Thursday, October 15, 2009

you wouldn't, so why would you?

I found it! My mother insisted that it had been thrown out, or left behind on Oliver Road. But I persisted because I once spent a year's worth of in-service learning about Dimensions of Learning and Habits of Mind. That was meaningful professional development, so much so that when I went looking for the aforementioned it, I refused to give up. I checked my basement, my dad's basement, Public Storage, and my friend's house. Okay, the last one was a way for me to get out for a bit.

But I found it. And it's a beauty. Thirteen convex inches providing the best black-and-white television coverage. It has these dials just over to the right of the screen, and whenever I want to see what's happening on another channel, I just get up, walk over, and turn that dial. It even makes a clicking sound as it goes from channel to channel. That's a bonus feature, indeed!

Oh, and did I tell you that it has these silvery appendages? They're like beagle ears, but they stick straight up, and whenever I tilt them to and fro, I'm able to control how the transmitted images appear on screen.

There is no TV today that allows me to perform that type of control. Nowadays, all I do is watch a digital transmission, or something high-definitiony, pre-pixelated by 'other people'. People not in my living room, that's for sure.
But every two years, I upgrade my cell phone. A lot of people do. Don't believe me? Go to your Verizon store.

Every thirty-nine months, I lease a new car. A lot of people do. Don't believe me? Go ask ten people. Okay, that's not a lot of people, but then multiply your answer by 736 and you'll see what I'm talking about.

Every time an appliance dies, I attend its funeral. I once delivered a stirring eulogy for my Frigidaire A-72 Side-By-Side. I'll never forget its egg-shell finish or it's sensuous hinges. Oh, and how it made me giggle. And you know what I do every time an appliance passes away, I buy an older one new one.

Whenever I can, I upgrade in every facet of my life. Am I too much of a consumer? Possibly, but you'll never get my J.Crew flat-front chino pants. Never!

I occupy a world that promotes planned and perceived obsolescence, and I can fight this if I wish (like Annie). I could go off-grid. I could worship a tree, eat, dress, and sleep organic. But I don't. I buy new, hoping for better, believing in the idea of improvement.

And I take this philosophy with me to school, well aware that I'm not really purchasing items; instead, I'm accepting a new idea or a new approach. Because if I upgrade in every other facet of my life, why would I chose not to at school?


Ian said...

Excellent, excellent post, my friend. Is that too many commas?

Jim Gates said...

I'll bet your habit of upgrading every two years has your wife pretty concerned. :-)

Nice post. If we could only get on such a regular schedule.