Leaven Blog

New generations aren’t so bad

by Todd Habiger

I was recently the subject of a hatchet job in a newspaper. Unfortunately, that newspaper was The Leaven.

Leaven reporter Olivia Martin was quoted in the May 25 issue as saying one of her favorite things about working at The Leaven is always beating me in basketball.

Let me set the record straight. We’ve played about a dozen games of HORSE and I do remember winning one of those games. So, even though my record stands at a Washington Generals-like 1-11, I want credit for that win.

Not that I should be embarrassed by my lack of success. After all, I am a few years older than her.

For each issue of The Leaven, I layout and edit the 50th wedding anniversary notices. In editing the first anniversary notice of 2018, I noticed a mistake. The couple listed the year they were married as 1968. That couldn’t be possible, I thought, because I was born in 1969 and I’m no where near . . . Uh, oh. I am almost 50.

How did I get to this point? It seems like only yesterday that I was the fresh-faced new kid at the chancery — not the grizzled 20-plus year veteran.

I, somehow, have two kids — one in college and one in high school — who tell me I’m not cool anymore and that no one uses the word “cool” anyway.

As I was cleaning the house a few weeks ago I decided to throw away all my old music cassettes. When I told my son what I was doing he asked, “What’s a cassette?”

Am I that old? Maybe I am.

As I write this blog, I realize that I am becoming “that old guy.” I remember rotary phones, three networks, television snow, 8-track tapes (my Mom still thinks that 8-tracks were the best), Czechoslovakia, Pong, smoking on an airplane, lawn darts, AOL and cellphones in a bag.

At The Leaven, it’s important for us to keep up with the times — the language, the culture and the technology. Employees like Olivia and her predecessor Moira Cullings have made it easier, even if, at the same time, they serve as a reminder of how young I am not.

I find that being around them makes me feel young because they bring enthusiasm and a different perspective to everything they do. They don’t treat me as “the old guy” (even though Moira likes to make fun of my Spotify playlist: “Love songs of the 80s”) and I, in turn, treat them as equals.

These young people will inherit this world. While some may find that discouraging, I, having worked with and witnessed their generation, find it very encouraging.

Their generation is intelligent, good natured and thoughtful. I can’t wait to see what they do with the world.

As for now . . . come on, Olivia — today I get that second win.

About the author

Todd Habiger

Todd has been the production manager for The Leaven since 1995. Under his direction The Leaven has won multiple design awards from the Catholic Press Association. Prior to working at The Leaven, Todd was an award-winning writer for The Catholic Key newspaper in Kansas City, Mo. Todd is married to Lori Wood Habiger, a former Leaven employee herself. They have two children — Paige and Connor, and one dog — Joli.

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