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Sunday, August 4, 2013
The Web and search engines connect generations in an instant like no other media can.
In my experience working with students at my Virginia Tech job, I tried to speak concisely without using trite expressions that display my generational differences. Sometimes when I slipped I needed to ask my student worker to pull up a chair while I executed a search that instantly illustrated what I meant.
One of the best examples was a comment I made to my student, a proud Virginia Tech Hokie Ambassador. In that capacity he led dozens of tour groups across campus and through buildings while walking backward, facing his audience. All Hokie Ambassadors walked backward.
As my student was wrapping up his college career, I told him his legacy was that he and his fellow Hokie Ambassadors had trained in the “Ministry of Silly Walks,” straight out of a Monty Python television sketch. He had never in his 20 years heard of the sketch.
Thirty seconds later, thanks to the Internet, there was John Cleese opening the sketch from 1970. I spanned the generational divide and imparted my vast trivial knowledge on yet another youthful student who nearly graduated from Virginia Tech without discovering the legend of how Hokie Ambassadors learned “the walk.”
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