My name is Lori Fulk, and it should be said up-front: I used to have very big plans. I was in my 30's and happily ensconced in a Neuroscience Research career when I met a funny, smart guy, and married him. We could have stopped there, and stuck with our "very big plans", but God has some plans of his own. We now have 2 gifted daughters, 1 who is "twice-gifted", which is a fancy way of saying some gifted kids are born with Special Needs. It makes for one crazy game of Poker, I assure you. And because humor is my first-line drug of choice, I started writing (and laughing) about our family's journey 8 years ago. Parenting has taught me many things, but the most important being we all have ideas about being parents, until the actual birth of our children. Wisdom in parenting doesn't come quickly, and it certainly doesn't come easily. Wisdom Comes Suddenly.
February 17, 2014 | 05:45 PM
That's it. I'm signing off. I am officially a dinosaur in the Information Age, and by the time my children get to college, we won't be able to communicate in any form. I simply cannot keep up. It's not because I've never used a hash tag. It's not because I don't have an account on Instagram. It's not even related to my paper calendar (It's OK to avoid me in public. I'm one with my shame.). No, the reason I've become a fossil is because I can no longer read a map.
Here is my story:
Kelly has a violin recital on a college campus this week, and upon receiving the name of the building, I tried to locate it on the campus "Interactive Map". It was such a pretty, colorful map, and had the appearance of being almost 3-dimensional. These crazy computer people! What will they think of next? Sara is guessing the next big invention will be Time Machines with heaters that can sense when she is cold. Brilliant. If I'm going back in time, I want to be warm, and I DO NOT WANT TO TOUCH ANY BUTTONS. Touching buttons is just so July 2013 (the Information Age just got faster, folks).
Then I noticed the Interactive Map had no street names. Hmm, it's "interactive", right? I tried talking to it. Nothing. I tried clicking here and there. Maybe if I clicked HARDER? Maybe if I...sang a song about how my iPhone only likes me as a friend, much like this Interactive Map. Nope. Nothing. Reload. Refresh. Hashtag curses. Hashtag, why doesn't this map show North, and why is 3-D so hard to read a computer screen? Fine, I'll be oh-so 2010, find a street address, and Google Map it. Um? Address? Click-Click-Click...and to clarify, I have officially found the only Campus in America which has Top Secret Street Addresses.
This was quite a predicament. Luckily, my technology education occurred in the 80's, and Molly Ringwald taught me how to use a phone. I teased my bangs, put on a neon sweatshirt, and phoned the building's main number:
Me: Hello! I need to locate your building, and for some reason, my computer isn't loading the street names on your Interactive Map.
Admissions: Let me look...oh yes. There are no street names on our Interactive Map.
Me: Oh well, that explains it. Do you have another map available online?
Admissions: No, just that one. But as you can see, our Building is labeled #17.
Me: Does that correspond to an address?
Admissions: No. Just look for Building #17, and we're right there.
Me: Right where?
Admissions: On the map.
Me: Do you have a street address?
Admissions: Do you have an iPhone?
Me: I do, but I'm at my Mac right now. It's easier for me to use the big screen.
Admissions: Yes, but we have a free app that you can download, and it's great. It will guide you straight to our building.
Me: I could just type your address into Google Maps. I have it open.
Admissions: The app is free. Maybe you have an iPad?
Me: I do, but I really never use it. Um, but? Maybe you could just give me the street address? Do you know where you are located?
Admissions: Easy to find, we are in the big, red brick building with the big, white steeple.
Me: I can't actually see that steeple from where I am right now. Maybe you could look for a piece of mail lying about. It might have an actual street address on it.
Admissions: Oh yes, we do have a street address. I can give it to you if you'd like.
Me: That would be so great. Thank you.
And there you have it, proof that I can no longer function in the Information Age. I'm the type of person who uses street addresses, and apparently EXACT LOCATIONS are going out of style. Not having any idea "where the hell you are", is trending. My kids are going to grow up and complain to their friends about how their Mom is so old-fashioned because she likes to know where she's going BEFORE she gets in the car. "We got her a heated time machine for her birthday, and do you know what she did? She went roller skating in 1982. Who does that?!"
I'll tell you who does that: the kind of woman who misses phone books, conversations with actual humans, and movies starring John Candy. Wake me up when my toasty Time Machine arrives...