Digital Learner – Digital Native or Why I went to the Bookstore Today

I had a meltdown. Snotty, weeping, heartbreaking meltdown. It was triggered by a misunderstanding with someone I love as much as life itself. I screeched a FU and hung up.  To have a misunderstanding there has to be an understanding in the first place but, in this case, something I was trying to convey was being heard wrong. On  the other end of the line I heard stress. . . off all kinds. which I can relate. I’ve been around a while, kicked around too.

I am fortunate to have a husband who will hold me when I weep. To be able to weep right now is great. for last year, I felt nothing inside. So while the meltdowns are hard, they are feelings being felt in real time. Somewhere in the grips with my emotions, feeling the fragility of my own being, I heard one of my mother’s sayings. After a surgery there are three crucial points of healing: two days, two weeks, two months.

A little over two weeks ago I had my third surgery in three years. . . arthroscopic on my left shoulder. Now, here is how I lack compassion toward myself: I minimize my own struggles. In this case the itty-bitty shitty committee in my mind says:  It was not as bad as the right shoulder. It was not cancer. I am healing and doing very well. But I got cut on, again. Two Weeks.

Two months ago today my grandson arrived.  All today’s babies are born into the digital age. They are native. My kids are native. There are many ways I am looking to learn from them. I am digital learner. I am life long learner, that we can be open to learn from every experience. It’s exhausting. . . here I am blogging! Learning. I figure it’s more fun than doing a PhD. (Which is something I had been contemplating.)  But here, it’s not about papers on theory, it’s about practice. I’m a worker bee. I work. I learn.

I know that to blog is to be public, which I am comfortable with. I believe if someone wants to find you out, find out about you, here in the digital age, they will. It’s not conspiracy for me, just acceptance. I think this was true in our analog society but now it’s fast and cheap and international. There are some good books and articles on this subject already. ‘ “Avatar” Life in the Digital Age’ by James Fallows is one to look at.  One book, written a while back (yes, I cannot remember the title) held a basic concept that it was fine to put up cameras around the city at traffic lights as long as there were cameras at the police station to. True, democratic transparency.

My thinking is hide in plain sight. But this is my choice and my prospective raises concerns for those with small children, and parents wanting to protect them. Protecting children I get, right down to my pinky-toe, I’ve been at the parent thing a long time and there are things I did get to protect my child from. He’s now a man. He’s still my son.

My other mother, my mentor and Bubbe, Grace Paley, once said to me, “You’re always his mother. We never stop being the mother.” She taught my son to eat the Vietnamese soup Pho. She and my mother thought he was a great kid who would do good works. They were right. Yet they could not foresee the scope of the digital age, nor could I foresee my need to make sure I help him protect his family on a new level.

This is my job but I want to blog.  I need to make my life again. I need work and no one is knocking on my door to hire me or publish my work. I’ve gotten exceedingly few free rides, or open doors. I am stating a fact, not whining. So blogging, this is the path that makes the most sense.

And yet,  I went to the book store because I needed analog input. I needed to smell books and feel them in my hand. It didn’t hurt that I had a gift card. I bought a modern poetry anthology. I bought Larry McMurty and a historic novel and the start of Islam. . .all on sale. I bought Richard Feynman (at pull price) , “What do You Care What Other People Think?” That’s my scope, my version of self-help and mental escape (other than watching Bones or Mad Men, of late).

Please, digital learners and digital natives, if you know me, my personal background, please keep it to yourself and respond to the posts as you want. I want to be very clear that my loved ones are private and wish to be private. I will not use their names (except Charlie), or where they live. This was asked of me and seeing as this blog is about me, poetry, food and such, who they are and where they are is not the point yet, on the other hand, being his mom, being Charlie’s wife shapes who I am.  Everyday.

It’s a grand thing to be a woman who breaks, who loves so deeply, to have a relationship that is so trusted that misunderstandings happen and amends can be made. That after thirty years I can weep when I feel like I’ve done harm, that I’ve made a mistake that makes him feel unsafe in the world and send a text that says, I am sorry. I am sorry.

4 thoughts on “Digital Learner – Digital Native or Why I went to the Bookstore Today

  1. Charlie January 4, 2011 / 6:00 PMJan

    The book referred to in paragraph 5 is:

    “The transparent society : will technology force us to choose between privacy and freedom?” by David Brin

  2. C January 4, 2011 / 6:00 PMJan

    Bravo! Love you.


  3. melissa Shook January 3, 2011 / 6:00 PMJan

    Well, this is wonderful to read…thank you for putting your foot into the waters…I send much appreciation and love and if I only knew how to bookmark, I could do that so you’d be handy, this version of you…

    you must teach me how to bookmark, please…

    • ammiblog January 4, 2011 / 6:00 PMJan

      well you can click on RSS and you’ll get email updates. . .also, since you’re on a MAC, just drag and drop. . .I use Mozilla and I click on the little icon in the corner of a site and drag and drop it into the bar. . . I”m not saying this well yet. Thanks!

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