A small thought can lead to the profound…
This morning while sharing some thoughts on my childhood with two of my children, I looked at myself in the mirror. I have a pair of glasses which I consider ‘googlers’. These spectacles are not my favorite, but they have the most features. I could not find my sunshades and resorted to their photo-grade feature of darkening with the sun. Thus began this whimsical conversation as I asked,
“How did Google decide on the name google, I wonder if they were thinking of googlers?”
My son and daughter looked at me mystified and wary of how I would respond to this rhetorical question? I have this strange habit when I’m thinking to ask and answer questions all at once. Then of course a historical moment of reminiscing, brought forth the following;
“When I was at school we called some spectacles ‘googlers’. Googlers were the type of frames and lenses which brilliant professors and children wore. You had to have super intelligence to wear these, and every scientist was thought to own a pair, in my opinion in those days. ( never saw a pair on the brilliant scientist and my friend Milos Djukic, maybe he is the exception to the rule). My thoughts are on the folks who started google and if they wanted to establish a brilliant brand with seeing and vision.”
My son interjected at that point while his sister rolled her eyes, “makes some kind of sense mom,” as his sister said, “but Google has always been google and it does not matter why.” Thus I was forced, willingly to explain further;
“In my day as a child there was no Google. We had encyclopedias of information which one would have to be privileged to acquire as they were quite expensive. In fact, I recall your Grandma, ordering a set of the least expensive volumes , they were basic 27 pieces index included, for approximately $4000. Education was important to mom, and she sacrificed to pay the deposit and monthly installments of over $200.”
My son gasped, “wow, that’s a lot of money even for then”, so I described the twenty-six volumes from A to Z of information collected, written, edited, reviewed, published and promoted as the way to gain knowledge. In fact, the index was necessary because this was the ‘search engine’… my daughter exclaims halting my explanation, “what about Wikipedia, thank God for that!” As I continued to explain how we got information and the importance of the ‘scientific journals’ in special volumes, they looked incredulous, and I was happy to continue their ‘education’!
“Your aunt wanted the scientific volumes but we could not afford it and had to be satisfied with reading ‘The Book Of Knowledge’ as our encyclopedia was branded. This was a blue and cream version of Encyclopedia Britannica which was the Mercedes, and we had the Nissan basic model. These books had a place a grand display in our living room bookcase with a glass sliding front. Only one could be used at any time, always replaced in alphabetical order and we were not allowed to fold the pages or mark the book. There was even insurance cover for these volumes. I was approximately 8 years old and your aunt was 10 years when we got our set, and it was like winning a lottery for everyone in the house.”
Having gained some rapt attention, I went further back in time.
“When I started school at 3 years plus, we would learn to write with a blackboard and sticks of white chalk. Our homework was done on mini blackboards which we would take to school and if we were lucky our teacher would use colored chalk on the big blackboard in the classroom. Our eraser was a piece of sponge or special felted eraser made for these boards. Later, at 6 years old, I would start using a pencil and a rubber eraser, this was a great experience as I could make mistakes I wished to make and correct them if they were noticed. It also meant we were being prepared for the ‘big’ moment, when, at 7 years it was time to enter into the major league.”
They were laughing loudly at this point, as I continued;
“The fountain ink pen was every child’s ambition as it meant you were becoming an adult and could be trusted with ‘ink’. Everyone knew you were ‘big’ by the ink stains on your shirt, skirt, and plastic pocket protectors were the ‘in thing’. Fountain pens were a status symbol for everyone. There were the cheap versions and the expensive ones with pieces of metal on the body of the pen. I endured my plastic version, simply happy to move up, and forward. On one occasion I got an expensive one as a gift, but can’t recall who gave it or why. For two years I wrote with a fountain pen, and was around for the automatic version (hahaha, wish I had a photo to show)! The automatic version of the fountain pen was an ink-filled cartridge, and were only for a special model of the fountain pen. This cartridge eliminated ink spills while loading ink into the vial where the ‘nib or tip’ was attached. If I have not lost you yet, this was an incredible discovery which revolutionized writing and made it less messy. They were expensive in relation to the bottle of ink but everyone caught on eventually!”
The chuckles of wonder continue from my off-springs!
“By the time we were required to use the ball point pen, my confidence was over the roof! My handwriting was great, and my research skills were developing. Now there is Google.”
My son remarks, “and many students can’t write or hold a pen nowadays, but they can use a computer and Google.” My daughter seems impressed and shares her gratitude for Wikipedia once more.
Our conversation has taken me somewhere, far away, before Google was more than a pair of spectacles.
“History was learnt from asking questions of our grandparents , parents or a historian, or specialist in a specific field. People talked to children and younger ones, and they are still willing to answer questions, but now everyone goes to Google first.”
These final words ended our conversation, and left me thinking.
Getting back to my first question on Google seems less important now. What transpired in thirty minutes was storytelling. It was me, being in the place of my mom and grandparents, sharing a lesson which needed to be shared by someone who has lived and is living the experiences. I’m remembering an article from bebee.com I read yesterday by Jim Murray on the Phil Friedman & Randy Keho hive ‘All Business’. That hive is about all business from experienced persons sharing on what they know from things they have done or been around in business. At least that’s how I understand the description.
No longer are erasers made of sponge and felt used or crossing a line through a mistake done as corrections. Even liquid paper which was introduced to correct errors made by a ribbon from an old type-writer is no longer in demand. The liquid paper also replaced correction fluid as I recall from my memory – and that was a light pink fluid. Things are different now, and changes are made with a backspace and delete button in less than seconds sometimes.
Does this make sense to anyone, and can anyone remember these times. Some of us have actually lived through many changes, and our experiences with inventions continue with ease and acceptance. There is less fear of something new and an anxiousness for further development and evolution. A good example of easy acceptance can be seen with mobile phones. How many persons await a new version at the launch of the present version, or for an ‘app’ or ‘model’ of something?
These are indeed interesting times, and these memories shared are from my mind and not Google!
Hope this post resonated with you, and please check out the following from Jim Murray and Phil Friedman & Randy Keho as mentioned above, on http://www.bebee.com
I am a mom, daughter, friend, businesswoman, lover of people, lover of places, lover of life, lover of God. Dwordslayer is who I am when I write, because I’m a lover of words and sharing their meaning. Thank you for reading and hope you will share with someone. Words can increase in value as they are shared – we may never know who may need the meaning, so lets give!
More reading selections:The Beach and The Lighthouse
Credit:Computer image in header from Google free downloads
Donna-Luisa Eversley and D-WORDSLAYER, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Donna-Luisa Eversley and D-WORDSLAYER with appropriate and specific direction to the original content