Old Dogs, New Tricks

A blog for non-traditional students

Technological Hiccups

Okay, so I’m a complete bonehead because I forgot how long it takes to print a .PDF in the McMicken computer lab – I’m waiting for two of them (13 and 14 pages respectively) to print right now.  I am so embarrassed at the backlog of other people waiting at the printer.  I guess it’s a sign of old age that I forgot something so annoying, right?  *sigh*

But thinking about this technological faux pas, I realized that I hadn’t posted about the interesting observation/suggestion one of my traditional classmates made about the lack of comments on my blog.  She suggested that maybe the reason no one has anything to say here is because they don’t know how – making that oh-so-common generalization that we non-traditionals are completely hopeless with anything more complicated than a TV remote.  I’m mildly offended, but not surprised – it takes people a while to figure out that I actually have a fairly decent grasp on computer stuff.  Of course, it helps that the first computer I ever learned to use was an Apple IIe back in 1984 – and I’ve kept up as best I could ever since.

This land of unfair assumptions became clearer to me last night when I was roaming around the Internet on a Google search for non-traditional student forums (I’ve got to find someone to talk to, after all).  I came across a discussion between a graduate assistant, TA or whatever you call them, and a group of non-traditionals.  The TA made these sweeping generalizations that non-traditionals all want to talk about their experiences during the Vietnam War or ramble on about the good old days of Hendrix and Jim Morrison.  Um, I was born right after the US officially pulled out of Vietnam and as for the Jims, well I wasn’t alive in their heyday, but I appreciate ’60s rock as much as the next Gen-Xer. 

In response, of course, one of my nearer peers (a 38 year old I think) asserted that non-traditional students are much harder workers and less disruptive in classes.  Eh, I hate to burst his bubble, but I procrastinate with the best of them and let’s just say that I’m as easily swayed by my younger peers to gossip and whisper during a lecture as anyone.  Admittedly, since I’ve already messed this up once, I do feel obligated to put forth a better effort than I did the first time around, but considering that I only managed to pass Bowling my second quarter of my original college career, just what better looks like remains to be seen.

Alright, I had to cancel my print after the third time the guy who mans the desk here came over and asked me how much more I had left to print.  I’m off to my next exciting task – finding a book in Blegen Library – provided I can find Blegen Library.  In the three years I’ve been down here, I don’t think I’ve ever even walked past that building, lol.

By the way, check out my two new links – I found a website for an organization for non-trads in college and a blog hosted by another non-trad, this one from Western Kentucky University.  And if for some reason you really can’t figure out how to comment here, you can send me a messenger pigeon – I’m on campus Monday through Thursday normally, most of the time in McMicken.  I’ll keep an eye out for parcel-laden birds.  🙂

*** Danielle


February 20, 2009 - Posted by | Generation Gap, Technology


  1. Hi Danielle!

    I’m the Guide to Continuing Education at About.com. I found your blog this morning and blogged about you! I’ll add you to my blog roll, which isn’t quite in the right place on my site yet, but I’m working on that! Talk about technical glitches.

    Nice to meet you!


    Deb Peterson
    Guide to Continuing Education
    About.com, part of The New York Times Company

    Comment by Deb | February 21, 2009

  2. Danielle,
    I posted once, but forgot to invite you to join the conversation over the the Continuing Ed. Forum at About.com: http://forums.about.com/ab-adulted/start/?lgnF=y

    In case my first comment got screwed up, I stopped by to say that I found your blog this morning and blogged about you on my page. I also added a poll. I wonder if other college students think all non-trads talk about is the Vietnam War and old music, lol.

    Nice to meet you!


    Deb Peterson
    Guide to Continuing Education
    About.com, part of The New York Times Company

    Comment by Deb | February 21, 2009

  3. I liked how you zeroed in on some nontraditional student fallacies – not all are a zero in the computer department, for example. Good job! And thanks for the links too! I am twittering this blog at http://www.twitter.com/nontrads right now. It was funny when you said you “procrastinate with the best of them.” You are a funny lady. In a good way, of course!

    Comment by Elizabeth Sheppard | June 22, 2009

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