I can pretend that my mind is sharp, when in reality it is only as sharp as Google. I credit myself for coming up with the questions.

Those phones lasted forever!


There is that moment, a remark is offered, my mind sparks, and I am dated.

Our pastor, close to my daughters’ age, challenged us to recall the address and phone number of our childhood home.

She recited her home address effortlessly. And included the zip code.

Oops. I know the address but regard the zip code as an addendum, recited only when requested.


My childhood phone number will be remembered as five digits. I recall the apprehension using the two-digit prefix to call my cousin just to see if it worked. Some city friends recall exchange codes: BE lmont 5.

Needing a ride home from my friend’s party, the party line forced me to wait while the neighbors gossiped.

Living on a farm, my mother’s friend had an old wall phone which she seemed to ignore when it rang. When asked why, she said it wasn’t “their ring.” It took me a few years to learn to distinguish the rhythm of the long and short spurts of sound.

Impossible to remember it all

Kids have a lot to remember now. Ten-digit phone numbers are the norm, and the post office would appreciate our using nine-digit zip codes.

How many presidents to memorize? Forty-six? We were on number 36 when I graduated high school and could stop counting.

There were 48 states when I learned their capitols. My fifth-grade teacher shared the excitement of leaving the country for a vacation–Hawaii. 

The periodic table of elements is up from 102 in 1968 to 118. Thank goodness I didn’t have to learn those.

The Declaration of Independence, preamble to the US Constitution, Gettysburg address, Emancipation Proclamation, Bill of Rights, how many amendments? US Supreme Court justices, cabinet members. History is not getting simpler.

Do students memorize any of these details? Or do they simply Google?

Thank you, Google

Personally, Google helps me to keep mind alert. When I can’t recite the order of the first five presidents, I can Google, sparking the neural transmitters (I just had to Google for a word), hanging on to that information just a little longer. I can pretend that my mind is sharp, when in reality it is only as sharp as Google. I credit myself for coming up with the questions.

ED purchased a car this week for Blue Boy to use since we live outside the high school boundaries. To my observation that I had never enjoyed just a quality car at his age, he replied, “They didn’t make cars like this.”.

Dated. That’s me.

Author: Mary Cornelius

I am an aging woman who writes three blogs.