Thursday, June 23, 2011

Guest Blogger: Jen from Pearls & Politics

Today's guest blogger is my sweet friend, Jen! She was one of my best blog friends and one of the sweetest ladies! So, go check out her blog :)

Hi. I’m Jen. I write on a little space of the Interwebs called Pearls & Politics. It’s where I write my feelings, tell stories about my crazy life and basically whatever is in my head that just has to get out.

Writing is what I do. My passion began with lipstick and my bedroom door as a toddler. It was most likely a stressful day for my mother, cleaning bright red marks off the door. But it was certainly an omen for me, even if I was too young to realize it.

When I was a kid, I loved to write letters most of all. I had a few out-of-state friends to whom I regularly sent snail mail (email was unheard of!), filled with pictures, drawings, confetti – whatever made it interesting. I told them all about school, sports, the cute boy at school who was to die for. Everything.

The best part, however, was opening the mailbox several days later to find an envelope addressed to me from my faraway friend. There was absolutely nothing better.

After 10-Year-Old-Teenager’s birthday last week, I sat her down and helped her compose her thank-you notes to the guests from the party. She wrote on the watermelon-shaped cards words of gratitude, followed with exclamation points to emphasize her excitement. She signed her name, pushed the cards into their envelopes and wrote the corresponding recipient’s name on each one. I recited a mailing address for her to copy onto each envelope, which she did.

As I was looking over the completed cards, I noticed she had written the zip codes on the same line as the street addresses instead of following the city and state.

When I asked her why she had written it as she did, she told me she didn’t know where it was supposed to go.

I was baffled. I couldn’t believe an almost-fifth-grader didn’t know how to correctly address an envelope. I mean, I was a pro by the age of 10 with all the letters I had written (including one to Jonathan Taylor Thomas, which I’m just positive he received).

But then I thought about it a little more. The girl knows how to change the background on her computer. She knows how to update her iPod. She downloads apps on her phone like nobody’s business. And you better believe she can address an email in lightning speed.

The girl’s no idiot.

The difference is the generation, of course. The number of services and products that have become obsolete in the twenty-first century is astonishing. Unfortunately for lovers of paper and pens, like me, snail mail has taken on a much smaller role than it once did, and will eventually be one of those obsolete ‘things.’

Sure, email is more practical. It’s easier. It’s faster.

But it’s also impersonal. And, let’s face it – script fonts are just hideous.

So I’ve made it my goal this summer to teach this little gal how to send mail – and hopefully find her a pen pal who is equally as interested in hand-writing letters. (Know any 10 year olds?)

She wrote her first piece of mail just the other day: a letter to her Uncle who just started basic training. To sign off her letter, she wrote “From, [10YOT].”

We have a ways to go.


Meghan said...

I teach high school, and many of my students don't know how to properly address an envelope, either. I, too, have made it my mission to teach this as well:)

Tami Chapman said...

For the record, the bright red marks remain. I tried.

SouthernBelleJM said...

I teach middle school and this fact has AMAZED me. I was going to have my students put their addresses on these enveloped at the end of school so I could mail their last report card. I'm glad I didn't decide to do it early because the teacher next door did. And guess what?!?!?!? They messed up all her envelopes because they don't know how to address one. Sad:(