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Steering Madeline through the 21st CenturyPosted Monday, December 19, 2011, at 5:31 AM
There is no time when I feel more vulnerable to the ravages of time than Christmas. As I look out my window and see how the world is changing, I realize that I can't stay locked up in my little box, where things will stay the same forever.
Last Thursday, my best friend and I drove through the country darkness north of Cape Girardeau, Mo. to see my 5-year-old grandson Evan stand on wooden risers and sing Christmas songs with 100 of his classmates in the Nell Holcomb K-4 Christmas program.
While we were waiting for the other parents, grandparents, uncles, cousins (everybody but the family dog) to arrive, we walked down to the kindergarten classroom to look at the children's' artwork. Sure enough, there were the annual Letters to Santa on the wall outside the classroom. We found Evan's letter and stood in bewilderment, as we read his scrawled Christmas list to Santa.
"He wants a DSS," I said. "What on earth is a DSS?"
"Some sort of new-fangled gadget," said my friend.
Looking over the rest of the letters on the wall, we realized that this "DSS" was undoubtedly the must-have gift of the season. Practically every child had asked for one.
Needless to say, a "DSS" is NOT what I have in the back bedroom, waiting to be wrapped for his Christmas present from MiMi. I have a big AB-115 Shark Airplane with three action figures. This gift is something that I will be able to watch him play with. I may not understand all the technology of the real piece of military weaponry, but it's something that exists in the real world--not somewhere in the dim, distant world of virtual reality.
I asked one of my younger, more "hip" friends on Facebook what a "DSS" was, and she explained.
"It's a personal video game player. It's about twice the size of an iPhone and they make little tiny cartridges for the games (which get lost almost as soon as you open the package)" said my young friend Cara Mayberry, mother of two very bright boys, five and three.
Cara is my "go to" person for all things new-and-challenging-in-the-modern age. In fact, I might classify anything developed since 1975 as "the modern age." I'm always asking for enlightenment on music that slipped by me, and Cara will post a video for my education and enjoyment.
I am reminded of an adorable video making the rounds a while back: A baby girl (barely old enough to sit on her own) was browsing through a slick color magazine, when she put her chubby little finger down on a picture and poked it, over and over! We viewers finally realized that she thought the magazine was like an ipad! She was expecting it to open by touch and reveal its secrets! Not even walking yet, and she understood the concept of a touch screen!!!
Oh! Oh! Oh! I am lost! I am lost!!!
I am not able to fathom the world in which that baby will live! I can only pray that, however far technology advances, God will watch over our children and be with them as they journey into a future beyond our wildest imaginations.
From the ancient, unchanged hills of Crowley's Ridge in Southeast Missouri, this is your bewildered and befuddled reporter, Madeline, trying hard to paddle a leaky boat through the muddy waters of the modern age!
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Madeline (Giles) DeJournett is the Advance writer for the North Stoddard Countian. A retired high school English/history teacher, she spent 32 years teaching in 5 schools in Missouri and Alaska. These days, she lives quietly with a menagerie of wild and domestic animals on 52 secluded acres in the remote Tillman hills south of Advance. She graduated from Dexter High School in 1960 and Southeast Missouri State in 1964. She can be contacted at email@example.com.