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I Am NOT Smarter Than a Fifth Grader

technological disadvantages at midlifeMeryl can be found blogging regularly at Six Decades and Counting…Life Reinvented. 

The fact that I am not smarter than a fifth grader is not easy to admit, but it is true.

Not only am I not smarter than most kids nowadays, but also am increasingly out of sync with the world, or at least the e-world of my kids and grandkids. Today’s electronic entertainment and recreational activities are passing me by.

I cannot keep up. My brain has slowed down a notch or two. Recognizing people does not happen as easily as it used to, remembering events and data takes longer, and new things are not as easily retained.

Fifth graders are becoming smarter than me every day. I came face to face with this harsh realization when recently attempting to handle two situations.

The first occurred in what to me is a foreign environment – an electronics store. My son asked me to buy a particular electronic component, an item sold out in the store near his home. He mentioned the item name, and I did not ask details. He probably assumed I knew what he was talking about.

I did not.

I soon find myself in a big box electronic superstore surrounded by large screen TVs and video games humming all around me, and aisle after aisle of computers and computer paraphernalia. Remember, I had no idea what I was looking for, or where to find it.

I strolled over to the computer section and drifted up and down the aisles. Was I looking for a game, gadget, or some other product? Bewildered does not begin to describe my feelings.

Suddenly a girl about ten years old approached and asked if she could help. Obviously she did not work at the store. Salespeople were scarce and rarely seen. I told her what I was looking for and she wandered off. A couple of minutes later she returned and told me exactly where to find the item – a Wii game. A few minutes later, the purchase completed, I happily exited foreign territory, a.k.a. the electronics store.

The second event occurred while home on my computer. Reviewing a list of articles, one stated, “How to get to XXX Village”. Never heard of the place, but it piqued my interest and I investigated. It did not take long to grasp the fact the article was about a video game.

No road trip involved in reaching that village.

Somehow I manage to survive with my abysmal limited knowledge of the video world. It seems to be all around me. My grandson rolls his eyes as he tells me about his latest video adventure. I try to understand, but my glazed expression clearly indicates my befuddlement.

I know I should learn about this new virtual world, but honestly, I really do not care. There are too many other things to do and learn before spending time on video games. Young people have plenty of time to do it all. My time is precious.

My video game time will, however, eventually arrive. I envision my future, hopefully years away, sitting in front of a computer screen playing video games. An enjoyable way to pass the time, I will be too old, deaf, weak, and frail to do anything else.

I can wait.

Meryl Baer

Meryl Baer is a recovering financial professional now freelance writer/blogger living at the Jersey shore. She travels a lot, but when home takes zumba and yoga, walks on the beach and writes. Check out her take on life, travel, cycling, kayaking, grandparenting, food and whatever else she finds interesting at the moment on her blog, Six Decades and Counting -

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