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Grandma Versus Modern Society

, , , | Related | November 12, 2019

(My grandmother lives with my family for a time after her husband passes. During this time, I graduate high school and start college. She has an uncanny ability to want something from me when I am studying and only while I am studying.)

Grandmother: “[My Name], you are always on that computer! Get off that computer and come help with dishes.” 

(I close the three textbooks I have in front of me and save the work on my computer. I load the dishwasher, get it started, and try to get back my train of thought.) 

Grandmother: “Good. Don’t you feel good contributing to the house instead of being shut up in your room on that computer all day? And you can’t get behind in your lessons, either! Your parents aren’t paying for your schooling just so you can play games on that computer.” 

Me: “First of all, Gramma: my parents aren’t paying for anything. I have a full scholarship that pays for my school. Second: my major is computer science. That implies that I will be on a computer to do my assignments. In fact, when you interrupted me, I was writing a program for a class assignment that’s due next week. And I’d like to get back to it, if you don’t mind.” 

(I start putting a sign on my door when I am studying, asking to be left alone. I even try to post a study schedule as a compromise. But my grandmother loudly states every time she sees the sign:)

Grandmother: “Well, [My Name] is studying, I guess! Too bad her family’s out here. I’m sure they’d like her to join them, but I guess that computer’s too important! That scholarship is more important than having a meal with her family! But I shouldn’t interrupt her studying when I know she’s on that computer, anyway!”

(I didn’t neglect housework. I always had at least one night class, so it was easier to stay on campus and get dinner there. And I paid for almost everything out of my scholarship or tutoring jobs. Grandma just didn’t understand “computers,” so she automatically thought they were useless. She even said that “computers” weren’t a valid career path and offered to pay for “secretary school,” instead. For a family that insisted I go to college, it suddenly stopped being important when I actually got there.)

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