The other day I was sitting in my neighborhood Starbucks surrounded by the chatter of conversation and people hunched over their laptops or newspapers. At one table, however, something remarkable was going on.
As a college professor, I made a radical decision about a year ago: I banned smartphones and laptops during class. Honestly, I can’t compete with Facebook or an Internet flash sale or texts from friends. My students now take their notes the old-fashioned way with pen on paper. And it turns out that students who take notes by hand learn better.
My daughters, Alexandra and Jennifer (right) , sure hit the gene jackpot: As heirs to my beauty and fashion sense, my steely self-confidence, my quick wit and collection of Chanel bags, these are two lucky babes, let me tell you.
The medium is the message, Marshall McLuhan famously noted. And in a touch screen world, our relationships with our adult children improve with the more communications media we use. While millennials enjoy chatting on the phone or Skype, they also want parents to “lurk” on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social media so we can follow (not intrusively, though) their lives.
Two back-to-back international trips this year — to Germany and South Africa — gave me a good reason to brush up on my world-traveler skills. Here are the main things I think about when I'm planning a trip abroad.
At 53, Elena Kagan is the youngest justice on the U.S. Supreme Court. The oldest is Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who turned 80 on March 15. The average age of sitting justices is 67 years 4 months.
When I was growing up, nearly every vacation was spent traveling from Ohio to Indiana to see our grandparents. We also talked on the phone every Sunday. Sometimes cards and letters were exchanged too, but that was the entire menu for staying in touch. Thanks to technology, today's grandparents have many additional ways to connect - so why aren't more of them taking advantage of it?!
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