With the start of the school year, there’s always the plethora of falsehoods and other nonsense surrounding the phrase “back in my day…”
You’ll hear them when old people gather around a table at a diner or at any similar gathering.
“Why, back in my day, I never talked back to my parents and always did what I was told.”
This has always made me laugh, as “always doing what you’re told” and “never talking back” usually means that you’ve really never made a decision or thought for yourself.
Most parents I know don’t defer to other people when raising their own kids. In fact, I know far too many more than willing to interject their own opinions on other families when asked or not.
Everyone has disagreements with their parents, even on the rare occasion. And no, not everything your parents or elders had to say was in your best interests. In fact, I would wager that they were often in their own interests.
The main problem with the above idea, however, is that it brings out the nostalgia filter in so many people.
“Things were better back in my day,” you’ll hear that old man or woman say. “Things were simpler” or “things were better,” and so forth.
So, when your child is able to look something up instantly on an iPad or other tablet device within 30 seconds rather than having to travel to a library to find a book on the subject, that’s not better than the past?
When you can go anywhere you want and still be able to communicate with friends and family through vocal or text communications instead of having to be at home all day waiting for that phone call that might not come, that’s not better than in the past?
Also, when you get some sort of illness, do you go to the doctor and get some medicine or do you rely on some sort of quack therapy that “worked in the old country?”
There are plenty of other examples: Washing clothes now takes about an hour instead of an entire day. Preparing dinner can take as little as 30 minutes to complete.
Driving to San Diego can take two hours instead of two days, water comes through a municipal faucet instead of having to be pumped from an underground well. The list goes on.
The truth is, things are much better and easier today than ever before. The only real complaint is that things that used to take all day to accomplish can be finished within minutes or hours and we have a high amount of leisure time to otherwise occupy.
In any event, I’d take today over
Whenever anyone asks what the first memory of school I have, I usually give a generic answer, like seeing the big blue pencils for the first time or meeting the other kids or something similar to that.
The truth is that my first school memory is a little more complicated and a lot more humorous than I cared to admit…
Almost 30 years ago, my mother took a naïve little boy to his first day of kindergarten. It was an afternoon session, and the teacher taught the little boy several important rules, including “stay in lines” and “don’t speak unless spoken to.”
The other important rule he learned was “when the bell rings, get in line.”
The second day, that naïve little boy’s grandmother, who did not know about split schedules, took that naïve little boy to the morning session, where he wandered around the “big kid’s” play area until a bell rang. He then got into the first line he saw and found himself in a third grade classroom moments later.
Ten minutes after that, the naïve little boy found himself in the company of his new, proper teacher, who then called his mother and informed her of what happened.
Needless to say, that night was the first time I ever heard my mother scream at grandma. I’m still not sure of the definitions of some of the words Mom used, and I’ve spent a long time doing research!
In Conclusion, now that September has begun, let’s get out of the habit of complaining about the heat to everyone within earshot. After all, the heat will hopefully only last for a little while longer.
Still, for those of you who have the compulsion to ramble…
Fear not, o’ great complainers of the Imperial Valley, for winter shall descend upon us and you shall be ignored once more when you cry “it’s too cold…”
Until Next Time…