When I was a freshman in college at MIZZOU I took a class named Library Science. I had no career aspirations of being a Librarian but the class was necessary because I needed to learn the card catalogue system. As you can imagine, there are a lot of books in the library at a major university and finding the specific book or periodical needed to complete a project or do research is a daunting task.
You remember the card catalogue right? It looked like this:
The index card is filed in a long drawer and it gives the location of the resource you’re looking for. Of course you need a secret decoder ring to fully understand where a book is located. I haven’t been in the library at MIZZOU since I graduated, believe it or not the library is not my first stop on Alumni Weekends, but I’m going to guess those massive rows of tiny drawers have been replaced with computers. The card catalogue has become obsolete even though it was so important 20 years ago I had to take a 3 hour class on how to use it if I had any hope of graduating.
Cursive handwriting is in the same boat – it’s a dying art. Many schools don’t teach cursive writing as a part of the curriculum and that’s sad but to be honest, why would they. Think about your own life, how often is it you “pen” a letter? For me, not often and when I do write by hand it’s a hybrid cursive/print form that is sorta legible.
I was cleaning out a cabinet at home the other day and I came across a road atlas. It’s been a long time since I planned a trip with a paper map. My iPhone can get me most places and I have a portable GPS in my vehicle that literally tells me when my turn is approaching. If I want to see a route on a map I go to the internet and use Google Maps.
The practice of medicine is the same. Trends change, new evidence is produced and technology advances. We see it every day. Many surgeries performed today are done on an outpatient basis and the patient never misses a night in his or her own bed. Twenty years ago these same surgeries would have required a 5 night stay in the hospital.
Depending on “when” you are some of the things you thought you couldn’t live without will eventually become obsolete.