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And it has nothing to do with my 49th birthday four days ago.

In my AP Stats class we are working on how to interpret graphs. The graph we’re working with shows the number of drive-in movie theaters in the U.S. by year, starting in 1988. There is a huge drop-off between 1988 and 1990. I ask the class, “What do you think might have contributed to this trend?”

Blank stares and the sounds of crickets…

“C’mon, somebody give me a possible reason. It doesn’t have to be right, lets just throw out an idea.”

Bland stares…

“One reason… just one… anybody?”

Precious child in the front, “Did they pass some kinda law?”

“No, but thanks for trying. Anybody else?”


Me, “Why did people go to drive-ins?”

Kid, “To make out in the back seat?”

Me, “Good answer. Why the drive-in though, why not at a regular theater?”

Kid, “If you’re in your car its private.”

Me, “Good answer. Now, what happened in 1988 to let you watch movies in private?”

Blank stares, crickets…

“C’mon, thinks about it, it isn’t that hard… Anybody? What became popular in 1988 or about then?”

At this point it has become obvious I’m not going to get the answer I’m looking for.

“That’s when the VCR became affordable and popular. People could watch movies at home.”

Blank stares, crickets…

One kid tentatively raises his hand. “What’s a VCR?”

Now I’m the one with the blank stare. “Y’all don’t know what a VCR is?”

Another kid says, “Is that the thing that’s like an 8-track for video?”

Seriously, getting old…


  1. At least someone knew what an 8-track was. I’m getting old too… I do miss a good drive in.

  2. As bad as when my children refer to my deeply wonderful collection of music on vinyl as “the big CDs”

  3. C’mon now, those kids weren’t even born in ’88. Cut ’em some slack! 😉

    Just for the record, my favorite 8 track was The Beach Boys. I just about wore it out! 😛

  4. Okay, seriously, my 9yo and 6yo still watch some of their movies on VHS…these teens have issues!

  5. I’m finding that my material is way outdated at times as well. When you can’t refer to Saved By the Bell, you know something’s up.

  6. In my kindergarten class we made shrinky dinks (the plastic art you put in the oven) One of my CO-WORKERS asked what I was doing and I told her what we were making. She said ” what are those” I wanted to cry.

  7. Not to make you feel bad…

    But I’m a teacher and I had NO IDEA what happened between 1988 and 1990.

    I figured it out, but my first thought was “Reagan did something stupid?”

    ~ Lib

  8. But to make me feel bad…

    Because that was Bush I.

    *slap on forehead*

    Oops :-/

    ~ Lib

  9. Have you heard of the mindset list? Check out this link (and scroll down a bit)

    Basically, all the statements are true about today’s high school seniors. You can even look up different years ;). In this year’s list (college class of 2013), I find most surprising numbers 17, 23,and 44

  10. 8-Tracks were the bomb…lots of cool music…Happy Birthday…49 is young….kids just dont know…think about when you are 60 the difference then…..zman sends

  11. Wow! Not knowing what a vcr is? I don’t think I’m old and I grew up with them!

  12. I feel old too, because I remember when my family got our first VCR. My kids, at least, know what that is, though (eleven and six) because we still have one, and we still use it. My only beef is that the new DVD/VCR combos don’t have a good manual tracking fix, so if the auto-tracking isn’t working, you’re screwed.

  13. Holds vinyl record up–kids exclaim, “That’s the biggest CD I’ve ever seen!”

    Me: What’s a 45 RPM?
    Twentysomething: “A gun?”

    “You were alive when man first walked on the moon? WOW!”

    “Paul McCartney was in a band before Wings?”

  14. That’s a funny story. Seriously. I’m surprised one of them didn’t say DVD player.

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