Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The digital age passes us by

Yesterday was one of those moments you needed to be paying attention. You don't get a ton of those. I remember when the Challenger blew up because we were all in class together watching it on TV. I remember when the Rodney King riots happened because I was home eating dinner and watching the news with my parents. I remember when September 11th happened because the kids came in my classroom and told me to turn on the news. And yesterday I made sure my homeroom didn't miss the new president's first speech.

They missed the oath of office because it took place during the exact moment when they changed classes.

We don't have cable or sattelite at our school so I was planning to hook my computer up to the LCD projector. I actually got the Fox News feed okay on my laptop but for some reason the projector absolutely refused to recognize my computer so we had to go bunny ears.

The reception was shit so I put tin foil on top of the antenna. The reception was still bad so on the suggestion of a kid I put styrofoam cups on top of the bunny ears. So right now the TV looks more than a little ridiculous.

It's great that we're all going digital, but this digital thing is going to leave a few of us behind. Come February, the entire student body at our school will no longer be able to witness historical moments live. Very few teachers have a projector - I only have access to one because the office forgot where it was, so the teacher next door and I share it secretly (not Journalism Teacher). We use it a lot, so it's not like we're just hording for the sake of it. Plus I'm not entirely sure the majority of teachers in this school even know how to use it.

Anyway, when the air antenna is gone, so is our access to instant news. We can watch DVDs and we can huddle around my computer or I can coax the projector into being a little less prudish with its connections, but most of the school will remain oblivious. And we're not the only school with this problem.

Some teachers didn't even try. Teachers without TVs just shrugged their shoulders instead of bringing the kids into another teacher's room to watch. Some teachers with TVs made their homerooms do worksheets instead of watching. I made my watch. Some of them wanted to play Uno but I told them to sit down and stare at the television, dammit. A few years from now when their kids are in school and they come home and ask what it was like when the awesomest man alive was elected president, I don't want them to say "I don't know, son. I was more worried about getting stuck with that Wild Card."

Come February that's going to be the norm I guess. I hope nothing important happens.


  1. I didn't even try- they can watch it on the news- but I did write the word 'FINALLY!' under the date and gave away all of my leftover Obama stickers.

  2. did you see the Yahoo News article today that when Obama's staff arrived at the White House, they were SHOCKED by how old, slow and crappy the computers were.... lol

  3. No I did not see that. Ahh government. Always years behind the rest of the country.


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