The passage of time seems to be a recurring theme in my life these days. Or perhaps a running theme. I always seem to be running late, or otherwise running behind schedule. (At the same time, I do very little actual running. Since I’m mostly sitting on my behind.) (Sorry, I can’t resist a pun. It’s a sickness.)

So here I am. Doing my reading for my sociolinguistics class. Which is not until Tuesday. It’s Friday night. So that means I’m way ahead of the game, right? Well, I should be. I mean, I’m reading the right chapter for this week. But here’s the deal. I’m reading from an old edition of the textbook. So far, it hasn’t been much of an issue. But now we’re reading the chapter on Language Planning. And it’s a little bizarre to be reading about language policies in the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia “today”. So you see, even though I’m a couple of days ahead, I’m still more than a decade behind. This edition came out in 1992.

15 years ago.

This has lead me to reflect upon a number of things.

As I mentioned before, the class I’m taking is mostly full of undergrads. Probably mostly around 20 years old. At that time my edition of the textbook came out, I was 20 years old, and an undergrad. At that time most of the other students in this class would have been in kindergarden. In 1992, they would have been reading, what, Dr. Seuss? Books in the “I Can Read” series? The Berenstein Bears?

And what seems particularly striking to me, as I read this outdated chapter, is that these folks probably have no firsthand memories of the existence of the Soviet Union or Yugoslavia. And they grew up without knowing the Cold War.

Anyhow, I don’t have much time to write more about this now. The reflections I’ve had about growing up in the Cold War era. About the impact of the Cold War on U.S. culture and pop culture. But at some point I may write more…and maybe even make a list.

Ok. Back to my reading. And I wonder why I’m running behind?

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