Saturday, December 22, 2012


     Well, today is the 22nd. of December so I guess the world is not going to end. It probably will sometime but according to the scientists who decipher the Mayan calendar, there was a big mistake made in the calculations and the REAL end of the world is going to happen on September 3rd. 2015. So at least we have almost another three years left. I really didn't put too much thought into the event that was supposed to happen on the 21st, whatever IT was supposed to be, but you couldn't help hear the little voice in the back of your head asking the little question, "What if...?" I got a prescription filled, had enough food in the house for about a week, (worried that a lot of it was frozen; certainly the electricity would be the first to go) and checked the supply of toilet paper and toothpaste. I bought an additional two packages of toilet paper. It made me feel better. We went to sleep on the 20th with the thought that it would be nice if it all happened over night. Everybody wants to die in their sleep, if they have to go, don't they?
     So today I am left sitting at my computer, drinking my flavored coffee and eating biscotti. Yum. I think if the world ended, or at least went into some catastrophic whirlwind, and I was able to survive, I would miss those three things the most, assuming my family and cat survived right along with me. I know. I can hear the scoffs and grumbling from my family. "Really, mom? You'd miss the computer? We find that hard to believe."
     I have always had a love-hate relationship with technology. When my husband, Doug, insisted we take our tax returns one year and buy a computer, circa 1984, I replied, and I know the exact words because they come back to haunt me, "Sure, hon, if you want, but I don't think I'll ever use the thing." And, if you want to know the truth, for many years I didn't use it. Oh, there was one game I used to play, to wile away the hours, called Oilcaps. Even though I liked the game it frustrated the heck out of me and several times my husband was thankful he had not installed a wireless mouse because the wire on the end of the mouse was the only thing that kept it from violently going to another part of the room or out the window.
     But Doug got a ton of use from it. He did our taxes every year and slowly put our finances on the system. We were probably the first in our circle of friends to pay bills on line. And slowly he got to know the workings and language of the programs and the hardware specifications of all of its parts. With all of his reading and experimenting on the subject of computers, I'm sure it was instrumental in getting him his computer tech job in the early 90's.
     It was an oddity to my family and friends (mostly my family) when in 2002 I announced I was going back to school, to finish up my BA, on line through the University of Maryland University College. Here it comes again, "Really? You're going to take classes with the computer on line? Really?" Yes I really was. I was an intelligent person. "I can do this; sure I can. Why not? And if I have any trouble I always have your dad to help out."
     So I enrolled, took the tutorial and slowly learned out to use the discussion boards, how to attach papers, how to do e-mail, etc... Ta-da! in 2005 I graduated with my BA. So There! I did it. (yes, o.k. I must mention the frantic phone calls and the crying jags, my most asked question "Why isn't it doing what I told it to do?" and my most frequent statement, "Well, that's just stupid.") But TA-DA anyway.
     Now, since I have been teaching for 6 years, the computer has become indispensable to me. I track my grades and post them. I check my e-mails (yes plural), I create papers to Xerox and I search for new and different lesson plans. I have my students write papers, always on the computer, and do PowerPoint projects. I would have a difficult time teaching now if I did not have a computer. I love what it can do for me and I still hate the fact that I am so dependent on it. I would really miss not being able to contact someone or look up a new recipe, see what people are doing on Pinterest.
     And the other two things, coffee and biscotti. Missing those are self explanatory, don't you think? 

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