Ten years, Ten thoughts

Last Saturday marked the 3,653rd day since I graduated from college.

Ten full years.

Yes, some how, some way an entire decade has slipped off the calendars since May 17, 1998, the day I strolled onstage inside the University of Illinois’ Foellinger Auditorium wearing a stuffy cap and gown, and then strolled off it with my diploma in tow.

(Too bad a 10-year projection of the print newspaper industry didn’t come tucked inside it.)

A day after graduating, I turned 22 years old.

And, apparently, one day after that some gizmo called the Galaxy IV communications satellite failed while orbiting Earth, resulting in a loss of service to about 90 percent of the world’s pagers.


Jeez, how old am I, anyways?

In any case, with a decade of life in the real world now under my belt, I got to thinking this week about how much things changed since that sunny day in ’98 when I morphed from Joe College into Joe Journalist.

And headed out on my own.
In honor the 10-year anniversary, I came up 10 things I was doing in 1998.

That I don’t do any longer.

1. In 1998, I didn’t own a cell phone.

I think I knew exactly one person who did.Besides this guy.

2. In 1998, I wore a watch.

Now I just use my cell phone.

3. In 1998, I had an alarm clock.

Now I just use my cell phone.

4. And in 1998, I had a landline phone.

Now — you guessed it — I just use my cell phone.

5. In 1998, I didn’t have an ATM card.

I actually went up to a bank teller to withdraw 20 bucks.

Either that, or I wrote a check out to myself and cashed it at a grocery store service counter.


6. In 1998, I didn’t have a home computer.

And my newspaper office had just one with Internet service.

Dial-up, of course.

I checked e-mail one time a day.

Now, I check it, about one time a second.

7. In 1998, I thought Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa hit home runs naturally.

They just, you know, worked out really, really hard in the offseason, drank milk and took their vitamins.

8. In 1998, I was an idiot.

9. In 1998, I was more likely to HotBot than I was to Google.

If you don’t know what HotBot is, well, try Googling it.

10. In 1998, I could buy a gallon of gas for 97 cents at the
Speedway station in Ottawa, Ill.

I am so not kidding.

Told ya things have changed.

And I don’t think they’re changing back.

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  1. If it makes you feel any better … I still don’t have an ATM card, nor do I want one. I’m convinced they’ll make me more reckless with my money. So yes, I definitely still write checks over the amount at Jewel. I am officially a 70-year-old woman.

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