“A teacher doesn’t need to know everything,” I often told my students. “A teacher just needs to know where to look it up.”
The same holds true today, but today it’s a whole lot easier to access a limitless supply of information with just a few keystrokes. And while I’ve always been a naturally curious creature, I now consider myself a virtual information junkie.
Admitting I’m an information junkie is a lot easier than admitting I’m a Google addict. For over a decade, Google has been the first thing I turn to for answers. Can’t remember who wrote a favorite song? Google it. Want to know what year a certain movie came out? Google it. Wonder if a moose belongs to the deer family? Google it.
Any time, day or night, and for me it’s mostly the middle of the night, Google comes to the rescue of my restless mind. It’s somewhat comforting to know I’m not alone in this addiction… I looked it up on… well, you know… and there are all kinds of quizzes to take to discern if you’re a charter member of the Church of Search.
When the 9.0 earthquake hit Japan, I recalled being in the classroom about a decade ago when a large earthquake hit our area. The specific details were fuzzy, so I Googled it. It was Wednesday, February 28, 2001, when a 6.8 quake centered near Nisqually rocked my junior English class.
Clearly I remember instructing my 16 and 17 year olds to “assume the position,” and get under their desks with their backs to windows, hold on to the table leg with one hand and put their eyes in the crook of their other arm.
And while the children were thusly positioned, guess what their teacher was doing? Why, I was busy Googling the West Coast Tsunami Warning Center to find out if we needed to take further action once the shaking stopped. Fortunately, it was a “deep subduction” or “intraslab” quake, and there was no danger of a tsunami to follow.
Thanks to Google, I was able to quickly calm my students, and return to the lesson at hand as soon as the “all clear” bell sounded.
That was a full decade ago, and I’ll bet I’ve used Google almost every day since. When I want to know something, even if it’s just the last time the Seattle Mariners had a winning season (don’t ask), I can quickly get the answer and go back to sleep.
I may still be in the slow lane on the Information Superhighway, but at least I can rely on the Google search engine to keep me motoring along.