Time–technology time, at least–is moving incredibly fast.  

I’m closer to 60 than 50, though just barely.  Like everyone else my age, I grew up with a single telephone on the wall, although I was still fairly young when we had a second line installed.  Phones with cords, of course.

In my mid-30s I got a pager, and I think I still have, somewhere in a drawer, the first cell phone I bought nearly 20 years ago.  300 minutes of talk time, and I usually used all of them without even trying. My watch today has many times the amount of memory my first few computers had, and I’m amazed at the capabilities of my “phone.” 

I laughed at all of this today when a student asked me if I have to take a computer with me when I move from school to school.  I’m a STEM coach, and I work in four different schools in the district.

“Yes,” I told him.  “I’ve got a few with me.”

“A few? How many do you carry?”

As I gave him my answer, I thought about what my chiropractor would say.

“Well, I’ve got my laptop.  That’s my main computer. I’ve also got an older iPad.  I use it to teach my coding lessons (K-5). Plus, I’ve also got my new iPad.”  I still haven’t transferred all of the files from the old one, but I’ll do it soon.  Sure I will.

“Wow, you’ve got three computers?”

“Well, I’ve also got an Android tablet that I’m using for a class I’m taking.”

“Four computers!”

I thought about it for a second.  “And, I suppose, my phone counts, and technically my watch does too.”


Okay, really–I don’t need all of those, but I do use most of them on a daily basis.

I decided not to tell him about the third iPad in my bag that I was delivering to a teacher.  That one really doesn’t count.

Truth be told, sometimes I miss a simpler life, one that’s lived on the end of a curly cord.


14 thoughts on “Devices”

  1. I loved reading this slice because I wrote about my landline phone today & figures someone would tease me. While I’m in my mid-40s, I remember having rotary dial phones and phones in the wall for years. In fact, my childhood bedroom still has a phone with a curly cord. And I hope that never changes.

    Enjoy all four of your computers!


    1. I’ll have to check out your slice, but I certainly won’t tease you. We technically still have a landline, but there’s not a phone plugged into it. Go figure. Thanks for reading!


  2. Tim, as a teacher of technology and coding (a super valuable 21st century skill) your computer usage seems necessary and warranted so take or leave my anecdote for what its worth to you. As a self experiment years ago I ditched my iPhone and went back to a flip phone. In the three years since, I’ve never been happier. I still do everything I need to on my MacBook, but it’s far simpler to fold up and put away when I want to read, cook, or visit with friends. It might not be realistic for you, but maybe unplugging in some other specific and intentional ways is? Either way, I love this tribute to a simpler time where phones were on walls at the end of curly cords.


    1. Thanks, Jordan, for reading and for your comment. Honestly, I’ve debated doing the flip phone thing so many times. I’ve taken a lot of apps off of my phone, but it still takes a tremendous amount of my day. My “fear of missing out” isn’t nearly as bad as it used to be, but I’ve still got a ways to go. Thanks again!


  3. I remember laying on the floor talking to friends for hours. No caller id, no call waiting, just dad yelling from his room to get off the phone.


  4. Yes! I do remember and love life on the end of a curly cord, stretched around the corner from the hallway to my bedroom as I test just…how…far…into my room I can hide before the phone tethers me back.

    Thanks for this wonderful slice!


  5. This reminds me so much of the YA book, “Feed” by M. T. Anderson, where computers are no longer things we carry around, but inside our heads. During one scene, which I believe takes place during a history class, the teacher is trying to explain that computers used to be separate entities that we carried around. Here’s the quote I found: “I don’t know when they first had feeds. Like maybe, fifty or a hundred years ago. Before that, they had to use their hands and their eyes. Computers were all outside the body. They carried them around outside of them, in their hands, like if you carried your lungs in a briefcase and opened it to breathe.”


    1. Wow, I’m not sure how that passage makes me feel. Like I said, I think that technology time is moving fast–honestly, I hope not that fast! Thank you for sharing with me. -Tim


  6. “The end of a curly cord” was so good! Though I’m a bit younger… and not as tech savvy as it appears you are, I could really relate to this!


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