In just a few hours, my best friend will be on TV doing his job as a technology reporter for King 5. Given I’m on vacation today, we ended up going to the place he will shoot the segment — the Living Computer Museum which is funded by Paul Allen. I didn’t know this place existed and neither of us were sure what we were in for.
The reason for our visit had to do with the fact that today, October 21, 2015, is the actual date featured in the movie “Back to the Future” — that far off futuristic time Marty McFly travels to where clothes dry themselves, skateboards hover on air, and Max Headroom serves you your Pepsi.
It made me think about a few things.
First, everyone should visit this museum. It is fascinating to see how technology has developed over the course of many of our lifetimes. It’s better yet to spend time reflecting on the influence that has had in your life — creating a graphic like the one above would have been impossible ten years ago for a layperson like me. You will find upon visiting how much looks familiar to you even if you don’t consider yourself someone involved with technology.
Tomorrow night, and again on Friday, the museum will host a “Future” party and I plan on attending. You should too.
Second, it reminded me of something I’ve been doing informally throughout the last few months that I wanted to share. We spend a lot of time celebrating teachers — when they are our teachers. How often do we look back on the teachers who led us through various parts of our life, and reach back out to tell them what a difference they made in our lives? I have often reflected on a specific teacher or moment from the early days of my life that had an impact on me, as well as those that led me through learning and becoming an adult later in life.
I’ve always been a person more closely connected with their teachers than others — perhaps because as a gay youth many of them protected me while I was at school in ways that I would only later come to realize. But I don’t think that’s it. I call upon so many of the things I’ve learned throughout the years from these teachers of mine.
I have been reaching out to some on occasion, but starting today I want to make a commitment to reach out to all of the teachers who made an impact..to reach back in to the future of my life and recognize those who played a role in making my life what it is today.
I can think of no better way to celebrate the great contribution of our educators than to surprise them years later with a message of thanks and an update on where I am and what I learned from them. If they are the type of educator I imagine them to be, this will be a gift unlike any other. They will have an opportunity to see the results of their efforts in a way that is often unavailable to them.
One teacher I know is trying to bring his kids home for the Holidays after a rough divorce and financial hardship. Let’s thank our teachers for all they do.