02 September 2008


It is a new world

Included on my ten-year-old daughter's school supply list for this year:

1 USB flash memory key

The smallest and cheapest one we could find was part of a stack of them on a school supply table at Staples. 1 GB for $20, and smaller than an eraser. I think I hear the echoes of my young geeky self swooning in disbelief.

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My daughter needed one too, for a university course. We got a 2 gig one in bright purple.
Well, yeah, university, I might expect that, that's cool, especially since floppies and even CD-Rs are kind of out now. (I used a laptop in university back in 1989, and one of the computers I worked with had a hard disk!)

But my daughter's starting GRADE FIVE. Hers is blue.
Well, the 3"5 little floppies only recently disappeared from the list, maybe two years ago, for what we call "coll├Ęge", and would be Junior High School in the States (and I don't know what in Canada).

They didn't replace them with anything yet.

As for the school I work in, my students are 10-11 years old (same as your daughter), but I didn't ask for anything alike... especially as the computer room has no walls any more, no plugs, and of course no computers. For the moment.
I think this is all making me feel old. I was in grade 5 in 1979, at the very same school my daughters attend, when slide rules were only just obsolete and calculators were still exotic and futuristic.

On the other hand, most of the other school supplies are the same: pencils, markers, a wooden ruler, dictionaries, paper, and so on. The classrooms are still fundamentally the same, and the kids still have fun.
We don't have to buy school supplies as we just write a cheque to the school and they take care of everything. We have yet to see flash memory keys, though... but my oldest is just entering grade 3.
We have that too: most of our daughters' supplies came in a box that we ordered in the spring. But not the USB key. Yet. Maybe next year -- of course I hope she won't have lost hers by then and can just reuse it.
God, that is funny. Mike was thinking the same thing. We ended up NCIX and got a 1 gig for $8.07 (made me happy). It is white but for the price i am not complaining.