I am becoming my grandmother

December 19, 2008 2 Comments »
My Grandmother & me - 1978.

Granny & me – 1978.

My grandmother was a consummate collector, so much so that, when she and my grandfather moved out of the house they’d lived in for 40+ years, a company had to be hired to go through their effects to determine what was valuable enough to sell and what should be tossed.  They brought a big Loras bin.

Granny not only collected, she shared.  I could always count on receiving some sort of package a few times a year that would be chock-full of articles, photos and whatnot that she had clipped out from the Star or the Globe & Mail because she thought I would be interested.  Whenever I visited, I could be sure that she would have recorded some National Geographic or PBS special that she thought would enthrall me.  A lot of the time she was right, and I read the article or watched the show and learned something I didn’t know.  She was connected to a group of like-minded folks who would phone each other about such-and-such an article, or this or that show on TV, and they’d all clip/record and pass it along.

My Grandmother and Caleb in 2003

Granny & Caleb – 2003

And now I find myself in the same place.  My Google reader has 80+ feeds from a multitude of diverse places, from webcomics to nationally recognised educators to local acquaintances.  I follow more than fifty Twitterers, the vast majority of whom are involved in education in one form or another.  Sometimes I feel like a silicate spider at the center of an ephemeral web, feeling the virtual strands beneath me vibrate with new information or a passing meme (edupunk, anyone?).  And I hoard these offerings, Twittering them in turn or bookmarking them with Diigo, so that they eventually show up on my own blog and I can find them again.

I also pass them along to people I think might be interested.  Many of the educators with whom I have regular face-to-face contact have never heard of RSS, let alone set up a PLN from which to draw self-perpetuating resources.  So I do what my grandmother did.  I copy and paste, or send a link through e-mail.  Hopefully, I have accomplished that which she did with ease: spurred thinking in a new direction or even just a “hmm” moment.

Though Granny is no longer with me, I can’t help but think a little of her lives on through me as I clip articles, photos and whatnot to pass on to people I think might be interested.  I am becoming my grandmother, and I’m okay with that.

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2 Comments

  1. Uncle Peter October 31, 2009 at 6:57 pm -

    Hello Ian,

    I am doing some catching up on family history as genealogy is now called. It is Halloween night, 2009 and I’m looking at my genealogy software entries as well as the Scottish Ancestry poster from Peggy and Joanne.

    It is not up to date and neither are my entries so, being somewhat lazy, I would go to this website to see if I could get anything to add from it. Poking around, I found this entry and thought I’d say a big thank you for your thoughts on Granny Hecht.

    You’ve hit it on the head and extracted the most important point she always was making and that was to share ideas and information with others. This is an idea which is part of me too as a result of her influence. Now I’m going to have to dig out my paper file of family info like I should have.

    But I wouldn’t have come to this site if I had, so even you have some influence too. http://www.marturia.net/blog/wp-content/plugins/tango-smileys-extended/tango/cool.png

    love and hugs to all your brood, and to Mandi,

    Uncle Peter, 31 Oct 09

  2. Jean June 10, 2012 at 11:57 am -

    just don’t have your house full of junque when you pass!