I loved "On the Road"
It was a definitive tome for me. It was the first book that ended up folded from days spent in my back pocket. It was the story to made me want to wander. I never did wander the way Jack and the boys did, but I was never inspired to, or since, to wander in the way they did.
It was months on a bus.
It was a typewriter.
It was a level of experience vastly different than today. Some will say it's technology that is the difference. I disagree. The bus. The typewriter. They were the pinnacles of technology for that day. Our day is different.
But where is our Jack?
He may be on a BoltBus without wifi, wishing he could tweet...
Maybe he's on an American Airlines flight without a BoingoBoingo account...
Maybe he's at a conference and the wifi is spotty...
Maybe he's teaching, and has no time to blog....
Or maybe he hasn't gotten back yet. Gotten back from that journey of discovery. Maybe the most important part of Jack's trip wasn't about his experiences but rather his reflection of his experiences. He wrote it rather quickly. Took longer to experience. But he wrote it fast.
Maybe our Jack isn't back yet.
I see many people on journeys. Many teachers blogging. But I'm waiting for Jack. I'm waiting for that voice to get back from their trip. To spend days writing their tome. This time on digital sheets of paper 120 feet long.
But maybe Jack isn't out there.
Maybe there isn't a "digital generation" in the same way there was a "beat generation" and maybe that's ok.
But either way, Jack was a voice. If not a voice of a generation, a voice of a theme. A voice of a current. A voice of an experience.
Who is our voice?
Who is our Jack?
And where is he now...?
Maybe he's nowhere. Maybe he is us. Maybe that tattered paperback is an iPhone, the typewriter, an app. Maybe we are all writing the definitive tome for a generation. For a generation yet to come. 140 characters at a time...