Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

It somewhat saddens me to write this newsletter. While it is the beginning of the
school year, it is the beginning of the end for the Patriot Press. While few may have
found the time to read these pages or seen much value in what was written, it was a publication
which cast a bright light upon the students and their school. The mission was noble.
The goal was to recognize as many students as possible in a positive light and to create
a vessel for them to fill with their creativity. I was overjoyed last year as students
began to contribute to the newsletter with little bio’s and book reviews. It hinted at the
possibility of students taking an even greater role in their own educations.
Alas, the world is a rapidly evolving place and the printed word has been losing the
battle with technology for many years. People prefer TV and movies to books. Records
have been replaced with cassette tapes, CD’s and now digital files from the “Cloud”. People
want their info instantly and can’t wait for the morning paper or the 6 0’clock evening
news. We have gotten so obsessed with instant gratification that we now embrace a
source of news, information and communication which imposes a limit of 140 characters!
It’s like a huge neon sign that boldly flashes out the warning that this is the limit of what
we are willing and able to absorb and comprehend!
It’s a shame in many ways, but that is the world which we now inhabit. We have the
ability to digitally sort and filter data and information so that we only receive that which
we choose to receive. Our DVR can find the genre of program we wish to record and
watch. Our phones will find only the music we wish to listen to. Our computers will
search out whatever it is we are interested in. They are now even telling us what it is we
ARE interested in based upon our own habits!
While I certainly appreciate the value of time and realize it is a scare commodity, it is
sad to have to admit that reading to expand one’s horizons is becoming extinct. Maybe it
is just that I am old and old fashioned. I just seem unable to resist the urge to read every
page of a newspaper or a magazine from cover to cover just to see what is going on in
the world. To me reading without a bias imposed by filters and limits on characters is to
I am not a sage, an author or a journalist by any means. My “expertise” is limited to
my years of experience in life, education and having lived in different parts of the country.
It also comes from having “read” something more than a tweet or a two paragraph
summary. While I suspect some may not appreciate what I am writing, I am comforted in
that I’ve only had two people ever comment to me about what I have written in the Patriot
Press. Maybe that is a good thing and I am fortunate. Still, I will miss putting the
newsletter together but the fact is that it took up huge amounts of time that could be
better spent and it was not achieving the desired goal of communicating and involving parents.
I will instead focus on making great use of the new mobile app and instead of pining
for days of yore, master the art of the tweet and Facebook. Now if I can just get one of
the kids to show me how to use this Smart Phone……