Getting Older is Giving Me Vertigo

And not the type that Bono sings about.


Well..maybe. I don’t know what he is singing about in Vertigo.

Today at school I was sitting at my desk, as I generally do on Wednesday afternoons. Then, I thought there was an earthquake, because suddenly the ground seemed to shift quite drastically to the left. Vancouver is supposedly due for a big one. During the big one, Richmond, where I work, is supposed to sink into the sea.

Put a row boat on the roof.

I looked at the half-asleep teenager in my classroom and asked if he felt it.

Felt what?

…the earthquake?

It was at that time I started to also feel like I was on a sailboat. And seasick. So I went home.

I got home ok. I called my dad to ask him if I was ok.

(My dad has had a couple of strokes – so he is a bit of an expert on things that can happen to your brain).

I also wanted to check whether he thought I needed an MRI or something.

Apparently, he has had vertigo plenty of times (a little ominous, I guess – considering his propensity for strokes).  But it happens when you have a cold and the infection gets into your ears, or if there is something wrong with your ears.

Me: “Dad – does this have something to do with getting older?” … “This has never happened to me before. I feel like Lucille II in Arrested Development”


Dad: “Yes, yes it certainly does”.

Thanks dad.

**But if you want to suddenly feel 12 years old again, tell your parents you have a weird health issue, and they will call you every 2.5 hours to make sure you are still alive.

Now I am home, lying flat, dealing with the dizzies.

Today I was talking about being a teenager with another teacher and getting very nostalgic. It was also my two best friends’ birthday party this past weekend, both are my first year university roommates. It’s amazing how quickly you transition from complaining about people talking about the “supposed good old days”, to talking about the good old days.

Reflections on recent history include:

Cell Phones:url

I remember when Joyce Lee went to Hong Kong for the summer, and came back to Grade 8 – and was sending text messages on her phone. Oh yeah, she also HAD a CELL PHONE. Which was a big deal circa 1998. I didn’t get my first cell phone until I was 16, several years later.

Remember when text messaging cost money per text. And it was expensive?

imgresCrushing on someone:

When you liked someone before Facebook, you couldn’t Facebook creep them, or Google stalk them. No – you had to literally creep on them. Learn where they hung out after school and plan to bump into them, join activities you had absolutely no interest in to spend time with them, construct awkward plans involving friends in the person’s classes to glean more information and find out if they might like you (or more of those “fun” activities you could join), eventually add them to MSN and post suggestive MSN statuses, until, finally, one summer evening at around 1:30 am, you both finally confessed that you liked each other (ok – that’s getting a little specific). Do you remember MSN’ing the kiss or heart emoticon to your significant other, before signing off at night?

Online Stuff:

My online activities in High School included: MSN, downloading music from Napster/Limewire/Bearshare and burning CD’s, playing the Sims, reading other people’s Live Journals, writing crappy poetry on my crappy website, and sending /receiving dramatic emails to my boyfriends. All in all, I probably spent 2 hours a day on the computer.

Truthfully – the computer would 3fe59370-ffe1-0131-6fe1-0add9426c766eventually get boring. Mine was really slow. Netflix did not yet exist. We didn’t have access to every book, movie and song ever created. I couldn’t cyber stalk my crush (I had to leave the house for that). If none of my friends were online, I had no reason to be on MSN. If they were online, we’d usually transition to doing something in real life. There are also only so many bad poems and dramatic emails you can write, only so many times you can drown your Sims in the pool.

facebook_2005The Invention of Facebook:

I actually remember the first incarnation of Facebook – in 2004, UBC got Facebook. Remember how it was only open to university students for awhile? And no one understood really what we were supposed to do with it?

The first post on my wall, from a friend in UBC residence was, as follows:

If I could say two words about Kath.. I would say tuna town… not that she smells of tuna.. or salmon..maybe jerky… but she makes really good tuna sandwiches… and sometimes.. if you grow sideburns, she’ll wink at you in that special way.. i would know.. sideburns are my thing.

For context – the reference to tuna was because my student job was making sandwiches in the cafeteria, and I liked tuna sandwiches. I hope it was reference to sandwiches. Fish and vagina references went hand in hand a lot at that time. I also had a gigantic crush on a guy with sideburns. A guy I had to creep on, until I finally made a move sometime in my second year of undergrad. We didn’t know how to use Facebook yet, you see.

I think we thought we were supposed to make recommendations about our friends, or leave notes like in a yearbook.

Pearl (whose birthday we celebrated this past weekend) decided to sign off on her post:

haha erin haid you’re funny…but kath makes good sandwiches..or wraps, since that’s what i get. but that’s 2 totally unrelated things, but then again…randomness is my middle name right?
erin forgot to write: mixed fruit salad…and i’m supposed to write muffin gala…..

Yup. We didn’t get it yet. I don’t think we could share as much then as we can now. Everything I share now is either a) funny b) political c) related to education/language learning or d) an attractive or cute (yet totally down-to-earth and fun) photo of myself. Like this one, of myself and the birthday girls.


It’s not the good old days, though. It wasn’t necessarily better to grow up when I did. Kids today have access to so much information, and I think they are developing the skills to deal with the world they live in. They need to be tech savvy. They are more open minded. They can do things with their computers and phones that I can’t. They can figure out a lot more on their own, without professional/teacher/parent involvement.

Sometimes I think they are lonely? Connected to each other all the time, but not in a physical sense…

I watched Netflix today, in an episode where Jack is looking for a new mentee, a “Gen Y DBag comes into his office:

“Hey are you Jack? Sorry I’m late. Bee tee dubs, I gotta leave for my ironic kickball  in about ten. Also, I’m not interested in this position unless I’m going to be constantly praised. And I won’t cut my hair.”

So that’s me. A Gen Y. So obnoxious. Praised within an inch of my life – into ironic sports and not interested in conformity to the point of conformity.

What will this generation be like? What will they be defined by?

I’m now old enough that the teenagers today ARE a different generation.

…It can make you a bit dizzy.