetimes having worked several menial jobs before finding the male dominated employment gates opened to us in the 1970s. 

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During break Thursday night, the boys were reliving a Simpson episode, and when I asked them where the dialog came from, they told me Bert Simpson.  I have never watched this TV program and only know it from hearing kids talk about it. I told them so, and told them I watch BBC and International programming.  At which point one of the boys asked me if I had seen the new Sherlock Holmes episodes, particularly season 2.  “It blows season 1 out of the water,” he said.  Now I must confess, I had to watch the episodes from season 1 twice to get some of the “jokes.”  I never thought any actor could compete with Jeremy Brett, but I was wrong. 

The discussion evolved into one about buying DVDs from England if you are tired of waiting for them to arrive in the US. I told him I had done that and even bought a player that plays Region 2 DVDs. Actually, my new player plays any kind of DVD. 

At any rate, we next jumped to the new Soldier, Tailor, Tinker Spy, and I sort of wowed the kid with what I knew about John Le Carre and the actual events behind the story. I also told him what a big scandal it was in the 1960s when Kim Philby and his spy network were brought down by British Intelligence. The story behind the story is almost more fascinating than the book LeCarre wrote.  Of course, I told the boy I was not going to see the new film. I like the old TV miniseries, and don’t want it spoiled.  I still get goose bumps watching it.

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Later in the class, the professor said the book we read for Thursday night reminded him of why he hated the MLA footnotes.  Mistakenly, I said, I don’t think the Kindle version has that problem. Paul, a classmate said, my Kindle version has the MLA footnotes.  “But her Kindle is bigger, said the professor.  He diverted the conversation, but I realized later my version did have MLA footnotes, I just ignored them.  The Chicago school of footnotes is what scholars like these days. Fine with me.  We used this type of footnotes in my last job.  Now, the argument is about footnotes versus end notes.  Geeeez.  

 Thursday, the professor was listing the three stages of corporate development and when he got to number 3, I said “government bailouts.”  This got a big laugh from the class, but my comment shows I am still a young smart ass at heart.  I think this is why the kids like me.  I can be as juvenile as any of them. Maybe I am returning to my second childhood.  No that cannot be, I cannot return to something I never did before, can I?  Goodness, I can’t deal with these imponderables so early in the morning.

Fortunately, my prof is as big a smart ass as I am.  He usually has a retort. Perhaps we never outgrow this??  As John Wayne said of Mattie in ‘True Grit’, I like him, he reminds me of me. Have we both have spent too much time with the younger generation, or is smart assness congenital? 

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This afternoon, I will read a second chapter in my book for next week, Making America Corporate 1870-1920, by Oliver Zunz. I like this book very much and intend that I read every page. Sometimes, I just skim a book if I don’t like it.  This book looks so good I am hanging on every detail  Besides, the author is critical of leftist thinking which I find thought-provoking (Last week’s book was written by a sociological historian and was a bit Marxist).  I like reading the counterpoint. Also never knew anyone with two Zs in their name.  

11 thoughts on “Absent friends??

  1. So, Dianne, could we talk about a re-visioning of “public education”? Why not continue to make it an option as long as a person was interested? Just posted about my own small-scale student life, referencing your own ambitious efforts.

    Your description of exchanging with younger classmates rings true for me. Helps me understand some–not all– of the comments/jokes on John Stewart and Colbert.

    Oh, yes, you will want to know how to fund true lifelong education. We can talk about that too!

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  2. Sounds like you’re as busy as ever. I never thought about it, but I can see how a person our age would be appreciated in a history class … as opposed to the ridicule we suffer in a computer class (although in my case, the ridicule is deserved!)

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  3. So history students revere the old?? Makes sense. Maybe this functioning fossil needs to go back to school.
    Keep them on their toes Dianne and glad your professor has a sense of humor.

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  4. I too miss writing papers, and even more I miss the research. So as a solution, I keep on writing them. There was such a tepid response to my last paper that I’m going to only publish one or two copies….me and the kids. I was thinking about a short paper on the adaptations of short line railways next. Now there’s an American History topic.

    Kids….the one who said she would never talk to me again, talks almost every day. The other, who I doted on, I have great trouble talking with because of her denials. I tell them both I love them. It’s the best I can do.

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