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[ From the Archives of 365 ]

“Technology is not the only solution; we need to learn how to overcome things without getting lost in it.”

You may remember Betsy from day sixty-three, a really cool lady and the art teacher of my daughter. Not only is she sincere in her collaboration with the world, but she is also a very talented artist who, since our meeting, has embarked on her own 365-day blog commitment in hitting her over-180-day mark this month: The Pinups of Betsy VanDeusen.

I have a lot of respect for Betsy, so yesterday when I popped my head into the studio where she teaches, she suggested that I interview her teaching colleague.  I didn’t hesitate to return today to talk to recommended stranger-now-friend, Vanessa.

Vanessa has an infectious laugh and a charming personality. It is quickly apparent why she has dedicated her life to the teaching of our future generation. Vanessa truly cares about our children and the world they will be stepping into, a fact that can be absorbed in every word she shares.

“Can I give advice about anything?” Vanessa inquires.

“Absolutely, the microphone is yours,” I smile.

Vanessa responds with an enchanting charisma. “I’ll hand down some advice that I read in a book, it is called The Last Lecture. Basically, it talks about people making promises, and what to believe from people… what they tell you.The advice was to judge a person not by what they say… but by their actions. I take that with everything that I do. People can say anything… it is easier to say than to do. And when someone does something it really proves their character and it proves the type of person that they are.”

We talk of the world to come.

“When I think about the future,” Vanessa positions, “I mainly think about having kids and of the future I want them to have. I think about the kind of world that they will be living in, and how it will shape them into who they are later on. 

“And when I think about it… probably ten years from now when I have kids… I question what the world will be like? And I think there will probably be some kind of progression of disconnection between people. I see it happening now and I don’t see it improving. I think that disconnection has something to do with technology—even though the point of technology is to connect people in other ways. But, a lot of the times people forget how to really connect with other people on a personal level.

“I work at a middle school and I see kids with information at their fingertips. It is so easy for them to get information than when I was younger when you had to actually go to the library and look up books. I remember that is what research was like for me. It astounds me how kids want to know it now… and how they will find a way to get it now.

“It is important, especially for kids, to learn how to do it old school, to go to a library and to look something up… to put down the technology for just a minute… and just remember what it should be like… and to remember how we did it back then. 

“It’s good to know technology and to be current because it does do so much good. But we have to know it all. And with kids, the more they know the better they are… it never hurts to know the traditional stuff.

“Technology is not the only solution; we need to learn how to overcome things without getting lost in it.”

Vanessa talks of kids who she takes to the library and how they don’t know the basics of using a table of contents or an index.

“It really surprises me. It’s not that hard,” she says in reciting the encouragement she gives to her students.

And with this I give you her words, they go like this: “Come on… you can do this. Figure it out.”

I’m shutting down my web browser now… there are a lot of books upstairs and I’m off to search for a good chapter.

Talk tomorrow friends…and by the way, I still owe you a report on the Ping Pong Council.

Every moment of every day… your individual impact truly does matter to someone else in the world.

Every moment of every day… your individual impact truly does matter to someone
else in the world.

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