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Archive for the ‘Cassette Tapes’ Category

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You can tell a lot about a hotel by how it is “equipped”. How was my lodging on this trip? Pretty nice, to be honest. The place my colleagues and I stayed was a small Inn located in a quaint Silicon Valley hamlet not far from our “secret” meeting locale. Aside from there being no coffee in the room, I can’t complain.

I found it interesting, however, to find the restroom equipped with an
ultra modern push button phone right next to the toilet. Ultra modern, maybe, when it was installed in 1985, that is. I wonder when the last time was that this phone set was used.

And it got me to thinking. (sorry to spoil the fun)

This visit to sunny CA was all about educational delivery systems, transformation versus substitution, pedagogy, and such. Our university has long prided itself on being a leader and innovator in putting technology to use in promoting student learning.

In the 60’s, we had a nationally recognized reel to reel tape dial up system where every student had a private assigned study carrell to use for accessing recordings of professors’ lectures. It was still in use during my freshmen year, and it seemed cool even then, although dated and old. That same year, we put the first computer lab on campus. They were Apple IIe computers, and my life was changed forever once I discovered the back room where they were set up.

Fast forward 26 years. My same university, where I am now a bleary eyed administrator instead of a wide eyed freshman, is using the latest Apple technology. But, much like the “Bat. Phone”, is it misplaced and unnecessary? iTunesU, anyone?

A laptop for every student; a chicken in every pot. Is that what the masses really need; is that what they are clamoring for? Is that what we need in order to transform?

They say the only things guaranteed in life are death, taxes, and change, and for many Republicans, only a partial subset of that list is necessary. (you choose)

To quote the past philosophers of Jefferson Starship/Airplane fame, “winds of change are blowing by”. We need to get on board that bird.

No matter the format, I have faith my colleagues and I will navigate the changing climate and find a way to step it up a notch.

If you have some thoughts on that, feel free to give me a call to discuss. During our call, please ignore if you hear water running in the background. In this modern era, there’s no telling where I might be when you call…

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dust, or rust?…and where thieves break in and steal.      (Matthew 6:19)

Friday night was family movie night.    This go round was “You Again“, a comedic flick about ghosts of your past, high school nemesis, coming back to haunt your existence in your newly minted adult life.    The movie had it’s funny moments, but also its “all too close to home” moments about those folks from our past who had such an influence that is hard to shake from our psyche even years and hundreds of miles away later.     The little woman and I were discussing the real life application with each other and our soon to be high school twins this morning, probably sharing somewhat of a “that was hard” salve with each other while delivering a bit of a “get ready kid” to the younger generation.

The conversation then shifted to old music, 80’s pop, to be specific.     You see, one of the more laughable moments was the “roll the credits” ending where Daryl Hall and John Oates appeared with a rendition of the old classic “Your Kiss is On My List”.      I recall that Hall and Oates were not only one of my favorite singing duos in 9th grade (my delusional pre classic Valen Halen days, I must confess), but a cassette tape of their “album” Private Eyes was a Christmas present from mom and dad that year.    As fate would have it, I still have that cassette and a few others, and a player in our “stereo system” that my in laws gave to us seemingly just a few days ago at Christmas, 17 years ago to be more specific.

As I put the tape in and pressed play, preparing to bless my children with the golden olden melodies, nothing happened.     As I opened the player back up, it seems that years of dust and lack of use have rendered it useless.    Even a healthy treatment with the miracle drug WD-40 could not save the electronic patient.     And it got me thinking.    Sorry to spoil the fun.

Vinyl records.    8-Track Tapes.    Cassette Tapes (Sony Walkman, anyone).    Compact Disks.     MP-3’s.     iTunes.      It seems to me that the more we “progress’ and the faster the pace of change, the more we have invested in our treasures and “the more we have to lose”.      Those lyric vault tapes look perfectly good to me, but the player is not.    I’ll likely never make additional effort to know if the digital content on those magic magnetic strips is still intact.    But the memories live on, at least for today.     But what about that iPod, or all those digital pictures?    Ever have a hard drive crash?    Was it backed up?    It’s a 21st century  technology neophyte’s worst nightmare.      While we once worried about loss from fire, flood, tornado, or actual thieves, we now are subject to the added risk of digital decay or the all too powerful power surge.    Can I get a thank you, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, anyone?

So as we finish clearing out the dust from our haunted high school memories and our hallowed halls of favorite old tunes, one more melody comes to mind, this one composed by Mr. Tillit S Teddlie, another multiple degrees of Interconnectedness part of our faith and family culture:

Earth hold no treasures but perish with using
However precious they be
Yet there’s a country to which I am going
Heaven holds all to me
Heaven holds all to me
Brighter its glory will be
Joy without measure will be my treasure
Heaven holds all to me
Out on the hills of that wonderful country
Happy, contented and free
Loved ones are waiting and watching my coming
Heaven holds all to me
Why should I long for the world with its sorrows
When in that home o’er the sea
Millions are singing the wonderful story?
Heaven holds all to me
  
 
Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal.  Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal.  Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.   (Matt. 6:19-21)

Sort of a “welcome to the dust free zone, where the hits just keep on coming”.     No old nemesis allowed.

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