Names Have Been Changed to Protect Me.

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The following story is entirely made up and is in no way about anyone I have ever met or anyone I will ever meet in the future. In fact, I didn’t even write this blog. It just showed up like a stray cat. That’s my story and I am sticking to it. If I am sued, it is my hope that the court case will drag out for years and by then, God willing, I will be dead before any money exchanges hands.

This week was our first day of school. I am so thankful summer is over and we are back at work. Thankfully, no more days cluttered up with vacations, golf, and naps. It is time to get back to shaping the future. Duty calls and as soldiers in the Army of Education, we all must respond. (only the first 8 words of this paragraph can be considered anywhere close to truthful)

On my first full day, I received a very nice card from a teacher who retired last spring. She retired after nearly 107 years of teaching (really 40). I always enjoyed having her on staff. Actually, I guess I was on her staff since she started her teaching career in August 1967 and I was born two months later.

She was always very kind and tolerated me (another in a long line of snot-nosed administrators she had to work under).

Mrs. HERNAMEHASBEENCHANGEDBECAUSEICAN’TAFFORDTOBESUED wasn’t too happy four years ago when we went to a computer program for student grades. In fact, it was insinuated that she would not be participating in anything to do with computers, printers, or other machines of the Devil.E-mail Isn't That Scary.<

I am happy to say, that with the help of her fellow teachers, a student teacher, a janitor, three secretaries, two tech people, four cooks, a really bright first grader, a crossing guard, and a boatload of prayer that she conquered the evil computer program and was able to eventually enter all of her own grades.

Next, we decided to turn it up a notch and teach her to email. Wow. Enough said.

I must admit that she also eventually learned this difficult task. I was quite proud that she even attempted to email let alone become proficient at it. Although, there were several months in there where she only read email; never actually responding to a message. But I told her, there was no reason to get crazy right off the bat; it was important for us to pace ourselves. There would be plenty of years ahead to learn the skill of hitting the SEND button.

Well, time flew and before I knew it Mrs. HERNAMEHASBEENCHANGED… was ready to retire and take her technology knowledge with her. I assumed that she would probably never touch a computer again.

Over the summer I started to hear some disturbing stories involving her and a laptop. The stories turned out to be true; she had indeed purchased one. All of the work we had done, the harsh words that had been exchanged, and the tears that were shed evidently were worth it.

Once I received the card, I thought it would be funny to email her. I figured that in retirement, she would check her email religiously every 12 weeks or so and get back to me sometime around Thanksgiving.

Much to my surprise she emailed me back in roughly 3 minutes. I felt proud that while we had encouraged (okay, forced) her to use technology, that she was now using it in her everyday life.

Over the course of the next few hours, we emailed back and forth. I grew more and more impressed.

What happened next was both shocking and horrifying. If you are the least bit squeamish, now is a good time to look away from the screen.

Mrs. HERNAMEHASBEENCHANGEDBECAUSEICAN’TAFFORDTOBESUED emailed me saying that she noticed I didn’t instant message! She has been using messenger all summer.

She has gone from being afraid that a computer would bite her, to instant messaging. Amazing. And unbelievable. Even shocking. We had created a technology monster. It is true what they say, anything is possible.

Then a little bit of sadness overcame me as I realized my work here was done. They grow up so fast.

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5 Responses to “Names Have Been Changed to Protect Me.”

  1. Nancy
    on Aug 20th, 2007
    @ 6:17 pm

    I’m chuckling outloud! Keep up the good work. N.

    I submitted this and got this scary message–you’ve even filtered your own blog.

    Your comment did not contain a Session-Hash. Comments can only be made on this blog when having cookies enabled!
    Your comment could not be added because comments for this entry have either been disabled, you entered invalid data, or your comment was caught by anti-spam measurements.

  2. nancy
    on Aug 20th, 2007
    @ 6:20 pm

    The reason my response was originally blocked is because I had a blogger homepage, the second time I submitted I put in my students’ blog site and this time I’m putting in my website.

    My explanations are longer than original post!!

  3. Chris Lehmann
    on Aug 20th, 2007
    @ 10:54 pm

    Funny… back when I was a technology coordinator, she taught at MY school too!

  4. Angie
    on Aug 21st, 2007
    @ 6:22 am

    Just starting reading your blog. Now have it bookmarked. Keep up the good work.

  5. Lisa Parisi
    on Sep 9th, 2007
    @ 6:59 pm

    I think Mrs.HERNAMEHASBEENCHANGED has a sister in my school! Hopefully her sister will also soon learn the excitement in technology.

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