Not bad for a fat girl


Throwback Thursday – College Applications

Since my son is in the throes of this momentous process, I thought I would take the opportunity to compare and contrast his experience with mine.CommonAppLogo-small1

First off, I applied to colleges in the mid-1980’s, long before not only internet, but personal computers. Every application was paper, and had to be requested from the university (or just arrived in the mail unsolicited), Each one had to be filled out in ink, either by hand (frowned upon) or by typewriter. Of course if you made a mistake, it would show, even if you used correcting tape or fluid. Accuracy was important. So was lining up the printed lines on the application with your responses. It was easy to make even the most carefully thought out application appear haphazard and sloppy.

My son has the luxury of using the computer for his applications. His responses are neat and clean, and there’s a common application that many of the universities utilize, so he doesn’t have to input his data over and over. He can also word process his essays, then paste them into the appropriate fields depending on the school to which he’s applying. I can easily look over his work, and suggest minor edits that he’s likely to implement, since they don’t mean starting from scratch.

Just like Dad's old typewriter, my friend from applications all the way through graduation.

Just like Dad’s old typewriter, my friend from applications all the way through graduation.

When I did applications, letters of reference had to be handed to my teachers, along with pre-addressed, stamped envelopes. Each university expected the letter to be composed on its own form, no photo-copies allowed. Test score reports and transcripts were handled in much the same way.

My son, on the other hand, just needs to login to the test score company to request score reports, and there’s another website that handles his transcripts. His teachers are happy to provide letters of reference, since they keep a file and copy and paste it as many times as are necessary. The whole process is fast, easy, and painless. Well, pretty painless. There are still costs involved, but the time and stress that are saved are immeasurable.

I wish all of today’s resources had been around when I was applying to colleges. I would have tried for more scholarships, for one thing. I would have saved a ton of time, for another. I’m glad my son has these resources. Now to sit back and wait for the results.


Throwback Thursday – Tech Toys

apple_mac128I know it’s late, and it may not even be Thursday anymore where you are, but I had to get this off my chest. I miss the old days of technology. There. I said it. Maybe it’s only because my expectations were so much lower then, and maybe it’s because I’m currently having fits because my phone and my computer don’t want to play nicely together (and I HAVE to get those pictures off the phone!), but it seems like tech wasn’t as overwhelming back in the day.

Here are a few tech blasts from the past that you may remember (if you’re as old as I am).

1. The old daisy wheel printer. Remember carefully tearing the sides off the paper before you handed in your assignments?

2. The first little Macs. Oh my, were those groundbreaking. I remember a friend had one in college, and it was totally radical. I mean, it had like six fonts and everything!dysentery

3. Printing out pictures with computer characters. My brother had a young lady pinned to his wall that was created entirely out of keyboard characters. Geek.

4. Flip phones. I loved mine. I kind of miss it, even if it wasn’t smart.

5. The original Oregon Trail game for the old Apple computers that seemed to be in almost elementary school in the country. A whole generation of kids wound their way westward and tried to survive the digital versions of  hardships the pioneers faced.

What do you miss? Dad’s Betamax? Your Tamagotchi? How about the old 8 track player in your brother’s van? I’d love to hear some of your memories from years gone by. Pong anyone?


Throwback Thursday – Internet

Remember the good old days, before internet? No? I do, but it seems like ancient history now. Here are some of the oldies but goodies from my personal internet past. How many of these experiences do we share?

1. Dial up. Ugh. It was so slow, and it tied up the telephone line. Some people even went so far as to put in a second telephone line. Imagine.

images2. Prodigy Online Service. I was never an AOL girl. I got my start on Prodigy and liked it just fine. I participated in a bunch of online quilting swaps through Prodigy, and really enjoyed connecting with quilters across the country.

3. Parent Soup. I loved this online community when my son was a baby. I participated in the mom’s group for the month and year of his birth and really got to know many of the other moms and their babies. We created a cookbook together, we celebrated milestones together, and one of the girls even sent me flowers in the hospital when I had surgery.

4. Geocities. They hosted all sorts of cheesy webpages. Our baby webpages from the Parent Soup mom’s group were hosted by Geocities, and by golly they were adorable.

5. Yahoo Message Boards. My scrapbook buddies and I were part of a group that used a Yahoo Message Board, and it worked really well for us. In addition to all the conversation threads, there was a chat feature, which we used for a formal chat session once a week, and informally all the time. It was so cool to chat with friends in New Zealand!

Today’s technology makes these formally cutting edge services seem antiquated, or at the very least, quaint. I wonder what’s around the corner to make today’s internet seem like it’s from the dark ages. Whatever it is, I’m sure there will be a place for me.