Friday, November 28, 2008

Picture Perfect - Everyday Thanks

Picture Perfect this week is about giving thanks for the ordinary. This shouldn't be your friends, or family...not really a sentimental post, I think, but a thank you to the things that help get us through the day.

Here is my photo contribution to this weeks' theme.

tgiving 020

(pardon the dust!)

Our computers have become such a daily tool in our lives, it is a wonder how we ever lived without it. I recently read a blog by Wicklowmick about the various tools he used before computers and I did a little self recollection. I don't think I have ever used a manual typewriter. One of my earliest jobs was with the Executive Vice President of Temple University. I was a "student assistant" and I did some light typing. I hated it and became very good at the "correction" feature. I remember that we also had a dedicated word processing machine that I was eventually trained on...and then the desktop computers. The first word processing software I used wasn't a windows product it was WordPerfect. Mail Merge and I were close friends.

Being a doctoral student as well as I teacher, I use my computer every day. So do my students and I often have to spend time explaining why it is plagiarism to cut and paste paragraphs from the Internet. Good thing there is Google. I just cut and copy portions of their homework into Google and search for the real source of their assignments.

For me, it means always having a backup. I was speaking to the mother of a friend who got her PhD in the 60s. She talked about the typing and typing and typing some more...then of mimeograph copies of all that was typed hidden for safekeeping all over her house. She had a copy on her - AT ALL TIMES, a copy in her home office, a copy in her campus office, a copy in her car and...this is the best one! A copy in her freezer. In case of a fire. I guess the contents of your freezer don't burn!

Nowadays we are told about having two external hard drives to back up our dissertations. I also plan on emailing portions of it to myself. That way it will always be "out there."

In addition to the Word Processing applications...and the cheating capabilities of the Internet, there is also social networking. I am reading an article right now on this topic and how it impacts "emerging adults." I think we are all pretty much emerged, but isn't it interesting that this little laptop has given birth to

  • new forms of cheating
  • new forms of creating
  • new forms of friendship
  • new forms of frustration
  • new forms of research
  • new forms of procrastination

And with that, I am going to head back to my homework!

No comments: