Saturday, February 18, 2012

Terrible, Horrible, No Good Technology Part II

While not significant at the time in terms of technology at the time, I later reflected on how technology caused 2 near misses on my trip down the iconic Taconic.  Not just once, but twice did a distracted driver holding a cell phone create a nearly tragic corollary to my day.  Those of us who commute are typically pretty defensive in our driving and cell-phone-users are plentiful during every drive - but this morning I did take note of the 2 near misses. I didn't really reflect on the dangers of technology and driving  at the time - as I listened to the 880 radio news cycle through again and again.  I still didn't realize that this was going to be a day of many technology impacted events!
A few hours later, I logged into check my email to view a train of painful emails about the potential cost of my tablet dreams for my students and fellow teachers.  It was as if someone had take my dream and said, "Not a chance," before the dream had even become a focused grant dashing (at least at the moment) my hopes to model doing running records on a tablet and making pairs of students huddled over iPads recording their reading a dream that was not likely to happen in my teaching-time.  In retrospect, I actually felt some physical pain related to my (at the moment) disappointment. Fortunately, my more technosavy administrator knew how to respond and could execute the right phrase that would keep some hope alive!
It was, however, a very busy day and by the time I hit the enter key to start my PowerPoint on the podium for my grad students, I was already a bit fried and a little tired.  So when just a few minutes later, on only slide 2, the computer screen went blank and the system shut down,,,I did share with the grad students, who were probably hopeful that I might just let them talk and stop lecturing, that it was NOT my day for technology! 
Somehow we survived the class and yes thanks to my very technosavy students, I did figure out that all I needed to just reset the reset button!
For a few hours things settled down; but then as I entered the kitchen for a late dinner, my husband was fuming over a sound bar that when "replugged in with a new wire" would not work.....sigh..I was beginning to think it was me who was carrying some potent technology impacting virus - anything I came near was a near failure!\
Things did not go better when I headed into my office - surely the Internet connection had fixed itself during the day :)  As you already expect if you are still reading, it did not.  After a frustrating few minutes tears, more of frustration for the whole day than out of fear of a computer demise, filled my eyes.  I really couldn't believe I could be moved to tears over technology!
Fortunately, my husband's desire to be technologically savvy surfaced and he reminded me (showed me again) how to remove some unwanted cookies (watch out for Flip Toast I tell you) from the My Computer page.  For a few minutes, until I was too exhausted to see the screen, things seemed to be headed in a positive direction.  I logged off...and went to bed...certain that tomorrow would be a better day...and set my alarm to few minutes early so that I would have time to 1) catch up on those student emails and 2) get on the treadmill to reduce my stress.
If you are still reading, I am confident you know that when I tried to log on to the computer at 4:45 AM,  i knew that my troubles would be a little more tenacious....the screen was blue except some continued cycle of  'cannot start normally' that kept staring me in the face as if I didn't already know that....
Fortunately, my ProFitness treadmill and Sanso MP3 player were working or else it really might have been a terrible, horrible no good and very bad day for a lot of people! 
So here I am, on Saturday morning, logged onto my husband's lovely laptop.  Truth be told, I really should be doing REAL work, preparing PowerPoints and responding to student emails (sorry about that)...but I really needed to write about this experience!  I was thinking about it while I talked to my mother about dropped calls from grandchildren.  I was thinking about it when I was driving home on that still iconic Taconic and yet another driver, who might or might not have been driving with a cell phone - it was too dark to tell - pulled a crazy almost life changing lane-change.  I was thinking about it as I have reflected on how we are NOT giving up on my techno-learning dreams and the research I have planned in that direction for my vacation.  I was even thinking of it while I watched my husband smile as he realized his sound bar problem was related to a plug in the wrong place.
Like those ol' "fables" my third graders are reading these days, this story probably has a message in it for all of us who are technologically dependent - and we all are.  Even my mother who has avoided computers as if they could give HER a virus is dependent on cable TV to provide access to a world outside of her condo.  The message might even be an enduring understanding  that we surely all know even if we don't think about it all the time: Understanding and using technology is an essential part of our lives. 
Of course, that lead us to some more essential questions that might even be more important to ponder:
How do we keep it working?
How do we use it responsibly?
How do we keep from getting addicted?
SIGH.....I fell better for writing all this down....this writing stuff really is an important way of making sense of the world around us.....perhaps I can get on with the clearing and cooking that is awaiting me now....

No comments: