Coffee Spills

What I hear and see and think about at the coffee shops I patronize.
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Monday, August 03, 2009

Leaving grandma out

At the coffee shop today I saw a large family group. Four young adult and teen grandchildren and grandma. The kids were all reading their lap tops; grandma had no one to talk to. Lakeside is certainly going the way of the world! I invited her to my table, and they all laughed, but for a few minutes did make eye contact with her. I have no grandchildren, but if I did and we were in a restaurant or coffee shop, you can bet they wouldn't be ignoring me! Yes, yes. I know the coffee shop has wi-fi, but manners are never out of style.

At another table I handed a woman my i-pod while her daughter read the lap top. Turns out she was a language arts teacher. She messed with it a little then handed it back. "My school bought 50 of these and I'm supposed to come up with uses for my 8th graders. So far, I haven't found any." Keep in mind, the kids aren't supposed to go on the internet. She was also concerned about the "young adult" literature which she thought I might be familiar with when she found out I'd been a librarian. I had to confess I didn't read it when I was a kid and almost never as an adult, unless the title came up on the book group list. I told her that from the reviews I'd read--topics like divorce, abuse, date rape, bi-sexuality, bullying, etc.--I didn't see how they offered much. Topic driven; language impoverished; morally challenged. Sexually ambiguous. Sort of Jodi Piccoult for teens.

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