No, this isn't about our son, Rick Moore, and his group, Crimson River Quartet! Their new CD is entitled "Then ... And Now".
My "Then" was 1952-1953 and "Now" is 2007-2008. I'm referring to my first year of college and Emily's (our granddaughter and Rick's daughter) first year of college.
There are a lot of things that have changed over the past 55 years as far as attending college is concerned. Here are a few of them.
1. I attended a small private church sponsored college called Pasadena Nazarene College (PNC). In 1973 they re-located to the San Diego area and is now known as Point Loma Nazarene University (PLNU). PNC had approximately 1,200 students which included a high school academy. Emily attends Sonoma State University which has approximately 8,000 students. Quite a difference there.
2. Because PNC was partially supported by the Church of the Nazarene, my full time (16 units) tuition was $250 a semester or $500 a school year. Yes, I went through all four years for approximately $2,000 in tuition. Emily's is slightly more than that! I don't know exactly what but it is in the many thousands per semester and this is a state sponsored school as apposed to a private college. And yes,PLNU is also in the many thousands per semester to attend now. More than Sonoma.
3. Gasoline was 19 cents a gallon and now it is over $3.60 a gallon. The cost of a first class stamp was 3 cents and now 41 cents going to 42 cents in May. You could get a good meal for under a dollar and now you are lucky to find one for 8 or 9 dollars. We (Ann and I) used to go to a small eatery and get a taco and a Pepsi (in the bottle) for 50 cents per person. Total one dollar for the two of us! Try that today even at Taco Bell. Our favorite eating place was Bob's Big Boy in Pasadena where we got a good hamburger, fries, and a thick shake you had to eat with a spoon for a very reasonable price.
4. Communication with the outside world was by a pay telephone down the hall in the dorm where anyone walking by when it rings would answer and yell out for whoever is needed. Now everyone has a cell phone on their person and can be contacted at any time. We still wrote letters back then to people at home or friends wherever they might be. Some were in the service of our country as the Korean Conflict was going at the time and so was the draft. Now we "talk" by e-mail and everyone in school has an e-mail address given to them by the school so professors can get current information to them as soon as possible. WOW! Who would have thought that would happen?
5. Emily even has a BLOG to keep everyone up to date as to what she is doing and thinking. She includes pictures. Family and friends can call up the site daily to get the latest Emily connection. Another one of those "WOW" things.
6. In 1952, reports and themes were written on a typewriter. I had a portable one that came in handy for the many themes and reports that were required in college. However, Emily has a MAC laptop computer (gift from Nana and Papa) to do her items requiring a nice printed page. When I made a mistake, I had to do the whole thing over. If I needed multiple copies, we had carbon paper to assist. Emily just asked the computer for as many copies as she needs. And corrections are done quickly and without writing the whole thing over. Besides that, her computer gives her e-mail access with the world as well as a method to update her BLOG whenever she wants to do so.
7. Capturing the events of your life in college requires a camera. I had a small film camera that took black and white pictures 12 to a roll outdoors (no flash). So you pick and choose what you want to remember and not forget to have enough film with you to take all the pictures you desire. Emily has a digital camera with hundreds of image capacity that takes color pictures with flash and she never has to worry about "do I have enough film". And she gets to see her picture immediately after taking the shot to see if she needs to retake one. Her pictures are downloaded onto her computer and she can keep what she wants deleting those she doesn't want. From my time in college, this is another "WOW"!
8. I was able to put myself through college by working part time in a coffee shop as dishwasher. Paid all my bills and even had a few dollars left for fun. You can't do that today. Loans are the choice many have to resort to if you don't have parents who can afford to pay your bills.
9. My first year I had my brother's car -- a 1939 Pontiac. See the posting entitled "Built-In Speed Regulator". The second year my roommate had a 1937 Plymouth that he allowed me to use when needed. During my Junior year I bought a 1947 Plymouth that had 50,000 miles on it and a re-built motor. Paid $495 for it. What can you get for that price today? My car was 7 years old then. So go back 7 years and you are looking at a 2001 car. You will pay 10 times what I did for the same thing.
10. When I graduated in 1956, Rick was with us having made his appearance two months before my graduation. I bought an endowment insurance policy that would pay his college -- $2,000. HA! When he attended PLNU in 1974, we were paying $307 a month for his college! At this time that is cheap! I bet he wished he could pay that price for Emily's education.
These are just a few of the differences between my first year of college and Emily's first year. Times change. What will it be like 55 years from now?