Ray Appen’s Oct. 1 opinion piece provided fuel for a discussion with my bride, Aleda.

(Actually, she told me to read the article and let’s talk about it!)

After I read the piece, we did have a discussion and concluded that what you wrote makes sense. We think a lot of brick and mortar traditional institutions are in for seismic changes.

For instance, my neighbor is an HR director for a large global company. We were having a socially distanced Friday cocktail hour on the deck a couple of weeks ago, and I inquired as to when she would be going back to the office. She responded that she might not. She further stated she can hire and fire people over the phone or through a Zoom call!

If we can garner academic credentials online, why do we need to head off to a campus and incur all the expenses that are attendant with it? Today’s hip and cool crowd would probably not.

Our fear is that we will be missing out on the person-to-person contact that the office space and the classrooms afford us and that goes against the very nature of our species. We are, as humans, a social bunch that crave contact with each other and learn from social interaction. It’s really hard to read body language and nuanced facial expressions from a smart phone screen. 

On a personal note, I met my bride at the office years ago!

What we have decided to do with the article is to preserve it, and every New Year’s day trot it out and re-read it before the collard greens and black-eyed peas traditional dinner.

Your article will become a way to annually measure the predicted changes against a constant — collard greens and black-eyed peas.

I know those aren’t changing!

Jack and Aleda Calhoun, Alpharetta

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