You know you’re getting older when

  • You start recognizing fewer and fewer names and faces on the People magazine covers at the grocery store.
  • The only Lady Gaga song you know is by Lady Gaga is the one that sounds exactly like that Madonna song.  You know it is Lady Gaga once you hear it because you read on CNN (or heard on NPR) that her newest hit single sounds like Express Yourself.
  • you realize that the above bullets were written over 7 years ago(!).
  • none of the students get your jokes anymore.  Any of them.
  • They haven’t even seen Stand and Deliver.  What is up with that?
  • we should have saved the “your good hip hurts” thing for this rboc, not the previous one
  • there are definitely more aches and pains though
  • there’s so much you used to care about that just seems like trivial drama now
    • Though that could be because there’s actual life-at-risk drama and treason and stuff coming at us on a daily basis, which has nothing to do with our ages so much as our cohort…
  • you have 131 unfinished posts in your drafts, but zero under scheduled….

Grumpeteers, how do you know you’re getting older?

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20 Responses to “You know you’re getting older when”

  1. nicoleandmaggie Says:

    Call today to tell your reps to prevent future teargassing of toddlers and children at the border. https://5calls.org/issue/tear-gas-asylum-caravan

  2. delagar Says:

    In my grammar class, I have this joke I always make when we get to infinitive phrases. “And infinitive phrases,” I say, “are the ginsu knives of verbal phrases! They can do anything!”

    For years this got a big laugh. But this year everyone just politely took notes. (…infinitive phrases = ginsu knives…)

    Ginsu knives have left the culture.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      I suppose if I let them use technology in class, they could google it. But then they’d end up going down a rabbit hole of cultural history and wouldn’t re-emerge to learn stats.

      One of our recent advertising mailers had a paper ad for “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” technology! I guess people eligible for that now were buying it for their parents back in the day.

  3. Mr. Millionaire Says:

    So, I teach early modern Spanish literature which is replete with allusions to classical mythology. To help students understand certain monstrosities, like the basilisk or hippogriff, I often used the Harry Potter series. I am now encountering students who have never read the books or seen the movies.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      That can’t be right– all the K-12 people I know are super into Harry Potter. Maybe it’s for nerds now instead of being mainstream?

      My nerds get almost all my nerd jokes still. Like, I can mention gazebo and all the D&D players know exactly what I’m talking about even though that joke must be at least 30 years old. (Some of the stuff they no longer get because of Dr. Demento being gone but I listened to fishheads recently and realized that a lot of the stuff that’s no longer played is no longer played for a good reason. Doesn’t explain why they don’t know dead puppies though.)

      • Leah Says:

        I also have several students who have never read/seen Harry Potter. They know of the books and stuff, but it’s kind of like people in my era not having watched Star Wars.

        All your base are belong to us also has left the mainstream lexicon. I had to explain that to students the other day.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        … I was a grownup when all your base are belong to us…

  4. chacha1 Says:

    I know I’m getting older because I realize I am that person who thinks of Cole Porter and Irving Berlin as pop composers.

  5. Leah Says:

    “Anybody? Anybody? Bueller?” is completely lost on kids. Actually, has been for some time; that only got mileage my first few years of teaching. Sigh.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      I’m afraid to find out if the suck fairy visited ferris bueller’s day off like it did the breakfast club

      • gasstationwithoutpumps Says:

        I didn’t see Ferris Bueller’s Day Off until 2013, and then only because my son was performing in a stage adaptation of it with his theater troupe. It is still funny.

        I can tell I’m getting old because many of your references to things that are now out of date are things that are too new for me to have known about.

  6. accm Says:

    Even the very first (astronomy) students I taught had no recollection of the excitement when Supernova 1987A went off. Now I might as well be talking about prehistory.

  7. becca Says:

    I can tell I’m getting old because I’m uber “GOML” about Fortnite and youtube videos. Nearly every parent I know has the same reaction to their kid and video game walk throughs on videos: “It’s not… the worst thing… but GOD HIS VOICE IS ANNOYING and WHY DO YOU LIKE THIS???????”

    I do like the weird dab thing though. I don’t understand it at all, and resent when it is used to show me I’m being old, but it’s fairly cute on it’s own merits.

  8. Katherine Says:

    I was teaching logarithms a few weeks ago and I showed my students some youtube videos about slide rules. They had never heard of a slide rule before, so I started to tell them that their parents used them in school before calculators were common … and then I realized that college students are young enough now that their parents used calculators.

    • gasstationwithoutpumps Says:

      I used a slide rule in high school and in college. I got one of the early scientific calculators as a graduation present from college. From Wikipedia: “The HP-45 was the second scientific pocket calculator introduced by Hewlett-Packard, adding to the features of the HP-35. It was introduced in 1973 with an MSRP of $395 (equivalent to $2,178 in 2017).” I still have it, but it doesn’t work any more (the batteries have corroded and the power supply has failed).

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      This is the first year that my undergrads could have been my kids (age-wise) and that would not be considered unusual. (I did not use a slide rule. My parents did, but they also used calculators in school and computers in college, although they were room-sized computers with punch-cards.)

  9. Middle class Says:

    #1 for sure! I only knew Lady Gaga for Born this Way and that she wore a meat dress. Then I saw A star is born. She has an amazing voice!

  10. rose Says:

    Laughing! I remember the day and new hire who was younger than my youngest child… Life keeps changing and this is good. One advantage of working around college students and new college grads is that it keeps us in touch with change and hopefully we see the positives in the younger generation, remember when that was us, and encourage and support them in growing up. They are the future of our world. I remember the Vietnam war, the Cambodian holocaust, and the young hires who had never known of those first hand ….

  11. Debbie M Says:

    I keep thinking, “where the ______ used to be.” Like: I live north of where the old airport used to be, and you turn at the place that obviously used to be a Taco Bell, only Taco Bells don’t even look like mini-Alamos anymore. I recently saw one that wasn’t even Mexican-flag colors anymore, but purple and white.

    I’m finally used to saying “CD” instead of “record,” but I don’t know how to ask how people want to receive music that I want to lend them.

    Glasses! For distance AND reading!

    Everyone has sleep apnea now and they give each other hints on their breathing machines (you might not need to drag the water compartment with you when you travel, some of the new brands require your data to go through the internet to them instead of just be recorded on a card you bring to your doctor). Just heard someone hypothesize that the reason old people talk about their illnesses is to share information that they just aren’t getting from their doctors, etc. (Recently had a reunion of friends from grad school. We all look the same except a little wrinklier and a little grayer. But all their kids are adults now.)

    Self-published books are no longer just for losers and therefore always to be feared. They are also for good writers who don’t want to give away all their profits to evil mega-publishing companies. They are even learning to hire editors, though the editors are not all amazing.

    More funerals than weddings.

    Just the general feeling that what feels modern to me is ancient history to more and more people. This first happened when I was 30 and dated a 21-year-old. Apollo 11, the moon landing, happened when I was six, and I actually saw it take off because I lived in Florida. For him it was ancient history, though. Now even 9/11 is ancient history. (Hoping Trump times will be ancient history ASAP.)

    I recently started using the blog tag “new tricks” for when I have to re-learn something I already knew once (but things have changed since then) or when I find out I was wrong about something.

  12. First Gen American Says:

    The thing that makes me feel the most old is not being able to power through a physical task til it’s done. I need to pace myself now or get I injured. Hate that.

    Also, the new hires weren’t even born yet when I started working full time.


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