Monday, July 13, 2009

When Dinosaurs Ruled The Earth

Blog post ideas flit through my overactive brain all day, but I tend to forget them by the time I sit down to write. So this morning I thought, "No problem! I'll just jot down some key phrases when I get an idea, and I'll expand on them later. No more forgetting!"

So now I'm sitting here at 11:30 PM, wondering what brilliant thoughts I had this morning involving "rocket science." Rocket science? Sounds like a laugh riot, whatever it was...

Anywhoo, Theo asked me last night to make sure he was awake and at the computer before 8 AM this morning; today was the day for him to sign up for his fall semester college courses.

"Online?" I asked. "Wow - how cool is that!"
"How did you sign up for classes?" he asked.
"Well, let's see...I guess we all got into our covered wagons and drove up to the big assembly hall and stood in line."
"In line?"
"Yes, because there was no online."
(Puzzled look) "But, how did that work?"
"I can't remember, really. I'm thinking there was a table for each academic department; so to sign up for an English course, I would stand in the line for the English table. The guy at the table would write down my name..."
"On paper?!"
"Yes! Paper! He'd write down my name by the class I wanted, and then I would stand in the line at the Mathematics table, say..."

"You stood in 5 different lines?"
(Getting a tad defensive) "It was fun! To pass the time, I'd chat with the people next to me in line ."
"Perfect strangers? Why?"
"Well, no one had cellphones, so we couldn't talk to people who weren't right there."
"We were happy, dammit! I mean, in a pre-technological sort of way..."
(Shaking head) "I don't understand how you managed back then."

I don't know - how did we manage?


  1. i think we went to the same school ... bedrock university, no?

    i roomed with betty and you roomed with wilma ...

  2. "On paper!"


  3. With a good deal of cursing, as I recall. Lines for all those tables. Constrained to speak only with those in our physical presence. Oftentimes bribing the ones ahead in line not to sign up for the one class we need, the only one that fits into our schedule. (I remember divided shoeboxes filled with computer key cards, just enough for the maximum enrollment for each class. To sign up, the attendant gave you a card. At the end of the day -- and it was, literally, a whole day -- you took your fistful of cards to the registrar's table, where after a week-long delay, it would magically morph into a printed out schedule. God help you if you mistakenly signed up for concurrent classes.)

  4. Okay - this is ULTRA hilarious!! I stood INline the same way you did, but have never given ONline a second thought. Technology is so cool!!

  5. Ha! At least you got to talk to actual people in those pre-technology days :) Thanks for stopping by my blog. I hope that you do get to visit the English moors someday! Erin

  6. That's so funny; what DID we do? The talking to stranger part is ironic. They don't do that, do they? They stand there texting and talking on their cells to all those "friends" on Facebook.

  7. That was the best way to sign up for a class. Then you could scope out the lines with the cute boys in it and skeddadle on over there (yes, in the days you had to stand IN line you said "skeddadle").

  8. I think my college (I graduated 4 years ago) was a little backwards... almost everything could be done online, except for super sought out classes. Those you had to go stand in line at the registrar and use THEIR computer. A little strange, no?

  9. I remember that! 5 different lines, yes.

    I ask myself daily how we managed before the internet.

    Do you remember having to call the theatre and listen to a recording of the movie times?

    What about when we wanted to find information about something? Before google, we had to turn to books. BOOKS! Can you imagine?

  10. we WERE happy. I remember. We carried our cards from table to table and it all worked out--look how well how many of us pay our taxes today! The system was NOT flawed.

  11. AnonymousJuly 14, 2009

    (how is it that i have to post each comment twice in order to get the "send" message?)

    you know, being born in '83, i also wonder how people studied before computers. how did they write papers? how did they communicate when there was group work to do? getting my masters would have never worked without facebook ;-)


  12. My school had phone registration, but to get through in a timely fashion who had to wake up VERY early and start dialing in before the lines were open. If you got lucky, it only took an hour to complete the task. I would sit out in the hall with my corded phone and keep hitting redial until it picked up.

    It's like it was the stone age!

  13. I'm just a bit younger than you, and I had to call into a telephone system to register for classes. And even THAT sounds antiquated these days. My favorite part of your conversation is when you say we couldn't talk to people who weren't right there. Hysterical.

  14. AnonymousJuly 14, 2009

    At least by standing in line and chatting with these perfect strangers, we knew who NOT to sit next to in class.

    I'm still laughing about the time my kids begged to listen to an album on a turntable. I tried to tell them it was the same kind of music they could hear on a CD, but they were fascinated by the archaic "technology."

  15. Oh, that brings back memories.

  16. That is HILARIOUS! I wonder what I am going to have to explain to my children when they are older?

  17. I remember going through page after page of fine print in what looked like the Sears Catalogue of college classes, having no clue who these professors were nor which was good, wondering at all the possibilities in all those courses and hoping my snailmail registration wasn't held up too much by my living across the country from the university, as opposed to those who lived nearby. I took Overview of Native Americans my first semester out of sheer curiosity, which turned out to be a large class in which I was one of only two people who weren't Native Americans.

    The other thing is, once I got to college, snailmail was slow and phones were too expensive to use but rarely--we kids were essentially on our own out there other than emergencies. We had to grow up faster than my kids now.

  18. I'm not quite old enough to have had to do it in person but I did do it on the phone. I remember all the girls in the dorm sitting in the halls by their doors (because that's as far as the cord would reach) and hitting redial over and over hoping to get through and once someone did swarming over to her because three people could register on one phone call... oh those were the good times.

  19. My registrations were the same, line after line and then back if a class filled up and I had to rearrange the schedule.

    I have told my kids about this, too. But what really gets them is that my tuition was $78.00 per semester. The same school is now $4250.00 per semester. My son is there.

  20. Oh my, we stood in a LOT of lines. Lines to register for classes, although the person at the counter did punch something into a computer. Lines to pay for an over-priced parking pass, lines for dorm rooms and meal plans and oy. I think half my time in college was spent standing in lines. I remember if I wanted a class that was full, going real early to stand in line on the last drop/add day, in hopes that a space would open up in the class.

  21. God I got nostalgic for a minute. We stood in lines and actually TALKED to other students and those were some of our first friends.


  22. We went to the tables, asked for a specific section # (time, days, etc.) and got a card. When the cards were gone, the class was full.

    Shortman has changed his schedule 3 times now. He has no classes before 11 a.m. Sigh.

  23. Love this! It IS amazing at how far things have come! I'm wondering how in the world I got all those research papers done without the aid of Google and Microsoft Word. Ah...the good ole days!

  24. And you had to get a booklet with all the classes listed in it! We had to fill out a form approved by our academic advisor, and stand in one line and turn it in. They entered it into a computer and printed it out. Apparently that was all the computer was good for because you couldn't check on your classes online or anything. It wasn't till a couple of years later (at a different school) that I used a phone registration system.

  25. The conversation was funny, but the part that caught my eye was "wake me up before 8:00 a.m., Mom." Those days will soon be over!

  26. Hee hee! How funny. What memories flood my brain. Actually, by the end we were registering on the phone line. BYU is so techno. :) And how did we manage? Better in many ways. Though I'd rather not stand in line again, I will talk to total strangers around me instead of texting to this day.

  27. Look at all the things our kids are missing out on! They could be talking to strangers instead!