Here he is; the man of the hour. The graduate. Our grandson.
Matt just graduated from Cornell and is now a Data Scientist. We are proud, proud, proud.
But I wish I had some idea what that means. It isn’t that Matt hasn’t explained what a Data Scientist is or what they do. It’s just that sometimes we don’t speak the same language. Vocabularies are different and so are Expressions young people use. Even computers speak different languages. College courses exist, dealing with computer languages or “coding.”
When I graduated from high school I remember the wise words the speaker said. He told our class that by the time we graduated from college there would be jobs available in areas of society that don’t even exist yet.
Of course we thought that we were so sophisticated that it was impossible for anything to develop that we didn’t already know about and understand.
But that was before computers. And that was before cell phones. And that was before cordless appliances.
Everything has changed. Even music. I used to be able to switch on the car radio and hear the swooning voice of Eddie Fisher singing, “Oh My Papa.” We have gone from listening to music on records, advancing to tapes, then CDs, to listening to music on cell phones. That’s why new car models don’t offer tape decks and CD players. Just turn on your cell phone and listen to your choice of any manner of music.
I take modern life and its conveniences so for granted, that I don’t remember what wasn’t here before. Things are changing so amazingly fast.
Last week we stopped at a convenience store on our way to Ithaca NY for graduation. There were no salespeople and no cashiers in the store.
We selected our snacks and proceeded to a machine. There we scanned the bar code on the package and entered either a credit card or cash. We used a credit card, and the machine registered the amount and printed a receipt. The next person paid in cash. The change for his purchase was sent down a chute and into a container for him to retrieve. I was amazed by this development in devices. It seemed to me that humans are on their way to being non-essential for transacting the normal business of buying and paying for merchandise.
Banking’s ATM machines are the models that retail stores are following.
Children will no longer be taught to politely say,”Thank you, Maa’m.”
In the future they will say, “Thank you, hunk of metal!” or “Thank you, machine.”
When I told Matt that when I was a child we didn’t own a TV, he was incredulous. How could we have lived without a television set? And only one car for the whole entire family? Barbaric!
Perhaps some day his own children will be incredulous when he tells them that his family, considering the level of technology by that time, didn’t even own their own rocket ship.