Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Skype across the ocean

Guest post written by Lou Ferris

I was a little nervous to hear that my granddaughter was studying abroad in Florence, Italy for the summer. But after she told me a bit about her program and that she had other friends from her college going and staying in the same apartment, I felt a little relieved.
Part of what made me feel better was that instead of paying for expensive phone calls across seas, she could talk to me online for free in video chats with this service called Skype. Every week since she flew out to Italy, we video chat via Skype at a designated time, during which she’ll tell me about the latest site she’s seen or a new friend she’s made.

A few Saturdays ago I was having trouble hearing her speak. I thought it was the connection so I checked that I had the volume turned all the way up and when I saw that it was, I asked her to speak up. It occurred to me that maybe I was getting a little hard of hearing. So I sucked up my pride, looked up some hearing aids and got one.
I haven’t had trouble hearing my granddaughter’s stories about awkward translation incidents or visiting galleries since then – except for when her roommates play music loudly in the background.