The other day I bumped into Jane Fonda after not having seen her for many years. There she was in my Facebook feed, 70-something-years old and still looking rather good.
Jane and I are old friends though, of course, she’s not aware of this. She doesn’t know she spent many a sweaty hour with me, years ago, as I worked my leotard-clad body hard. I’d stretch and bounce and breathe fast, as I listened carefully to her aerobic instructions.
“Make it burn!” Jane would yell at me, at regular intervals. And I made sure I did. Afterwards, I’d press the ‘stop’ button on my cassette player before collapsing on the floor in an exhausted untidy burning heap.
I threw out my Jane Fonda aerobic workout cassettes a very long time ago. There seemed no point keeping them as I didn’t have anything to play them on. Technology had moved on and I’d replaced my cassette player with a CD player.
Jane Fonda also moved with the times. Her cassette workouts were replaced with video workouts. Sound and pictures! Oh my! It was no longer necessary to listen quite so carefully to her instructions. We could see what we were supposed to be doing. We could also see what we’d look like if we ‘made it burn’. At least, I assume women hoped they’d look like Jane. I never actually bought a Jane Fonda video. I’d discovered the gym by that time.
If I ever have the urge to revisit the past, I could buy a Jane Fonda workout, not on video, but on DVD because, of course, videos have gone the way of cassettes. And if I want to do a workout RIGHT NOW without buying a DVD, I could go to Youtube and follow along with a direct streaming video. (There’s loads of choice.) Yes, that’s another thing we didn’t have in the ‘old days’: the Internet.
Life has changed a lot since I was in my twenties. All this new technology. As an adult, I’ve had to learn a lot.
I’ve learnt how to use a mobile phone, a TV that has a remote control, a T-box, and DVD and CD players. I’ve learnt how to use a computer, send emails, navigate Google, sign up for accounts and make up passwords. I’ve become familiar with downloading software programs and working out how to use them: how to make and edit videos, record and edit soundtracks and make podcasts, edit photos. That reminds me: I’ve learnt to use a digital camera, even a DSLR one on manual mode. I’ve even learnt how to self-publish a book. I am sure these are only a few of the things I’ve learnt.
|cassette-sketch-01 by Jeff Jacobson-Swartfager, (CC BY-SA 2.0)|
School didn’t prepare me at all for life as a 21st century woman. How could it have? No one knew what the future was going to be like. This makes me wonder what life will be like in another 5, 10, 20, 30 years’ time. What will it be like when Sophie and Gemma-Rose leave home? And what kind of work will they be doing? I’m sure, with the advances in technology, there will be many job opportunities we can’t, at this present time, imagine.
The big question is: How will I ensure my daughters know all they need to know for their independent adult lives? Maybe I can’t because I don’t know what their future needs will be. But that’s okay. I think sharing a love of learning with our children is far more important than making sure they know particular things.
As John Holt said:
Since we can’t know what knowledge will be most needed in the future, it is senseless to try to teach it in advance. Instead, we should try to turn out people who love learning so much and learn so well that they will be able to learn whatever needs to be learned.
I guess my girls will continue learning what they need to know when they need to know it. They’ll keep up with the changing world, I’m sure.
Has anyone else ever done a Jane Fonda workout? And do you remember cassette tapes and how frustrating they were when they got all tangled up?
|cassette-sketch by Jeff Jacobson-Swartfager
(CC BY-SA 2.0)
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Please feel welcome to stop by!